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If you wish to contest any portion of a citation, you must submit, a notice of contest in writing, by mail or fax, within 15 working days excluding weekends and state holidays after receipt of the NVOSHA-2. This applies even if you have stated your disagreement with a citation, penalty or abatement date during a telephone conversation or an informal conference.
OSHA must receive your notice of contest by 5 PM Pacific standard time on the 15th working day. The notice must clearly state what is being contested; the citation, the penalty, or a combination of these factors. In addition, the notice MUST state whether all the violations on the citation or just specific violations are being contested., FOR EXAMPLE, “I wish to contest the citation and penalty proposed for item 3 and 4 of the citation issued on November 29, 2020
Your contest must be made in good faith. A contest solely filed to avoid your responsibilities for abatement or payment of penalties will not be considered a good faith contest. A proper contest of any items suspends your obligation to abate and pay until the item contested has been JUDICIALLY resolved. If you contest only the penalty, you must still correct all violations by the date indicated on the citation. If only some items of the citation are contested, the other items must be corrected by the abatement date and the corresponding penalties paid within the 15 working days of notification.
After you file a notice of contest, your case is officially in litigation. If you wish to settle the case, you may contact an OSHA District Manager who will give you the name of the OSHA attorney handling your case. All settlements of contested cases are negotiated between you and the OSHA attorney according to the rules of practice of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Review Board.
THE CONTEST PROCESS — if the notice of contest has been filed within the required 15 working days, the OSHA attorney will forward your case to the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Review Board, and the Board will schedule a hearing. Both employers and employees have a right to participate in this hearing which contains all the elements of a trial including examination and cross-examination of witnesses. You may choose to represent yourself or be represented by an attorney. The Board may affirm, modify, or eliminate any contest item of the Citation or penalty.
As with any other legal procedure, there is an appeals process. Once the board has ruled, any part of the case may request a further review by the District Court for the area in which the case arose.