OSHA Instruction ADM 2.1
October 30, 1978
OSHA ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVE NO. ADM 2.1
To: OSHA Executive Staff, Regional Administrators, & Supervisory Personnel
Subject: Employee Recognition Program
Directives Affected: This Administrative Directive supersedes OSHA
Administrative Directive No. 71-20 dated
September 1, 1971, and all subsequent
directives relating thereto.
Enclosure: DL Form 1-212, DL Form 1-213, DL Form 1-427,
DL Form 1-12, and Secretary Order No. 9-72.
1. Purpose. To revise and update OSHA Administrative Directive No. 71-20
dated September 1, 1971, by informing all employees of changes in the
Incentive Awards Program, henceforth to be titled "Employee Recognition
2. Background. The Department of Labor operates an Employee Recognition
Program to encourage employees to participate fully in improving operations
and to recognize and reward employees whose contributions and day-to-day
input merit special attention. OSHA fully endorses this program and
encourages maximum participation of all personnel.
OSHA Employee Recognition Program will adhere to the Department of Labor
policy as set forth in DOL Supplement Chapter 431, Subchapter 4 and Chapter
451 of the Personnel Manual and Civil Service Regulations.
Forms of Recognition
A. Service Awards
- Length of service is recognized by a service emblem and certificate.
This award is automatic and is presented upon completion of five years of
service and at intervals of every five years thereafter.
- The Philip Arnow Award. Secretary's Order No. 9-72 established this
high-level award to recognize consistently outstanding performance and
service to the Department over a period of 15 years or more. It will be
presented to no more than two employees a year. Each award will consist of
an appropriately engraved plaque and $1,000.
Criteria and nomination procedures for the Philip Arnow Award
are contained in Secretary's Order No. 9-72, dated April 3, 1972, (see
- Distinguished Careers Service. Distinguished career service is
service in the Department of Labor that has been marked from its beginning by
sustained high quality and efficiency over a period of sufficient length to
indicate an outstanding level. Distinguished career service is cumulative and
is recognized only once or twice in an employee's career with the Department.
The term summarizes an employee's career with Department and his or her
contribution to the Department and the Government as a result of having
maintained a consistently high quality of service during a period in the
employee's career in the Department, regardless of the grade of the position
or the nature of assignments or duties.
Recipients of this award will receive an engraved plaque and
(a) Nomination Procedures. Recommendations for recognition of
Distinguished Career Service may be initiated by immediate supervisors and
managers, or by higher level supervisors.
Each recommendation shall be made on DL Form 1-212,
Recommendation for Secretary's Distinguished Career Award (see Enclosure B).
Original and fifteen copies shall be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for
approval. Only the Assistant Secretary can disapprove a recommendation.
Each recommendation for recognition of career service which the Assistant
Secretary has approved shall then be forwarded to the Executive Secretary of
the Secretary's Honor Awards Committee for consideration by the Committee. In
order to permit the inclusion of approved awards in the annual Departmental
recognition ceremony, recommendations must reach the Assistant Secretary by
October 15 for submission to the Executive Secretary no later than November 1.
- Secretary of Labor's Career Service Award. The Secretary of
Labor recognizes the need for advance training, created by changing social
and economic developments and technological innovations; and honors
outstanding career employees of the Department by permitting them to
undertake studies and research, which will enhance their potential for
service in the Department and their value to the Federal
The Secretary's Honor Awards Committee shall advise and assist
the Secretary of Labor in reviewing and passing upon applications for the
Secretary of Labor's Career Service Award.
a. Awards are presented annually to not more than five
selected employees, to further training in skills of value to them and the
Department, in any of the professional, technical, or managerial activities
involving the Department of Labor's work. Career employees of the Department
who have demonstrated ability, achievement and growth potential, and have a
minimum of one year's continuous service with the Department of Labor and
five year's Federal Civilian service, are eligible.
b. Names of award recipients will be announced and
presentations made at the Departmental Annual Honor Awards
c. Award recipients will undertake their training during the
fiscal year following receipt of the award. Such recipients will follow a
planned course of study and/or research, in academic institutions or with
other Government agencies and outside groups. Award period will be up to one
year, as required.
d. Full salary, per diem where necessary, tuition charges,
transportation expenses, and arrangements for the interim handling of current
duties will be assumed by the Occupational Safety and Health
e. The Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, will designate project supervisors from the Division of
Employment and Employee Development for employees undertaking award projects,
who will coordinate implementation as to: timetable and reporting mechanics;
prerequisites required (salary, per diem, tuition, travel, etc.); interim
replacement for award winner; preparation of required reports.
f. The award recipients will submit periodic reports to their
project supervisors, to indicate progress and give or receive advice with
respect to the project. The project supervisors will submit to the
Secretary's Honor Awards Committee quarterly progress reports throughout the
award period for each employee, and an annual report at the end of the fiscal
year, concerning the effects of the increased study and training upon the
careers of the award recipients.
g. Final reports (covering experience, findings, and recommendations) will
be prepared by employees upon completion of award projects, and within the
period allowed for the project.
These reports will be utilized within the Department of Labor, and by other
agencies and outside groups, to the extent feasible and practicable.
h. Application procedure. Announcement will be made to all employees
in the Fall of the preceding year, in sufficient time to permit development
of proposals. Applications will be filed in duplicate on DL Form 1-12, Application
for Secretary of Labor's Career Service Award (see Enclosure C), and submitted
to the Executive Secretary, National Office Incentive Awards Committee, for
submission to Assistant Secretary for approval and submission to the Secretary's
Honor Awards Committee.
B. Professional and Occupational Achievement Awards recognize and honor
employees who have achieved an unusually significant work product. Nominations
may be made by a fellow employee or group of employees. The two levels of
achievement that may be recognized are Distinguished Achievement, an
achievement having nationwide significance, and Meritorious Achievement,
an achievement of regional or local significance. Recognition can be given to
individual employees or groups.
- Action to recognize either distinguished or meritorious achievement
may be initiated at any time by an individual or group employed in a category.
The categories: Secretarial; General Clerical; Specialized Clerical and Technical;
Arts and Communication of Information; Investigation; Compliance; Enforcement;
Program Specialist (Non-Managerial); Research; Legal; Management Support; Management;
and Supervision are outlined in the Department of Labor Supplement, Subchapter
4, Federal Personnel Manual, Appendix A.
- Recipients of these awards will receive a plaque and lapel rosette.
- Nomination Procedures. Recommendations must adhere to the criteria
developed for each of the categories listed and submitted on DL Form 1-213,
Recommendation for Achievement Award (see Enclosure D), to the Assistant Secretary
for approval and submission to the Secretary's Honor Awards Committee. (Complete
nomination procedures are contained in the Department of Labor Supplement mentioned
in B(1) above.)
C. Honor Awards. The Secretary of Labor may from time to time recognize
groups of individuals for outstanding accomplishments other than listed above.
The following types of awards may be presented:
- Public Service Award. Given to an employee or group of employees
for outstanding accomplishments for the Department through Department-related
organizations, such as the Department of Labor Recreation Association. Framed
certificate will be awarded.
- Special Recognition Award. Based primarily on an employee's contribution
to the programs of the Department. Recognition can be for performance on the job
or it can be for significant community service performed outside the job.
Certificate will be awarded.
- Award of Merit. This is an honorary award established for the recognition
of significant and outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations
outside the Department of Labor to the furtherance of the basic work of the
Department "to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of wage earners of the
D. Non-Department of Labor Awards. Nominations for these awards are invited
by organizations outside the Department of Labor, throughout the year. A complete
listing is contained in the Department of Labor Supplement, Subchapter 4, Federal
Personnel Manual, Chapter 431, Appendix C.
E. Special Achievement Awards are performance awards given to employees
who demonstrate continuing superior job performance or to employees who contribute
something very special on a one-time basis.
For employees or supervisors to be eligible for an achievement award the level of
work must far surpass the merely acceptable performance in quality
and quantity and the contribution to the organization must be outstanding.
Experts and consultants are employed because of their expert qualifications and
are paid accordingly. Therefore, these employees are not eligible for an achievement
- Forms of Recognition
(a) Quality Increase. This is an additional within-grade increase
authorized by section 702 of the Classification Act of 1949 (5 USC 5336), as amended,
to be granted in recognition of outstanding performance. A quality increase may be
granted if performance greatly exceeds normal performance requirements
- employee's position is subject to the Classification Act;
- salary is below top rate of grade (but not at Rate 3 or 6);
- retirement is more than six months away;
- level of performance was achieved on regular duties and has been sustained to the
extent that it can be considered characteristic and therefore is expected to continue;
- no quality increase has been granted within the preceding 52-week period; and
- no cash award was received during the previous 52-week period.
(b) Cash Award. This is a performance award authorized
by section 304 of the Government Employees' Incentive Awards
Act (5 USC 4503). The minimum cash award for special achievement
shall be $150; the maximum $350. The amounts of awards are based
on a Civil Service Commission scale commensurate with the GS level
of the employee.
A cash award shall be granted if:
- the employee is in a Wage Board or other non-Classification Action position; or
- the employee did not receive a quality increase or cash award within the preceding 52-week period; or
- the employee's salary is at or about to reach the top of his Classification Act grade; or
- the employee is expected to retire in six months or less; or
- the employee's high quality performance was on a one-time
assignment or project of limited duration.
(c) Choosing between an Immediate Quality Increase and a Cash Award
when the Employee's Salary is at Rate 3 or 6. The choice between an immediate quality increase and a
cash award when the employee's salary is at Rate 3 or 6 of the General Schedule depends largely on the
length of the unexpired portion of the current waiting period. The reason for this is that a quality
increase from either of these rates has the effect of deferring all subsequent ordinary within-grade
increases by 52 weeks.
If the current waiting period is nearly completed, it usually will be advantageous to the employee
if the supervisor will simply defer recommending the quality increase until the first pay period
after the effective date of the ordinary within-grade increase or concurrent with the within-grade
effective date. If the current waiting period has several months to run, it may be most equitable to
grant an immediate cash award and to recommend a quality increase after the end of the waiting period.
If the employee's salary is at Rate 6 and one year or more of the waiting period has yet to run, it
will very likely be advantageous to the employee to grant an immediate quality step increase.
Action to recognize a special achievement may be initiated at any time there is reason to believe
recognition is warranted. No one may be granted more than one special achievement award within the
period of 52 weeks.
- Program Operation
(a) The Associate Assistant Secretary for Administrative Programs is responsible for
management of the Incentive Awards Program, and will establish a National Office Incentive Awards
Committee which will meet once each quarter to plan program activities and evaluate program effectiveness.
The Associate Assistant Secretary for Administrative Programs will appoint an Executive Secretary to this
Committee, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program, the scheduling of timely award
considerations, the maintenance of records, and conformance of recommendations with program
guidelines. The Executive Secretary will also serve as Chairman at the Committee meetings.
Each OSHA Associate Assistant Secretary will appoint two committee members, one professional and one clerical.
At least one of the members shall attend each meeting. At least one member of the Committee shall be a union member.
Members of the Committee will serve a term of one year and may be appointed to serve consecutive terms.
(b) Each Assistant Regional Director is responsible for management of a Regional Office Incentive Awards Program
for OSHA employees in his particular region. The ARD will appoint a Regional Executive Secretary who will be
responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program and for maintaining records. The National Office
Incentive Awards Executive Secretary will provide services to the Regional Administrator upon request should
technical questions or problems arise.
- Nomination and Approval Procedures
(a) Sustained Superior Performance (Quality Step Increase)
1. The period of sustained superior performance must have been in the same job at the same grade level for a
period of at least six months.
2. The employee's immediate supervisor is responsible for initiating the nomination by completing the
original and two copies of DL Form 1-427, Incentive Award Nomination and Approval (see Enclosure E).
3. Documentation for the nomination will be concise and consist of:
a. a brief listing of the major duties of the employee'e position critical to job success;
b. a very brief statement of actual performance clearly indicating the manner in which the employee's performance exceeded
applicable standards for satisfactory performance for the majority of assigned duties;
c. a copy of the employee's most recent merit staffing performance report (less than one old); and
d. a statement indicating that the employee's high level of effectiveness is expected to continue.
4. The supervisor must obtain concurrence from one level of supervision above him prior to submitting the
documentation to the appropriate Associate Assistant Secretary or Associate Regional Director for final decisions.
Associate Assistant Secretaries and Associate Regional Directors must submit recommendations to the Assistant
Secretary for final decision when the employee is under their immediate supervision.
5. Upon approval, the designated official will complete DL Form 1-427 and forward the file to the appropriate
Executive Secretary for final processing and review for adherence to the "quality standard," as authorized, and
for meeting the criteria shown on pages 5 and 6 of this Directive.
6. Upon review, if it is found that the granting of the quality increase would be in violation of any of these
requirements, the Associate Assistant Secretary or ARD will be notified and processing of the action delayed
or withheld and the documents will be returned to the submitting official for resubmission when and if the requirements are met.
If, however, the review indicates all criteria have been met, the Executive Secretary will review the case for maximum benefit
accruing to the employee, considering present step, due date for normal increase, etc., and may recommend to the supervisor that
the award be postponed or changed to a cash award. After it has been determined which award is most advantageous to the
employee, the Executive Secretary will complete a form memorandum signed by the Personnel Officer (National Office) or ARD (Field),
to the immediate supervisor of the employee, and give a copy of the memorandum immediately to the Personnel Office. The action will
then be coded into the computer (DL Form 52-C). The Executive Secretary is responsible for having a Certificate of Achievement in
the name of the employee signed by the appropriate Associate Assistant Secretary or ARD. After the certificate is prepared and signed,
it will be attached to the original of the form memorandum to the supervisor. If delivery by mail could compromise the "surprise" value
of an award, it should be hand-carried to the supervisor.
(b) Special Act or Service (Cash Award)
1. This award may be granted to individual employees or groups of employees for meritorious personal efforts,
acts or services performed either within or outside of assigned job responsibilities, which contributed to the efficiency,
economy, or other improvement of Government operations or is otherwise in the public interest.
2. A supervisor or any official having direct knowledge of the act or service may initiate the nomination by completing DL Form 1-427.
3. A brief, concise memorandum should be prepared and submitted with DL Form 1-427 by the initiating supervisor, to clearly indicate
the manner in which the employee's performance meets the criteria in Item 1 above and to indicate satisfactory performance
in all aspects of his assigned duties.
4. Associate Assistant Secretaries and ARDs have approval authority for cash awards up to and including $350. Cash awards recommending
more than $350 must be submitted to the Departmental Incentive Awards Committee for action.
5. The supervisor must obtain concurrence from one level of supervision above him prior to submitting the documentation to the
appropriate Associate Assistant Secretary or ARD for final decision. When an employee is under their immediate supervision,
Associate Assistant Secretaries or ARDs must submit recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for final decision.
6. Upon approval, the designated official will complete DL Form 1-427 and forward the file to the Appropriate Executive Secretary for
final processing and for adherence to the criteria shown on page 6 of this directive.
7. Upon review, if it is found that the granting of the cash award for performance would be in violation of any of these requirements,
the Associate Assistant Secretary or ARD will be notified and action on granting the award will be delayed or withheld and the documents
will be returned to the submitting official for resubmission when the requirements are met. If, however, the review indicates all criteria
have been met, the Executive Secretary will prepare a memorandum to the Director, Office of Accounting, OASA specifying the employee's name,
amount of award, appropriation number, and will specify that check should be forwarded to the immediate supervisor.
8. A form memorandum will then be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the immediate supervisor of the employee receiving the cash
award signed by the Personnel Officer (National Office) or ARD (Field) with a certificate attached signed by the appropriate Associate
Assistant Secretary or ARD noting the approval and stating that check will be forthcoming.
The minimum cash award for special achievement is $150 - the maximum $350. Awards for employees will be determined in accordance
with the schedule shown in the pay table on page 6.
(c) Group Awards
Group awards will be processed in the same manner as for cash awards above, except as Follows:
1. The restriction of an individual receiving a quality
increase or cash award within the preceding 52 week period does not apply.
2. The certificate will identify the group for which the award is being
granted, e.g., Division of Budget, Branch of Classification, etc., and the
names of the employees will be typed on the certificate before submitting to
the appropriate Associate Assistant Secretary or ARD for signature. A certificate
will be issued to each member of the group.
3. A copy of the memorandum to the supervisor of the group and a copy of the
completed and approved DL Form 1-427 will also be sent to each employee included in the group.
A copy of each regional award approved shall be forwarded to the Executive
Secretary, OSHA Incentive Awards Committee, for review for conformance
with existing criteria and record-keeping purposes.
In special cases, employees deserving, recognition may be called to the
attention of the Executive Secretary by other employees by using a simple
memorandum outlining the circumstances meriting an award. The Executive
Secretary will pursue these recommendations with the supervisors involved
as part of the duty to conduct an active incentive awards program.
3.Filing. This directive will be retained until further notice.
SECRETARY'S ORDER NO. 9-72
Subject: The Philip Arnow Award
1. Purpose. This Order establishes a new high-level award to recognize
outstanding career employees. The award will be known as the Philip Arnow Award.
2. Scope. This Award will be in recognition of consistently outstanding
performance and service to the Department over a long period of time (15 years or more).
It will be presented to no more than one or two employees a year.
3. Policy. Each Award will be given to an individual employee based on his
individual performance. Consideration will not be given to any factors such as:
number of employees in the Agencies, frequency of bureau nominations or individual
nominations of a similar nature, racial or ethnic grounds, political party, rank or
influence, or program importance. No announcement of the Awards will be made except
at the Annual Awards Ceremony when they are presented. Each Award will consist
of an engraved plaque and $1,000.
An Award normally will not be considered for an employee during his last year of
service or at the time he leaves the Department. An Award normally will be given
only once in any employee's career. This does not, however, preclude an employee
from nomination or selection for a second such Award, though such possibility is
remote because of the same career achievements being evaluated a second time.
4. Award Criteria.
a. Each Agency may submit one nomination per year for this Award.
b. Grade of work or occupational assignments shall not prohibit an employee from
nomination or, award. How well the individual performed his particular assignments
shall be a major consideration in all phases of the Award.
c. Nominations shall include:
(1) Documentation of accomplishments (substantial responsibilities and assignments)
over an extended period, but not necessarily confined to the last several years of
employment. One deed or act will not qualify. Entire performance shall be
considered -- not just one segment; i.e., nomination is for a program responsibility
but nominee has had personnel or management responsibility. Performance on both
shall be a consideration.
(2) Supporting statements from more than one supervisor and from more than one Bureau
(3) When nominee has been involved in Departmental programs for three years or less,
complete documentation must be established concerning an outstanding career in
other established programs.
5. Nominating Procedures.
a. Any individual employee may submit an Award nomination through his bureau awards
committee. Bureau committees shall assist and advise such nominating employees in
preparing documentation if the nomination has merit.
b. Supervisors should make substantive comments on nominee's performance and
accomplishments. A mere statement of approval or disapproval will not be adequate.
A single supervisor shall not have veto privilege on an Award if the nominator
requests higher level consideration.
c. The nominations normally shall be submitted through the Agencies after consideration
by their awards committees. Such committees, as well as the heads of the Agencies, shall
provide substantive comments on the nomination.
d. Nominations will then be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the Secretary's
Honor Awards Committee with full documentation from the Agencies. They must be
received by the Departmental Awards Committee before January 1 of each year to be
considered for the Awards Ceremony.
e. A list of individual Agency nominations shall be included in the Annual Awards
f. Nominations may be resubmitted for consideration in following years if accompanied
by properly updated documents and comments. Mere resubmission without the updating is
6. Responsibilities. The Secretary's Honor Awards Committee shall review and
monitor the entire activity of this new high-level career award. The Committee has
the authority to recommend disciplinary action to the Secretary for tampering or
interfering with this Award program or for supplying misinformation or fraudulent
statements to the Award process.
7. Directives Affected. The Department of Labor Supplement to the Federal
Personnel Manual, chapter 431, subchapter 4, will be amended to include procedures
pertaining to this Award.
8. Effective Date. This Order effective immediately.