[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 60 (Friday, March 27, 2020)]
[Pages 17365-17366]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06404]



Office of the Secretary

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB 
Review; Comment Request; Regulations Containing Procedures for Handling 
of Retaliation Complaints

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting this Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-sponsored information 
collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (PRA). Public comments on the ICR are invited.

DATES: The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives 
on or before April 27, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for the proposed 
information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of 
this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular 
information collection by selecting ``Currently under 30-day Review--
Open for Public Comments'' or by using the search function.
    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information 
is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 
Department, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) if the information will be processed and used in a timely 
manner; (3) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and 
cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (4) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility and clarity of the information collection; and (5) ways to 
minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are 
to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frederick Licari by telephone at 202-
693-8073, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by 
email at DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The agency is responsible for investigating 
alleged violations of whistleblower provisions contained in a number of 
statutes. These whistleblower provisions generally 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 because the employee engages in any of the protected 
activities specified by the whistleblower provisions of the statutes. 
Collection of information contained in future regulations promulgated 
by the agency with respect to a whistleblower provision of any other 
Federal law, except those that are assigned to another DOL agency, will 
be added to this information collection. OSHA's whistleblower 
regulations specify the procedures that an employee must use to file a 
complaint 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. Two of these 
regulations, 29 CFR parts 1979 and 1981, state that complaints must be 
filed in writing and should include a full statement of the acts and 
omissions, with pertinent dates, that the employee believes constitute 
the violation. The other regulations, 29 CFR parts 24, 1977, 1978, 
1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1986, 1987, and 1988 require no 
particular form of filing for complaints. However, it is OSHA's policy 
to accept complaints in any form (i.e., orally or in writing) under all 
statutes. This policy helps ensure that employees of all circumstances 
and education levels will have equal access to the complaint filing 
process. The agency currently utilizes the OSHA Online Whistleblower 
Complaint Form, which includes interactive features to aid employees 
seeking to understand the process and requirements for filing a 
retaliation complaint with OSHA. The web-based form enables employees 
to submit whistleblower complaints directly to OSHA 24-hours a day. The 
electronic form also provides information about employee protections 
enforced by other agencies, in order to better direct complainants to 
the proper investigative agencies. OSHA proposes to revise this ICR to 
include revisions to the electronic complaint form to make the 
following changes and technical updates. On the landing page, before 
the electronic complaint form, the user will have the opportunity to 
click a hyperlink which will direct them to a map that identifies the 
OSHA regions and their respective contact information. Once in the 
electronic form, ``pop-ups'' will appear whenever the user attempts to 
click away from a required field without making an entry. Lastly, the 
character count for two

optional text boxes will increase from 500 to 1,000 characters. This 
allows the users to explain their case to OSHA. A mark-up of the 
proposed changes to the form is available in the docket. For additional 
substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice 
published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2019 (84 FR 65845).
    This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency 
generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and 
the public is generally not required to respond to an information 
collection, unless the OMB approves it and displays a currently valid 
OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions 
of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to 
comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid 
OMB Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.
    DOL seeks PRA authorization for this information collection for 
three (3) years. OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than 
three (3) years without renewal. The DOL notes that information 
collection requirements submitted to the OMB for existing ICRs receive 
a month-to-month extension while they undergo review.
    Agency: DOL-OSHA.
    Title of Collection: Regulations Containing Procedures for Handling 
of Retaliation Complaints.
    OMB Control Number: 1218-0236.
    Affected Public: Individuals and Households.
    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 10,126.
    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 10,126.
    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 10,126 hours.
    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

(Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D))

    Dated: March 23, 2020.
Frederick Licari,
Departmental Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2020-06404 Filed 3-26-20; 8:45 am]