Photo of Melanie L. Paul

Melanie L. Paul is Of Counsel in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.  She co-leads the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. Her practice focuses on occupational safety and health and wage and hour issues.  Ms. Paul’s clients benefit from her unique inside experience as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for more than a decade.

During Ms. Paul’s time with the DOL, she regularly appeared at hearings and trials before federal administrative tribunals and federal district courts throughout the southeastern U.S. in matters of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) law, Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) law, whistleblower and federal wage and hour matters.  She also defended agency management against allegations of employment discrimination and prohibited personnel practices before the EEOC and the MSPB.  While at the DOL, Ms. Paul was the Criminal OSHA Coordinator for the southeastern region and worked with U.S. Department of Justice to have Occupational Safety and Health cases criminally prosecuted.

Prior to working at the DOL, Ms. Paul gained invaluable trial experience as an Assistant District Attorney in Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia where she tried felony criminal jury cases.  She also was a law clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker for the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia, where she worked on predominantly employment discrimination cases.

During law school, Ms. Paul served as an Executive Articles Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly (since renamed the Washington University Law Review) and also had her Note published in the law review.

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a long- awaited decision in Sec’y of Labor v. Wynnewood Refining Co., LLC. That case originated in 2012 when OSHA inspected the company following a boiler explosion that killed two employees. OSHA issued several repeat citation items under the Process

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), a 3-Commisioner panel appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate which hears appeals of contested OSHA cases, issued two decisions vacating OSHA’s citations and one decision reclassifying a willful violation to a serious violation and reducing the penalty from $49,000 to just $3500.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the battle over when or if employers should be liable for personal injuries arising from coronavirus exposure allegedly caused during employment lurks on the horizon.

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently rejected a union’s request for the Court to compel the U.S. Department of Labor’s

In a new effort to use existing regulations to respond to the ongoing public health emergency, OSHA cited an Ohio healthcare company for alleged serious violations of OSHA’s respirator regulations. OSHA launched an investigation at three of the employer’s healthcare facilities after seven employees were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Even though the employer provided the necessary