OSHRC Docket No. 81-503

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

September 27, 1982


Before: ROWLAND, Chairman; CLEARY and COTTINE, Commissioners.


Office of the Solicitor, USDOL

Albert H. Ross, Regional Solicitor, USDOL

Diana Garfield, for the employer

George Prenatt, (Adolph Schwartz, Director), U.S.W.A. Safety & Health Dept., for the employer

James F. Chieppo, Rep. District #1, Sub-Dist. #4, U.S. Steelworkers of America, for the employer

Judith Delgado, President, Local Union 8298, U.S. Steelworkers of America, for the employer




The Secretary of Labor and Eyelet Specialty Company submitted to former Administrative Law Judge Barbara L. Hassenfeld a settlement proposal. Judge Hassenfeld had earlier participated in a telephone conference with representatives of the Secretary, Eyelet Specialty and the United Steelworkers of America Local Union 8298. There, the Secretary and Eyelet Specialty informed the judge that they had reached agreement but the union stated that it "had some problem" with the agreement. The judge then ordered "that the union file its written objections . . . by August 17, 1981." (Emphasis in the original.) The settlement was received by the judge on August 10, 1981, and was approved on the same [*2] day.

The Union represents that it had mailed its letter of objections to the settlement proposal on August 13, 1981. Although the letter was not received until August 19, 1981, it was nevertheless timely filed because, under Commission Rule 8(c), 29 C.F.R. 2200.8(c), "[f]iling is deemed effected at the time of mailing." The union's objections should have been considered before the judge approved the settlement proposal.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

n1 After Judge Hassenfeld filed her decision approving the settlement, she responded to the union by letter. We do not consider the views expressed in her letter to relate to the merits of the union's objections, but only to the union's right to raise those objections before the Commission.

n2 Chairman Rowland dissents from this order of remand. For the reasons explained in his dissenting opinion in Mobil, the Chairman believes that consideration of the settlement agreement should be limited to any objection the union may have to the reasonableness of the abatement period agreed to by the Secretary and Eyelet Specialty. Since the union's objection does not pertain to the reasonableness of the abatement period in the settlement, a remand for consideration of the adequacy of the settlement is inappropriate. Chairman Rowland would therefore affirm the judge's decision on this ground.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -