Section 10 – Procedure of Enforcement

After OSHA has conducted an inspection, if the establishment is going to be issued a penalty, it must be done within 6 months of the inspection and be sent via certified mail.

Once the citations are received, the employer has 15 working days to contest the citation and/or proposed penalty. If the employer fails to notify OSHA or misses the 15 day deadline, all proposed penalties will be deemed a final order and not longer allowed to be reviewed by any court or agency.

However, if the employer does notify the agency of its intent to contest the proposed penalty or citation within the 15 days, then the matter is turned over to the Commission. The Commission will then review the inspection, citation, penalties, and issue an order, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the Secretary’s citation or proposed penalty, or directing other appropriate relief, and such order shall become final thirty days after its issuance.

Upon a showing by an employer of a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation, and that abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond his reasonable control, the Secretary, after an opportunity for a hearing as provided in this subsection, shall issue an order affirming or modifying the abatement requirements in such citation. The rules of procedure prescribed by the Commission shall provide affected employees or representatives of affected employees an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this subsection.

Section 11 – Judicial Review

If within 60 days of receiving the Commission’s findings, the establishment may file an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. No objection that has not been urged before the Commission shall be considered by the court, unless the failure or neglect to urge such objection shall be excused because of extraordinary circumstances. The findings of the Commission with respect to questions of fact, if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive. If any party shall apply to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence and shall show to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the hearing before the Commission, the court may order such additional evidence to be taken before the Commission and to be made a part of the record. The Commission may modify its findings as to the facts, or make new findings, by reason of additional evidence so taken and filed, and it shall file such modified or new findings, which findings with respect to questions of fact, if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive, and its recommendations, if any, for the modification or setting aside of its original order. Upon the filing of the record with it, the jurisdiction of the court shall be exclusive and its judgment and decree shall be final, except that the same shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States, as provided in section 1254 of title 28, United States Code.

  1. No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or because of the exercise by such employee on behalf of himself or others of any right afforded by this Act.
  2. Any employee who believes that he has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of this subsection may, within thirty days after such violation occurs, file a complaint with the Secretary alleging such discrimination. Upon receipt of such complaint, the Secretary shall cause such investigation to be made as he deems appropriate. If upon such investigation, the Secretary determines that the provisions of this subsection have been violated, he shall bring an action in any appropriate United States district court against such person. In any such action the United States district courts shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown to restrain violations of paragraph (1) of this subsection and order all appropriate relief including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to his former position with back pay.
  3. Within 90 days of the receipt of a complaint filed under this subsection the Secretary shall notify the complainant of his determination under paragraph 2 of this subsection.

References:

OSHA. (1970). OSH Act of 1970. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/oshact/completeoshact