OHSA Finalizes FSMA Whistleblower Protection Regulations

On April 18, 2016, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated a final rule that finalizes with minor changes an interim final rule (IFR) published in February 2014. The final rule implements the employee protection (i.e., “whistleblower”) provision of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It is procedural in nature, establishing administrative procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints. FSMA’s whistleblower protections took effect immediately upon the law’s enactment in January 2011 and the IFR became effective upon publication in February 2014. The final rule also takes effect immediately. This memorandum summarizes the statutory whistleblower protections and OSHA’s final rule.