Skip to page content
Office of the Solicitor
Bookmark and Share

Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)


The Solicitor's Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSH) provides legal support to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency that ensures safe and healthy working conditions for workers. OSH provides legal services related to several worker-protection statutes:

The OSH Division is responsible for the appellate litigation in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and assists OSHA in developing standards, guidance, and interpretations. Division attorneys also work with OSHA to draft and review new regulations and supporting documentation. The OSH Division provides assistance to the SOL Regional Offices, particularly on high-profile, novel, and complex enforcement matters.

Accomplishments:

  • Assisted OSHA in promulgating a final rule to regulate exposure to respirable crystalline silica. This rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
  • Negotiated a $1.75 million settlement agreement with Ashley Furniture, under which the company must also implement a number of safety measures to protect its employees from amputation hazards and will submit status reports to OSHA annually during the two-year term of the agreement.
  • Argued and won a case against SeaWorld in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a penalty for endangering employees working with orca whales (opinion).

What We Do:

The Division's attorneys work on:

  • Appellate litigation, including:
    • briefing appeals before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and U.S. Courts of Appeal in cases involving agency enforcement actions (which are usually brought by our colleagues in the regional offices);
    • defending OSHA rulemakings against challenges in the U.S. Courts of Appeals; and
    • presenting oral arguments before the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
  • Drafting, reviewing, and advising OSHA on standards and guidance materials, as well as participating in public hearings and meetings related to rulemaking;
  • Providing legal advice to the OSHA National office and litigation support to SOL regional offices on matters such as:
    • agency policies;
    • interpretations of law;
    • enforcement initiatives and guidance; and
    • novel, significant, and complex cases, including assisting with settlement negotiations.

Staff attorneys generally engage in all the functions of the Division (rather than receiving assignments only within a particular subject area). They receive individual assignments from each of the Division's counsels, the senior attorneys, and sometimes directly from the Associate Solicitor and the Deputy Associate Solicitor. There is limited travel, usually averaging one to three overnight trips per year, for oral arguments, trainings, and trial litigation assistance.

DOL Agencies Supported:


Employment Opportunities

For employment opportunities, please visit the federal government's official jobs website or the DOL Honors Program website.


Contact OSHA:

https://www.osha.gov/workers/file_complaint.html

1-800-321-OSHA


CONTACT INFORMATION:

    • DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
      200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4004
      Washington, DC 20210
      (202) 693-5445
      (202) 693-5466 (FAX)
      • ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR Ann S. Rosenthal
        • DEPUTY ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR Edmund Baird
          • Counsels for Appellate Litigation Charles F. James
            Heather Phillips
          • Counsels for Regional Litigation and Legal Advice Orlando J. Pannocchia
            Robert W. Swain
          • Counsel for Special Litigation Vacant
          • Counsels for Standards Edmund Baird
            Nathaniel Spiller
          • Supervisory Management and Program Analyst Stella L. Littles
          • Legal Assistant Jennell Johnson

PUBLISHED LEGAL BRIEFS:

  Case Name Brief Type File Date

PDF Version - F&H Coatings, LLC v. R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

F&H Coatings, LLC v. R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

06/23/2017

PDF Version - Triumph Construction Corp. v. Secretary of Labor

Triumph Construction Corp. v. Secretary of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

06/09/2017

PDF Version - Empire Roofing Company, Southeast LLC v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

Empire Roofing Company, Southeast LLC v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

06/01/2017

PDF Version - Gallagher v. Secretary of Labor

Gallagher v. Secretary of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

02/27/2017

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Action Electric Co.

Secretary of Labor v. Action Electric Co.

reply brief

02/03/2017

PDF Version - North America's Building Trade Unions, et al. v. OSHA

North America's Building Trade Unions, et al. v. OSHA

response brief

01/19/2017

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Action Electric Co.

Secretary of Labor v. Action Electric Co.

opening brief

12/14/2016

PDF Version - Southern Pan Services Compancy v. Secretary of Labor

Southern Pan Services Company v. Secretary of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

11/18/2016

PDF Version - Peco Foods, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

Peco Foods, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

10/12/2016

PDF Version - American Recycling and Manufacturing Company, Inc., v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

American Recycling and Manufacturing Company, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

response brief for Secretary of Labor

09/20/2016

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Cranesville Aggregate Cos. d/b/a Scotia Bag Plant

Secretary of Labor v. Cranesville Aggregate Cos. d/b/a Scotia Bag Plant

brief

09/12/2016

PDF Version - Longhorn Service Co. v. Thomas E. Perez

Longhorn Service Co. v. Thomas E. Perez

petition for review of final order

01/13/2016

PDF Version - National Oilseed Processors Association v. OSHA and U.S. Department of Labor

National Oilseed Processors Association v. OSHA and U.S. Department of Labor

brief for OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor

06/05/2014

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. The Davey Tree Expert Company

Secretary of Labor v. The Davey Tree Expert Company

brief for the Secretary of Labor

04/18/2014

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. BP Products North America, Inc.

Secretary of Labor v. BP Products North America, Inc.

opening brief for the Secretary of Labor

01/17/2014

PDF Version - SeaWorld of Florida, LLC. v. Secretary of Labor

SeaWorld of Florida, LLC. v. Secretary of Labor

brief for respondent, the Secretary of Labor

09/09/2013

PDF Version - American Tort Reform Association v. OSHA and U.S. Department of Labor

American Tort Reform Association v. OSHA and U.S. Department of Labor

on petition for review of a final rule of the OSH Administration

05/13/2013

PDF Version - Steel Institute of New York v. The City of New York

Steel Institute of New York v. The City of New York

amicus, in support of defendant-appellee

08/08/2012

PDF Version - Comtran Group, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor

Comtran Group, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor

brief for the Secretary of Labor

05/09/2012

PDF Version - Dayton Tire v. Secretary of Labor

Dayton Tire v. Secretary of Labor

final brief for the Secretary of Labor

10/01/2011

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Delek Refining, Ltd.

Secretary of Labor v. Delek Refining, Ltd.

brief for the Secretary of Labor

09/28/2011

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Secretary of Labor v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

brief for the Secretary of Labor

08/29/2011

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. ConocoPhillips Bayway Refinery

Secretary of Labor v. ConocoPhillips Bayway Refinery

opening

10/04/2010

PDF Version - Steel Erectors Association of America, Inc. v. OSH Administration and the Secretary of Labor

Steel Erectors Association of America, Inc. v. OSH Administration and the Secretary of Labor

brief of respondents

06/23/2010

PDF Version - Steel Institute of New York v. The City of New York

Steel Institute of New York v. The City of New York

amicus, memorandum in support of defendant

02/25/2010

PDF Version - National Maritime Safety Association v. OSHA

National Maritime Safety Association v. OSHA

on petition for review of a final rule of the OSH Administration

02/19/2010

PDF Version - Menominee Tribal Enterprises v. United States Department of Labor

Menominee Tribal Enterprises v. U.S. Department of Labor

on petition for review of a final order of the OSH Review Commission

12/28/2009

PDF Version - Secretary of Labor v. Thomas Industrial Coatings, Inc.

Secretary of Labor v. Thomas Industrial Coatings, Inc.

opening

11/16/2009

PDF Version - Solis v. Ezequiel Martinez Roofing

Solis v. Ezequiel Martinez Roofing

petition for judgment of civil contempt

09/18/2009

PDF Version - National Association of Home Builders v. OSH Administration and U.S. Department of Labor

National Association of Home Builders v. OSH Administration and U.S. Department of Labor

on petition for review of a final rule of the OSH Administration

08/19/2009

PDF Version - Metwest, Inc. v. OSH Review Commission and the Secretary of Labor

Metwest, Inc. v. OSH Review Commission and the Secretary of Labor

on petition for review of a final order of the Administrative Review Board

07/16/2008

PDF Version - Chao v. The Barbosa Group, Inc.

Chao v. The Barbosa Group, Inc.

on petition for review of a final order of the OSH Review Commission, reply

04/07/2008

PDF Version - Public Citizen Health Research Group v. OSHA

Public Citizen Health Research Group v. OSHA

on petitions for review of a final rule of the OSH Administration

12/14/2007

PDF Version - Chao v. Manganas Painting Co., Inc.

Chao v. Manganas Painting Co., Inc.

on petition for review of a final order of the OSH Review Commission

11/16/2007

PDF Version - Chao v. Summit Contractors, Inc.

Chao v. Summit Contractors, Inc.

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

07/30/2007

PDF Version - Chao v. The Barbosa Group, Inc.

Chao v. The Barbosa Group, Inc.

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

07/16/2007

PDF Version - Startran, Inc. v. OSH Review Commission and the Secretary of Labor

Startran, Inc. v. OSH Review Commission and the Secretary of Labor

on petition for review of a final order of the OSH Review Commission

05/11/2007

PDF Version - Chao v. Cagle's, Inc.

Chao v. Cagle's, Inc.

on petition for review of a final order of the OSH Review Commission

02/23/2007

PDF Version - Chao v. Jindal/Saw Pipes

Chao v. Jindal/Saw Pipes

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

04/05/2006

PDF Version - W. G. Yates and Sons v. Secretary of Labor

W. G. Yates and Sons v. Secretary of Labor

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

08/22/2005

PDF Version - Chao v. Gunite

Chao v. Gunite

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission, corrected

Mar, 2005

PDF Version - Slingluff v. Secretary of Labor

Slingluff v. Secretary of Labor

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

Sep, 2004

PDF Version - No. 04-3245 Sasse v. Department of Labor

No. 04-3245 Sasse v. Department of Labor

on petition for review of a final order of the Administrative Review Board

06/25/2004

PDF Version - Chao v. Ho Ho Ho Express, Inc.

Chao v. Ho Ho Ho Express, Inc.

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

Mar, 2004

PDF Version - Kaspar Wire Works v. Chao

Kaspar Wire Works v. Chao

on petition for review of an order of the OSH Review Commission

07/12/2001

PDF Version - Kaspar Wire Works v. Chao

Kaspar Wire Works v. Chao

amicus, letter response

07/12/2001