The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees a whistleblower protection program that enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 federal statutes.

These provisions protect employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various laws and for engaging in other related protected activities.




OSHA’s enforcement authority is very broad. It covers the whistleblower provisions of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws.

OSHA has provided a chart summarizing the whistleblower statutes, which includes detailed information related to the investigation process. This Compliance Overview includes a summary version of that chart with key information regarding covered individuals, protected activities and deadlines for filing complaints under each law, and provides links to additional information where available.

Links and Resources


Retaliation occurs when an employer fires an employee or takes any other type of adverse action against an employee for engaging in protected activity.

Adverse Action

An adverse action is an action that would dissuade a reasonable employee from raising a concern about a possible violation or engaging in any other related protected activity. Examples include:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Denying benefits
  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Blacklisting
  • Constructive discharge
  • Demoting
  • Intimidation or harassment

Whistleblower Statute Overview

Each statute that is part of OSHA’S Whistleblower Protection Program has separate requirements regarding the employers that are covered, which activities are protected and deadlines by when complaints must be filed.

PDF icon image

Download the complete compliance overview







This Compliance Overview is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.