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2013 budget request includes millions for OSHA whistleblower fund

For workers in Kansas, Missouri and across the nation, employee rights are extremely important. One of these rights protects an employee who wants to report illegal or unfair treatment against the employee or co-workers. Like a referee in a sporting event, the employee is "blowing the whistle" on illegal behaviors.

The sad truth is that many of these whistleblowers suffer retaliation from their employer instead of seeing changes made that would create a safer work environment or eliminate a hostile one. The law provides a route for compensation for these employees who become the victim of retaliation whether in the form of harassment, demotion, wrongful termination or any other unjust behaviors.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is the federal agency tasked to handle many of these types of violations. President Obama's FY 2013 budget request seeks a million dollar increase for funding to OSHA, specifically for the whistleblower program.

The request specifically seeks an increase of $565,468,000 for the agency itself. The whistleblower program funding would receive $4.8 million out of the total increase. There would also be another 37 full-time workers added to the program's staff.

"The significant increase in OSHA whistleblower funding will help the agency address persistent backlogs and heavy and increasing caseloads for its whistleblower investigators," said Dr. David Michaels, an OSHA administrator. "These increased resources are critical."

OSHA is not the only group that protects employee rights. An experienced attorney will immediately advocate for the victim of labor violations in a personal capacity, fighting for the employee's individual rights.

Source: EHS Today, "OSHA FY 2013 Budget Request Includes Whistleblower Funding Increase, Regional Office Consolidation," Laura Walter, Feb. 14, 2012

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