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Thomas R. Chibnall

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Tom represents management in a variety of labor and employment issues and is an active member of Ogletree’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. Tom represents employers in the private and public sectors in a wide variety of labor and employment issues, including counseling, employment litigation under both Federal and State laws such as Title VII, the Missouri Human Rights Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, the ADAA, FMLA, ADEA, FLSA, and many others. Tom advises and counsels clients regarding employment agreements, restrictive covenants, personnel practices, and employment policies. He is a dedicated management attorney who works collaboratively and creatively with clients to deliver effective and practical solutions in all areas of employment matters.

Workplace Safety

As member of Ogletree’s Workplace Safety Practice, Tom handles all manner of issues and claims concerning workplace safety laws, regulations, and compliance. He regularly represents clients before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Tom has significant experience in handling a wide variety of OSHA inspections, including incidents resulting in fatalities and serious injury. Tom manages all phases of OSHA inspections and litigation and has successfully litigate many citations to resolution.

Regulatory Compliance, Counseling and Litigation

Tom has successfully assisted clients in navigating and defending against OSHA citations and complaints in the following ways:

  • managing on-site and virtual inspections
  • counseling clients through inspection interviews
  • preparing written correspondence and vetting document productions to OSHA
  • negotiating resolutions at Informal Conferences
  • managing catastrophic workplace accidents including fatalities and/or multiple hospitalizations, including onsite guidance and providing timely advice to clients
  • all phases of citation contest process, including litigation before administrative law judges as well as related appeals

Whistleblower Investigations

As part of his workplace safety practice, Tom routinely counsels clients on regulatory compliance under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regularly assists clients in defending against whistleblower and discrimination claims filed under various statutes, including Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, Section 105(c) of Mine Safety and Health Act, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, and Energy Reorganization Act, and many others. Tom has tried cases before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Safety Training

Tom also provides advice and workplace safety training to clients regarding regulatory compliance and safety practices. He works collaboratively with clients to educate and train safety professionals and management on what to do if OSHA arrives at a client’s facility and other safety-related topics. He also reviews and assists in developing general safety and health programs.

Employment Litigation and Counseling

Tom is an experienced employment litigator, handling a broad-range of employment-related litigation and counseling. He routinely advises clients and litigates claims brought under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and various state-law claims, including those brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). Tom also litigates non-compete agreements, wrongful terminations, and various other employment-related matters.

As an employment attorney, Tom has successfully litigated both federal and state claims, obtaining dismissals, summary judgments, and trial verdicts. In addition to his litigation experience, Tom regularly counsels clients regarding employment decisions, including termination decisions, discipline decisions, and various other employment-related matters. He advises clients on employee handbooks and policies, regulatory compliance, hiring and discharge matters, reasonable accommodations, and other matters.

Tom also assists clients with workplace investigations and works collaboratively with clients to investigate and resolve complaints and allegations raised by employees prior to any formal administrative or judicial action.


Tom has extensive experience representing employers in a variety of industries, including:

  • Energy/Utilities
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • General Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education
  • Mining
  • Hospitality
  • Staffing
  • Transportation/Logistics
  • Agriculture

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Tom was an associate at a national labor and employment law firm and a full-service international firm. During law school, Tom clerked for Fortune 500 manufacturing company in St. Louis, participating in the Mergers and Acquisitions department, as well as the company’s real estate, environmental and immigration departments. He also served a s judicial extern to the Hon. Gary M. Gaertner, Jr. of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and as an intern in the Office of the General Counsel of Saint Louis University.

More About Thomas R. Chibnall

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