Food workers receive whistleblower protections

The Obama administration is moving forward with new whistleblower protections for employees in the food industry.

Food workers who report corporate wrongdoing will be protected from retaliation by their employers under new rules from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That means they cannot be fired or disciplined for disclosing information about food safety violations that is critical of the companies for which they work.

The whistleblower protections will extend to employees of companies that “manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold or import food,” the agency noted.

The Labor Department said these whistleblower protections are essential to ensuring the nation’s food safety and security.

OSHA also enforces whistleblower protections in other industries, such as healthcare, environmental, motor vehicles, airlines and public transportation.