For Immediate Release
Whistleblowers Gain Landmark Protections in Food Safety Act
WASHINGTON - Today, the House approved the Senate version of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2571), which contains strong whistleblower protections
for food safety employees. This landmark legislation has now cleared
Congress and will soon be signed into law by President Obama.
Highlights of the Food Safety Whistleblower Provision:
- Covers all employers "engaged in the manufacture, processing,
packing, transportation, distribution, reception, holding or importation
- Allows workers have their case heard before a jury in federal court;
- Provides for reinstatement, back pay and compensatory damages.
"When workers see rats in the food, they must be able to sound the
alarm," said NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn. "Employees who
blow the whistle on food contamination will finally obtain protection,"
Mr. Kohn stated, "Today Congress closed a terrible
loophole in whistleblower protection laws. This should serve as an
example for legislative action needed to protect other workers who still
fall outside the safety net, including those who work in the offshore
oil drilling industry. We urge all Americans to sign the petition asking Congress to pass a national whistleblower
Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.