U.S. Senate Confirms W. Scott Railton and Thomasina Rogers to Full Terms on Federal Job Safety and Health Tribunal

Contact: Linda Gravely
(202) 606-5398

Release 03-1
August 1, 2003



W. Scott Railton and Thomasina Rogers were confirmed by the United States Senate on July 31, 2003 as Commission members of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Both were nominated by President George W. Bush. The Review Commission adjudicates disputes between employers and employees and a separate Labor Department agency over citations for alleged violations of job safety and health rules.

Mr. Railton joined the independent tribunal in August 2002 as a recess appointee and was designated by the President as Chairman of the agency the next month. As Chairman, in addition to ruling on cases with the other Commissioners, Mr. Railton is responsible for all aspects of the agency’s day-to-day operations. The Senate’s confirmation of Mr. Railton to the term expiring in April 2007 ends his tenure as a recess appointee. Recess appointees may only serve until the end of the next session of the Senate unless confirmed to a full term.

"I continue to be thankful and honored that President Bush values my commitment to both the administration and the agency,” Chairman Railton remarked after the Senate vote.

Ms. Rogers, whose term expires in April 2009, previously served as a Commissioner of the agency from October 1998 until that term expired in April 2003. She also served as Review Commission Chairman from May 1999 until September 2002.

Mr. Railton left his position as a senior labor partner at the law firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, where he specialized in safety and health matters, to head the Review Commission. He served the firm, which he joined in 1977, as safety and health counsel to a number of national corporations and trade associations. He has represented clients in job safety and health enforcement proceedings before federal and state courts and commissions. He has also represented clients in proceedings on the setting of safety and health standards in courts including the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Railton’s extensive job safety and health law experience actually began in the earliest days of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. From 1972 to 1977 he served the-then recently created agency in two positions: as chief counsel to two agency Commissioners and, in 1975 and 1976, also as acting general counsel. Before working at the Review Commission in 1972, Mr. Railton was one of four lawyers who founded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor in 1971. He served that agency from 1971 through 1972 as acting assistant counsel in charge of litigation for that division.

A past co-chairman for management of the Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee of the American Bar Association, Mr. Railton is a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is a past chairman of the Employment and Labor Law Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers. He is author of the legal chapter in The Occupational Environment – Its Evaluation and Control, a text published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and a sought-after guest speaker at conventions and annual meetings of health-and-safety-related organizations.

Mr. Railton graduated second in his class from the George Washington School of Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Washington, majoring in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia Bars and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who In The World.

Ms. Rogers is a former Chair of the Administrative Conference of the U.S., where she served until its dissolution at the end of 1995. She served for seven years in the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) prior to her Presidential appointment to the Administrative Conference in 1994. During her SES tenure, she was Legal Counsel to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she had primary responsibility for managing the development of the Americans With Disabilities Act employment regulations. Near the end of her SES tenure, Ms. Rogers received Presidential recognition for noteworthy public service in the management of Government programs.

Now at full strength, as the agency is designated to have three Commission members, Chairman Railton and Commissioner Rogers will rule on cases along with Commissioner James M. Stephens. Mr. Stephens has been with the agency since November 2002 and has a term that expires in April 2005.