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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2020

Title 29Subtitle A → Part 24


Title 29: Labor


PART 24—PROCEDURES FOR THE HANDLING OF RETALIATION COMPLAINTS UNDER THE EMPLOYEE PROTECTION PROVISIONS OF SIX ENVIRONMENTAL STATUTES AND SECTION 211 OF THE ENERGY REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1974, AS AMENDED


Contents

Subpart A—Complaints, Investigations, Issuance of Findings

§24.100   Purpose and scope.
§24.101   Definitions.
§24.102   Obligations and prohibited acts.
§24.103   Filing of retaliation complaint.
§24.104   Investigation.
§24.105   Issuance of findings and orders.

Subpart B—Litigation

§24.106   Objections to the findings and order and request for a hearing.
§24.107   Hearings.
§24.108   Role of Federal agencies.
§24.109   Decision and orders of the administrative law judge.
§24.110   Decision and orders of the Administrative Review Board.

Subpart C—Miscellaneous Provisions

§24.111   Withdrawal of complaints, objections, and petitions for review; settlement.
§24.112   Judicial review.
§24.113   Judicial enforcement.
§24.114   District court jurisdiction of retaliation complaints under the Energy Reorganization Act.
§24.115   Special circumstances; waiver of rules.
Appendix A to Part 24—Your Rights Under the Energy Reorganization Act

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2622; 33 U.S.C. 1367; 42 U.S.C. 300j-9(i)BVG, 5851, 6971, 7622, 9610; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2007, 72 FR 31160 (June 5, 2007); Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2010 (Jan. 15, 2010), 75 FR 3924-01 (Jan. 25, 2010).

Source: 76 FR 2820, Jan. 18, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Complaints, Investigations, Issuance of Findings

§24.100   Purpose and scope.

(a) This part implements procedures under the employee protection (or “whistleblower”) provisions for which the Secretary of Labor has been given responsibility pursuant to the following Federal statutes: Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300j-9(i); Federal 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; and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 9610.

(b) This part establishes procedures pursuant to the Federal statutory provisions listed in paragraph (a) of this section for the expeditious handling of retaliation complaints made by employees, or by persons acting on their behalf. These rules, together with those rules codified at 29 CFR part 18, set forth the procedures for submission of complaints under the Federal statutory provisions listed in paragraph (a) of this section, investigations, issuance of findings, objections to findings, litigation before administrative law judges (“ALJ”), issuance of decisions and orders, post-hearing administrative review, and withdrawals and settlements.

§24.101   Definitions.

Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health or the person or persons to whom he or she delegates authority under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a).

Business days means days other than Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Complainant means the employee who filed a complaint under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) or on whose behalf a complaint was filed.

OSHA means the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor.

Respondent means the employer named in the complaint, who is alleged to have violated any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a).

Secretary means the Secretary of Labor or persons to whom authority under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) has been delegated.

§24.102   Obligations and prohibited acts.

(a) No employer subject to the provisions of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a), or to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq., may discharge or otherwise retaliate against any employee with respect to the employee's compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee, or any person acting pursuant to the employee's request, engaged in any of the activities specified in this section.

(b) It is a violation for any employer to intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, discipline, or in any other manner retaliate against any employee because the employee has:

(1) Commenced or caused to be commenced, or is about to commence or cause to be commenced, a proceeding under one of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) or a proceeding for the administration or enforcement of any requirement imposed under such statute;

(2) Testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding; or

(3) Assisted or participated, or is about to assist or participate, in any manner in such a proceeding or in any other action to carry out the purposes of such statute.

(c) Under the Energy Reorganization Act, and by interpretation of the Secretary under any of the other statutes listed in §24.100(a), it is a violation for any employer to intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any other manner retaliate against any employee because the employee has:

(1) Notified the employer of an alleged violation of such statute or the AEA of 1954;

(2) Refused to engage in any practice made unlawful by such statute or the AEA of 1954, if the employee has identified the alleged illegality to the employer; or

(3) Testified or is about to testify before Congress or at any Federal or State proceeding regarding any provision (or proposed provision) of such statute or the AEA of 1954.

(d)(1) Every employer subject to the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, shall prominently post and keep posted in any place of employment to which the whistleblower provisions of the Act apply, a fully legible copy of the notice prepared by OSHA, printed as appendix A to this part, or a notice approved by the Assistant Secretary that contains substantially the same provisions and explains the whistleblower provisions of the Act and the regulations in this part. Copies of the notice prepared by OSHA may be obtained from the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210, from local OSHA offices, or from OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov.

(2) Where the notice required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section has not been posted, the requirement in §24.103(d)(2) that a complaint be filed with the Assistant Secretary within 180 days of an alleged violation will be inoperative, unless the respondent establishes that the complainant had knowledge of the material provisions of the notice. If it is established that the notice was posted at the employee's place of employment after the alleged retaliatory action occurred or that the complainant later obtained knowledge of the provisions of the notice, the 180 days will ordinarily run from whichever of those dates is relevant.

(e) This part shall have no application to any employee who, acting without direction from his or her employer (or the employer's agent), deliberately causes a violation of any requirement of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) or the AEA of 1954.

§24.103   Filing of retaliation complaint.

(a) Who may file. An employee who believes that he or she has been retaliated against by an employer in violation of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) may file, or have filed by any person on the employee's behalf, a complaint alleging such retaliation.

(b) Nature of Filing. No particular form of complaint is required. A complaint may be filed orally or in writing. Oral complaints will be reduced to writing by OSHA. If a complainant is not able to file the complaint in English, the complaint may be filed in any language.

(c) Place of Filing. The complaint should be filed with the OSHA Area Director responsible for enforcement activities in the geographical area where the employee resides or was employed, but may be filed with any OSHA officer or employee. Addresses and telephone numbers for these officials are set forth in local directories and at the following Internet address: http://www.osha.gov.

(d) Time for Filing. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, within 30 days after an alleged violation of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) occurs (i.e., when the retaliatory decision has been both made and communicated to the complainant), an employee who believes that he or she has been retaliated against in violation of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) may file, or have filed by any person on the employee's behalf, a complaint alleging such retaliation. The date of the postmark, facsimile transmittal, e-mail communication, telephone call, hand-delivery, delivery to a third-party commercial carrier, or in-person filing at an OSHA office will be considered the date of filing. The time for filing a complaint may be tolled for reasons warranted by applicable case law.

(2) Under the Energy Reorganization Act, within 180 days after an alleged violation of the Act occurs (i.e., when the retaliatory decision has been both made and communicated to the complainant), an employee who believes that he or she has been retaliated against in violation of the Act may file, or have filed by any person on the employee's behalf, a complaint alleging such retaliation. The date of the postmark, facsimile transmittal, e-mail communication, telephone call, hand-delivery, delivery to a third-party commercial carrier, or in-person filing at an OSHA office will be considered the date of filing. The time for filing a complaint may be tolled for reasons warranted by applicable case law.

(e) Relationship to Section 11(c) complaints. A complaint filed under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) alleging facts that would also constitute a violation of Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29 U.S.C. 660(c), will be deemed to be a complaint under both Section 11(c) and the applicable statutes listed in §24.100(a). Similarly, a complaint filed under Section 11(c) that alleges facts that would also constitute a violation of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) will be deemed to be a complaint under both section 11(c) and the applicable statutes listed in §24.100(a). Normal procedures and timeliness requirements under the respective statutes and regulations will be followed.

§24.104   Investigation.

(a) Upon receipt of a complaint in the investigating office, the Assistant Secretary will notify the respondent of the filing of the complaint by providing the respondent (or the respondent's legal counsel if respondent is represented by counsel) with a copy of the complaint, redacted, if necessary, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, et seq., and other applicable confidentiality laws. The Assistant Secretary will provide a copy of the unredacted complaint to the complainant (or complainant's legal counsel, if complainant is represented) and to the appropriate office of the Federal agency charged with the administration of the general provisions of the statute(s) under which the complaint is filed.

(b) Within 20 days of receipt of the notice of the filing of the complaint provided under paragraph (a) of this section, the respondent may submit to the Assistant Secretary a written statement and any affidavits or documents substantiating its position. Within the same 20 days, the respondent may request a meeting with the Assistant Secretary to present its position.

(c) Throughout the investigation, the agency will provide to the complainant (or the complainant's legal counsel if complainant is represented by counsel) a copy of all of respondent's submissions to the agency that are responsive to the complainant's whistleblower complaint. Before providing such materials to the complainant, the agency will redact them, if necessary, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, et seq., and other applicable confidentiality laws.

(d) Investigations will be conducted in a manner that protects the confidentiality of any person who provides information on a confidential basis, other than the complainant, in accordance with part 70 of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(e) Investigation under the six environmental statutes. In addition to the investigative procedures set forth in §§24.104(a), (b), (c), and (d), this paragraph sets forth the procedures applicable to investigations under the Safe Drinking Water Act; Federal Water Pollution Control Act; Toxic Substances Control Act; Solid Waste Disposal Act; Clean Air Act; and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

(1) A complaint of alleged violation will be dismissed unless the complainant has made a prima facie showing that protected activity was a motivating factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint.

(2) The complaint, supplemented as appropriate by interviews of the complainant, must allege the existence of facts and evidence to make a prima facie showing as follows:

(i) The employee engaged in a protected activity;

(ii) The respondent knew or suspected that the employee engaged in the protected activity;

(iii) The employee suffered an adverse action; and

(iv) The circumstances were sufficient to raise the inference that the protected activity was a motivating factor in the adverse action.

(3) The complainant will be considered to have met the required showing if the complaint on its face, supplemented as appropriate through interviews of the complainant, alleges the existence of facts and either direct or circumstantial evidence sufficient to give rise to an inference that the respondent knew or suspected that the employee engaged in protected activity and that the protected activity was a motivating factor in the adverse action. The required showing may be satisfied, for example, if the complainant shows that the adverse action took place shortly after the protected activity, giving rise to the inference that it was a motivating factor in the adverse action.

(4) The complaint will be dismissed if a preponderance of the evidence shows that the respondent would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of the complainant's protected activity.

(f) Investigation under the Energy Reorganization Act. In addition to the investigative procedures set forth in §§24.104(a), (b), (c), and (d), this paragraph sets forth special procedures applicable only to investigations under the Energy Reorganization Act.

(1) A complaint of alleged violation will be dismissed unless the complainant has made a prima facie showing that protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint.

(2) The complaint, supplemented as appropriate by interviews of the complainant, must allege the existence of facts and evidence to make a prima facie showing as follows:

(i) The employee engaged in a protected activity;

(ii) The respondent knew or suspected, actually or constructively, that the employee engaged in the protected activity;

(iii) The employee suffered an adverse action; and

(iv) The circumstances were sufficient to raise the inference that the protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action.

(3) For purposes of determining whether to investigate, the complainant will be considered to have met the required burden if the complaint on its face, supplemented as appropriate through interviews of the complainant, alleges the existence of facts and either direct or circumstantial evidence to meet the required showing, i.e., to give rise to an inference that the respondent knew or suspected that the employee engaged in protected activity and that the protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action. The burden may be satisfied, for example, if the complainant shows that the adverse action took place shortly after the protected activity, giving rise to the inference that it was a contributing factor in the adverse action. If the required showing has not been made, the complainant (or the complainant's legal counsel if complainant is represented by counsel) will be so notified and the investigation will not commence.

(4) Notwithstanding a finding that a complainant has made a prima facie showing, as required by this section, an investigation of the complaint will not be conducted or will be discontinued if the respondent, pursuant to the procedures provided in this paragraph, demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of the complainant's protected behavior or conduct.

(5) If the respondent fails to make a timely response or fails to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of the behavior protected by the Act, the Assistant Secretary will proceed with the investigation. The investigation will proceed whenever it is necessary or appropriate to confirm or verify the information provided by the respondent.

§24.105   Issuance of findings and orders.

(a) After considering all the relevant information collected during the investigation, the Assistant Secretary will issue, within 30 days of 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 any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a).

(1) If the Assistant Secretary concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, he or she shall accompany the findings with an order providing relief to the complainant. The order shall include, where appropriate, a requirement that the respondent abate the violation; reinstate the complainant to his or her former position, together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions and privileges of the complainant's employment; pay compensatory damages; and, under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, pay exemplary damages, where appropriate. At the complainant's request the order shall also assess against the respondent the complainant's costs and expenses (including attorney's fees) reasonably incurred in connection with the filing of the complaint.

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

(b) The findings and order will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all parties of record (and each party's legal counsel if the party is represented by counsel). The findings and order will inform the parties of their right to file objections and to request a hearing and provide the address of the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The Assistant Secretary will file a copy of the original complaint and a copy of the findings and order with the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Labor.

(c) The findings and 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 order, whichever is later, unless an objection and/or a request for a hearing has been filed as provided at §24.106.

Subpart B—Litigation

§24.106   Objections to the findings and order and request for a hearing.

(a) Any party who desires review, including judicial review, of the findings and order must file any objections and/or a request for a hearing on the record within 30 days of receipt of the findings and order pursuant to paragraph (b) of §24.105. The objection and/or request for a hearing must be in writing and state whether the objection is to the findings and/or the order. The date of the postmark, facsimile transmittal, or e-mail communication will be considered to be the date of filing; if the objection is filed in person, by hand-delivery or other means, the objection is filed upon receipt. Objections must be filed with the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Labor, 800 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20001, and copies of the objections must be mailed at the same time to the other parties of record, the OSHA official who issued the findings and order, the Assistant Secretary, and the Associate Solicitor, Division of Fair Labor Standards, U.S. Department of Labor.

(b) If a timely objection is filed, all provisions of the order will be stayed. If no timely objection is filed with respect to either the findings or the order, the findings and order will become the final decision of the Secretary, not subject to judicial review.

§24.107   Hearings.

(a) Except as provided in this part, proceedings will be conducted in accordance with the rules of practice and procedure and the rules of evidence for administrative hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, codified at part 18 of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(b) Upon receipt of an objection and request for hearing, the Chief Administrative Law Judge will promptly assign the case to a judge who will notify the parties, by certified mail, of the day, time, and place of hearing. The hearing is to commence expeditiously, except upon a showing of good cause or otherwise agreed to by the parties. Hearings will be conducted de novo, on the record.

(c) If both the complainant and the respondent object to the findings and/or order, the objections will be consolidated, and a single hearing will be conducted.

§24.108   Role of Federal agencies.

(a)(1) The complainant and the respondent will be parties in every proceeding. At the Assistant Secretary's discretion, he or she may participate as a party or participate as amicus curiae at any time at any stage of the proceeding. This right to participate includes, but is not limited to, the right to petition for review of a decision of an administrative law judge, including a decision approving or rejecting a settlement agreement between the complainant and the respondent.

(2) Copies of documents in all cases, whether or not the Assistant Secretary is participating in the proceeding, must be sent to the Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and to the Associate Solicitor, Division of Fair Labor Standards, U.S. Department of Labor.

(b) The Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Energy, if interested in a proceeding, may participate as amicus curiae at any time in the proceedings, at the respective agency's discretion. At the request of the interested Federal agency, copies of all pleadings in a case must be sent to the Federal agency, whether or not the agency is participating in the proceeding.

§24.109   Decision and orders of the administrative law judge.

(a) The decision of the ALJ will contain appropriate findings, conclusions, and an order pertaining to the remedies provided in paragraph (c) of this section, as appropriate.

(b)(1) In cases arising under the ERA, a determination that a violation has occurred may only be made if the complainant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint. If the complainant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint, relief may not be ordered if the respondent demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of any protected activity.

(2) In cases arising under the six environmental statutes listed in §24.100(a), a determination that a violation has occurred may only be made if the complainant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected activity caused or was a motivating factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint. If the complainant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected activity caused or was a motivating factor in the adverse action alleged in the complaint, relief may not be ordered if the respondent demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that it would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of the protected activity.

(c) Neither the Assistant Secretary's determination to dismiss a complaint without completing an investigation pursuant to §24.104(e) nor the Assistant Secretary's determination to proceed with an investigation is subject to review by the ALJ, and a complaint may not be remanded for the completion of an investigation or for additional findings on the basis that a determination to dismiss was made in error. Rather, if there otherwise is jurisdiction, the ALJ will hear the case on the merits or dispose of the matter without a hearing if the facts and circumstances warrant.

(d)(1) If the ALJ concludes that the respondent has violated the law, the order shall direct the respondent to take appropriate affirmative action to abate the violation, including reinstatement of the complainant to that person's former position, together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of that employment, and compensatory damages. In cases arising under the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Toxic Substances Control Act, exemplary damages may also be awarded when appropriate. At the request of the complainant, the ALJ shall assess against the respondent, all costs and expenses (including attorney fees) reasonably incurred.

(2) In cases brought under the Energy Reorganization Act, when an ALJ issues a decision that the complaint has merit and orders the relief prescribed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the relief ordered, with the exception of compensatory damages, shall be effective immediately upon receipt, whether or not a petition for review is filed with the ARB.

(3) If the ALJ determines that the respondent has not violated the law, an order will be issued denying the complaint.

(e) The decision will be served upon all parties to the proceeding, the Assistant Secretary, and the Associate Solicitor for Fair Labor Standards. Any ALJ's decision issued under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) will be effective 10 business days after the date of the decision unless a timely petition for review has been filed with the ARB. An ALJ's order issued under the Energy Reorganization Act will be effective immediately upon receipt, except for that portion of the order awarding any compensatory damages.

§24.110   Decision and orders of the Administrative Review Board.

(a) Any party desiring to seek review, including judicial review, of a decision of the ALJ must file a written petition for review with the ARB, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210, which has been delegated the authority to act for the Secretary and issue final decisions under this part. The decision of the ALJ will become the final order of the Secretary unless, pursuant to this section, a timely petition for review is filed with the ARB and the ARB accepts the case for review. The parties should identify in their petitions for review the legal conclusions or orders to which they object, or the objections will ordinarily be deemed waived. A petition must be filed within 10 business days of the date of the decision of the ALJ. The date of the postmark, facsimile transmittal, or e-mail communication will be considered to be the date of filing; if the petition is filed in person, by hand-delivery or other means, the petition is considered filed upon receipt. The petition must be served on all parties and on the Chief Administrative Law Judge at the time it is filed with the ARB. Copies of the petition for review and all briefs must be served on the Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the Associate Solicitor, Division of Fair Labor Standards, U.S. Department of Labor.

(b) If a timely petition for review is filed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, and the ARB, within 30 days of the filing of the petition, issues an order notifying the parties that the case has been accepted for review, the decision of the ALJ will be inoperative unless and until the ARB issues an order adopting the decision, except that an order by an ALJ issued under the Energy Reorganization Act, other than that portion of the order awarding compensatory damages, will be effective while review is conducted by the ARB, unless the ARB grants a motion by the respondent to stay the order based on exceptional circumstances. The ARB will specify the terms under which any briefs are to be filed. The ARB will review the factual findings of the ALJ under the substantial evidence standard. If no timely petition for review is filed, or the ARB denies review, the decision of the ALJ will become the final order of the Secretary. If no timely petition for review is filed, the resulting final order is not subject to judicial review.

(c) The final decision of the ARB will be issued within 90 days of the filing of the complaint. The decision will be served upon all parties and the Chief Administrative Law Judge by mail. The final decision will also be served on the Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the Associate Solicitor, Division of Fair Labor Standards, U.S. Department of Labor, even if the Assistant Secretary is not a party.

(d) If the ARB concludes that the respondent has violated the law, the final order will order the respondent to take appropriate affirmative action to abate the violation, including reinstatement of the complainant to that person's former position, together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of employment, and compensatory damages. In cases arising under the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Toxic Substances Control Act, exemplary damages may also be awarded when appropriate. At the request of the complainant, the ARB will assess against the respondent all costs and expenses (including attorney's fees) reasonably incurred.

(e) If the ARB determines that the respondent has not violated the law, an order will be issued denying the complaint.

Subpart C—Miscellaneous Provisions

§24.111   Withdrawal of complaints, objections, and petitions for review; settlement.

(a) At any time prior to the filing of objections to the findings and/or order, a complainant may withdraw his or her complaint under any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) by filing a written withdrawal with the Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary will then determine whether to approve the withdrawal. The Assistant Secretary will notify the respondent of the approval of any withdrawal. If the complaint is withdrawn because of settlement under the Energy Reorganization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, or the Toxic Substances Control Act, the settlement must be submitted for approval in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. Parties to settlements under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act are encouraged to submit their settlements for approval. After the filing of objections to the Assistant Secretary's findings and/or order, a complainant may not withdraw his or her complaint.

(b) The Assistant Secretary may withdraw his or her findings and/or order, at any time before the expiration of the 30-day objection period described in §24.106, provided that no objection has yet been filed, and substitute new findings and/or a new order. The date of the receipt of the substituted findings and/or order will begin a new 30-day objection period.

(c) At any time before the Assistant Secretary's findings or order become final, a party may withdraw its objections to the Assistant Secretary's findings or order by filing a written withdrawal with the ALJ. If a case is on review with the ARB, a party may withdraw its petition for review of an ALJ's decision at any time before that decision becomes final by filing a written withdrawal with the ARB. The ALJ or the ARB, as the case may be, will determine whether to approve the withdrawal of the objections or the petition for review. If the ALJ approves a request to withdraw objections to the Assistant Secretary's findings or order, and there are no other pending objections, the Assistant Secretary's findings and order will become the final order of the Secretary. If the ARB approves a request to withdraw a petition for review of an ALJ decision, and there are no other pending petitions for review of that decision, the ALJ's decision will become the final order of the Secretary. If the objections are withdrawn because of settlement under the Energy Reorganization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, or the Toxic Substances Control Act, the settlement must be submitted for approval in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(d)(1) Investigative settlements under the Energy Reorganization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. At any time after the filing of a complaint, and before the findings and/or order are objected to or become a final order by operation of law, the case may be settled if the Assistant Secretary, the complainant and the respondent agree to a settlement. The Assistant Secretary's approval of a settlement reached by the respondent and the complainant demonstrates his or her consent and achieves the consent of all three parties.

(2) Adjudicatory settlements under the Energy Reorganization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. At any time after the filing of objections to the Assistant Secretary's findings and/or order, the case may be settled if the participating parties agree to a settlement and the settlement is approved by the ALJ if the case is before the judge, or by the ARB if the ARB has accepted the case for review. A copy of the settlement must be filed with the administrative law judge or the ARB, as the case may be.

(e) Any settlement approved by the Assistant Secretary, the administrative law judge, or the ARB will constitute the final order of the Secretary and may be enforced pursuant to §24.113.

§24.112   Judicial review.

(a) Except as provided under subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section, within 60 days after the issuance by the ARB of a final order of the Secretary under §24.110, any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the order may file a petition for review of the order in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the violation allegedly occurred or the circuit in which the complainant resided on the date of the violation. A final order of the ARB is not subject to judicial review in any criminal or other civil proceeding.

(b) Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, within 120 days after the issuance by the ARB of a final order of the Secretary under §24.110, any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the order may file a petition for review of the order in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the violation allegedly occurred or the circuit in which the complainant resided on the date of the violation.

(c) Under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, within 90 days after the issuance by the ARB of a final order of the Secretary under §24.110, any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the order may file a petition for review of the order in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the violation allegedly occurred or the circuit in which the complainant resided on the date of the violation.

(d) Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, after the issuance by the ARB of a final order of the Secretary under §24.110, any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the order may file a petition for review of the order in the United States district court in which the violation allegedly occurred. For purposes of judicial economy and consistency, when a final order of the Secretary issued by the ARB under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act also is issued under any other statute listed in §24.100(a), the adversely affected or aggrieved person may file a petition for review of the entire order in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the violation allegedly occurred or the circuit in which the complainant resided on the date of the violation. The time for filing a petition for review of an order issued under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and any other statute listed in §24.100(a) is determined by the time period applicable under the other statute(s).

(e) If a timely petition for review is filed, the record of a case, including the record of proceedings before the administrative law judge, will be transmitted by the ARB to the appropriate court pursuant to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the local rules of the court.

§24.113   Judicial enforcement.

Whenever any person has failed to comply with an order by an ALJ issued under the Energy Reorganization Act, with the exception of any award of compensatory damages, or with a final order of the Secretary, including final orders approving settlement agreements as provided under §24.111(d), the Secretary may file a civil action seeking enforcement of the order in the United States district court for the district in which the violation was found to have occurred. Whenever any person has failed to comply with an order by an ALJ issued under the Energy Reorganization Act, with the exception of any award of compensatory damages, or with a final order of the Secretary under either the Energy Reorganization Act or the Clean Air Act, the person on whose behalf the order was issued also may file a civil action seeking enforcement of the order in the United States district court for the district in which the violation was found to have occurred.

§24.114   District court jurisdiction of retaliation complaints under the Energy Reorganization Act.

(a) If there is no final order of the Secretary, one year has passed since the filing of a complaint under the Energy Reorganization Act, and there is no showing that there has been delay due to the bad faith of the complainant, the complainant may bring an action at law or equity for de novo review in the appropriate district court of the United States, which will have jurisdiction over such an action without regard to the amount in controversy.

(b) Fifteen days in advance of filing a complaint in Federal court, a complainant must file with the Assistant Secretary, the ALJ, or the ARB, depending upon where the proceeding is pending, a notice of his or her intention to file such complaint. The notice must be served on all parties to the proceeding. A copy of the notice must be served on the Regional Administrator, the Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the Associate Solicitor, Division of Fair Labor Standards, U.S. Department of Labor. The complainant shall file and serve a copy of the district court complaint on the above as soon as possible after the district court complaint has been filed with the court.

§24.115   Special circumstances; waiver of rules.

In special circumstances not contemplated by the provisions of this part, or for good cause shown, the ALJ or the ARB on review may, upon application, after three days notice to all parties, waive any rule or issue any orders that justice or the administration of any of the statutes listed in §24.100(a) requires.

Appendix A to Part 24—Your Rights Under the Energy Reorganization Act

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