Jason S. Mills represents employers in the defense of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations and the full range of employment-related claims. Jason's experience as a trial lawyer includes defending employers in multiple jury trials addressing wrongful termination, discrimination, and disability claims, as well as numerous trials addressing workplace safety citations brought under federal and state OSHA plans. He has defended against OSHA citations issued by federal OSHA, California OSHA, Washington OSHA, and all other West Coast state OSHA plans. Jason is a co-leader of the firm’s national OSHA team.
Jason has investigated and defended against citations in virtually every industry, including utility, pipelining, construction, manufacturing, warehousing, healthcare, automotive, defense, and retail. He has handled every aspect of defending employers against OSHA, from representing employers throughout the initial inspection to full-blown, bet-the-company trials. Jason is proficient in handling OSHA-related appeals before the OSHA Review Commission and state and federal appellate courts.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason challenged the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 “Emergency Temporary Standards” head-on and defended employers against union-instigated attempts to shut down operations based on purported COVID-19 protocol violations.
Jason currently serves as the management-side chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee. The committee, which includes hundreds of members, comprises US Department of Labor (DOL) officials, employers, management-side attorneys, and labor representatives, and serves as a primary conduit between employers and OSHA. In his position as the employer co-chair, Jason takes the lead on behalf of employers in coordinating with DOL on OSHA-related topics, and plans and hosts the annual midwinter meeting, where members, officials, and judges converge to present on substantive state and federal OSHA issues. Jason is also a frequent speaker on OSHA issues and a contributor to various OSHA-related publications.
In his capacity as an employment lawyer, Jason has litigated every aspect of employment-related claims at every employee level, from front-line worker to company executive. Jason has tried multiple high-profile, complicated employment claims before juries in state and federal court. Jason has had significant success winning cases at the summary judgment stage, and he readily takes cases to trial when a palatable settlement isn’t on the table.
Jason also defends against wage and hour putative class actions. He has prevailed on summary judgment on novel wage and hour claims, defeated class certification in various matters (including a notable victory in a security line case), and prevailed in the bench trial of a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative action by convincing the court that no PAGA penalties should be awarded.
While Jason devotes virtually all of his time to trial court litigation, he also has argued before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as well as the California Court of Appeal.
Jason is a veteran of the Iraq War. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Jason was a commissioned officer in the US Marine Corps, serving as a judge advocate at Camp Pendleton, California. In that role, he prosecuted and defended more than 250 individuals in Marine Corps courts-martial and litigated to verdict numerous jury trials. During a seven-month tour in Iraq, Jason prosecuted on behalf of the First Marine Division operating in the Al Anbar province, prosecuting courts-martial in a hostile combat environment. He completed his five-year service at the rank of captain in 2005.
University of California, San Diego, 1996, B.A., With Distinction
University of Minnesota Law School, 1999, J.D., Cum Laude
Awards and Affiliations
Employer Co-Chair, Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Finalist, The Recorder’s Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment (2013)
Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers (2009–2014)
Recipient, Two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals for Superior Service While Serving as a Judge Advocate in Camp Pendleton and Iraq