By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has just released its whistleblower statistics, showing another jump in the number of whistleblower cases filed with OSHA in FY 2014, to over three thousand.

This is the first time that the total number of claims filed has topped 3,000, and is the result of a steady climb in each of the last 10 years.

It is likely that there are numerous factors pushing these numbers higher each year. The increased media coverage of high profile whistleblower cases and the significant monetary awards to whistleblowers in the financial and government contracting industries has no doubt had a significant impact. Additionally, OSHA has added on-line reporting capabilities to make it easier for individuals to file claims. Further, there is increased cooperation between government agencies in investigating whistleblower cases.

Whatever the reason, employers should understand that this upward trend appears to be here to stay and should take proactive steps to protect themselves from disgruntled workers’ increasing awareness of the potential financial benefits of filing whistleblower claims.