WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced the appointment of two new members and the reappointment of 13 members of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC). WPAC advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s whistleblower protection programs.
Secretary Perez appointed the 12 voting and three ex officio members of the WPAC. The committee’s membership will be staggered, beginning this year. Therefore, some members will serve two-year terms and some will serve one-year terms. The new committee will become effective December 1, 2014.
Three members represent the public: Jonathan Brock, retired Associate Professor of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, and Chairman of the Hanford Concerns Council (one-year term); Richard Moberly, Associate Dean of the University of Nebraska (two-year term); Emily Spieler, Edwin W. Hadley Professor of Law at Northeastern School of Law (Chairperson, two-year term).
Four members represent management: David Eherts, Vice President Global EHS of Actavis Pharmaceuticals (two-year term); Gregory Keating, shareholder, Co-Chair of the whistleblowing practice group and member of the Board of Directors, Littler Mendelson P.C. (two-year term); Marcía Narine, professor at St. Thomas University School of Law, and compliance consultant for MDO Partners (one-year term); Kenneth Wengert, C.S.P., A.R.M., Director of Safety, Environment and Business Continuity Planning for Kraft Foods (one-year term).
Four members represent labor: Ava Barbour, Associate General Counsel, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (one-year term); Eric Frumin, Health and Safety Director for Change to Win (two-year term); Nancy Lessin, Program Director of the United Steelworkers’ Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education (one-year term); and Jennifer Rosenbaum, founding Legal and Policy Director of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice National Guestworker Alliance (new member, two-year term).
One member represents OSHA state plans. She is Christine Dougherty, Discrimination Investigator for the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (one-year term).
Three non-voting members represent federal agencies. They include: Rina Tucker Harris, Enforcement Attorney for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (two-year term); Adam Miles, Deputy Special Counsel, Policy and Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (two-year term); and Robert W. Miller, Office Director, FMCSA Office of Policy, Strategic Planning & Regulations for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (new member, two-year term).
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report reasonably perceived violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.