Melissa A. Bailey

Shareholder || Washington D.C.

Melissa Bailey focuses her practice on occupational safety and health issues. She litigates OSHA cases before federal and state agencies and courts, and also represents employers during government inspections and investigations. Her practice also includes providing compliance advice and conducting privileged audits on complex workplace safety issues. Melissa represents employers in a wide range of industries, including electric utilities, chemical manufacturing/refining, retail, food processing, construction, and drug manufacturing. Melissa also regularly represents clients before OSHA in connection with rulemaking and policy formation. She has testified before Congress regarding OSHA issues, and has advocated for management interests with regard to OSHA enforcement and compliance policies.

Melissa has practiced occupational safety and health law for over 20 years and, as a result, she understands the legal issues as well as the practical issues confronting employers. She routinely assesses both the current and future liability that may result from significant OSHA citations, and identifies the most effective approach – whether that is a strategic settlement or litigation – in each case.

Melissa also represents clients in whistleblower matters under a broad range of statutes, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Clean Air Act. Her experience ranges from conducting investigations and developing position statements to litigating whistleblower cases before Administrative Law Judges and in court.

Melissa is an active speaker on OSHA and whistleblower issues. She speaks to trade association members and clients regarding a variety of OSHA issues, including strategies to use during an OSHA inspection to minimize liability, conducting privileged audits and accident investigations, and the impact of OSHA’s regulatory and enforcement agenda on particular industries. Melissa is also the former Employer Co-Chairperson of the American Bar Association Occupational Safety and Health Committee.

Melissa was ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA 2022 and 2023 in the category of occupational safety and health lawyers. Based on feedback from clients and colleagues at other law firms, Chambers’ comments included: “She is a superb lawyer” who is “knowledgeable, works well with clients and does high-level OSHA work.”

Melissa was named a BTI Client All-Star in 2023. Client comments to BTI about Melissa included: “Melissa’s responsiveness is unmatched, and knows my business so well we consider a part of our internal team.”

Learn more about Melissa A. Bailey

Melissa litigates significant OSHA enforcement matters and also represents many employers during OSHA inspections that followed fatalities or catastrophes. Her experience includes the following:

Melissa has conducted accident investigations and root cause analyses under attorney-client privilege. She has also assisted clients in conducting complex industrial hygiene investigations, including two corporate-wide assessments of the risks of exposures to lead, cadmium and other health hazards.


Admission to Practice

Professional Activities

  • National Federation of Independent Business Legal Center (Board Member, Legal Advisory Board)
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • American Bar Association (Former Employer Co-Chair, Occupational Safety and Health Committee)
  • Kansas Bar Association


Insights by Melissa A. Bailey