Labor Department Rejects 98% of Whistleblower Protection Requests

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Following the Enron accounting scandal, Congress adopted the Sarbanes-Oxley (“Sarbox”) corporate reform law to reduce the risk of future corporate fiascoes by bolstering protections for whistleblowers. But in the eight years since the law was passed, the worker safety arm of the U.S. Department of Labor has rejected 98% of all claims by corporate workers seeking protection from reprisals.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has responsibility for processing Sarbox requests, has upheld only 25 whistleblower claims—out of 1,066 filed—for a “winning percentage” of 2%.
Alarmed by the low rate of success, Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels has ordered a “top-to-bottom” review of OSHA’s handling of Sarbox cases. “I’m concerned with the statistics that I’ve seen,” Michaels told The Center for Public Integrity. “The question is: Are we doing all that we should be doing for whistleblowers? I don’t think we are.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Feds Dismiss Post-Enron Tips of Fraud (by Michael Hudson, Center for Public Integrity)


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