- OSHA recently released its final rule on how to handle ACA retaliation complaints. Protected workers are those that report what they believe to be violations and those who receive premium tax credits or are subsidized for healthcare insurance.
- SHRM reports little has changed between the interim rule and the final, primarily because OSHA already has other statues in place for protecting whistleblowers.
- Once a worker files a complaint, it is incumbent on the employer to show that the action — firing, demoting, cutting pay, denying benefits, among others — is independent of the workers complaint. Once OSHA reaches a verdict, either party may appeal.
The slight adjustments between the interim and final rules means the industry has had about three years to adjust to rules for adequate handling of whistleblowers. What OSHA did was essentially insure that HR professionals would not have to start from Ground Zero.
When the ACA first passed, many employee advocates were concerned that companies would opt to keep workers at 29 hours per week or below so that they would not have to offer health insurance. So far, it seems many companies have been able to adjust accordingly thanks to OSHA preparedness.