Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 with the purpose of requiring employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment. It also protects an employee from retaliation for reporting an unsafe work environment, which is often referred to as a "whistleblower complaint." The law covers most private sector employers, and grants the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the United States Department of Labor, investigation and enforcement authority.
Recently, OSHA provided employees with a new method for lodging whistleblower complaints against employers. Through a portal on the United States Department of Labor's website, employees can now electronically file whistleblower complaints anonymously, and in any language. The online form is located at www.whistleblowers.gov.
Employers curious about OSHA's whistleblower investigation process should familiarize themselves with OSHA's Whistleblowers Investigations Manual located on the web page.