OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
October 15, 1991
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS AREA DIRECTORS THRU: LEO CAREY Director Office of Field Programs FROM: JOHN A. KATALINAS Director Office of Management Data Systems SUBJECT: Changes to Handling Disputed Debt Collection Cases
The Regional Administrators' responses to our memorandum dated July 10, 1991 showed overwhelming support for the proposed change to refer disputed debt collection cases directly to Area Directors. It was felt that this would facilitate review and response time. Therefore, starting November 1, 1991, the procedures outlined below will be followed for disputed debt collection cases.
1. OMDS will forward a copy of correspondence from the employer together with other pertinent information directly to the Area Director.
2. A copy of the materials sent to the Area Director will also be sent to the Regional Administrator.
3. The Area Director, after receiving the case, will prepare a memorandum to OMDS recommending the action to be taken. The memorandum will be sent through the Regional Administrator for review and sign off.
Each Region should set up internal procedures as necessary for Area Offices to follow in responding to disputed debt collection cases. Area Offices should continue to prepare a detailed response on each disputed case which clearly supports the recommendation and which could be used to send to the employer.
Please note that these procedures apply only to disputed cases. In those cases where an employer offers a compromise or settlement (i.e., payment of less than the amount due), the matter will continue to be referred directly to the Regional Administrator for decision. If you have any questions, please contact me at FTS 523-7008.