Volume: 22 | Issue: 49
November 16, 2023

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to “strengthen the agencies’ partnership to promote safe and healthy workplaces.” This agreement allows the agencies to share more information, conduct cross-training for staff, and partner on investigations and enforcing anti-retaliation provisions.

As you know, employees can file a complaint with OSHA if they believe their employer is not following OSHA standards or meeting its general duty to provide a safe working environment. Employees can also bring their safety concerns to their supervisors and managers and refuse to work in a situation that is unsafe. It is a violation of federal law to retaliate against an employee for engaging in such conduct.

Employees who engage in such conduct may also be protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protects employees engaging in concerted activity to improve their terms and conditions of employment. The NLRA is enforced by the NLRB. Thus, when safety is related to the term and condition of employment at issue, OSHA’s jurisdiction and the NLRB’s jurisdiction can overlap.

The collaboration between OSHA and the NLRB creates “mechanisms to increase overall awareness on the rights and remedies available under federal anti-retaliation and whistleblower protection laws.” To that end, the agencies have jointly created a fact sheet “to help workers better understand what recourse they have when their rights are violated.” 

If you need assistance with an OSHA or NLRB matter, please contact a KZA attorney. 

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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