DOL-OSHA-DEP-OHE-2020-013 - This document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

December 22, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR:
REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
THROUGH:
AMANDA EDENS
Deputy Assistant Secretary
FROM:

KIMBERLY LOCEY
Director, Directorate of Administrative Programs

PATRICK KAPUST
Acting Director, Directorate of Enforcement

SCOTT KETCHAM
Director, Directorate of Construction

SUBJECT:
Prioritizing Inspections of Establishments Failing to Pay Civil Monetary Penalties

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is prioritizing inspections of establishments that are delinquent in their payment of civil monetary penalties from a previous inspection. OSHA is doing so because these establishments are known violators, and by not paying their fines (when they have the ability to do so) there is reason to doubt their commitment to OSHA's health and safety requirements.

Prioritization will occur in three steps. First, the Directorate of Administrative Programs (DAP) will generate monthly a list of establishments that have delinquent debts (debts not paid by 30 calendar days after their due date). Screened out of this list will be those establishments that are on a payment plan. Second, DAP's list of delinquent establishments will be provided to the Regional Offices to distribute to the Area Offices. Third, Area Offices will use this list in developing the programmed inspection lists in conjunction with existing programs: Area Offices will consult the delinquent establishments list as they draw up programmed inspection lists under existing National Emphasis Programs, Regional Emphasis Programs, or Local Emphasis Programs. Where the particular employer with overdue fines would otherwise fit the criteria of the special emphasis program, AOs will include that employer on the programmed inspection master list. Where the particular employer with overdue fines would not otherwise fit the criteria of the special emphasis program, AOs will place the employer on a separate list to be utilized for additional programmed inspections. AOs should check to ensure the employer has not been inspected under the same emphasis program during the current cycle or is otherwise exempt under an applicable appropriations law provisions.

OSHA will change debt-collection activities as outlined in this memorandum. The agency's debt-collection activities will support this change with the following action items:

New Practices

  • Seven calendar days after the penalty is due, OSHA will send a payment due reminder letter (Letter #1).
  • Fourteen calendar days after the penalty is due, the establishment will receive a call (Transcript #1).

Existing Practices

  • Thirty calendar days after the due date, OSHA will send a demand letter (Letter #2).
  • Sixty calendar days after the due date, OSHA will send another demand letter (Letter #3).

Area Offices and the National Office will use the standardized demand letters and call transcript, attached. Changes outlined in this memorandum will take effect on inspections initiated after the date of this memorandum.

Changes outlined in this memorandum will take effect on inspections initiated after the date of this memorandum.