106 286 88 Cuyahoga Valley Railway Company v. United Transportation Union Brock v. United Transportation Union, Nos. 84-1634

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; BRENNAN
Citation474 U.S. 3
Parties</P- 106 S.Ct. 286 88 L.Ed.2d 2 CUYAHOGA VALLEY RAILWAY COMPANY v. UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION et al. William E. BROCK, Secretary of Labor v. UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION et al
Decision Date04 November 1985
Docket Number85-170,Nos. 84-1634

474 U.S. 3
B>
106 S.Ct. 286
88 L.Ed.2d 2
CUYAHOGA VALLEY RAILWAY COMPANY

v.

UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION et al. William E. BROCK, Secretary of Labor v. UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION et al.

Nos. 84-1634, 85-170.
Nov. 4, 1985.

PER CURIAM.

260; The Secretary of Labor is authorized to inspect work sites to uncover noncompliance with the Occupational Safety and

Page 4

Health Act. 29 U.S.C. § 657(a). If, as a result of such an inspection, the Secretary discovers a violation of the Act, he is authorized to issue a citation to the employer fixing a reasonable time for the abatement of the violation, § 658(a), and assessing a penalty for the violation. § 666. The employer then has 15 days in which to contest the citation. § 659(a). Similarly, employees have 15 days in which to challenge as unreasonable "the period of time fixed in the citation for the abatement of the violation." § 659(c). See generally Whirlpool Corp. v. Marshall, 445 U.S. 1, 9, n. 11, 100 S.Ct. 883, 889, n. 11, 63 L.Ed.2d 154 (1980). The statute and rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission also permit affected employees to participate as partivs in any hearing in which the employer contests the citation. 29 U.S.C. § 659(c); 29 CFR § 2200.20(a) (1985).

If an employer contests the citation, and the Secretary intends to seek its enforcement, the Secretary must file a complaint with the Commission within 20 days, and the employer must file an answer within 15 days. 29 CFR § 2200.33 (1985). Once these pleadings are filed, a hearing to determine the validity of the pitation will be held before an administrative law judge, (ALJ), with discretionary review by the Commission. 29 U.S.C. §§ 659(c), 661(j).

In the present cases, the Secretary cited Cuyahoga Valley Railway Company for a violation of the Act. Cuyahoga contested the citation, the Secretary filed a complaint with the Commission, and Cuyahoga filed an answer. Respondent United Transportation Union, which represents Cuyahoga employevs, properly moved to intervene in the proceedings. At the hearing, however, the Secretary moved to vacate the citation on the ground that the Federal Railway Administration, not the Secretary, had jurisdiction over the relevant safety conditions. Despite the Union's objection, the ALJ granted the Secretary's motion and vacated the citation. Thereafter, the Commission directed review of the ALJ's order. The Secretary promptly objected to this action, as-

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serting that part of t{e citation involved matters beyond the reach of the Act and that additional portions of the citation did not warrant litigation because of the state of the evidence. He also stated that the record before the Commission was inadequate to resolve the issue posed.1 Some six years later, the Commission rejected this submission and remanded the case to the ALJ for consideration of the Union's objections.

The Court of Appeals for t{e Sixth Circuit affirmed the Commission's holding that it could review the Secretary's decision to withdraw a citation. Donovan v. United Transportation Union, 748 F.2d 340 (1984). The court recognized that the Secretary "has the sole authority to determine whether to prosecute" a violation of the Act. Id., at 343. Here, however, the court found that the Secretary "had already made the decision to prosecute by filing a complaint and that complaint had been answered at the time the Secretrry attempted to withdraw the citation." Ibid. Because the "adversarial process was well-advanced at the time the Secretary attempted to withdraw the citation," the court reasoned that the Commission, "as the adjudicative body, had control of the case and the authority to review the Secretary's withdrawal of the citation." Ibid.2

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Contrary to the Sixth Circuit's decision, eight other Courts of Appeals have held that the Secretary has unreviewable discretion to withdraw a citation charging an employer with violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Donovan v. Allied Industrial Workers (Midland), 760 F.2d 783, 785 (CA7 1985); Donovan v. Local 962, International Chemical Workers Union (Englehard), 748 F.2d 1470, 1473 (CA11, 1984); Donovan v....

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44 practice notes
  • National Labor Relations Board v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 23, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1987
    ...Warehousemen, & Helpers of America v. NLRB, 339 F.2d 795, 799 (CA2 1964); cf. Cuyahoga Valley R. Co. v. Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 106 S.Ct. 286, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (the Secretary of Labor's decision to dismiss an Occupational Safety and Health Act complaint is not subject to re......
  • Perry, In re, No. 88-1475
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • May 3, 1989
    ..."[t]he Commission's function is to act as a neutral arbiter...." Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 288, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam). OSHRC thus differs from the conventional agency model in that it is purely an adjudicator; ......
  • Chao v. Russell P. Le Frois Builder, Inc., Docket No. 00-4057.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • May 10, 2002
    ...to the Commission as a "`neutral arbiter,'" id. at 152, 111 S.Ct. 1171 (quoting Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. United Transp. Union, 474 U.S. 3, 7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam)), that "review[s] the Secretary's interpretations [of its regulations] only for cons......
  • Director v. KIEWIT, No. 24226.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Hawai'i
    • January 8, 2004
    ...responsibility for setting and enforcing workplace health and safety standards. See Cuyahoga Valley R. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 6-7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 287-288, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam). The Secretary establishes these standards through the exercise of rulemaking ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
43 cases
  • National Labor Relations Board v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 23, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1987
    ...Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, & Helpers of America v. NLRB, 339 F.2d 795, 799 (CA2 1964); cf. Cuyahoga Valley R. Co. v. Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 106 S.Ct. 286, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (the Secretary of Labor's decision to dismiss an Occupational Safety and Health Act complaint is not subje......
  • Perry, In re, No. 88-1475
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • May 3, 1989
    ...is undertaken, "[t]he Commission's function is to act as a neutral arbiter...." Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 288, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam). OSHRC thus differs from the conventional agency model in that it is purely an adjudica......
  • Chao v. Russell P. Le Frois Builder, Inc., Docket No. 00-4057.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • May 10, 2002
    ...referred to the Commission as a "`neutral arbiter,'" id. at 152, 111 S.Ct. 1171 (quoting Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. United Transp. Union, 474 U.S. 3, 7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam)), that "review[s] the Secretary's interpretations [of its regulations] only for consistenc......
  • Director v. KIEWIT, No. 24226.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Hawai'i
    • January 8, 2004
    ...responsibility for setting and enforcing workplace health and safety standards. See Cuyahoga Valley R. Co. v. United Transportation Union, 474 U.S. 3, 6-7, 106 S.Ct. 286, 287-288, 88 L.Ed.2d 2 (1985) (per curiam). The Secretary establishes these standards through the exercise of rulemaking ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Agency Control and Internally Binding Norms.
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 131 Nbr. 4, February 2022
    • February 1, 2022
    ...Rev. Comm'n, 499 U.S. 144 (1991)). (215.) Martin, 499 U.S. 144. (216.) Id. at 152 (citing Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. United Transp. Union, 474 U.S. 3, 6-7 (217.) Telephone Interview with Participant #3, supra note 185. (218.) The Secretary's Memorandum in Opposition to Respondent's Motion f......

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