Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Denial Of Due Process In The MSHA Conference Process

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When the Mine Safety and Health Administration ("MSHA") issued Program Information Bulletin ("PIB") No. P09-05 on March 27, 2009, the due process rights of the mine operators suffered another devastating blow. By directing District Managers not to grant conference requests made pursuant to 30 C.F.R. § 100.6 until after civil penalties had been proposed and contested, MSHA took away mine operators only avenue for informally discussing citations and orders with MSHA at the time of issuance, leaving mine operators feeling as if they are guilty until proven innocent.

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