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§ 7314. Complaints and investigations

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and Safety

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 41. Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act (Refs & Annos)
35 P.S. § 7314
§ 7314. Complaints and investigations
(a) Procedure.--The department is hereby empowered to prevent any violations of this act. All proceedings under this section will be scheduled and decisions rendered with all deliberate speed in the interests of protecting employees and members of the public from the dangers of chemical substances. Any person who believes there is a violation by an employer or supplier of this act or any part thereof may file a complaint, within 180 days of the violation, with the department. The complaint shall be in writing, verified, and shall set forth the grounds for the complaint. Upon request of the complainant, his or her identity shall not be revealed. Within 30 days after receipt of the complaint, the department shall so notify the respondent in writing and permit the respondent to demonstrate compliance with this act. If such compliance has not been demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence to the department within 14 days of the mailing of the notification, and if the facts in controversy are susceptible to verification by inspection, an employee of the department shall inspect, at reasonable times, the employer's workplace and all conditions relevant to the complaint and shall, in reasonable manner, make any additional investigation deemed necessary for the full and effective determination of the employer's or supplier's compliance with this act. Whenever the representative of the department proceeding under this section is denied admission to any place of employment, he may obtain a warrant to make an inspection or investigation of the place of employment from the appropriate judicial authority upon a showing of the following:
(1) That the individual seeking the warrant is a duly authorized agent of the department.
(2) That such individual has established under oath or affirmation that the place of employment to be investigated in accordance with this section is to be inspected to determine compliance or noncompliance with the requirements of this act.
(b) Prerefusal warrant.--Upon application to the appropriate judicial authority and for good cause shown, the department may seek and obtain an inspection warrant prior to the 14-day period set forth in subsection (a) and prior to any refusal by respondent to voluntarily admit a representative of the department.
(c) Issuance and content of order.--If, upon inspection or investigation of a complaint, the department finds that a respondent has violated any requirements of this act, it shall within seven days issue to the respondent an order to comply. This order shall be in writing and shall specifically describe the nature of the violation and shall state a reasonable time period, not to exceed 90 days, within which the violation must be corrected by the employer.
(d) Civil penalties.--The department shall have authority to assess any civil penalties from $500 to $10,000 for each violation of this act, unless a greater amount is specified elsewhere in this act, giving due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the business of the employer being charged, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the respondent and the history of previous violations. If the violation has not been corrected within the time period, the department may levy a further civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per day for each violation. Civil penalties due under this act shall be paid to the department for deposit into the State Treasury and may be collected by the department in a civil action brought in the appropriate court of common pleas. The penalties collected shall be used to defray the costs of the administration and enforcement of this act.
(e) Hearings.--The respondent may, in writing, request the department to provide a hearing concerning any orders to comply or penalties levied upon the employer under this section within 30 days of the respondent's receipt of notice thereof. The hearing shall be afforded in accordance with Title 2 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (relating to administrative law and procedure). After the hearing, the department shall affirm, reverse or modify its original determination.
(f) Preliminary relief.--Where the department determines that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation has occurred, and that said violation may present an imminent danger to any employee or member of the public, the department shall seek a preliminary or special injunction in the appropriate court of common pleas. The courts of common pleas are hereby empowered to and shall issue said injunctive relief upon a prima facie showing by the department of a violation and a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that an imminent danger situation is present.
(g) Interference with inspection.--Any employer or individual who willfully obstructs or impedes an authorized representative of the department from carrying out an investigation or inspection pursuant to this act or who refuses entry to an authorized representative of the department to any workplace where such inspection is authorized by a warrant shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $1,000. Any person who gives advance notice of any inspection to be conducted under this act, without authority from the department, shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.

Credits

1984, Oct. 5, P.L. 734, No. 159, § 14, effective in 1 year.
35 P.S. § 7314, PA ST 35 P.S. § 7314
Current through the end of the 2023 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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