John C. Artz - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

John C. Artz

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2012
Phone: 412-394-3342

For almost 35 years, John Artz has been helping employers with personnel and policy issues and government regulation.  He concentrates his practice in employment and labor law, with a special emphasis on workplace safety and health (OSHA, safety, workplace violence), along with both counseling and litigation regarding gender, disability and racial discrimination (and workplace harassment), terminations, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, and workers' and unemployment compensation.  He regularly advises employers with respect to applications and hiring, human relations policies, employee handbooks, disciplinary investigations, settlement agreements and releases, and leads training programs on a wide variety of employment-related matters.He often draws on his background as a military pilot from 1968 to 1973, when he served on active duty as an Air Force officer, primarily as an aircraft commander, instructor and flight examiner in the Military Airlift Command, flying C-141 heavy jets. The experience of commanding a multimillion dollar aircraft and a crew of nine in missions all over the world (including combat zones) is useful even today in developing an organized approach to and resolving unexpected problems and dealing with people from all walks of life under stressful conditions.John lives in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, with his wife Nancy.  They have three adult children and one grandson.  When time permits, John enjoys flying a 1941 Piper Cub, sometimes even upside down.

Allegheny CollegeBA 1968University of South CarolinaJ.D. 1976
Order of the Wig and RobeJunior Achievement of Southwest Pennsylvania Society for Human Resource ManagementPittsburgh Human Resources AssociationAmerican Bar Association Pennsylvania Bar Association Allegheny County Bar Association

Case History

Workplace safety and health: representation and counseling of employers including:
  • Compliance with General Duty Clause and specific OSHA standards, including preparation and review of employer’s hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens, lockout/tagout, PPE and confined space standard compliance plans
  • Representation in search warrant cases, including refusal to honor search warrants believed to be improper or illegal, and litigation ensuing there from
  • Representation in anticipated or ongoing inspections, including fatality investigations (more than 35)
  • Representation in Informal Settlement Conferences with Area Director, after issuance of citations
  • Negotiation of Stipulated Settlements (with non-admission clauses) with Regional Administrators, Area Directors and with trial counsel for the Secretary of Labor
  • Negotiation of pre-citation settlement agreements (with unclassified citations and non-admission clauses) with regional staff and with counsel for the Secretary of Labor in fatality cases
  • Litigation arising over contested citations before administrative law judges (both OSHA and MSHA), Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission, and circuit court of appeals, including alleged willful and repeat violations, and citations involving employee deaths in the workplace
  • Representation of clients in matters in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia
General employment law matters, representing and counseling employers, including:
  • Interviewing, Applications and Hiring
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Contracts, including Restrictive Covenants
  • Personnel Files Issues
  • Employee Handbooks, Policies and Procedures
  • Family and Medical Leave Act Issues
  • Posting and Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing
  • Workplace Violence
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Compensation, Overtime and Wage & Hour Issues
  • Employee Investigations
  • Disciplinary Actions
  • Reductions in Force
  • Employment Torts, including Defamation
  • Severance Policies and Procedures
  • Settlement Agreements and Releases


Representation of employers in employment discrimination matters before administrative agencies and courts, including:
  • Litigation in federal district and appellate courts
  • Practice before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission
  • Experienced in all types of discrimination issues, including race, sex, religious, handicap/disability, national origin and sexual orientation discrimination, as well as sexual and racial harassment issues
  • Investigation of workplace harassment matters and development of company policies and procedures on harassment
Representation of employers before federal and state courts, and/or administrative agencies in litigation involving:
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Fair Labor Standards Act and Wage and Hour Claims
  • Wage Payment and Collection Law
  • Wrongful Discharge / Employment-at-Will
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants
  • Black Lung Claims (state and federal)
Representing and advising employers in general labor matters, including:
  • Union Organizing Campaigns
  • Elections
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Grievances and Labor Arbitration
  • National Labor Relations Board Practice and Unfair Labor Charges
  • Strike Preparation and Injunctions
  • Hiring of Replacement Workers
  • Union Discrimination Issues
Other Representative Matters
  • Defended a metals company in a discrimination claim by a former employee who had resigned
  • Assisted a steel company in the defense of a state-plan OSHA citation regarding operation of a furnace
  • Represented a family-owned manufacturing business with respect to an unemployment compensation claim filed by a former employee
  • Represented a company providing contract facility services to property owners and managers in a number of states in the defense of discrimination claims
  • Defended a large heavy metals company in an OSHA investigation involving an employee fatality for failing to follow safety procedures
  • Represented a private sector provider of detention and corrections services to federal, state and local governments in an investigation under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act the outcome of which was that the complaint was dismissed
  • Represented a producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in an OSHA investigation involving an employee fatality in the workplace
  • Represented a corporation which supplies and overhauls aerospace systems and components in an investigation of a serious employee injury resulting from a workplace accident
  • Represented a comprehensive home healthcare provider in several claims of discrimination by former employees
  • Assisted a large telecommunications company, a manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, and an independent foundry company in reviews of the exempt/nonexempt classification status of their salaried workforce
Part 2
  • Represented a construction company in the defense of a citation issued to it under OSHA’s logging standard
  • Represented a well-respected small liberal arts college in the application of OSHA’s asbestos standard to its operations and facilities.
  • Defended a family-owned tire and auto service business with retail, wholesale and commercial locations in two states against a charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Represented a manufacturing company that provides maintenance, steel fabrication and repair solutions to the metals and other heavy industries in the defense of OSHA citations following an employee death
  • Represented a national engineering company in the defense OSHA citations proposing penalties in excess of $1.3 million for alleged violations of the asbestos and lead standards
  • Helped a nonprofit agency with the separation of its former director, and with its personnel policies
  • Defended an engineering company in an age discrimination and breach of contract suit in federal court from a former financial manager who was let go when he declined to continue to work under the existing terms of employment
  • Defended a suit in federal court brought against a tax-exempt organization by a former employee. The agency employs primarily disabled individuals, and the employee in question is asserting disability, age and sex discrimination in hiring for a new position


Part 3
  • Defended a utility services company in a state court suit by a former employee who was discharged for refusing to take a drug test, but attempted to recharacterize the discharge as retaliation for his having exercised his workers’ compensation rights
  • Represented a major manufacturing corporation in the aluminum industry in the defense of unemployment compensation claims in three states following a strike by union employees
  • Represented a major manufacturing corporation in an OSHA complaint investigation following a workplace accident resulting in employee injury
  • Represented a major manufacturing company in an OSHA investigation based on an employee complaint of unsafe working conditions
  • Represented a services contractor in two Pennsylvania Human Relations Act claims before the state agency (PHRC), for refusal to hire, and for discharge
  • Assisted a small employer with a separation agreement and general release for an employee whose job was eliminated when a line of business was transferred to another company
  • Ongoing advice to a financial services agency regarding general employer issues, e.g., hiring, policies
  • Worked with a wholesaler with interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and regulations governing computer personnel
  • Represented a services company in the defense of a claim of sexual discrimination before the EEOC


Part 4
  • Assisted an employer with claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Represented a home healthcare employer in a federal suit claiming age discrimination and retaliation, by an employee who lost a job in a reduction in force due to economic circumstances, and was not rehired for open positions for which the employer believed she was less qualified than other applicants
  • Represented another business in the defense of two claims of race discrimination by separated employees, one before the EEOC and one before the PHRC
  • Helped a community financial institution respond to a customer inquiry regarding the small number of female officers, defend a charge of age discrimination in hiring, discharge a managerial employee with performance problems, define the terms of employment for the manager of a new business area; and defend a claim for unpaid commissions from former commissioned salesperson
  • Helped a tax-exempt organization which terminated the employment of a high-level manager who was undercutting the organization’s president
  • Assisted a business in dealing with an employee who had suffered a work injury but whose poor work performance was unrelated to the injury
Part 5
  • Advised an employer with respect to an employee who refused the light duty work made available to him, and the resulting loss of health insurance benefits
  • Represented a manufacturer in a state court suit in Ohio filed by a former employee claiming an employer intentional tort
  • Represented a major manufacturing corporation in the defense of an OSHA citation arising out of an investigation following a workplace accident resulting in an employee death
  • Represented a major manufacturing corporation in the defense of a claim of retaliation under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act (employee disciplined for safety violation, but claimed it was because he had made safety-related complaints)
  • Represented a small environmental services company in the defense of an OSHA citation arising out of a workplace accident resulting in an employee death
  • Represented a contractor in the defense of an OSHA citation rising out of an investigation following a workplace accident resulting in employee injuries

Office Location

One PPG Place, Suite 1900
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
United States

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management