A recent survey of programming inspections by OSHA revealed major flaws in how whistleblower cases are handled.
The report showed that state labor officials routinely fail to properly investigate complaints from whistleblowers of retaliation in the workplace. Per the PDF of the investigation:
“The evaluation of the program identified issues in the areas of complaints, fatalities, targeting, Federal and State Program Changes, and discrimination investigations.
A review of the complaint inquiries and inspection case files from the Enforcement Offices in Foster City and Santa Ana indicated response letters to the complainant were not consistently mailed out, complaints were not being responded to in a timely manner, diary sheets were not always used or were not updated, and employee representatives were not always involved in the opening conference. The fatality case file review noted that deaths attributed to natural causes (e.g., heart attacks) and not work-related were being entered into IMIS as work-related fatalities which impacts data locally and nationally.”
In the audit, OSHA found that in more than half the 21 cases reviewed, investigators did not interview the whistleblower, and in several cases witnesses were also not interviewed to corroborate evidence. Sometimes, the investigators simply accepted the company’s defense.
“The investigators’ failure to conduct these interviews left many key questions unanswered and resulted in inadequate investigations and analysis,” the report states.
The California Department of Industrial Relations asked for additional time to respond to the federal report. Erika Monterroza, a spokesperson for the department, said that there would not be a statement until the additional review was completed.
If you believe a company is perpetuating fraud, it is important to step forward with your information. Technically, you do not need an attorney to assist you in bringing forth whistleblower lawsuits, but filing with the federal government can be complicated. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can ensure your rights and interests are protected while your suit moves forward. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.