Douglas E. Spiker

Shareholder, Shareholder-in-Charge of Cleveland Office & Practice Group Manager, Employment Services
Cleveland
1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
P 216.696.7125
F 216.623.0134
P 216.696.7125 | F 216.623.0134

Overview

"I strive to understand my clients’ businesses and offer practical and effective solutions."

Doug helps employers – health care, retail, manufacturing, and construction businesses ranging in size from family-owned businesses to Fortune 50 companies – reduce Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance and workers' compensation claims. His advice, founded on an in-depth understanding of each client’s business practices and goals, balances the employer’s operations, personnel, products, and services needs to craft proactive and preventative workplace safety programs that reduce injuries while avoiding legal repercussions down the road. In addition, Doug regularly represents employers before the Ohio Industrial Commission, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and in Ohio's state and appellate courts. 

Doug fights allegations of Violation of Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR) and all related litigation. He handles rating, classification, and premium issues before the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Adjudication Committee and Administrator’s Designee levels as well as the 10th District Court of Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court. And when accidents occur in the workplace, he guides his clients through effective responses to OSHA citations that mitigate their business and regulatory impact, often obtaining reduced or eliminated fines. For example, in a matter involving the death of an employee due to his unsafe activity, Doug successfully negotiated with OSHA to work out a non-citation that absolved the employer of responsibility for the accident. 

In another OSHA matter, he was able work with OSHA to obtain a 50% reduction in fines related to a workplace accident by demonstrating the staffing challenges that led in part to the situation and the steps the employer had already begun to take to eliminate the cause, including enhanced training and additional documentation. 

In addition to his responsibilities as legal counsel to his clients, Doug actively educates third-party administrators, clients, and trade and bar associations on numerous workers' compensation topics through writing and speaking engagements across Ohio.

He is the Shareholder-in-Charge of the firm’s Cleveland Office and the Practice Group Manager for Roetzel & Andress’ Employment Services. Early in his career, Doug was a Hearing Officer for the Industrial Commission. 

A self-described ‘Broadway geek’ (he’s seen Hamilton ten times), Doug sits on the Board of Trustees for Playhouse Square. He is also the Vice-Chair and Chair of Governance Committee for Three Arches Foundation.  
 

Experience
  • Representation of employers in rating, classification, and premium issues before the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's Adjudication Committee
  • Successfully defended an OSHA citation imposed when an employee for a transportation company was killed in a workplace forklift accident.
  • Defeated a Violation of Specific Safety Requirement application arising out of an accident that would have put a non-profit out of business.
  • Successfully negotiated reduced OSHA citations and monetary penalties for a manufacturing client by working with a safety consultant and implementing a better safety program.
  • Successfully defended a death claim and OSHA citations arising from a heart attack that occurred in the workplace of a plumbing and electrical company.
  • Successfully defeated a workers’ compensation claim and an OSHA citation arising from a 20+-foot fall brought about by an employee’s intoxication. 
  • Guided several state-funded employers through the transition to self-insured status, resulting in significant savings in workers compensation premiums
  • Statewide practice in all aspects of defending workers' compensation claims
  • Assists employers to ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as safety requirements under the Ohio Workers' Compensation Act
  • Successful defense of numerous VSSR applications and OSHA citations
Services

Industries

Education

  1. Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, J.D.
  2. University of Mount Union, B.A.

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  2. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • Named the Workers’ Compensation Law - Employers "Lawyer of the Year" for Cleveland by The Best Lawyers in America® (2016)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2015-2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2006-2022)
  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2013

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Toledo Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section
  • Central Ohio Self-Insured Association
  • Ohio Self Insured Association
  • RIMS - The Risk Management Society, Northeast Ohio Chapter
Community Affiliations
  • Playhouse Square, Board of Trustees (2019)
  • Lakewood Hospital Foundation, Board of Trustees (2011-2017)
    • Chair of Governance Committee
  • Three Arches Foundation, Board of Trustees (2018)
    • Vice Chair
    • Chair of Governance Committee
  • American Heart Association, Leadership Team (2013)

Insights

  1. Alerts
    U.S. Supreme Court Shoots Down COVID-19 Shot-or-Test Rule (Jan 13, 2022)
    COVID-19 Update: The CDC Issues New Isolation Guidance (Dec 29, 2021)
    Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Rule (Dec 20, 2021)
    Sub. House Bill 126: Danger of Potential New Law to Prevent School Districts Ability to Challenge Property Tax Valuations (Dec 15, 2021)
    Ohio SB 229 Gives School Districts Flexibility for Alternative Learning Models (Dec 6, 2021)
  2. Presentations
    "Workers’ Compensation Update – 2020" - Roetzel 2020 Employment Law Briefing Webinar (Nov 10, 2020)
    "Investigating and Defending the COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claim" - USLAW Network EduNet Webinar (May 14, 2020)
    "Exceptions to Employer Civil Immunity for Workplace Injuries" - Roetzel Employment Services Webinar (Mar 24, 2020)
    "Workers' Compensation Updates--Ohio and Pennsylvania" - USLaw Educational Webinar (2019)
    “2017 Roetzel Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefings” - Roetzel's Labor & Employment Law Seminar Series (2017)
  3. Firm News
    Twenty-Seven Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2022 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List (Dec 30, 2021)
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Thirty Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List (Dec 8, 2020)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel Transitioning to Virtual Work Environment (Mar 16, 2020)

Overview

"I strive to understand my clients’ businesses and offer practical and effective solutions."

Doug helps employers – health care, retail, manufacturing, and construction businesses ranging in size from family-owned businesses to Fortune 50 companies – reduce Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance and workers' compensation claims. His advice, founded on an in-depth understanding of each client’s business practices and goals, balances the employer’s operations, personnel, products, and services needs to craft proactive and preventative workplace safety programs that reduce injuries while avoiding legal repercussions down the road. In addition, Doug regularly represents employers before the Ohio Industrial Commission, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and in Ohio's state and appellate courts. 

Doug fights allegations of Violation of Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR) and all related litigation. He handles rating, classification, and premium issues before the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Adjudication Committee and Administrator’s Designee levels as well as the 10th District Court of Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court. And when accidents occur in the workplace, he guides his clients through effective responses to OSHA citations that mitigate their business and regulatory impact, often obtaining reduced or eliminated fines. For example, in a matter involving the death of an employee due to his unsafe activity, Doug successfully negotiated with OSHA to work out a non-citation that absolved the employer of responsibility for the accident. 

In another OSHA matter, he was able work with OSHA to obtain a 50% reduction in fines related to a workplace accident by demonstrating the staffing challenges that led in part to the situation and the steps the employer had already begun to take to eliminate the cause, including enhanced training and additional documentation. 

In addition to his responsibilities as legal counsel to his clients, Doug actively educates third-party administrators, clients, and trade and bar associations on numerous workers' compensation topics through writing and speaking engagements across Ohio.

He is the Shareholder-in-Charge of the firm’s Cleveland Office and the Practice Group Manager for Roetzel & Andress’ Employment Services. Early in his career, Doug was a Hearing Officer for the Industrial Commission. 

A self-described ‘Broadway geek’ (he’s seen Hamilton ten times), Doug sits on the Board of Trustees for Playhouse Square. He is also the Vice-Chair and Chair of Governance Committee for Three Arches Foundation.  
 

Experience
  • Representation of employers in rating, classification, and premium issues before the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's Adjudication Committee
  • Successfully defended an OSHA citation imposed when an employee for a transportation company was killed in a workplace forklift accident.
  • Defeated a Violation of Specific Safety Requirement application arising out of an accident that would have put a non-profit out of business.
  • Successfully negotiated reduced OSHA citations and monetary penalties for a manufacturing client by working with a safety consultant and implementing a better safety program.
  • Successfully defended a death claim and OSHA citations arising from a heart attack that occurred in the workplace of a plumbing and electrical company.
  • Successfully defeated a workers’ compensation claim and an OSHA citation arising from a 20+-foot fall brought about by an employee’s intoxication. 
  • Guided several state-funded employers through the transition to self-insured status, resulting in significant savings in workers compensation premiums
  • Statewide practice in all aspects of defending workers' compensation claims
  • Assists employers to ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as safety requirements under the Ohio Workers' Compensation Act
  • Successful defense of numerous VSSR applications and OSHA citations

Education

  1. Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, J.D.
  2. University of Mount Union, B.A.

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  2. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • Named the Workers’ Compensation Law - Employers "Lawyer of the Year" for Cleveland by The Best Lawyers in America® (2016)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2015-2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2006-2022)
  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2013

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Toledo Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section
  • Central Ohio Self-Insured Association
  • Ohio Self Insured Association
  • RIMS - The Risk Management Society, Northeast Ohio Chapter
Community Affiliations
  • Playhouse Square, Board of Trustees (2019)
  • Lakewood Hospital Foundation, Board of Trustees (2011-2017)
    • Chair of Governance Committee
  • Three Arches Foundation, Board of Trustees (2018)
    • Vice Chair
    • Chair of Governance Committee
  • American Heart Association, Leadership Team (2013)

Insights

  1. Alerts
    U.S. Supreme Court Shoots Down COVID-19 Shot-or-Test Rule (Jan 13, 2022)
    COVID-19 Update: The CDC Issues New Isolation Guidance (Dec 29, 2021)
    Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Rule (Dec 20, 2021)
    Sub. House Bill 126: Danger of Potential New Law to Prevent School Districts Ability to Challenge Property Tax Valuations (Dec 15, 2021)
    Ohio SB 229 Gives School Districts Flexibility for Alternative Learning Models (Dec 6, 2021)
  2. Presentations
    "Workers’ Compensation Update – 2020" - Roetzel 2020 Employment Law Briefing Webinar (Nov 10, 2020)
    "Investigating and Defending the COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claim" - USLAW Network EduNet Webinar (May 14, 2020)
    "Exceptions to Employer Civil Immunity for Workplace Injuries" - Roetzel Employment Services Webinar (Mar 24, 2020)
    "Workers' Compensation Updates--Ohio and Pennsylvania" - USLaw Educational Webinar (2019)
    “2017 Roetzel Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefings” - Roetzel's Labor & Employment Law Seminar Series (2017)
  3. Firm News
    Twenty-Seven Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2022 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List (Dec 30, 2021)
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Thirty Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List (Dec 8, 2020)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel Transitioning to Virtual Work Environment (Mar 16, 2020)