OSHA Issues Interim Final Rule with Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002

This interim rule (29 CFR Part 1981) provides the text of regulations governing the employee protection (“whistleblower”) provisions of Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (“Pipeline Safety Act”), enacted into law December 17, 2002. This rule establishes procedures and time frames for the handling of discrimination complaints under the Pipeline Safety Act, including procedures and time frames for employee complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), investigations by OSHA, appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) for a hearing de novo, hearings by ALJs, review of ALJ decisions by the Administrative Review Board (acting on behalf of the Secretary) and judicial review of the Secretary’s final decision. The interim final rule is effective on April 5, 2004. The entire Federal Register document can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.

For more information contact Thomas Marple, Director, Office of Investigative Assistance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3610, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2199.