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Senate Committee Vote is a Major Victory for Whistleblowers


Washington, D.C. October 30, 2007. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation voted today to approve a bill which would overhaul federal standards on consumer products, and includes vital whistleblower provisions to protect employees who report consumer safety violations.

The bill, The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act of 2007, comes on the heels of safety concerns over massive product recalls this year, including children’s toys containing dangerous levels of toxins, such as lead-based paint.

Under the proposed law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers would be prohibited from retaliating against employees who report violations of consumer safety laws. Whistleblowers who experience retaliation will have the right to file a complaint in administrative court, and then to appeal that decision in Federal Court, with access to jury trials.

“Whistleblower protections for employees who report violations of consumer product safety standards are absolutely critical. If courageous employees can’t report violations without fear of retribution, especially in overseas factories, then we may not know about dangerous or defective products until it is too late,” said Stephen M. Kohn, President of the National Whistleblower Center.

Today’s vote ensures that the whistleblower laws will be included in the bill, which will now go to the Senate floor. Industry lobbyists, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, have expressed their vehement opposition to these new employee protections, and have vowed a fight to have them removed from the bill.

The whistleblower provisions in the bill were championed by, among others, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).


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