Moberly named to Labor Dept. whistleblowing panel

· 3 min read

Moberly named to Labor Dept. whistleblowing panel

Richard Moberly

Richard Moberly, associate dean for faculty and professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, has been appointed to serve as an inaugural member of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee by U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Solis announced the members of 15-person panel, who represent the interests of labor, management and the public, on Dec. 13. She said the members “will utilize their expertise to provide valuable advice and recommendations to help OSHA strengthen and improve our whistleblower protection program.”

Moberly, who joined the College of Law faculty in 2004, is a nationally recognized expert in the area, having published numerous articles on whistleblowing and retaliation including an empirical study of Sarbanes-Oxley claims and an analysis of the Supreme Court’s approach to retaliation cases.

He has spoken internationally on whether corporate codes of ethics provide protection to whistleblowers and on the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley protections, and also has testified before Congress on federal whistleblower protections.

The new committee will advise, consult with and make recommendations on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s whistleblower protection programs.

“I am truly honored to be included on the Advisory Committee. The whistleblower protection work done by OSHA matters because it helps create work environments where employees can feel safe reporting illegal behavior,” Moberly said. “I am impressed that OSHA is willing to listen to suggestions from outsiders in an effort to improve their processes, and I look forward to working with its administrators and the other members of the committee.”

The group will meet for the first time Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C., to make suggestions on the development and application of better customer service to workers and employers, improvement in the investigative processes, improvement of regulations governing OSHA investigations and recommendations for cooperation with federal agencies responsible for areas also covered by whistleblower protection statuses enforced by OSHA.

“Protecting workers who identify wrongdoing is an essential cornerstone of the U.S. Department of Labor’s worker protection enforcement efforts,” Solis said.

Moberly joins Jonathan Brock of the University of Washington and Emily Spieler of Northwestern University as the three committee members representing the public. All members will serve two-year terms, and the committee will meet at least twice a year.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report reasonably perceived violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations.

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– Steve Smith, University Communications

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