U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Washington, D.C. 20210
Reply to the attention of:
October 31, 2023
- MEMORANDUM FOR:
Region 2 Adoption of State Plan Referral Pilot
The purpose of this memorandum is to indicate Region 2's preference to participate in the State Plan Referral pilot (Pilot) (CPL-04-05-2307) initiated by Region 5. Region 2 Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP) would start the Pilot upon DWPP concurrence and evaluate said pilot for a period of one calendar year.
Within Region 2 WPP, the Regional Supervisory Investigators and Assistant Regional Administrator review and evaluate all incoming complaints for screening assignments. The Pilot will only impact managers or supervisors1, and those acting on their behalf. WPP currently has four state plan programs. Three of the programs, New York (PESH), New Jersey (PEOSH), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (VIDOSH), handle only State & Local Government (public sector) employees under their respective statutes. Puerto Rico (PROSHA) handles both private and public sector employees, except for those employers engaged in Maritime Cargo Handling, Ship Construction and Repair, and the United States Postal Service (USPS), which remain under the jurisdiction of OSHA.
Region 2 WPP will review and evaluate all incoming complaints for screening assignments. As with all complaints, a copy will be maintained by WPP in electronic format. WPP will not enter a duplicative complaint into the OSHA Information System (OIS) as is currently being done, but will follow all other current procedures established by the Whistleblower Investigations Manual (WIM).
Region 2 WPP will promptly refer the complaint to the appropriate state plan via OIS. Additionally, WPP will send an email notifying the receiving state plan point of contact (POC) of the transfer, and Region 2 Cooperative & State Programs (CSP) will be copied. Region 2 WPP already has established POCs for each state plan. WPP has briefed the Region 2 Acting ARA-CSP and State Plan Monitor about the Pilot and they are in concurrence. The four state plans will be notified of this procedure change in the upcoming quarterly calls. WPP will track these complaints by maintaining an Excel spreadsheet with each transferred complaint logged onto it, the method of filing (ECN, OSHA 87, email, telephone, etc.), OIS number, Complainant/Respondent name, date complaint filed, and date complaint transferred. This data will be available for review as needed and updated in real time.2 The Pilot will assist WPP to closely monitor complaints to ensure they are handled in accordance with their processes and procedures which are to be as effective as Federal OSHA’s WIM, especially those involving high-risk programs.
Region 2 WPP has been exclusively working in OIS since the beginning of FY23 as a case management and electronic case platform and is proficient in OIS processes and its continued development. Region 2 further anticipates that participation in the Pilot will save valuable time and resources for supervisors and managers as it takes an average of 45 minutes to one hour to complete an administrative closure for a state plan referral under our current procedures.
Region 2 is excited about the opportunity to participate in this pilot to both improve consistency and save time in complaint transfer to state plans as well as administrative efficiency. Please contact ARA-WPP Chris Carlin if you have any questions and to coordinate Region 2 signing on to this Pilot.
1 Supervisors and managers will independently handle work this pilot. Therefore, bargaining with the union is not necessary.
2 Results of the pilot will be provided at 6-months (mid-way) and 12-months (end of pilot) to DWPP.