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Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

United States Supreme Court
430 U.S. 442 (1977)


Facts

In 1970, Congress determined that state trial courts were not sufficiently protecting the rights of workers against unsafe conditions at places of employment. With this in mind, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act). The Act empowered the Secretary of Labor to conduct health and safety inspections of employers and issue fines up to $10,000 against employers. Employers are permitted to challenge the fine in an evidentiary hearing chaired by an administrative law judge. In the hearing, the burden is on the government to show that the fine is proper. The decision of the judge can then either be appealed to the full Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission at the request of a commissioner or to a court if the Commission does not review it.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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