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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Safety: Reprisals
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Agency employees are not subject to restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal for filing a report of an unsafe or unhealthy working condition or other participation in the Safety, Health and Environmental Management Program.

Acts of reprisal against Agency employees who disclose information which they reasonably believe evidences substantial and specific danger to public health and safety are prohibited personnel practices under 5 USC 2302 (b) (8).

Agency employees have the right to be free from reprisal actions resulting from their participation in the Agency, program activities or from their reporting of unsafe or unhealthy conditions in their work environment.

Agency employees also have the right to decline to perform their assigned task because of a reasonable belief that under the circumstances the task poses an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm, coupled with a reasonable belief that there is insufficient time to seek effective redress through normal hazard reporting and abatement procedures.

Each Location and staff office must ensure that these rights are protected.

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The above are based on the following references:
A. 5 USC 2302(b)(8), Prohibited Personnel Practices.
B. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Program for Federal Employees, Section 1-201(f).
C. 29 CFR 1960.46, Agency Responsibility.
D. Departmental Regulation 4400-1, Departmental Occupational Safety and Health Management, Sections 7b and 7c.
E. Departmental Personnel Manual Chapter 771.
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Last Modified: 3/12/2010
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