OSHA and NLRB issue MOU to strengthen health and safety protections
On October 31, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their interagency partnership. The purpose is to establish a process for information-sharing, referrals, training, and outreach between the agencies. Additionally, the agencies wish to address certain antiretaliation and whistleblowing issues through this collaboration. Since 1975, the NLRB and OSHA have engaged in cooperative efforts during investigations. According to NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo and OSHA Assistant Secretary Doug Parker, the MOU seeks to strengthen this interoffice coordination to provide greater protection for workers to speak out on unsafe working conditions without fear of punishment or termination.
Exchange of information
According to the MOU, the NLRB and OSHA “may share, either upon request or upon the respective agency’s own initiative, any information or data that supports each agency’s enforcement mandates, whether obtained during an investigation or through any other sources.”
This information may include complaint referrals and information in complaint or investigative files. The MOU notes this information will be shared only if it’s relevant or necessary to the recipient agency’s enforcement responsibilities and ensures the sharing of information is compatible with the purposes of the agency that’s collecting the records.