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Zika and the Workplace -- An Update on Key Issues

Speaker(s): Thomas Benjamin Huggett
Recorded on: Nov. 10, 2016
PLI Program #: 198523

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


  • Member, Labor and Employment Section - American Bar Association
  • Member, Occupational Safety and Health Committee Member - American Bar Association
  • Member, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

Practice Areas

  • Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA & MSHA)
  • Labor Management Relations
  • Transportation
  • Construction


  • J.D., Catholic University, 1997
    cum laude
  • B.A., Emory University, 1991

Bar Admissions

New Jersey


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