Mark S. Kittaka Partner
Labor and employment lawyer Mark Kittaka has significant experience representing clients in OSHA matters involving serious injuries and/or deaths in both state plans and federal OSHA requirements across the country. Mark delivers the industry know-how needed to serve a diverse national clientele in OSHA and other labor and employment matters.
Mark’s experience includes regulatory compliance, representation in on-site inspections, informal conferences, formal administrative appeals, and defense of whistleblower claims. He has successfully represented businesses involved in industrial hygiene, construction and scrap metal, and has resolved Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claims of heavy metal over-exposure involving lead, cadmium and nickel, as well as regarding the more common machine guarding, lockout/tagout (LOTO) and powered industrial truck citations.
Regardless of the industry or complexity of the challenge, Mark provides scalable support and defense that parallels each client's particular needs. Agile and sensitive to budgetary concerns, Mark works efficiently with experienced and inexperienced health and safety professionals or in-house counsel alike in a catastrophe or fatality situation, which may require onsite support throughout the OSHA inspection.
On many occasions, Mark serves as the point person for clients in communication with OSHA or works diligently to prepare the company representative for OSHA interaction. He is skilled in providing damage assessments before the 24-hour reporting deadline in order to ready his client with appropriate documentation in the event of an inspection. He also assists in the negotiation at the informal conference or the defense through appeals and administrative hearings. Mark understands, from decades of first-hand and practical experience, that working with counsel before reporting may be the difference between an on-site inspection or merely a written request for information.
In addition, he defends clients in federal and state litigation concerning discriminatory practices and retaliation claims. His experience includes Title VII race, sex, color and religious discrimination claims; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation and interactive process; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Mark helps clients resolve wrongful discharge claims under state laws, including worker’s compensation retaliation claims. He advises on covenants not to compete, trade secret disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, and bargaining agreement administration and representation in grievance and arbitration proceedings. He also represents clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Department of Labor (DOL), Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (MHRC) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
Moreover, Mark conducts supervisory training for employers on anti-harassment training, documentation and discharge, FMLA administration, union-free training and handling the marginal performer. He provides proactive advice on employment agreements such as noncompete, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and advises on policies, procedures and handbooks. He regularly consults with employers on matters pertaining to leave of absence, such as FMLA, ADA, short-term disability or worker’s compensation overlap, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), and Reduction in Force (RIF) planning. Mark also serves as an educator and frequent speaker at both in-house and public seminars.
In addition, Mark represents clients in consumer product safety recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as recalls with automobile equipment dealing with the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Professional and Community Involvement
Member, American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section
Member, Indiana State Bar Association
Member, Allen County Bar Association
Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
Founding board member, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Indiana, Inc. (APABA-IN)
The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2019