Buried deep, deep, deep within revisions to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission Act ("CPSCA") is a new cause of action designed to protect whistleblowers of product safety (available here).
This new law, entitled The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, will afford protection to both public and private employees in retail and manufacturing sectors to those employees who disclose perceived violations of CPSCA (or related acts) to a State Attorney General, a regulatory agency or their employer.
The Laconic Law Blog has the details of the bill which was signed by President Bush on August 14, 2008.
For employers in the manufacturing and retail area, many states, including Connecticut already afforded employees who complained about some of these issues state law protection. But this new bill will allow employees to bring claims under federal law through a new administrative procedure; it does not allow the employees to bring their claims directly in court.
It’s yet another reminder to treat complaints by employees of wrongdoing with appropriate seriousness and notify supervisors that adverse employment decisions should not be based on the complaints.