Washington, D.C. May 3, 2010. In the wake of the gulf coast oil spill, Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, released the following statement:
We call upon BP and all other companies involved in offshore drilling operations to ensure that any employee who steps forward to expose deficiencies in the offshore drilling process is not retaliated against.
The United States Department of Labor and all appropriate offices must fully and immediately investigate any claims made by whistleblowers about BP’s practices.
Between 1972 and 1980 Congress enacted 6 critical environmental whistleblower protection laws, which would cover BP employees. However, these laws have long been criticized due to numerous defects, such as a radically short 30-day statute of limitations that has undercut the ability of employees to obtain protection when they blow the whistle on environmental violations.
Unlike more modern whistleblower laws, these environmental laws do not permit employees access to federal court.
We call on Congress to immediately update these laws to ensure that employees who blow the whistle on dangerous offshore drilling practices are fully protected.