William J. Wahoff

William J. Wahoff

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Workers' Compensation Attorney in Columbus, OH

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
 | 41 South High St., Suite 2200
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-975-0125
Fax: 614-221-0952
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • Workers' Compensation: Employer/Insurance (40%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (40%),
  • Employment Litigation: Defense (20%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Japanese
Attorney Profile

Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers: Employers (Management) Only: OSHA on a National Basis, Ohio Workers' Compensation, Intentional Tort Defense; counselling in ADA, FMLA, Title VII, other discrimination issues and attendant litigation. OSHA Retaliation and OSHA-Investigated Whistleblower Cases;  Extensive experience in defending OSHA citations, OSHA cases defended in Ohio, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Florida, South Dakota, Missouri, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Georgia. Defended citations involving LOTO, ergonomics, combustible dust, machine guarding, process safety management, construction lead, indoor air (silica, lead), electrical, robots, hoists, hazcom, respirators, material handling, recordkeeping, ingress and egress, evacuation plans, uncovered rebar, amputations and fatalities, and compliance with the lead, silica, hazard communication, lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards, among many others.  Extensive experience in Ohio Workers' Compensation Administrative Hearings, Court Appeals and Mandamus cases, Ohio Self-Insurance and State Fund issues before the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation; Legislative drafting experience; advocacy of employer issues, such as Intentional Tort law reform to eliminate those lawsuits. Ohio VSSR matters and Ohio Intentional Tort lawsuits. Significant experience in defending FMLA, Wrongful Discharge, ADA, Race, Gender discrimination claims and lawsuits.  Extensive experience in defending claims alleging silicosis, asbestosis, berylliosis, coal workers' pneumoconiosis and allegedly related cancers. Collective Bargaining; defense of wrongful death and major personal injury cases. Specialties: Ohio Board Certified Workers' Compensation Specialist Note: Lawyers are not permitted to call themselves "specialists" in Ohio unless they are Board Certified in that area.

INDUSTRY GROUPS: Manufacturing and Construction: electronics, porcelain, large truck, rubber for mining and manufacturing, steel, autos, auto parts, plastics, industrial diamonds, jet engines, lighting, appliances, explosives, oil field engines, oil drilling pads and rigs, oil and gas fractionation plants; hand tools, tool and die parts, ferrous and non-ferrous foundries; coal mining. Transportation: logistics, freight, auto transportation and package delivery. Other Industries: power plants; oil refining and transportation; food processing plants; hospitals. Government: counties, townships, school districts, police and fire. International: Japanese corporate clients.

Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist

About William Wahoff

Admitted: 1982, Ohio

Professional Webpage: http://www.steptoe-johnson.com/william.wahoff


  • Ohio Super Lawyers' List -- Ohio Workers' Compensation -- Employers -- 2004-2019, Listed in Ohio Super Lawyers, Employers' Workers' Compensation, Super Lawyers List , 2019
  • November, 2018: the Board of Governors of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers inducted William J. Wahoff as a Fellow at a Ceremony in San Francisco, Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2018
  • 2015 -- through 2019 -- The Best Lawyers in America -- Ohio Workers' Compensation Defense of Employers, Listed in Best Lawyers, Ohio Workers' Compensation Defense of Employers, The Best Lawyers in America, 2019
  • AV-Preeminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell, for over ten years
  • Civic: Silver Beaver, Boy Scouts of America; Service Above Self, Rotary District 6690, Ambassadorial Scholarships; 2014 Worthington "Good Scout" Award; President's Award and Past President's Award, Worthington A.M. Rotary Club; Dave Katonak, Distinguished Service Award, Buckeye District, Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1996
  • Admitted, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 1983
  • Admiitted, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2017
  • Admitted to Practice in Texas, 2019
  • Ohio State Bar Association Board Certified in Ohio Workers' Compensation, 1999-2019, 2019
  • OSHA-Authorized 10 & 30 hour General Industry Trainer, since 2009, 2019
  • Admitted to Practice in Ohio, Nov. 1982, 1982

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Fellow, The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers: inducted San Francisco Nov. 2018, 2018
  • Vice Chair to become Chair on July 1, 2019: Ohio State Bar Association Workers' Compensation Law Committee, 2019
  • Member, ABA-Labor & Employment Law Section, OSHA Committee; Presenter/Moderator, Mid-Winter ABA-OSHA Meetings since 2002 (latest 2019).  Member and Attendee of Mid-Winter meetings since 1995.  Presentations: Presenter/Panelist, March 7, 2019, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, “OSHA Recordability, Reportability and Impact on Workers’ Compensation: The Interplay between OSHA’s Amended 29 CFR 1904.35 and Workers’ Compensation Laws and Administration,” Breakout Session, San Juan, Puerto RicoPresenter, March 2, 2018, American Bar Association, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, “The General Duty Clause: How Does OSHA Prove Its Case and What Role Do Industry Standards Play?,” General Session, Santa Monica, California  , 2019

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member and TRF Chair, Columbus Rotary Club; Past Co-President, West Point Parents Club of Central Ohio; Past Rotary District 6690 Rotary International Foundation Alumni Chair; Current Merit Badge Counselor, BSA; Past Member and Board Member, Worthington A.M. Rotary Club; Past President and Board Member, Dublin A.M. Rotary Club; Past District Rotary Foundation Scholarships Chair, District 6690; Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, Past Board Member and Volunteer Executive V.P., Operations; Boy Scouts, SKC, Buckeye District, Past District Chair, Past Nominating Committee Chair and Past FOS Chair; Troop 862, BSA, Past Committee Chair; Troop 268, BSA, Past Assistant Scoutmaster; Past Cubmaster, Pack 615;  Member, Knights of Columbus; Past Member, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; Past Board Member, Friends of the Josephinum Seminary, 1985-2000; NRA Member and Certified Range Instructor Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun; Life Member, Republican National Committee; Life Member, The Ohio State University Alumni Association.  Three Eagle Scout Sons, Married 40 years., 2019

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • State-by-state summary of Penalties and Employee actions presented to the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee, Mid-Winter Meeting in 2005., Panel Member, Third Party Litigation and OSHA Proceedings, 2005
  • Presenter, March 2, 2018, American Bar Association, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, “The General Duty Clause: How Does OSHA Prove Its Case and What Role Do Industry Standards Play?," General Session, Santa Monica, California; Presenter, January 17, 2018, Lorman Webinar, “Medical Records Law (such as HIPAA) in Workers’ Compensation Claims: Know What You Can Release”; Presenter, December 5, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” Medina, Ohio; Presenter, November 16, 2017, NBI, “Seven Ways the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System Differs from Those of Other States,” Cincinnati, Ohio; Presenter, August 1, 2017, NBI, “Ohio Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Differences from Insurance States,” Cincinnati, Ohio; Presenter, July 19, 2017, Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers National Safety Summit, “HazCom Enforcement in the First 180 days of the New Administration,” Columbus, Ohio; Presenter, July 12, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar, “OSHA Requirements for Confined Spaces in General Industry and Construction”; Presenter, June 30, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” Port Clinton, Ohio; Presenter, June 13, 2017, Ohio Hospital Association Annual Conference, “New Landscape of the Department of Labor and OSHA in the Trump Administration,” Columbus, Ohio; Presenter, May 31, 2017, Phylmar Business Roundtable National Safety Webinar, “Future of OSHA Interpretations after the D.C. Circuit’s Agricultural Retailers PSM Decision”; Presenter, May 17, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar, “Recordability, Reportability and Compensability”; Presenter, March 15, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” St. Clairsville, Ohio; Moderator, March 10, 2017, American Bar Association, OSH Committee Midwinter Meeting, “OSHA Interpretations after Agricultural Retailers,” Jupiter, Florida; Presenter, February 23, 2017, Webinar, Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers, “OSHA Record Keeping”; Presenter, January 17, 2017, Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “Medical Releases and Workers’ Compensation”; Presenter, October 19, 2016, Robotics Industries Association, “OSHA Standards versus Robotics Standards,” Cincinnati; Presenter, September 16, 2016, Ohio State Bar Association, “Hot Wage and Hour Issues,” Cleveland; Presenter, September 14, 2016, Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “OSHA’s Rules Regarding Employee Incentive Programs”; Presenter, July 14, 2016, “FLSA and OSHA Regulatory Changes,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce: Marietta, May 24, 2016, Pataskala, June 21, 2016, Urbana, Champaign County; Presenter, June 13, 2016, “OSHA’s Multi-Employer and U.S. Department of Labor Joint Employee Doctrines,” Ohio Hospital Association Annual Conference; Presenter, June 8, 2016, “Privacy In The Workplace and Employee Monitoring,” Human Resources from A to Z, NBI Seminar, Columbus; Presenter, May 25, 2016, “Train Your Supervisors About Your Ohio Workers’ Compensation Program,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar; Presenter, May 17, 2016, “OSHA’s New Rules Regarding Worker Safety Incentive Programs,” Phylmar Regulatory Roundtable and the BioPharma EHS Forum, Webcast; Author, April 26, 2016, "OSHA Update", Steptoe & Johnsom Blog Article; Moderator, March 10, 2016, “New Developments In Process Safety Management,” ABA Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Committee Midwinter Meeting, Santa Barbara, CA; Author, March 3, 2016, IN COMPLIANCE? Be prepared! FLSA rule changes and OSHA penalty increases will happen in 2016; Presenter, November 18, 2015, “FLSA and OSHA Changes,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Webcast; Presenter, 2010, 2011, “Combustible Dust,” Annual Ohio Workplace Safety & OSHA Compliance Conference; Presenter, 2011, “Intentional Tort, RICO Liability, and Other Third Party Actions,” Ohio Self-Insurers Association, Workers’ Compensation Education Day;   Presenter, 2010, 2011 & 2012, “The Finer Points of OSHA Recordkeeping,” “Injury & Illness Prevention Programs,” “Combustible Dust,” “Retaliation and Whistleblower Statutes Under OSHA’s Enforcement Jurisdiction,” Association of Rubber & Plastics Manufacturers’ (ARPM) Safety Summit; Presenter, 2011 & 2012, “Top Ten Management Mistakes to Avoid,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce,; Moderator, 2013, “Significant [OSHA] Decisions,” American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, OSHA Committee, Mid-Winter Meeting; Presenter 2013, Hot Topics in Employment Law, “PPACA/Obamacare: What Businesses Need to Know,” Sterling Education Seminars; Presenter, December 2013, “Significant [Workers’ Compensation] Decisions,” Cincinnati Bar Association, Workers’ Compensation Committee Advanced Seminar; Presenter, February 2014,  “The Top 5 Safety & Health Considerations Upon Entering An Investigative Site” (from the OSHA perspective), Insurance Fraud/Fire Investigators’ Joint Seminar; Presenter, October, 2014, “Workers’ Compensation Update: Laws & Rules, Class Action Suit, Medical Facilities, and Claims Handling; OSHA Recordkeeping Changes,” HRA of Southwestern Ohio (SHRM Affiliate). Presenter, December 4, 2014, “Significant Decisions,” Cincinnati Bar Association Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar. Creating FLSA Compliance Strategies That Work, NBI, August 18, 2015.
  • Chapter Editor, Treatise, “Occupational Health and Safety Law, 3rd Edition,” ABA Labor & Employment Law Section (OSHA Law Committee), 2014


  • 2014, Secretary of Labor v. American Phoenix, Inc.,  Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge, Combustible Dust Case in the Rubber Mixing Industry

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Election by the Board of Governors, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, as a Fellow of the College, 2018
  • My Wife and I are a "Miami [University, Oxford, Ohio] Merger" of 40 years in marriage, with three Eagle Scout sons., 2019

Educational Background:

  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law: J.D., with Honors in Law 1979 – 1982; Law Journal (Law Review), Issue Planning Editor; First Year Moot Court Writer of a Best Brief; American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts and Evidence.  Miami University: A.B., cum laude, History & Philosophy with Departmental Honors, some Business 1974 – 1978; Phi Beta Kappa, Equestrian Team, History Honorary.  St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, Ohio: 1973 – 1974; National Honor Society, National Forensic League, Extemporaneous Speaking. Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Missouri:1970 – 1973: National Forensic League, Debate Team and Extemporaneous Speaking Events.

Industry Groups

  • OSHA Law -- Defense Of Companies; Manufacturing; Construction; Transportation; Complete List Below
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Office Location for William J. Wahoff

41 South High St.
Suite 2200
Columbus, OH 43215

William J. Wahoff:

Last Updated: 7/24/2019

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