A flurry of high-level turnovers is under way at the Labor Department. Ford B. Ford, now head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, is expected to be nominated to be undersecretary, the post recently vacated by Malcolm Lovell. J.J. O'Donnell, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association, has been selected to replace Donald E. Shasteen as deputy undersecretary for legislation and intergovernmental relations, officials said. Officials had been searching for a suitable post for O'Donnell, a labor leader who linked his fate to the Reagan administration and recently lost his bid for reelection to the top job in his union. Shasteen has moved to the veterans' affairs office at Labor.

John Cogan, assistant secretary for policy, evaluation and research, is taking a job at the Office of Management and Budget; Donald L. Dotson, head of the Labor-Management Services Administration, was recently confirmed by the Senate to a seat on the National Labor Relations Board, and top manager Alfred M. Zuck was recently drafted to fill a top post at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, James P. Marion Jr., the department's former deputy associate solicitor for employment and training, has "resurfaced." Marion set off a round of speculation last week after he handed in a resignation letter denouncing "gross mismanagement at the top" and then seemed to disappear. Marion said he was following a normal routine, but since he has no answering service he missed some telephone calls, including those from some curious former co-workers and reporters.