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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111F HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES DISCLOSURE BY EMPLOYERS
  • Section 3 Violations; investigations; notice; findings; elimination of violations; orders; review; penalties

Section 3. (a) If any of the commissioners with responsibilities under this chapter have cause to believe that an employer or manufacturer has wrongfully failed to comply with any provision of this chapter for which that commissioner has been delegated responsibility, that commissioner may, within one hundred and twenty days of the alleged violation or within one hundred and twenty days from the date on which the commissioner obtained knowledge of the violation, undertake an investigation.

The commissioner shall immediately notify the employer or manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, that an investigation will be undertaken and shall also include in the notice a statement detailing the nature of the alleged violation and when it was alleged to have occurred. The employer or manufacturer may respond to the notice of the commissioner, but must do so within twenty days. The commissioner shall consider all matters in mitigation or extenuation of the alleged violation during the course of the investigation. If such commissioner shall determine after such investigation that good cause does not exist to believe that a wrongful violation of the provisions of this chapter has occurred, he or she shall within ten days notify the employer or manufacturer of such finding.

If such commissioner shall determine after such investigation that good cause does exist to believe that a wrongful violation of the provisions of this chapter has occurred, he shall immediately notify the employer or manufacturer of such finding, and shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the alleged violation by conference, conciliation, and persuasion. In case of failure so to eliminate the alleged wrongful violation by conference, conciliation, and persuasion, the commissioner may order such remedial action as may be appropriate including the issuance of a cease or desist order to any recurrence. The commissioner may also request the attorney general to enforce any order issued or any fine or penalty authorized by this section in the appropriate court of the commonwealth. In such enforcement action the court shall have jurisdiction to restrain violations and to levy penalties as provided herein.

Any employer or manufacturer aggrieved by an order of any commissioner pursuant to this section may obtain judicial review thereof in the Superior court for the county in which the alleged violation of this chapter which is the subject of the commissioner’s order occurred. The order of the commissioner shall be reviewed in accordance with the standards for review provided in section fourteen of chapter thirty A.

Any employer or manufacturer who wrongfully fails to comply with or otherwise violates the provisions of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars for each day that each such violation continues.

(b) If any of the commissioners with responsibilities under this chapter have cause to believe that an employer or manufacturer has willfully and intentionally violated any provisions for which that commissioner has been delegated responsibility, that commissioner may report such alleged violation to the attorney general and may request that the attorney general bring an action in the appropriate court of the commonwealth to restrain such violations and to seek such penalties as are provided herein.

Any person who willfully and intentionally violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished, for a first offense, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each day that such violation continues, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days or both; for a subsequent offense, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars for each day that such violation continues, or by imprisonment for no more than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) This chapter shall not be construed to create any independent private right of action, and the responsibility for enforcement of this chapter shall lie exclusively with the attorney general.

(d) This chapter shall not be construed to enlarge or diminish any rights or privileges created by collective bargaining agreements or any other provisions of law.