A federal court has found Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. in contempt for failing to pay $162,359 in penalties after an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found numerous safety hazards.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision comes after two 2016 OSHA inspections at the Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, poultry processing facility led to citations for violations related to federal lockout/tagout, hearing conservation and personal protective equipment standards.
The company contested the citations with OSHA’s review commission. An administrative law judge affirmed the initial citations and issued a final order on Oct. 22, 2019.
Birdsboro Kosher Farms petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for further review. In December 2020, the Court of Appeals denied Birdsboro’s petition for review and granted OSHA’s application for enforcement. The court ordered Birdsboro Kosher Farms to abate any unabated violations from the citations, submit abatement documentation to OSHA, and pay the remaining penalties.
Birdsboro ignored the court’s order, failing to pay the penalties or provide abatement certification. OSHA said a subsequent inspection revealed violations of some of the same standards underlying the court’s 2020 order and enforcement decree.
In response, the Secretary of Labor filed a petition on March 18, 2022, for judgment of civil contempt. The court has now granted the petition and ordered Birdsboro to pay the outstanding penalties of $162,369 plus interest and fees or agree to a payment plan, and certify abatement of the violations, all within 20 days. Failure to comply will subject Birdsboro to sanctions the court deems necessary to compel compliance with its judgment.
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