1. Employees and Employers Covered
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates the industrial chemicals produced or imported into the U.S. The Act imposes guidelines for the EPA’s testing, inspection, and tracking of industrial chemicals, and allows the EPA to ban the manufacture of any chemicals considered to pose an unreasonably high risk. The Act protects all employees, public and private, from retaliation for reporting potential violations of TSCA or in any way assisting in proceedings or investigations of such violations. All employers are subject to the Act, including small businesses, associations, municipalities, any interstate body, and any department or agency of the Federal Government. This section does not apply to any employee, who acting without discretion from his employer deliberately violates any requirement of this chapter.
2. Protected Activities
An employer may not discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for reporting potential violations of TSCA to his/her employer or to the government, or for assisting in a proceeding arising under the Act.
3. Proving Your Case
Any employee who believes he has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation with this provision may file, within 30 days after such violation occurs, a complaint with the Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In order to make a successful claim under TSCA, the employee must have engaged in some protected activity, the employer must know of the employee’s protected activity, and the employee must have suffered some unfavorable action motivated at least in part by his/her protected activity. In order to avoid liability, the employer must demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence” that it would have taken the same unfavorable personnel action against the employee in the absence of the employee’s protected activity.
4. Available Remedies
If an employee’s whistleblower claim is successful, he or she may be entitled to reinstatement with previous seniority and benefits, back pay with interest, and other relief including attorney’s fees and compensatory damages.
5. Time to File: 30 days from alleged violation.
If you believe you have a whistleblower claim under the TSCA, please contact an attorney at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.