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Inaugural Meeting of Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee
Highlighting its continued emphasis on protecting the rights of whistleblowers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration hosted the inaugural meeting of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. Acting Secretary of Labor Harris commended the new committee members on their passion for whistleblower protections during the January 29 meeting, which brought together the 12 voting and three ex-officio members. Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, stressed the importance of whistleblowers to the broad economy, to worker safety, the environment, and the integrity of the financial system, transportation safety and food safety. He also updated the committee on the selection of Beth Slavet to head the whistleblower program, and a recent accord signed between OSHA and BNSF Railway Company that protects workers' rights to report safety concerns or injuries without fear of retaliation. In his closing remarks, Michaels reiterated the importance of whistleblowers who can "play an important role in preventing the next Deepwater Horizon or avoiding the next Enron."