30 U.S. Code § 815 - Procedure for enforcement

(a) Notification of civil penalty; contest
If, after an inspection or investigation, the Secretary issues a citation or order under section 814 of this title, he shall, within a reasonable time after the termination of such inspection or investigation, notify the operator by certified mail of the civil penalty proposed to be assessed under section 820 (a) of this title for the violation cited and that the operator has 30 days within which to notify the Secretary that he wishes to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty. A copy of such notification shall be sent by mail to the representative of miners in such mine. If, within 30 days from the receipt of the notification issued by the Secretary, the operator fails to notify the Secretary that he intends to contest the citation or the proposed assessment of penalty, and no notice is filed by any miner or representative of miners under subsection (d) of this section within such time, the citation and the proposed assessment of penalty shall be deemed a final order of the Commission and not subject to review by any court or agency. Refusal by the operator or his agent to accept certified mail containing a citation and proposed assessment of penalty under this subsection shall constitute receipt thereof within the meaning of this subsection.
(b) Failure of operator to correct violation; notification; contest; temporary relief
(1)
(A) If the Secretary has reason to believe that an operator has failed to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued within the period permitted for its correction, the Secretary shall notify the operator by certified mail of such failure and of the penalty proposed to be assessed under section 820 (b) of this title by reason of such failure and that the operator has 30 days within which to notify the Secretary that he wishes to contest the Secretary’s notification of the proposed assessment of penalty. A copy of such notification of the proposed assessment of penalty shall at the same time be sent by mail to the representative of the mine employees. If, within 30 days from the receipt of notification of proposed assessment of penalty issued by the Secretary, the operator fails to notify the Secretary that he intends to contest the notification of proposed assessment of penalty, such notification shall be deemed a final order of the Commission and not subject to review by any court or agency. Refusal by the operator or his agent to accept certified mail containing a notification of proposed assessment of penalty issued under this subsection shall constitute receipt thereof within the meaning of this subsection.
(B) In determining whether to propose a penalty to be assessed under section 820 (b) of this title, the Secretary shall consider the operator’s history of previous violations, the appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the operator charged, whether the operator was negligent, the effect on the operator’s ability to continue in business, the gravity of the violation, and the demonstrated good faith of the operator charged in attempting to achieve rapid compliance after notification of a violation.
(2) An applicant may file with the Commission a written request that the Commission grant temporary relief from any modification or termination of any order or from any order issued under section 814 of this title together with a detailed statement giving the reasons for granting such relief. The Commission may grant such relief under such conditions as it may prescribe, if—
(A) a hearing has been held in which all parties were given an opportunity to be heard;
(B) the applicant shows that there is substantial likelihood that the findings of the Commission will be favorable to the applicant; and
(C) such relief will not adversely affect the health and safety of miners.
No temporary relief shall be granted in the case of a citation issued under subsection (a) or (f) ofsection 814 of this title. The Commission shall provide a procedure for expedited consideration of applications for temporary relief under this paragraph.
(c) Discrimination or interference prohibited; complaint; investigation; determination; hearing
(1) No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against or cause to be discharged or cause discrimination against or otherwise interfere with the exercise of the statutory rights of any miner, representative of miners or applicant for employment in any coal or other mine subject to this chapter because such miner, representative of miners or applicant for employment has filed or made a complaint under or related to this chapter, including a complaint notifying the operator or the operator’s agent, or the representative of the miners at the coal or other mine of an alleged danger or safety or health violation in a coal or other mine, or because such miner, representative of miners or applicant for employment is the subject of medical evaluations and potential transfer under a standard published pursuant to section 811 of this title or because such miner, representative of miners or applicant for employment has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this chapter or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or because of the exercise by such miner, representative of miners or applicant for employment on behalf of himself or others of any statutory right afforded by this chapter.
(2) Any miner or applicant for employment or representative of miners who believes that he has been discharged, interfered with, or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of this subsection may, within 60 days after such violation occurs, file a complaint with the Secretary alleging such discrimination. Upon receipt of such complaint, the Secretary shall forward a copy of the complaint to the respondent and shall cause such investigation to be made as he deems appropriate. Such investigation shall commence within 15 days of the Secretary’s receipt of the complaint, and if the Secretary finds that such complaint was not frivolously brought, the Commission, on an expedited basis upon application of the Secretary, shall order the immediate reinstatement of the miner pending final order on the complaint. If upon such investigation, the Secretary determines that the provisions of this subsection have been violated, he shall immediately file a complaint with the Commission, with service upon the alleged violator and the miner, applicant for employment, or representative of miners alleging such discrimination or interference and propose an order granting appropriate relief. The Commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing (in accordance with section 554 of title 5 but without regard to subsection (a)(3) of such section) and thereafter shall issue an order, based upon findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the Secretary’s proposed order, or directing other appropriate relief. Such order shall become final 30 days after its issuance. The Commission shall have authority in such proceedings to require a person committing a violation of this subsection to take such affirmative action to abate the violation as the Commission deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, the rehiring or reinstatement of the miner to his former position with back pay and interest. The complaining miner, applicant, or representative of miners may present additional evidence on his own behalf during any hearing held pursuant to his  [1] paragraph.
(3) Within 90 days of the receipt of a complaint filed under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall notify, in writing, the miner, applicant for employment, or representative of miners of his determination whether a violation has occurred. If the Secretary, upon investigation, determines that the provisions of this subsection have not been violated, the complainant shall have the right, within 30 days of notice of the Secretary’s determination, to file an action in his own behalf before the Commission, charging discrimination or interference in violation of paragraph (1). The Commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing (in accordance with section 554 of title 5 but without regard to subsection (a)(3) of such section), and thereafter shall issue an order, based upon findings of fact, dismissing or sustaining the complainant’s charges and, if the charges are sustained, granting such relief as it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, an order requiring the rehiring or reinstatement of the miner to his former position with back pay and interest or such remedy as may be appropriate. Such order shall become final 30 days after its issuance. Whenever an order is issued sustaining the complainant’s charges under this subsection, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorney’s fees) as determined by the Commission to have been reasonably incurred by the miner, applicant for employment or representative of miners for, or in connection with, the institution and prosecution of such proceedings shall be assessed against the person committing such violation. Proceedings under this section shall be expedited by the Secretary and the Commission. Any order issued by the Commission under this paragraph shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with section 816 of this title. Violations by any person of paragraph (1) shall be subject to the provisions of sections 818 and 820 (a) of this title.
(d) Contest proceedings; hearing; findings of fact; affirmance, modification, or vacatur of citation, order, or proposed penalty; procedure before Commission
If, within 30 days of receipt thereof, an operator of a coal or other mine notifies the Secretary that he intends to contest the issuance or modification of an order issued under section 814 of this title, or citation or a notification of proposed assessment of a penalty issued under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, or the reasonableness of the length of abatement time fixed in a citation or modification thereof issued under section 814 of this title, or any miner or representative of miners notifies the Secretary of an intention to contest the issuance, modification, or termination of any order issued under section 814 of this title, or the reasonableness of the length of time set for abatement by a citation or modification thereof issued under section 814 of this title, the Secretary shall immediately advise the Commission of such notification, and the Commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing (in accordance with section 554 of title 5, but without regard to subsection (a)(3) of such section), and thereafter shall issue an order, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the Secretary’s citation, order, or proposed penalty, or directing other appropriate relief. Such order shall become final 30 days after its issuance. The rules of procedure prescribed by the Commission shall provide affected miners or representatives of affected miners an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this section. The Commission shall take whatever action is necessary to expedite proceedings for hearing appeals of orders issued under section 814 of this title.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “this”.

Source

(Pub. L. 91–173, title I, § 105,Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 753; Pub. L. 95–164, title II, § 201,Nov. 9, 1977, 91 Stat. 1303.)
References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, known as the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of this title and Tables.
Amendments

1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–164substituted provisions under which the Secretary must notify the operator of the civil penalty he proposes to assess following the issuance of a citation or order and the operator must give notice that he will contest the citation or proposed assessment for provisions under which an operator was required to apply for review of an order issued under section 814 of this title and under which an investigation was made, hearings held, and information presented.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–164substituted provisions relating to the steps to be taken following the failure of the operator to correct violations, including provisions relating to temporary relief formerly contained in subsec. (d), for provisions requiring the Secretary to make findings of fact and to issue a written decision upon receiving the report of an investigation.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–164added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c), directing the Secretary to take action under this section as promptly as possible, was incorporated into a part of par. (3).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–164added subsec. (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (b)(2).
Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–164effective 120 days after Nov. 9, 1977, except as otherwise provided, see section 307 ofPub. L. 95–164, set out as a note under section 801 of this title.

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30 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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29 CFR - Labor

29 CFR Part 2700 - PROCEDURAL RULES

30 CFR - Mineral Resources

30 CFR Part 40 - REPRESENTATIVE OF MINERS

30 CFR Part 100 - CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSED ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES

 

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