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Wed Apr 8, 2020, 01:53 PM

Labor Department vows to protect workers who report unsafe conditions

Source: The Hill

The Department of Labor is warning employers that it's illegal to retaliate against workers who speak out about unsafe working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a brief statement Wednesday encouraging workers to submit whistleblower complaints to the agency if they encounter any misconduct.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” said Loren Sweatt, the assistant labor secretary in charge of OSHA. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”

The warning comes as the public health crisis has made routine jobs increasingly perilous and medical workers are highlighting the shortage of protective and lifesaving equipment.

Read more: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/491804-labor-department-warns-employers-not-to-retaliate-against-workers



The Navy relieved Capt. Brett Crozier, the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Last month, an emergency room doctor in Washington state and a nurse in Chicago were fired after speaking out about their working conditions.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered an investigation into Amazon's firing last month of an employee who had led a walkout of at a local facility demanding better safeguards.

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Reply Labor Department vows to protect workers who report unsafe conditions (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Apr 8 OP
Midnightwalk Apr 8 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 8 #2
bucolic_frolic Apr 8 #3
PSPS Apr 8 #4
Maxheader Apr 8 #5
turbinetree Apr 8 #6
lagomorph777 Apr 8 #7
Miguelito Loveless Apr 8 #8
Liberty Belle Apr 9 #9
left-of-center2012 Apr 9 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 9 #11

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 01:58 PM

1. Track record on whistle blowers

Is chilling. As you point out just look at the Capt Crozier fiasco.

The people who speak up are heroes

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 01:59 PM

2. From the source:

News Release

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REMINDS EMPLOYERS THAT THEY CANNOT RETALIATE AGAINST WORKERS REPORTING UNSAFE CONDITIONS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Acts of retaliation can include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion, or reductions in pay or hours.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”

Workers have the right to file a whistleblower complaint online with OSHA (or 1-800-321-OSHA) if they believe their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under the whistleblower protection laws enforced by the agency.

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program webpage provides valuable resources on worker rights, including fact sheets on whistleblower protections for employees in various industries and frequently asked questions.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date April 8, 2020
Release Number 20-596-NAT
Contact: Department of Labor National Contact Center
Email DOL-Info@dol.gov

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 02:00 PM

3. Yeah but if you call it a hoax, they let you do it

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 02:03 PM

4. LOL. Yes, I'm sure corpoprate/trump toady Scalia will get right on top of this!!!111!

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 02:10 PM

5. Workers need a union like the iam...



Pudget Sound shut down not because the execs ordered it...The managers left it up to the union stewards to
determine if the conditions were dangerous...ie..corona virus exposure...The stewards after listening to the
workers shut it down...

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 03:07 PM

6. A fucking Libertarian runs the Dept

OF Labor..................and his father was also a POS.....................and then when you click on the site from the Dept of Labor you get this bromide of shit and his bonding partners ..............


https://www.dol.gov/agencies/osec

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 03:32 PM

7. Such as Captain Crozier, or the HHS IG?

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 03:35 PM

8. Under Trump?

Yeah, right...

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 12:08 AM

9. A garbage worker here was fired for wanting a mask. He works for a tribe and has no recourse.

They hired a young worker to replace him, who refused to help a second, older worker lift heavy garbage bins as the fired driver used to do. So now the older worker got fired, too even though he was willing to risk COVID and work without a mask to keep his job. He called me today.

He works for a tribal trash company on remote Indian reservation land, and is desperate, saying he has no recourse for unemployment because he was considered "temporary" and that normal state labor laws don't apply on tribal lands, or so he was told He has no car running, is poor and has no way to go look for other work.

I would welcome advice from anyone who can offer advice on what resources are available. I told him about food pantries and he can't even get to those without a car. His tribe doesn't really want to help him, as he was recently a whistleblower to media on a dispute within the tribal governance. Nobody was willing to help on that despite serious and flagrant violations of federal and tribal laws. Contacts to the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) were never returned even though a tribal leader ignored a petition with 64 signatures demanding a new vote on an energy project, and is also ignoring a petition calling for a vote to oust the tribal council. The fired elder is the one who presented one of those petitions to the chair who ignored the law and refused to hold a vote.

He can't seek help from his Congressman, either, since he is in Duncan Hunter's District. The seat is vacant since Hunter resigned after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

It's shameful to see Native Americans mistreated by our government and in this case, by their own tribal leaders.

Can anybody help?



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Response to Liberty Belle (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 08:28 AM

10. You may get more info ...

You may get more info if you also post this in the California state forum.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1040

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Response to Liberty Belle (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 09:13 AM

11. Since he's in California, he should start with Cal/OSHA.

https://www.dir.ca.gov/

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/WhisteblowerComplaint.htm

The tribal thing adds complication. Cal/OSHA will know what to do.

He should contact his district office:

Contact the Labor Commissioner's Office

San Diego might be the closest:

San Diego
7575 Metropolitan Dr.,
Room 210
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 220-5451
LaborComm.WCA.SDO@dir.ca.gov

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