The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees enforcement of the nation's many whistleblower protection laws, which largely involve retaliation safeguards for workplace whistleblowers, and its chief, David Michaels, feels the agency lacks the enforcement tools it needs.

Testifying before the Senate Sub-Committee on Employment and Workplace Safety, Michaels pushed for "preliminary reinstatement" of any employee claiming whistleblower retaliation, this before any actual finding of retaliation had been made. He also called for legislation allowing aggrieved whistleblowers to file their own legal actions against their employers rather than having to wait for an OSHA investigation (again without any retaliation determination having been made).

Finally, Michaels proposed expanding the 30-day statute of limitation for filing an OSHA Act violation to 180 days. He said OSHA dismisses about 200 workplace complaint cases a year because the document is filed outside the 30-day statute.

All of these proposals, of course, would require joint action by the House and the Senate, which seems highly unlikely in the current pre-November-election political climate.