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49.17.130  <<  49.17.140 >>   49.17.150

RCW 49.17.140

Appeal to board — Notification of assessment of penalty — Final order — Procedure — Redetermination — Hearing — Rules.

(1) If after an inspection or investigation the director or the director's authorized representative issues a citation under the authority of RCW 49.17.120 or 49.17.130, the department, within a reasonable time after the termination of such inspection or investigation, shall notify the employer using a method by which the mailing can be tracked or the delivery can be confirmed of the penalty to be assessed under the authority of RCW 49.17.180 and shall state that the employer has fifteen working days within which to notify the director that the employer wishes to appeal the citation or assessment of penalty. If, within fifteen working days from the communication of the notice issued by the director the employer fails to notify the director that the employer intends to appeal the citation or assessment penalty, and no notice is filed by any employee or representative of employees under subsection (3) of this section within such time, the citation and the assessment shall be deemed a final order of the department and not subject to review by any court or agency.

     (2) If the director has reason to believe that an employer has failed to correct a violation for which the employer was previously cited and which has become a final order, the director shall notify the employer using a method by which the mailing can be tracked or the delivery can be confirmed of such failure to correct the violation and of the penalty to be assessed under RCW 49.17.180 by reason of such failure, and shall state that the employer has fifteen working days from the communication of such notification and assessment of penalty to notify the director that the employer wishes to appeal the director's notification of the assessment of penalty. If, within fifteen working days from the receipt of notification issued by the director the employer fails to notify the director that the employer intends to appeal the notification of assessment of penalty, the notification and assessment of penalty shall be deemed a final order of the department and not subject to review by any court or agency.

     (3) If any employer notifies the director that the employer intends to appeal the citation issued under either RCW 49.17.120 or 49.17.130 or notification of the assessment of a penalty issued under subsections (1) or (2) of this section, or if, within fifteen working days from the issuance of a citation under either RCW 49.17.120 or 49.17.130 any employee or representative of employees files a notice with the director alleging that the period of time fixed in the citation for the abatement of the violation is unreasonable, the director may reassume jurisdiction over the entire matter, or any portion thereof upon which notice of intention to appeal has been filed with the director pursuant to this subsection. If the director reassumes jurisdiction of all or any portion of the matter upon which notice of appeal has been filed with the director, any redetermination shall be completed and corrective notices of assessment of penalty, citations, or revised periods of abatement completed within a period of thirty working days. The thirty-working-day redetermination period may be extended up to fifteen additional working days upon agreement of all parties to the appeal. The redetermination shall then become final subject to direct appeal to the board of industrial insurance appeals within fifteen working days of such redetermination with service of notice of appeal upon the director. In the event that the director does not reassume jurisdiction as provided in this subsection, the director shall promptly notify the state board of industrial insurance appeals of all notifications of intention to appeal any such citations, any such notices of assessment of penalty and any employee or representative of employees notice of intention to appeal the period of time fixed for abatement of a violation and in addition certify a full copy of the record in such appeal matters to the board. The director shall adopt rules of procedure for the reassumption of jurisdiction under this subsection affording employers, employees, and employee representatives notice of the reassumption of jurisdiction by the director, and an opportunity to object or support the reassumption of jurisdiction, either in writing or orally at an informal conference to be held prior to the expiration of the redetermination period. Except as otherwise provided under subsection (4) of this section, a notice of appeal filed under this section shall stay the effectiveness of any citation or notice of the assessment of a penalty pending review by the board of industrial insurance appeals, but such appeal shall not stay the effectiveness of any order of immediate restraint issued by the director under the authority of RCW 49.17.130. The board of industrial insurance appeals shall afford an opportunity for a hearing in the case of each such appellant and the department shall be represented in such hearing by the attorney general and the board shall in addition provide affected employees or authorized representatives of affected employees an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this subsection. The board shall thereafter make disposition of the issues in accordance with procedures relative to contested cases appealed to the state board of industrial insurance appeals.

     Upon application by an employer showing that a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation has been made and that the abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond the employer's control, the director after affording an opportunity for a hearing shall issue an order affirming or modifying the abatement requirements in such citation.

     (4) An appeal of any violation classified and cited as serious, willful, repeated serious violation, or failure to abate a serious violation does not stay abatement dates and requirements except as follows:

     (a) An employer may request a stay of abatement for any serious, willful, repeated serious violation, or failure to abate a serious violation in a notice of appeal under subsection (3) of this section;

     (b) When the director reassumes jurisdiction of an appeal under subsection (3) of this section, it will include the stay of abatement request. The issued redetermination decision will include a decision on the stay of abatement request. The department shall stay the abatement for any serious, willful, repeated serious violation, or failure to abate a serious violation where the department cannot determine that the preliminary evidence shows a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm to workers. The decision on stay of abatement will be final unless the employer renews the request for a stay of abatement in any direct appeal of the redetermination to the board of industrial insurance appeals under subsection (3) of this section;

     (c) The board of industrial insurance appeals shall adopt rules necessary for conducting an expedited review on any stay of abatement requests identified in the employer's notice of appeal, and shall issue a final decision within forty-five working days of the board's notice of filing of appeal. This rule making shall be initiated in 2011;

     (d) Affected employees or their representatives must be afforded an opportunity to participate as parties in an expedited review for stay of abatement;

     (e) The board shall grant a stay of an abatement for a serious, willful, repeated serious violation, or failure to abate a serious violation where there is good cause for a stay unless based on the preliminary evidence it is more likely than not that a stay would result in death or serious physical harm to a worker;

     (f) As long as a motion to stay abatement is pending all abatement requirements will be stayed.

     (5) When the board of industrial insurance appeals denies a stay of abatement and abatement is required while the appeal is adjudicated, the abatement process must be the same process as the process required for abatement upon a final order.

     (6) The department shall develop rules necessary to implement subsections (4) and (5) of this section. In an application for a stay of abatement, the department will not grant a stay when it can determine that the preliminary evidence shows a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm to workers. The board will not grant a stay where based on the preliminary evidence it is more likely than not that a stay would result in death or serious physical harm to a worker. This rule making shall be initiated in 2011.

[2011 c 301 § 13; 2011 c 91 § 1; 1994 c 61 § 1; 1986 c 20 § 1; 1973 c 80 § 14.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2011 c 91 § 1 and by 2011 c 301 § 13, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).