Skip to Content

Notice

Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Federal Employee Protection Statutes; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION:

Request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

OSHA solicits comment concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements for handling of discrimination complaints under Federal Employee Protection Statutes contained in regulations at: 29 CFR Part 24, Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Federal Employee Protection Statutes; 29 CFR Part 1979, Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints Under Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century; 29 CFR Part 1980, Procedures for Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002; and 29 CFR Part 1981 Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety and Improvement Act of 2002 (i.e., These Regulations). These regulations set forth procedures employees must use to file a complaint with OSHA alleging that their employer violated a Federal statute that prohibits retaliation against employees who engage in activities protected by the various employee protection statutes.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by November 19, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.Start Printed Page 53267

Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit three copies of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2007-0071, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., EST.

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA docket number for the ICR (OSHA-2007-0071). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Nilgun Tolek at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nilgun Tolek, Office of Investigative Assistance, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3610, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2199.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information collection requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate.

The Agency is responsible for investigating alleged violations of “whistleblower” provisions contained in a number of Federal statutes. These provisions prohibit retaliation by employers against employees who report alleged violations of certain laws or regulations. Accordingly, these provisions prohibit an employer from discharging or taking any other retaliatory action against an employee with respect to compensation, or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee engages in any of the protected activities specified by the “whistleblower” provisions of these Federal statutes.

These Federal statues are covered under the following regulations: 29 CFR Part 24, Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Federal Employee Protection Statutes (29 CFR Part 24 covers: Safe Water Drinking Act, 42 U.S.C. 300j-9(i); Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. 1367; Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 U.S.C. 2622; Solid Waste Disposal Act, 42 U.S.C. 6971: Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7622; Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5851; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 9610); 29 CFR Part 1979, Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints Under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century; 29 CFR Part 1980, Procedures for Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; and 29 CFR Part 1981 Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety and Improvement Act of 2002.

These regulations specify the procedures that an employee must use to file a complaint with OSHA alleging that their employer violated a “whistleblower” provision for which the Agency has investigative responsibility. Any employee who believes that such a violation occurred may file a complaint, or have the complaint filed on their behalf. While OSHA specifies no particular form for filing a complaint, these regulations require that a complaint must be in writing and should include a full statement of the acts and omissions, with pertinent dates, which are believed to constitute the violation.

II. Special Issues for Comment

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;
  • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

III. Proposed Actions

OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Regulations Containing Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Regulations Containing Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints.

OMB Number: 1218-0236.

Affected Public: Individuals.

Number of Respondents: 390.

Frequency of Recordkeeping: Once per complaint.

Average Time per Response: 1 hour.

Total Annual Hours Requested: 390.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on this Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (FAX); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0071). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice Start Printed Page 53268titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments.

Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627).

Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “UserTips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506, et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

Start Signature

Signed at Washington, DC, on September 12, 2007.

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-18314 Filed 9-17-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P