[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 1995)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3655-3657]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-1123]



=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

[Secretary's Order 6-94]


Pilot Project to Create Concurrent Authorities and 
Responsibilities for the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety 
and Health and the Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards With 
Respect to Certain Whistleblower Protection Laws and Certain Laws 
Establishing Labor Standards Affecting Field Sanitation and Migrant 
Housing

December 28, 1994.

1. Purpose

    To delegate certain authorities and responsibilities now assigned 
to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health to the 
Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards; and, to delegate certain 
authorities and responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for 
Employment Standards to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety 
and Health.

2. Background and Overview

    The Employment Standards Administration (ESA) has developed 
considerable expertise in the administration and enforcement of a 
variety of labor standards programs, including those affecting 
agricultural employers and employees. ESA's [[Page 3656]] resources, 
however, have not permitted the same degree of specialization in the 
enforcement of certain whistleblower protection laws, delegated to it 
under Secretary's Order No. 1-93 (listed in section 4.a. of this 
Order). On the other hand, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) has developed considerable expertise in the 
administration and enforcement of whistleblower protection laws. Its 
resources, however, have not permitted the same degree of 
specialization in the enforcement of safety and health standards 
affecting the agricultural industry, delegated to it under Secretary's 
Order No. 1-90 (listed in section 4.b. of this Order). With a view 
toward better utilizing the respective agencies' program expertise, and 
thereby more effectively and efficiently utilizing the Department's 
resources, the Assistant Secretaries for ESA and OSHA have requested 
authority to conduct a pilot program for approximately one year to test 
the efficacy of a limited exchange of enforcement responsibilities for 
these whistleblower and agriculture safety and health programs. By this 
Order, I approve this request by granting to these Assistant 
Secretaries limited concurrent authority to enforce the whistleblower 
protections and agricultural safety and health laws enumerated in 
sections 4.a. and 4.b. of this Order.
    As provided by section 7 of the Order, the pilot program will 
commence in the Dallas Region, Southwest Division (excluding New 
Mexico). However, section 7 also authorizes the two Assistant 
Secretaries to modify the geographic scope of the program by written 
agreement, approved by the Secretary. The delegation of authority and 
responsibility in this Order expires at the end of the calendar year 
1995.
    This pilot program will allow the Department to assess whether a 
permanent and complete transfer of enforcement responsibilities between 
ESA and OSHA for these whistleblower and agricultural safety and health 
programs would promote more effective enforcement of these programs. By 
this Order, I direct certain Department of Labor agencies to take steps 
to implement the pilot program and, if it proves successful, to assess 
whether action should be taken to implement the program on a wider, and 
possibly nationwide basis.

3. Directives Affected

    Section 3.a. of Secretary's Order 1-93 (ESA) is amended with regard 
to the delegation of authority and assignment of responsibility to the 
Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards to perform the additional 
statutory functions listed in section 4.a. of this order. The authority 
and responsibility to perform those statutory functions are thus 
delegated concurrently to the Assistant Secretary for Employment 
Standards and to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and 
Health, subject to the terms and conditions of sections 4., 5., 6., 7., 
and 8. of this Order.
    Section 4.a.(1) of Secretary's Order No. 1-90 (OSHA) is amended 
with regard to the delegation of authority and assignment of 
responsibility to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and 
Health to perform the additional statutory functions listed in section 
4.b. of this Order. The authority and responsibility to perform those 
statutory functions are thus delegated concurrently to the Assistant 
Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health and to the Assistant 
Secretary for Employment Standards, subject to the terms and conditions 
of sections 4., 5., 6., 7. and 8. of this Order.

4. Delegation of Authority and Assignment of Responsibilities

    a. The Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health and 
the Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards, consistent with the 
terms of this Order and except as hereinafter provided, are hereby 
concurrently delegated the authority and assigned responsibility for 
carrying out the employment standards and labor-management standards 
policies, programs and activities of the Department of Labor, including 
those functions to be performed by the Secretary of Labor, arising 
under the following statutes:

--Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 5851;
--Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300j-9(i);
--Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act 
of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 9610;
--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.

    Under the foregoing statutory provisions, the Secretary is charged 
with the responsibility of investigating and resolving allegations of 
discriminatory actions taken by employers against employees in 
violation of various environmental and public health related statutes 
(so called ``whistleblower'' protections). This delegation to the 
Assistant Secretaries also encompasses such responsibilities as may 
arise under 29 CFR Part 24 and other responsibilities as may arise as 
the result of pertinent amendments to the statutory and regulatory 
provisions enumerated in section 4.a. The Secretary explicitly reserves 
the authority to issue final decisions under these provisions.
    b. The Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards and the 
Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, consistent with 
the terms of this Order and except as hereinafter provided, are hereby 
concurrently delegated the authority and assigned responsibility for 
carrying out the employment standards and labor-management standards 
policies, programs and activities of the Department of Labor, including 
those functions to be performed by the Secretary of Labor, arising 
under the following provisions:

--Under sections 8, 9 and 10 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 
of 1970, to conduct inspections, issue citations and propose penalties 
to enforce compliance by agricultural employers with the standards on 
field sanitation, 29 CFR 1928.110, and temporary labor camps, 29 CFR 
1910.142.

    This delegation to the Assistant Secretaries also encompasses such 
responsibilities as may arise as the result of pertinent amendments to 
the statutory and regulatory provisions enumerated in section 4.b. The 
Secretary explicitly reserves the authority to issue final decisions 
under these provisions.
    c. The Solicitor of Labor shall have the responsibility for 
providing legal advice and assistance to all officers of the Department 
relating to the administration of the statutes listed in sections 4.a. 
and 4.b. and to legal issues arising under this order. The bringing of 
legal proceedings on behalf of the Secretary of Labor and/or other 
officials of the Department of Labor under the statutes listed in 
sections 4.a. and 4.b., the representation of Departmental officials in 
these proceedings, and the determination of whether such proceedings or 
representations are appropriate in a given case are delegated 
exclusively to the Solicitor of Labor.
    d. The Chief Financial Officer and the Assistant Secretary for 
Administration and Mangement shall have the authority and 
responsibility to assure an appropriate allocation of costs and 
resources to the Assistant Secretaries, as required by law, to assure 
effectuation of this Order. [[Page 3657]] 

5. Application of Effective Regulations

    In concurrently exercising authority under this Order the Assistant 
Secretaries shall operate affected programs under regulations currently 
effective, unless otherwise authorized by the Secretary.

6. Reservation of Authority

    a. The submission of reports and recommendations to the President 
and the Congress concerning the administration of the statutes listed 
in section 4. is reserved to the Secretary.
    b. The authority delegated and the responsibilities assigned to the 
Director of the Office of Administrative Appeals by Secretary's Order 
3-90 are reserved.

7. Redelegation of Authority

    The Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, the 
Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards, the Solicitor of Labor, 
the Chief Financial Officer, and the Assistant Secretary for 
Administration and Management may redelegate authority delegated by 
this Order.

8. Effective Dates and Geographic Scope

    This Order is effective immediately. The delegations of authority 
and assignment of responsibilities of this Order expire on December 31, 
1995, and have effect only in the Dallas Region, Southwest Division 
[excluding the State of New Mexico], unless modification of the 
geographic scope of the pilot program is made. Any such modification 
must be made by the written agreement of the Assistant Secretary for 
Occupational Safety and Health and the Assistant Secretary for 
Employment Standards, after consultation with the Solicitor of Labor, 
the Chief Financial Officer and the Assistant Secretary for 
Administration and Management. Such written agreement shall become 
effective upon approval by the Secretary and proper notice to the 
public.

9. Report

    By August 15, 1995, or such other date established by the Secretary 
of Labor, the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health 
and the Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards shall, after 
consultation with the Solicitor of Labor, the Chief Financial Officer, 
and the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, report 
to the Secretary on the findings of and the conclusions drawn from the 
pilot program and shall recommend further action for the Secretary with 
respect to the pilot program.
Robert B. Reich,
Secretary of Labor.
[FR Doc. 95-1123 Filed 1-17-95; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-23-M