• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002
  • Subpart:
    1981 Subpart A
  • Subpart Title:
    Complaints, Investigations, Findings and Preliminary Orders
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Issuance of findings and preliminary orders.
  • GPO Source:
After considering all the relevant information collected during the investigation, the Assistant Secretary shall issue, within 60 days of filing of the complaint, written findings as to whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that the named person has discriminated against the complainant in violation of the Act.
If the Assistant Secretary concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, he or she shall accompany the findings with a preliminary order providing relief to the complainant. The preliminary order shall include, where appropriate, a requirement that the named person abate the violation; reinstatement of the complainant to his or her former position, together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions and privileges of the complainant's employment; and payment of compensatory damages. Where the named person establishes that the complainant is a security risk (whether or not the information is obtained after the complainant's discharge), a preliminary order of reinstatement would not be appropriate. At the complainant's request the order shall also assess against the named person the complainant's costs and expenses (including attorney's and expert witness fees) reasonably incurred in connection with the filing of the complaint.
If the Assistant Secretary concludes that a violation has not occurred, the Assistant Secretary will notify the parties of that finding.

The findings and the preliminary order will be sent by means that allow OSHA to confirm delivery to all parties of record. The letter accompanying the findings and order will inform the parties of their right to file objections and to request a hearing, and of the right of the named person to request attorney’s fees from the administrative law judge, regardless of whether the named person has filed objections, if the named person alleges that the complaint was frivolous or brought in bad faith. The letter also will give the address of the Chief Administrative Law Judge or appropriate information regarding filing objections electronically with the Office of Administrative Law Judges. At the same time, the Assistant Secretary will file with the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Labor, a copy of the original complaint and a copy of the findings and order.


The findings and the preliminary order will be effective 60 days after receipt by the named person pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, unless an objection and a request for a hearing has been filed as provided at § 1981.106. However, the portion of any preliminary order requiring reinstatement will be effective immediately upon receipt of the findings and preliminary order.

[FR 69 17593, April 5, 2004; 70 FR 17895, April 8, 2005; 86 FR 1790, January 11, 2021]