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Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Board (OSHAB)

How a worker may participate in the appeal process

An employee, or the authorized representative of an employee, that was (or is) employed by an employer that has a pending appeal of a citation alleging violations of the safety and health regulations may seek participation in the proceedings before the appeals board.

The regulations of the appeals board provide as follows:

 354  

(b) An affected employee or authorized representative of an affected employee may move to participate as a party to a proceeding by filing a motion in accordance with Section 371.

 Affected parties are defined by 347   

(b) Affected Employee means an employee of a cited employer who is exposed to the alleged hazard described in the citation as a result of assigned duties.

If an employee (their union, attorney, or other representative) is a worker that is affected by the working conditions involved in any citation issued by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, a motion for party status may be filed with the appeals board. If the motion for party status is granted, the employee (often called the 3rd party) may fully participate in the appeal proceeding. This participation includes any prehearing or hearing scheduled by the appeals board.

To obtain party status, a motion must be filed with the appeals board no later than 20 days prior to the date the case is set for hearing (file at the earliest possible date). The motion must clearly state that the employee is an "affected party." Copies of the motion also must be sent to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the employer and any other parties in the pending appeal. A document entitled "Proof of Service" (declaring that all other parties have been furnished a copy of the motion) must be attached to the original motion that is filed with the appeals board.

Upon receipt of a motion seeking party status, an administrative law judge of the appeals board will wait 10 days to determine if there is any opposition by any of the parties, and then rule upon the motion. Once the motion is granted, the employee will receive an order that establishes that the affected employee is a party to the proceedings. A copy of all of the documents in the case file of the appeals board will be forwarded to the employee, or authorized representative.

Individuals wishing to file a motion for party status may contact the appeals board's office in Sacramento toll-free at (877) 252-1987 or locally at (916) 274-5751 to obtain the correct addresses for the other parties in the pending appeal.