Weekly Compliance Digest – Retaliation Complaints in the Automotive Industry

March 25, 2016 By
In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover OSHA’s interim final rule for handling retaliation complaints from workers in the automotive industry.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

What is it?

On March 16, 2016, OSHA announced the publication of an interim final rule establishing procedures and timeframes for handling employee retaliation complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). MAP-21, enacted on July 6, 2012, protects workers in the automotive industry who have been discharged or otherwise retaliated against for providing information concerning motor vehicle defects or violations of motor vehicle safety standards to their employer or the Secretary of Transportation.

Who is affected?

The interim final rule affects the following sectors:

  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
  • Automotive Part Suppliers
  • Car Dealerships

What are the requirements?

Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), motor vehicle manufacturers, part suppliers, or dealerships cannot discharge an employee or discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee):

  • Provided, or is about to provide, to the employer or the Secretary of Transportation information relating to any motor vehicle defect, noncompliance, or any violation or alleged violation of any notification or reporting requirement.
  • Has filed, or is about to file, a proceeding relating to any violation or alleged violation of any motor vehicle defect, noncompliance, or any violation or alleged violation of any notification or reporting requirement.
  • Testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding.
  • Assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding.
  • Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity that the employee reasonably believed to be in violation of any provision of chapter 301 of Title 49 of the U.S. Code, or any order, rule, regulation, standard, or ban under such provision.

The interim final rule establishes the procedures and timeframes under which employee retaliation complaints would be handled. Employers in the automotive industry should familiarize themselves with the provisions to know their rights and responsibilities. Specifically, the rule provides more information regarding the following elements that may be of interest to automotive employers:

  • Time Limits for Filing Complaints. MAP21 complaints must be filed by employees within 180 days after the alleged retaliatory action by the employer.
  • Results of the Investigation. If the evidence supports an employee’s complaint of retaliation, OSHA will issue an order requiring the employer to put the employee back to work, pay lost wages, restore benefits, and other possible relief. After OSHA issues a decision, the employer may request a full hearing before an administrative law judge of the Department of Labor. The administrative law judge’s decision may be appealed to the Department’s Administrative Review Board.

What is next?

The interim final rule became effective on March 16, 2016. Comments can be submitted by the deadline of May 16, 2016.

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Categories: EHS

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