Author Archives: mavity2012

About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC

Howard’s Wrap Up – March 3, 2017 – Part 1.

I’ve missed a few weeks due to travel, work, and a need to focus on various legal updates and the horrific Ft. Lauderdale Shooting. I’ll prepare several posts over the next few days to catch up. The Wrap Ups posted … Continue reading

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Howard’s Weekly Round Up – February 10

Legal Observations Based on This Week’s News. If you are involved in safety or risk management, especially in construction, you recognize that struck-by accidents are almost always among the top three causes of employee deaths. What you may not appreciate … Continue reading

Posted in attitude/culture, beer, bourbon, scotch and wine, Cal-OSHA, general duty 5(a) citations, harassment, hospitality, movies, state osha plans, Uncategorized, union organizing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howard’s Weekly Wrap Up – February 4, 2018

Mercifully, last week was not filled with big legal developments, so we’ll visit a few practical observations on safety compliance and managing OSHA Inspections. Because safety professionals in particular, and managers in general, need to know more than their narrow discipline, … Continue reading

Posted in books and articles, government inspections, management and leadership, OSHA, podcasts/thought leaders, Uncategorized, wellness, workplace violence | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howard’s Weekly Roundup – January 28

Thanks for the input on topics you’d like to see and on your own observations to reference in the weekly Update. We’ll also cover many of these subjects in the Podcast and two related domains will soon be up and … Continue reading

Posted in aging workforce, attitude/culture, books and articles, construction, emergency response, harassment, internal investigations, manufacturing, repeat items, restaurants, safety programs, safety technology and apps, social media, supervisor development, Uncategorized, union organizing, wellness, workplace violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Snarky Guide to the Eclipse, Worker Safety and a Homage to The Day of the Triffids

  Tomorrow is the much-awaited Eclipse and employers are beginning to worry that they may not have taken all appropriate steps to protect their employees. Shockingly, OSHA does not maintain a Workplace Eclipse Safety Standard. Accordingly, employers should analyze the … Continue reading

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President Trump, Tweeting, Safety, Harassment, Judgement and Will.

Trump, Tweeting, Safety, Harassment, Judgement and Will. The President’s Tweeting dominated our discussions throughout June, with many people asking why does he Tweet? Was it a crafted strategy? A reasonable response to a biased media? A lack of Judgment? Emotional … Continue reading

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Ft. Lauderdale: Are Employers Acting on What They Learn from Mass Shootings?

After every public shooting, we discuss how to prevent and better respond to the next active shooter, but each subsequent shooting event suggests we are not acting upon knowledge gained. Wrestling with Mental Health and Gun Possession On a policy … Continue reading

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