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Travis W. Vance

Partner, Charlotte
t: 704.778.4164
f: 704.334.9774


Travis Vance is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic. Travis has assisted over 500 companies during the pandemic and remains committed to serving companies to protect the safety and health of their employees. He has received over 40 requests to speak on topics concerning the pandemic.

Travis Vance is dedicated to responsive client service and forming a partnership with companies to help tackle their most difficult and high-profile issues.  Having gained a reputation as a professional and aggressive advocate for his clients, Travis has emerged as a thought leader in the field of workplace safety. His writing and interviews are followed closely by experts in the safety arena and have been featured in premiere publications such as Inc., Bloomberg Law, Business Insurance, The Washington Post, EHS Today, and the Wall Street Journal.  

Travis is a partner in the firm’s Charlotte office and co-chair of the firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. He has tried matters across several industries and various subject matters, including employment litigation, business disputes and matters prosecuted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He uses unique or outside-the-box approaches to counsel employers and owners on all aspects of employment law and the development of preventive policies and procedures to avoid employment and workplace safety-related claims. Travis handles litigation in both federal and state courts as well as claims pending with state and federal agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), MSHA, OSHA, and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

Travis has also assisted clients in safety and OSHA/MSHA matters pending in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Known for his dynamic and engaging speaking style, Travis receives several requests each year to speak on safety related topics throughout the country. His popular interactive presentation entitled “What to Do When OSHA Knocks,” which walks attendees through an OSHA inspection, with the audience steering the direction of the presentation as it responds to several questions presented throughout the talk, is frequently requested and has received numerous exceptional reviews. 

Travis is "AV" Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and was selected as one of the Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He is also a frequent contributor to the firm's Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog. In 2014, Travis was honored as one of the "10 Under 40" by The Daily News Record in Harrisonburg, VA. Each year the publication honors 10 rising business stars under the age of 40 in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia area. This honor was bestowed largely due to Travis’ development of the Valley Business Keynote, the Shenandoah Valley’s largest and premiere leadership development event. 

He is a member of the Rotary Club of Charlotte and speaks frequently at Rotary International events concerning the growth of membership within that civic organization. His passion for making a difference in the lives of others has led to requests to share his message as far away as Canada and The Cayman Islands. He also serves on the board of directors for the Blue Ridge Safety Association, a trade group for safety professionals.



  • Successfully obtained the complete dismissal of an OSHA citation issued after a fatal accident occurring at an internationally-known theme park.
  • Prevailed in major accident-related claim where OSHA issued a general duty clause citation concerning the use of a winch; the citation was vacated.
  • Assisted a client with issues concerning the first ever COVID-19 related death in the United States.
  • Obtained withdrawal of OSHA citation relating to work performed near energized power lines on behalf of national construction company, in matter involving non-fatal electrocution of workers
  • Successfully argued that NC-OSHA lacked jurisdiction in matter where it attempted to expand an inspection arising from fatal fall involving self-employed contractor
  • Successfully argued that Fed-OSHA lacked jurisdiction on a Navajo Indian Reservation and obtained complete dismissal of two citations issued to client while performing construction work on the reservation
  • Prevailed and obtained completed dismissal of Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) retaliation claim where truck driver claimed he was terminated due to the filing of a previous STAA claim
  • Prevailed on appeal in whistleblower claim under the Food Safety Modernization Act where plaintiff failed to comply with appeal statute, a result never previously obtained under the statute at issue
  • Obtained complete dismissal of 6 citations issued to two employers by Tennessee OSHA following an inspection concerning alleged hazard communication violations
  • Prevailed at trial concerning two assembly/disassembly crane OSHA citations, resulting in complete dismissal of both alleged violations
  • Established NC OSHA’s policy on the expansion of inspections in North Carolina after successful negotiation of 100% penalty reduction (over $30,000), and elimination of all citations, following an improperly expanded inspection by NC OSHA
  • Obtained settlement during trial of highly contested MSHA discrimination matter where MSHA reduced proposed penalty by 95%
  • Successfully defended OSHA inspection of marina where two employees suffered serious burn injuries requiring transport to national burn center, resulting in no citations or penalties
  • Assisted with matter on appeal where OSHA withdrew its unprecedented request for a 30-day extension to its statutory six month inspection period
  • Represented electrical contractor in matter where client was awarded sanctions against state OSHA plan for discovery violations
  • Negotiated complete dismissal of citations in two pending matters against staffing agency that was cited for alleged hazards at host employer’s worksites
  • Assisted client with high-profile PSM OSHA inspection involving six inspectors following ammonia leak, resulting in no penalties
  • Obtained summary judgment in age discrimination matter where claimant’s lowest demand exceeded $450,000
  • Became first attorney in the country to challenge Fed-OSHA’s 2016 penalty increases
  • Obtained complete dismissal of 110(c) claim brought by MSHA against individual supervisor following serious accident at client’s rock quarry
  • Successfully defeated electrical hazard citation following fatality at a major university, obtaining a complete dismissal of OSHA’s claim
  • Successfully defended two individual supervisors against 110(c) claims and associated substantial penalties following tragic accident at open pit mine
  • Achieved successful trial result in claim brought by MSHA alleging negligence by client for failing to train employees; “no negligence” finding was entered
  • Obtained complete dismissal of OSHA citations issued against national construction firm arising from work on high-profile military base
  • Achieved 100% penalty reduction for regional poultry company for citations arising from emphasis program inspection at its feed mill
  • Helped obtain complete dismissal of multi-employer citation against cattle ranching company
  • Obtained complete dismissal of a general duty clause citation involving a fatality a protein-conversion shipping dock
  • Obtained over 50% penalty reduction on 6th day of highly contested trial for poultry company in matter where union had obtained party status
  • Negotiated over 90% penalty reduction in matter involving fatality at food processing facility
  • Negotiated a nearly 50% penalty reduction for food processing company following ammonia explosion resulting in over $5M in damages/lost profits
  • Reached favorable settlement in matter concerning combustible dust at client’s feed mill, based on OSHA’s failure to properly document its claim; this result led, in part, to OSHA adopting a revised procedure concerning documenting combustible dust claims

Reported Cases

  • Secretary of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) v. TNT Crane & Rigging, Inc., Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Docket No. 16-1587 (Aug. 30, 2018)
  • Dooley v. Capstone Logistics, LLC, et al., 7:17-cv-00282 (W.D.Va. July 11, 2018)
  • Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) v. T&T Offshore, Inc., 18-40251 (5th Cir. May 21, 2018)
  • Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) v. Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Office of Administrative Law Judges, Docket No. VA 2013-0291 (April 27, 2018)
  • Zimmerman v. Vectronix, Inc., et al, No. 1:17-CV-00299, 2017 WL 6459680 (E.D. Va. Dec. 15, 2017)
  • Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) v. Blanchard Machinery Co., Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Office of Administrative Law Judges, Docket No. SE 2016-56-M (July 25, 2016)
  • Stacy v. PPC Transportation Co., United States District Court for Western District of Arkansas; Texarkana Division, Civil Action No.: 11-4018 (Feb. 2013)
  • Omni Consulting Group, Inc. v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., 488 Fed.Appx. 478, 2012 WL 2894925 (C.A.2 (N.Y.) July 17, 2012)
  • Bulldog Erectors. Inc. v. Truck Crane Service Company, United States District Court for District of South Carolina; Spartanburg Division, Case No.: 8:08-cv-03394 (Aug. 2010)

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • AV Rated, Martindale Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2017
  • Elected by peers to Virginia's Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine (Young Lawyers; 2011-2014)
  • 10 Under 40, Shenandoah Valley Business Journal (2014)

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, Blue Ridge Safety Association (2014- present)
  • Board of Directors, Shenandoah Valley Builders Association (2014-2017)
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
  • Defense Research Institute
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Trial Academy

Community Activities

  • Board of Directors, United Way of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County (2014-2015)
  • Co-Director, District 7570 Conference, Rotary International (2017)
  • District Membership Committee, Rotary International (2014-2015)
  • Member, President, Rockingham County (VA) Rotary Club (2013-2014)
  • Founder/Organizer, Valley Business Keynote Speaker Event
  • Co-founder of the Columbia (SC) Attorney Basketball League, which was formed to help raise funds for Epworth Children's Home.  The basketball league was featured in a May 2010 edition of The State (SC) newspaper and on a national legal website.



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