Overview

Ben Huggett focuses his practice exclusively on representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law and has extensive expertise with litigation arising under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Mine Safety and Health Act. He has defended clients against OSHA inspections and citations before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) and OSHA state plans in:

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

He also actively counsels employers on the development and implementation of safety and health policies and provides in-depth assistance evaluating OSHA compliance.

Ben regularly appears in state and federal courts and administrative proceedings before the OSHRC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state and local fair employment practice agencies, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, and DOL Administrative Law Judges. He also handles matters involving:

  • The Civil Rights Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
  • Whistleblower discrimination complaints under Sarbanes-Oxley
  • The Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century
  • Whistleblower claims related to OSHA issues
  • Environmental and transportation laws investigated by OSHA

His litigation successes include a case that involved a significant new theory promulgated by OSHA that would have required the client to implement new safety measures for cement truck repair that have not been imposed on any other company in the industry. In addition, the client was joined to a wrongful death/product liability action. The case resulted in the dismissal of a General Duty clause citation related to a fatal water tank explosion and the company's repair practices. The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed dismissal of the citation and rejected OSHA's appeal. Ben also has obtained numerous dismissals and settlements at trial.

Additionally, Ben routinely provides counseling on matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act. He has assisted management with:

  • Union representation campaigns
  • Collective bargaining strategies
  • Negotiations
  • Conducting arbitration hearings

He serves as lead negotiator in labor negotiations with unions for first contract, as well as successor collective bargaining agreements, and has negotiated decision and effects-bargaining issues for plant operations and closings. He also develops strike management plans, including worker replacement, production/service continuation, security implementation and injunctive relief. Most recently, he successfully negotiated a six-week strike by the United Steelworkers Union and handled the negotiation of the return-to-work issues.

Furthermore, Ben has obtained favorable National Labor Review Board and arbitration rulings involving:

  • Plant closings
  • Plant relocations
  • Subcontracting
  • Failure to bargain
  • Discrimination charges
  • Reductions-in-force
  • Bargaining-unit work preservation
  • Cross utilization
  • Discharge and discipline

He works with a wide variety of clients, including:

  • Construction contractors and managers
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Retailers

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Member

Occupational Safety and Health Committee

American Bar Association

Member

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bar Association

Member

New Jersey State Bar Association

News, Analysis & Press

Auditing Workplace Safety

Human Resource Executive Online

August 24, 2016

New OSHA anti-retaliation rules deferred to November

Employee Benefit News

August 8, 2016

Employers Now Face Higher OSHA Penalties

Rochester Business Journal

August 5, 2016

OSHA's Steep Penalty Increases Take Effect

SHRM Online

August 1, 2016

Pokémon Go Back to Work!

Insight

July 28, 2016

Higher OSHA Fines Raise Employer Concerns, Questions

Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter

July 19, 2016

'Reasonable' Rule

Human Resource Executive Online

June 7, 2016

Do Firms Neglect Trench Dangers?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 8, 2016

More OSHA Changes Ahead

Human Resource Executive

April 6, 2016

Zika Virus Dos and Don’ts

Human Resource Executive

March 16, 2016

Revisiting Workplace Retaliation

Human Resource Executive

March 14, 2016

In Philadelphia, Sweeping Change on Background Checks

Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report

December 28, 2015

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

SHRM

November 19, 2015

Ebola Response: Suspend Unnecessary Travel

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

October 24, 2014

Labor & Employment Digest: November 2014

InsideCounsel

October 23, 2014

US workplaces need an Ebola strategy

BenefitsPro.com

October 9, 2014

Take a pregnant pause to ponder

Philadelphia Business Journal

April 18, 2014

OSHA Proposal Comes Under Fire

Human Resource Executive Online

November 25, 2013

The "Bring Your Own Device" to Work Movement

Littler Report

May 10, 2012

OSHA Boomerang?

Human Resource Executive Online

May 4, 2012

Books & Book Chapters

  • Littler on Workplace Safety, The Littler National Employer Library
  • OSHA Inspections: Employer's Rights and Responsibilities, Chapter 5, 2010/2012 OSHA Handbook, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, 2010
  • Change at OSHA in 2009: The Obama Administration, Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc., 2009
  • Tips for Surviving an OSHA Inspection, Catalyst Magazine, Author, 2008
  • Safety and Health, Chapter 6, Thompson's HR Employment Forms, Thompson Publishing Group, Winter 2007 Edition, 2007
  • OSHA Inspections: Employer's Rights and Responsibilities, Chapter 5, 2007/2008 OSHA Handbook, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, 2007
  • OSHA Inspections: Employer's Rights and Responsibilities, Chapter 5, 2004/2005 OSHA Handbook, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, 2004
  • The Warrant Requirement in OSHA Inspections, Chapter 8, Occupational Safety and Health Law, 2d ed. BNA, 2002
  • Successor Clauses, 46 CATH. U. L. REV. 835, 1997

Speaking Engagements

Zika and the Workplace -- An Update on Key Issues

PLI

November 10, 2016

OSHA Hot Topics

Las Vegas, NV

July 19, 2012

OSHA Update: The 2012 Compliance and Enforcement Agenda

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

Emerging, Evolving (and Never-Ending) Wage and Hour Issues

Shipping Industry Conference - Charon Planning

April 13, 2011

OSHA in 2011

Executive Construction Forum - KMRD Partners

February 17, 2011

OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping

Various Client Presentations

2005-2007, 2009, 2011

The New OSHA: A Dramatic Shift in the Landscape

Webcast

January 2010

H1N1 (Swine) Influenza Preparations for Employers

ASSE/AIHA Philadelphia Chapter, ACC DELVACCA Chapter, Webcasts

May-August 2009

OSHA's Petroleum Refinery National Emphasis Program

Organizational Resource Counselors Worldwide, Washington D.C

May 2009

The Political Climate at OSHA: Safety and Health Regulation Under The Obama Administration

April 2009

OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy After The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals' Summit Contractors Decision

Delaware Contractors Association – AGC

April 2009

OSHA's Petroleum Refinery National Emphasis Program

Various Client Presentations

2007-2008

OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy After The Review Commission's Summit Contractors Decision

The Graham Company Safety Seminar

May 2007

OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard

Various Client Presentations

2004 and 2007

OSHA Mock Trial

Organizational Resource Counselors, Washington, D.C.

May 2006

Accident Investigation Protocols and Procedures

Private Client Presentation

April 2006

Preparing for and Conducting an OSHA Informal Conference

Private Client Presentation

April 2006

OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy

Delaware Contractors Association; Building Contractors of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.; Various Client Presentations

2005-2006

OSHA Trends and Inspections

Delaware Contractors Association; The Graham Company Safety Seminar; Building Contractors of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.; Various Client Presentations

2005-2006

Recent Trends in Enforcement: Enforcement and Cooperative Programs

Mid-Winter Committee Meetings, Occupational Safety and Health Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section - American Bar Association

2005-2006

Positive Employee Relations and Union Avoidance

Presentations for Clients and Newspapers

June-August 2005

Rulemaking and Enforcement: OSHA's Struggle with PELs, TLVs and OELs

58th Annual Northeast Industrial Hygiene Conference, New Jersey Section - American Industrial Hygiene Association

December 2004

New Innovations In Cooperative Programs: VPP, SHARP, Strategic Partnerships and Alliances

Occupational Safety and Health Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section - American Bar Association

March 2004

OSHA Inspections and the Warrant Requirement: OSHA's Enhanced Enforcement Program

Journal of Labor and Employment Law's Annual Symposium - University of Pennsylvania

February 2004

21st Century Challenges in Workplace Safety and Health: OSHA Enforcement Trends

Practicing Law Institute, 32nd Annual Institute on Employment Law

October 2003

Disciplinary Procedures for Health and Safety Infractions

Client Presentation

2002

Outline of Rights and Obligations During Collective Bargaining

Client Presentation

2000

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 1997 cum laude
  • B.A., Emory University, 1991

Bar Admission

Pennsylvania
New Jersey

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey