95-137. Issuance of citations.

(a) If, upon inspection or investigation, the Director or his authorized representative has reasonable grounds to believe that an employer has not fulfilled his duties as prescribed in this Article, or has violated any standard, regulation, rule or order promulgated under this Article, he shall with reasonable promptness issue a citation to the employer. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provisions of the act, standards, rules and regulations, or orders alleged to have been violated. In addition, the citation shall fix a reasonable time for the abatement of the violation. The Director may prescribe procedures for the issuance of a notice in lieu of a citation with respect to de minimus violations which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. Each citation or notice in lieu of citation issued under this section, or a copy or copies thereof, shall be prominently posted, as prescribed in regulations issued by the Director, at or near such place a violation referred to in the citation occurred.

(b) Procedure for Enforcement. -

(1) If, after an inspection or investigation, the Director issues a citation under any provisions of this Article, the Director shall, within a reasonable time after the termination of such inspection or investigation, notify the employer by certified mail with return receipt, by signature confirmation as provided by the U.S. Postal [Service], by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7502(f)(2) with delivery receipt, or via hand delivery of any penalty, if any, the Director has recommended to the Commissioner to be proposed under the provisions of this Article and that the employer has 15 working days within which to notify the Director that the employer wishes to:

a. Contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty; or

b. Request an informal conference.

Following an informal conference, unless the employer and Department have entered into a settlement agreement, the Director shall send the employer an amended citation or notice of no change. The employer has 15 working days from the receipt of the amended citation or notice of no change to notify the Director that the employer wishes to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty, whether or not amended. If, within 15 working days from the receipt of the notice issued by the Director, the employer fails to notify the Director that the employer requires an informal conference to be held or intends to contest the citation or proposed assessment of penalty, and no notice is filed by any employee or representative of employees under the provisions of this Article within such time, the citation and the assessment as proposed to the Commissioner shall be deemed final and not subject to review by any court.

(2) If the Director has reason to believe that an employer has failed to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued within the period permitted for its correction (which period shall not begin to run until the entry of a final order by the Commission in case of any review proceedings under this Article initiated by the employer in good faith and not solely for a delay or avoidance of penalties), the Director shall notify the employer by certified mail with return receipt, by signature confirmation as provided by the U.S. Postal Service, by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7502(f)(2) with delivery receipt, or via hand delivery of such failure and of the penalty proposed to be assessed under this Article by reason of such failure and that the employer has 15 working days within which to notify the Director that the employer wishes to contest the Director's notification of the proposed assessment of penalty. If, within 15 working days from the receipt of notification issued by the Director, an employer fails to notify the Director that the employer intends to contest the notification or proposed recommendation of penalty, the notification and the proposed assessment made by the Director shall be final and not subject to review by any court.

(3) No citation may be issued under this section after the expiration of six months following the occurrence of any violation.

(4) If an employer notifies the Director that the employer intends to contest a citation issued under the provisions of this Article or notification issued under the provisions of this Article, or if, within 15 working days of the receipt of a citation under this Article, any employee or representative thereof 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 shall immediately advise the Commission of such notification, and the Commission shall afford an opportunity for a hearing. The Commission shall thereafter issue an order, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the Director's citation or the proposed penalty fixed by the Commissioner, or directing other appropriate relief, and such order shall become final 30 days after its issuance. Upon showing by an employer of a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation, and that an abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond the employer's reasonable control, the Director, after an opportunity for a hearing as provided in this Article, shall issue an order affirming or modifying the abatement requirements in such citation. The rules of procedure prescribed by the chairman of the Commission shall provide affected employees or representatives of affected employees an opportunity to participate as parties to hearings under this section.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 300, s. 2.

(6) Each local unit of government shall report each violation for which it is issued a citation to its local governing board at its next public meeting and to its workers compensation insurance carrier or to the risk pool of which it is a member pursuant to Article 23 of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes. (1973, c. 295, s. 12; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1111, s. 11; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1020, ss. 2, 3; 1993, c. 300, s. 2; 2003-308, s. 6; 2005-133, ss. 6, 7; 2007-231, s. 10.)