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• Publication Date: 09/18/2007
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 72:53266-532684
• Standard Number: 1979; 1980; 1981
• Title: Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Federal Employee Protection Statutes; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

[Federal Register: September 18, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 180)]
[Notices]               
[Page 53266-53268]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18se07-69]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0071)]

 
Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under 
Federal Employee Protection Statutes; Extension of the Office of 
Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection 
(Paperwork) Requirements

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: OSHA solicits comment concerning its proposal to extend OMB 
approval of the information collection requirements for handling of 
discrimination complaints under Federal Employee Protection Statutes 
contained in regulations at: 29 CFR Part 24, Procedures for the 
Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Federal Employee Protection 
Statutes; 29 CFR Part 1979, Procedures for Handling Discrimination 
Complaints Under Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for 
the 21st Century; 29 CFR Part 1980, Procedures for Handling of 
Discrimination Complaints Under Section 806 of the Corporate and 
Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-
Oxley Act 2002; and 29 CFR Part 1981 Procedures for the Handling of 
Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline Safety and 
Improvement Act of 2002 (i.e., These Regulations). These regulations 
set forth procedures employees must use to file a complaint with OSHA 
alleging that their employer violated a Federal statute that prohibits 
retaliation against employees who engage in activities protected by the 
various employee protection statutes.

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by 
November 19, 2007.

ADDRESSES: 
    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting 
comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648.
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: 
When using this method, you must submit three copies of your comments 
and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2007-
0071, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, 
DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier 
service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket 
Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., EST.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA 
docket number for the ICR (OSHA-2007-0071). All comments, including any 
personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket 
without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov.
 For further information on submitting comments see the ``Public 
Participation'' heading in the section of this notice titled 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the 
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at 
the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal 
Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; 
however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly 
available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Nilgun Tolek at 
the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nilgun Tolek, Office of Investigative 
Assistance, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department 
of Labor, Room N-3610, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-2199.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce 
paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a 
preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an 
opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information 
collection requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that 
information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) 
is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's 
estimate of the information collection burden is accurate.
    The Agency is responsible for investigating alleged violations of 
``whistleblower'' provisions contained in a number of Federal statutes. 
These provisions 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 with respect to 
compensation, or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment 
because the employee engages in any of the protected activities 
specified by the ``whistleblower'' provisions of these Federal 
statutes.
    These Federal statues are covered under the following regulations: 
29 CFR Part 24, Procedures for the Handling of Discrimination 
Complaints under Federal Employee Protection Statutes (29 CFR Part 24 
covers: Safe Water Drinking Act, 42 U.S.C. 300j-9(i); Water Pollution 
Control Act, 33 U.S.C. 1367; Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 U.S.C. 
2622; Solid Waste Disposal Act, 42 U.S.C. 6971: Clean Air Act, 42 
U.S.C. 7622; Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5851; 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 
1980, 42 U.S.C. 9610); 29 CFR Part 1979, Procedures for Handling 
Discrimination Complaints Under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment 
and Reform Act for the 21st Century; 29 CFR Part 1980, Procedures for 
Handling of Discrimination Complaints Under Section 806 of the 
Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of 
the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; and 29 CFR Part 1981 Procedures for the 
Handling of Discrimination Complaints under Section 6 of the Pipeline 
Safety and Improvement Act of 2002.
    These regulations specify the procedures that an employee must use 
to file a complaint with OSHA 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. While OSHA specifies no particular form for filing a complaint, 
these regulations require that a complaint must be in writing and 
should include a full statement of the acts and omissions, with 
pertinent dates, which are believed to constitute the violation.

II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:
     Whether the proposed information collection requirements 
are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, 
including whether the information is useful;
     The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and 
costs) of the information collection requirements, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
     The quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; and
     Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; 
for example, by using automated or other technological information 
collection and transmission techniques.

III. Proposed Actions

    OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information 
collection requirements contained in the Regulations Containing 
Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints. The Agency will 
summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will 
include this summary in the request to OMB.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Title: Regulations Containing Procedures for Handling 
Discrimination Complaints.
    OMB Number: 1218-0236.
    Affected Public: Individuals.
    Number of Respondents: 390.
    Frequency of Recordkeeping: Once per complaint.
    Average Time per Response: 1 hour.
    Total Annual Hours Requested: 390.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

IV. Public Participation--Submission of Comments on this Notice and 
Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: 
(1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (FAX); or (3) by hard copy. All 
comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0071). You 
may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files 
electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference 
to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the 
OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). 
The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments 
by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them 
to your comments.
    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a 
significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about 
security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, 
express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the 
OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627).
    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov.
 Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information 
such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions 
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, 
some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available 
to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including 
copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the 
OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web 
site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's 
``UserTips'' link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about 
materials not available through the Web site, and for assistance in 
using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

    Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational 
Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The 
authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3506, et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR 
65008).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on September 12, 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E7-18314 Filed 9-17-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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