Whistleblower Protection in the Consumer, Food & Healthcare Sectors

Statute & Citation Coverage Remedies
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), 21 U.S.C. 399d

 

FSMA covers entities engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, transporting, distributing, receiving, holding, or importing food regulated under the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C).

Employees are protected if they —
(1) provided information relating to any violation of the FD&C or any act that s/he reasonably believed to be a violation of the FD&C to:
−−the employer,
−−the Federal Government, or
−−the attorney general of a state;
(2) testified, assisted, or participated in a proceeding concerning a violation of the FD&C; or
(3) objected to or refused to participate in any activity that s/he reasonably believed to be in violation of the FD&C.[5]

Preliminary reinstatement (if favorable investigation); permanent reinstatement together with compensation (including back pay) and restore the terms, conditions, and privileges associated with his or her employment; compensatory damages; and all costs and expenses (including attorneys’ and expert witness fees) reasonably incurred.
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), 15 U.S.C. §2087

 

CPSIA covers employees of consumer product manufacturers, importers, private labelers (owners of a brand or trademark on the private label of a consumer product), distributors and retailers.

A “consumer product,” as defined under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), generally means any article, or component part thereof, produced or distributed: (i) for sale to a consumer for use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise, or (ii) for the personal use, consumption or enjoyment of a consumer in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise.

Employees are protected if they provided, caused to be provided or are about to provide or cause to be provided to the employer, the federal government, or the attorney general of a state information relating to any violation of, or any act or omission that they reasonably believe to be a violation of the CPSA or any other Act enforced by the CPSC, or any order, rule, regulation, standard or ban under any such Acts.[6]

Preliminary reinstatement (if favorable investigation); permanent reinstatement; back pay, with interest; and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discharge or discrimination, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

Affordable Care Act (ACA), 29 U.S.C. §218c The ACA protects employees from retaliation if they— report violations of the various reforms found in Title I; and receiving a premium tax credit or a cost sharing reduction for enrolling in a qualified health plan. Preliminary reinstatement (if favorable investigation); permanent reinstatement; back pay, with interest; and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discharge or discrimination, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney’s fees.