South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Court May Not Review Administrative Determination Until Administrative Appeals Exhausted
Description Appeals court refused to hear an appeal from an employer that OSHA violated the Fourth Amendment by certain administrative procedures. Until all administrative reviews of the employer's appeals are exhausted, the courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Topic Administrative Law
Key Words Regulation; Challenge; Administrative Review; Exhaustion
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) authorizes the Secretary of Labor, through OSHA, to issue workplace health and safety standards and to gather relevant information regarding work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses. As part of its annual data collection, employers, including Sturm Ruger, were sent a survey regarding employee injuries and illnesses. Based on the information submitted, OSHA compliance officers inspected a Sturm Ruger facility and issued citations. Sturm Ruger moved to suppress the evidence on the grounds that for OSHA to collect survey data to be used as the basis of investigations was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The district court dismissed the suit. Sturm Ruger appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. The administrative review process established by the OSH Act is the exclusive means for an employer to challenge OSHA's authority to require employers to submit the information in question. The issue is within the agency's expertise. Its administrative determination of the matter is subject to judicial review, but the courts may not review such matters until administrative reviews are exhausted.

Citation Sturm, Ruger & Co. v. Chao, 300 F.3d 867 (D.C. Cir., 2002)

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