On Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 1 p.m. EST, Jordan B. Schwartz, Lindsay A. DiSalvo, and Victoria L. Voight presented a webinar regarding Strategies for Responding to Whistleblower/Retaliation Complaints.
Over the past several years, employers have seen a significant uptick in retaliation claims filed by employees and investigated by federal agencies. For example, in 2010, only approx. 30% of all charges filed with the EEOC included a retaliation claim, but that number shot up to almost 60% in FY 2021. Similarly, the vast majority of whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA in FY 2022 – about 76% – were filed under Sec. 11(c) of the OSH Act (retaliation based on protected safety acts).
When a general retaliation or whistleblower complaint is received, employers have a chance to explain why the complaint should be dismissed. The response is an opportunity for the employer to provide information so the agency investigating the complaint can close its file; whether that means OSHA decides an onsite inspection is unnecessary or the EEOC dismisses the discrimination charge. The responses can, however, create a written record of admissions that OSHA or the EEOC could use against the employer. Employers should thus be strategic about the information shared at that early stage and should ensure there is a procedure in place for managing and developing these responses.
Participants in this webinar learned: Continue reading