Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are considering a bill that would provide offshore oil workers on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) additional whistleblower protections. OCS workers do not currently have the same protections that others in the energy industry have. If passed, the Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2015 would change that.
Stronger Whistleblower Protections Could Prevent Accidents
The Outer Continental Shelf includes waters off of the United States coast such as the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaskan coast. By providing workers in these waters additional whistleblower protections, some lawmakers believe it could help prevent catastrophic accidents before they occur. For example, there is evidence that many workers on the Deepwater Horizon knew that the rig was experiencing problems that could lead to a catastrophe, but did not alert federal regulators – potentially out of fear of losing their job or being retaliated against in some other fashion.
The Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2015 would make it illegal for companies to discriminate in any manner against employees who report potential safety problems to their supervisor or federal agencies.