Region VI of the Solicitor's Office is responsible for most civil trial litigation and legal support for the U.S. Department of Labor for matters arising in the following states:
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Region VI consists of two offices, one in Dallas and one in Denver. The Dallas office has 26 attorneys, 4 paralegals, and 3 support staff. The Denver office consists of 13 attorneys, 2 paralegals, and 2 support staff. In addition to the two regular offices, Denver has a separate group of 10 attorneys and 1 support staff who litigate only MSHA cases as part of the MSHA Litigation Backlog Project.
- Denver, Colorado
WHAT WE DO:
Region VI of the Solicitor's Office:
- recommends and prosecutes litigation at the administrative and U.S. District Court trial levels;
- prepares legal interpretations and opinions;
- provides advice and assistance to Department of Labor worker protection agencies; and
- assists the United States Attorney in the prosecution of criminal cases
While the attorneys employed by the Region VI may be called upon to handle cases arising out of any of the Department of Labor's program areas, the majority of work performed in this region arises out of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. We frequently handle cases involving safety and health violations in the oil and gas, chemical processing, grain handling, mining, and construction industries. Many of our cases also involve wage and misclassification issues arising in the construction, restaurants, and other service-oriented businesses, as well as discrimination cases involving Federal contractors.
- Obtained the largest OSHA penalty ever paid, $50.61 million, from BP Products North America, Inc. for failing to correct safety issues identified by OSHA after an explosion at BP's Texas City Refinery in 2005 which killed 15 workers and injured 170 more. As part of the settlement BP agreed to implement a comprehensive program to bring workplace safety and health protections up to date, setting aside an additional $500 million for the program with a promise to provide additional funding if needed. Read More.
- Negotiated a settlement requiring payment of $1,639,351 in penalties by the operators of the Crandall Canyon Mine and other Murray Energy Corp. subsidiaries to resolve litigation and MSHA citations issued after a collapse at the mine in 2007 killed eight miners and an MSHA inspector. Read More.
- Entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with Dollar Tree after OSHA found that many of its stores routinely stacked boxes and other items in a way that blocked employees' access to emergency exits and electrical equipment. The company agreed to implement a number of safeguards to protect its workers at 2,400 stores around the country. Read More.
- Obtained an order from a federal judge ordering a Tulsa restaurant, El Tequila, and its owner to pay $2.1 million in back wages and damages to more than 300 vulnerable employees who they underpaid and forced to lie to federal investigators. Read More.
- Recovered $700,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to construction workers in Utah and Arizona who were required by their employers to become "member/owners" of limited liability companies, which stripped the employees of federal and state protections that come with employee status, such as earning minimum wage and overtime, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance. We put an end to the employers' efforts to evade their responsibilities and required them to treat their current and future workers as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read More.
- Protected employees from coercion and retaliation by obtaining a preliminary injunction against Utah-based Foreclosure Connection, Inc. and its owner prohibiting them from interfering with an investigation being conducted by the Wage and Hour Division and from retaliating against their workers for participating in the investigation. The judge also ordered the company to inform the employees of their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including their right to file a complaint with the Department of Labor and to cooperate in a Wage and Hour investigation.
MSHA LITIGATION BACKLOG PROJECT
In 2010, the Solicitor's Office created a separate litigation unit to handle a backlog of cases pending before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. One of those units is housed in Denver. As of March 31, 2016, the Denver MLBP had closed 6,622 MSHA cases and recovered a total of more than $60 million in penalties.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AGENCIES SUPPORTED:
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
LAW STUDENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM:
The Dallas office currently offers unpaid summer internships to exceptional law students. The summer program has two six-week sessions and the Dallas office coordinates with the law school to ensure that the intern receives course credit for their summer work. Also, in cooperation with the generosity of Dallas Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, and in cooperation with the SMU Dedman School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law, the Dallas office hosts one summer position with a stipend paid by the Dallas Bar to a student who demonstrates interest in labor and employment law. Dallas also partners with the Texas Tech University School of Law Regional Externship Program by hosting a third-year law student during the fall and spring semesters. Through this partnership, law students gain real-life practice experience in public service law and unique exposure to the Department of Labor. For questions, you can send an email with the subject line "Internship" to Docket.Dallas@dol.gov.
The Denver office currently hosts summer, fall, and spring law student interns from an array of national and regional law schools. Denver also participates in the Public Service Externship Program in conjunction with the University of Denver School of Law and the University of Colorado School of Law. This program, coordinated by a U.S. Magistrate Judge, provides law students from diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to explore public service legal careers. For questions, you can send an email with the subject line "Internship" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|525 South Griffin Street, Suite 501
Dallas, TX 75202-5020
(972) 850-3101 (FAX)
|REGIONAL SOLICITOR||John Rainwater|
|DEPUTY REGIONAL SOLICITOR||Connie M. Ackermann|
|Counsel for ERISA||Sheryl L. Vieyra|
|Counsel for MSHA||Mia Franklin Terrell|
|Counsel for OSHA||Lindsay A. Wofford|
|Counsel for Wage and Hour||Karla Jackson Edwards|
|Counsel for Civil Rights||Mary K. Cobb|
|Management Analyst||Veronica Dodds|
|Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building
1244 Speer Blvd, Suite 515
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 844-1753 (FAX)
|ASSOCIATE REGIONAL SOLICITOR||Lydia Tzagoloff|
|Counsel for Safety and Health||Karen E. Bobela|
|Wage and Hour Counsel||Tyler McLeod|
|Management Analyst||Paula Klein|