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Last Day for Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

November 6, 2008
Mr. Edwin Foulke Jr., announced that his last day as Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be Friday, November 7, 2008. Foulke was named by President George W. Bush to head OSHA on Sept. 15, 2005, and was confirmed by the Senate on March 15, 2006. Foulke was sworn in as the head of the agency on April 3, 2006. A native of Perkasie, Pa, Foulke graduated from North Carolina State University (with honors) in 1974. He earned his law degree from Loyola University in 1978, and a Master of Law degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1993. He also served as an adjunct professor at New Orleans’ St. Mary’s Dominican College. He is admitted to practice in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the District of Columbia, and is admitted in the Fourth, Eleventh and D.C. Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

From 1990 to 1995, Foulke served on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, chairing the commission from March 1990 to February 1994. The three-member commission is an independent federal adjudicatory agency that renders decisions involving workplace safety and health citations arising from OSHA inspections.

Foulke served on the Workplace Health and Safety Committee for the Society for Human Resource Management from 2000 to 2004, including a two-year term as the committee’s chair. He was also a member of the Health and Safety Subcommittee for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Foulke has authored articles on workplace safety and health for various entities, including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, American Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.

Before coming to OSHA, Foulke was a partner with the law firm of Jackson Lewis, LLP in Greenville, S.C., and Washington, D.C., where he chaired the firm’s OSHA practice group. His practice areas included all topics of labor relations, specializing in occupational safety and health issues, workplace violence risk assessment and prevention and accident and fatality prevention.

Foulke Joins Atlanta Law Firm

Mr. Foulke has joined longtime AGC member and labor attorney, Howard Mavity today, at Fisher & Phillips' Atlanta office, where they will coordinate Fisher & Phillips Workplace Safety & Catastrophe Management Practice Group. Many AGC members know Mavity from his various catastrophic construction cases and involvement in AGC safety initiatives.  Foulke is reputedly going to focus especially heavily on assisting employers in developing more effective safety and health management programs. AGC wishes Mr. Foulke the best in future endeavors.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Thom Stohler will be Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA for the time being. Mr. Stohler was most recently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the U.S. Department of Labor since May 2008. Working with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and the senior leadership of the Department of Labor, he develops and implements the policy goals and objectives of the Administration. He also oversees the regulatory, compliance assistance, OSHA state plan oversight, emergency response, training, administrative, and IT functions at the agency.

Prior to working for OSHA, Mr. Stohler was a Senior Legislative Officer for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Labor. In this capacity, he served as the principle House and Senate liaison for OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). He has also worked in the student lending industry, and spent 10 years working for high tech and construction trade associations, including AGC of America. Mr. Stohler has also worked for several members of Congress, most recently as the Legislative Director for Rep. John Boehner.

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