Manganas Case Still Alive as Rogers Nominated for OSHRC Chair

Some OSHA cases never die -- or so it seems. One of the ancient cases, Secretary of Labor v. Manganas Painting Co., Inc., OSHRC Docket Nos. 95-0103 and 95-0104, is back again, thanks to an April 14 order by the two current Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission members remanding it to the chief OSHRC administrative law judge. On April 14, President Obama also nominated the acting OSHRC chair, Thomasina Rogers, for chairman of the commission; she has served since being appointed by President Clinton in 1998 and was chairman from 1999 to 2002.

She'll remember the Manganas case well because she wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part from the commission's April 25, 2007, decision in the case. The case concerned Manganas Painting Co. Inc.'s work beginning in 1993 to remove lead-based paint from the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge -- actually two parallel spans -- near Cincinnati, Ohio, under contract to the Ohio Department of Transportation. OSHA conducted separate inspections of the company's work on each of the two spans, and for years now, OSHRC and federal courts have weighed Manganas' challenge claiming the citations stemming from the second bridge were not legal. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 29, 2008, that the secretary of Labor was allowed to issue the second set of citations.

OSHA originally proposed $2,452,500 in penalties against the company, largely for alleged lead exposure and fall hazard violations. The administrative law judge who ruled on the company's claims knocked down the penalties to $239,650. And the only items involved in this latest remand are three citations concerning the company's alleged failure in 1994 to provide guardrails on painters' pick scaffolds.

Also on April 14, Obama nominated Lorelei Boylan, director of Strategic Enforcement at the New York State Department of Labor's Labor Standards Division, to be administrator of the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. Before heading the Apparel Industry/Fair Wages Task Force, a statewide unit that investigates low-wage industries for potential Fair Labor Standards Act violations, she "spearheaded the Bureau of Immigrant Workers’ Rights, a newly formed division of the Department of Labor, where she formulated innovative policies to respond to the needs of individuals with Limited English proficiency," according to the White House's announcement, which said she received the 2008 Frances Perkins Leadership Award for exceptional leadership in developing the mission of the department.

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