• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Procedures for the Handling of Retaliation Complaints Under the Taxpayer First Act (TFA)
  • Subpart:
    1989 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 will issue, within 60 days of the filing of the complaint, written findings as to whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has retaliated against the complainant in violation of TFA.


If the Assistant Secretary concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Assistant Secretary will accompany the findings with a preliminary order providing relief to the complainant. The preliminary order will include all relief necessary to make the complainant whole including, where appropriate: Reinstatement with the same seniority status that the complainant would have had, but for the retaliation; the sum of 200 percent of the amount of back pay and 100 percent of all lost benefits, with interest; and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the retaliation, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees. Interest on back pay will be calculated using the interest rate applicable to underpayment of taxes under 26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(2) and will be compounded daily. Where appropriate, the preliminary order will also require the respondent to submit appropriate documentation to the Social Security Administration allocating any back pay award to the appropriate periods.


If the Assistant Secretary concludes that a violation has not occurred, the Assistant Secretary will notify the parties of that finding.


The findings and, where appropriate, the preliminary order will be sent by physical or electronic means that allow OSHA to confirm delivery to all parties of record (or each party's legal counsel if the party is represented by counsel). The findings and, where appropriate, the preliminary order will inform the parties of the right to object to the findings and/or order and to request a hearing, and of the right of the respondent to request an award of attorney fees not exceeding $1,000 from the ALJ, regardless of whether the respondent has filed objections, if the respondent alleges that the complaint was frivolous or brought in bad faith. The findings and, where appropriate, the preliminary order, also will give the address of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Labor, or appropriate information regarding filing objections electronically with the Office of Administrative Law Judges if electronic filing is available. The findings also may specify the means, including electronic means, for serving OSHA and the Associate Solicitor for Fair Labor Standards with documents in the administrative litigation as required under this Part. At the same time, the Assistant Secretary will file with the Chief Administrative Law Judge a copy of the original complaint and a copy of the findings and/or order.


The findings and any preliminary order will be effective 30 days after receipt by the respondent (or the respondent's legal counsel if the respondent is represented by counsel), or on the compliance date set forth in the preliminary order, whichever is later, unless an objection and/or a request for hearing has been timely filed as provided at § 1989.106. However, the portion of any preliminary order requiring reinstatement will be effective immediately upon the respondent's receipt of the findings and the preliminary order, regardless of any objections to the findings and/or the order.

[87 FR 12575, Mar. 7, 2022]