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Informal conference and settlement

Before deciding whether to file a Notice of Intent to Contest, the employer may request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director to discuss the Citation and Notification of Penalty. The employer may use this opportunity to do any of the following:

  • Obtain a better explanation of the violations cited;
  • Obtain a more complete understanding of the specific standards that apply;
  • Negotiate and enter into an informal settlement agreement;
  • Discuss ways to correct violations;
  • Ask for a reduction in penalty amounts;
  • Discuss problems concerning the abatement dates;
  • Discuss problems concerning employee safety practices;
  • Resolve disputed citations and penalties, (thereby eliminating the need for the more formal procedures associated with litigation before the Review Commission); and
  • Obtain answers to any other questions the employer may have.

OSHA encourages employers to take advantage of the opportunity to have an informal conference if they foresee any difficulties in complying with any part of the citation. Employee representative(s) have the right to participate in any informal conference or negotiations between the OSHA Regional Administrator or Area Director and the employer.

Note: The informal conference must be held within the 15-working-day Notice of Intent to Contest period and will neither extend the 15-working-day contest period nor take the place of the filing of a written notice if the employer desires to contest.