OSHA Rule Finalized for Automotive Industry Employees to File Whistleblower Complaints

It took four years, but employees in the automotive industry now have a firm set of procedures they can invoke if they feel were the victims of retaliation because they blew the whistle on their employers.

The final rule issued and effective yesterday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration establishes procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

Under MAP-21, enacted July 6, 2012, automobile manufacturers, part suppliers and car dealerships cannot discharge or otherwise retaliate against workers for providing information concerning motor vehicle defects or violations of motor vehicle safety standards to their employer or the Secretary of Transportation.

“Every worker in the automotive industry should feel secure with raising concerns about workplace hazards without fear of retaliation,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “This final rule protects those workers who report conditions or activities that jeopardize their safety or the safety of the public.”

In March, OSHA published an interim final rule and requested public comments. The one comment received did not require the agency to make revisions to the rule.

OSHA’s fact sheet, Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), provides additional details for workers in this industry who have faced retaliation for reporting car safety violations, and instructions on how to file a complaint with OSHA under MAP-21.

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