May 6, 1991
MEMORANDUM FOR: BYRON R. CHADWICK
FROM: PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR
DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
SUBJECT: Favorable Supreme Court Decision
Secretary of Labor v. Occupational Safety and
Health Review Commission and C.F. & I. Steel Corp.,
Docket No. 86-264
On March 20, 1991, the Supreme Court reversed the 10th Circuit Court and
Review Commission decision which were in favor of C.F. & I. Steel Corp. This
action upheld the willful violation of 29 CFR 1910.1029 and the $10,000
penalty assessed by the ALJ which directly affects the employer and Area
Office within your region.
Beyond the affirmation of the violation, this decision establishes a
precedent which will require the Appeals Courts to pay deference to OSHA's
interpretation of a standard over the Review Commission's when both provide
reasonable but conflicting interpretations.
A copy of this decision is provided for your information.