[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 60 (Friday, March 27, 2020)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06404]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
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.
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.
Departmental Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2020-06404 Filed 3-26-20; 8:45 am]
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