Bloomberg Law

The Department of Labor, EEOC, and National Labor Relations Board recently announced a joint initiative to increase employee protections from retaliation related to workplace Covid-19 complaints. Reed Smith’s Paulo McKeeby and Amanda Brown suggest steps that employers should take to minimize the risk of employee retaliation claims being filed against them.

Recent headlines have highlighted the Biden administration’s interest in pursuing retaliation claims in the employment context, particularly as related to Covid-19. In light of this, and whistleblower protections under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers should provide timely and thoughtful responses to employee complaints related to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard, other health and safety concerns, or Equal Employment Opportunity laws.

If not, employers may find themselves the subject of an investigation or litigation.

On Nov. 10 the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board announced a joint initiative to increase protections for whistleblowers. As part of the announcement, Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda remarked: “[i]n the U.S. Department of Labor’s fight against…unsafe or unhealthy workplaces, and other unlawful employment practices, we will use all tools available to protect workers from retaliation.” 

Reproduced with permission. Published Dec. 1, 2021. Copyright 2021 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. 800-372-1033. For further use, please visit

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