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Cressinda D. Schlag

Associate
Austin

P 512-362-7100 F 512-362-5574
Chris.Schlag@jacksonlewis.com

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Cressinda D. Schlag

Biography

Cressinda (“Chris”) D. Schlag is an associate in the Austin, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on environmental health and safety matters involving legal and regulatory compliance as well as federal and state government enforcement actions.

Before becoming an attorney, Ms. Schlag obtained a graduate degree in occupational health and safety and environmental management and worked as an environmental health and safety engineer and consultant with a variety of industries, including, for example, oil and gas, chemicals manufacturing and supply, agriculture, aerospace, construction, and metals and coating manufacturing.  As an environmental health and safety professional, Ms. Schlag obtained extensive technical experience related to chemical risk management, hazardous materials management, property remediation, hazard mitigation, and regulatory compliance across a variety of industries. She also developed a strong business acumen and deep understanding of the complex challenges that employers face in developing regulatory compliant programs. In having both technical and legal experience, Ms. Schlag can anticipate compliance challenges and provide employers with astute guidance on how to comply with emerging laws, improve environmental health and safety programs, as well as defend against federal and state enforcement initiatives and actions.  

 Since graduating law school, Ms. Schlag has dedicated her practice to counseling and working with employers on a broad range of environmental health and safety matters, including, for example, development of effective strategies for resolving Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) enforcement actions; implementation of compliance audits and internal investigations; identification of effective strategies for managing worker health issues like communicable diseases; and provided training on emerging issues such as recordkeeping pitfalls, chemical risk management, emergency action planning, and how to conduct a serious incident investigation. She also gained valuable experience as in-house counsel at Whole Foods Market related to challenges with implementing compliance programs at scale, how to address environmental health and safety issues that also involve brand reputation risks (e.g., sustainability initiatives and green programs), and methods for mitigating risk in light of complex, patchwork, and evolving regulatory frameworks (e.g., state plastic reduction laws and state mandated training initiatives).

 ​Ms. Schlag routinely advises employers on federal and state regulatory initiatives, how government agencies are interpreting specific compliance obligations, and evaluates issued citations and penalties for purposes of determining the need to contest or appeal. She also proactively assists employers with development of comprehensive compliance strategies and represents her client’s interests in a variety of settings including rulemaking proceedings, administrative hearings, and in litigation.

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Austin Industry Environmental Attorneys
  • State Bar of Texas, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section Committee Member

 

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • CASA of Travis County, Volunteer Advocate
  • Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Former Volunteer Attorney
  • North Hills Community Outreach, Former Volunteer Attorney 

 

Published Works

  • Medical Waste, Texas Environmental Law, 2017-2018 ed. (Vols. 47 and 48, Texas Practice); 2018-2019 ed. (Texas Practice)[Author].
  • Quoted in Gloria Gonzalez, OSHA silica rule sets stage for legal battle, Bus. Ins., (Apr. 24, 2016)[Interviewee].
  • Indemnity for Environmental Damage: Methods for Structuring an Enforceable Indemnification Agreement for Environmental Claims and Liabilities, (EMLF 36th Annual Institute White Paper, Fall 2015)[Author].
  • The NLRB’s Social Media Guidelines a Lose-Lose: Why the NLRB’s Stance on Social Media Fails to Fully Address Employer’s Concerns and Dilutes Employee Protections, H.R. Cornell Review (Nov. 3, 2013)[Author].
  • The New Privacy Battle: How the Expanding Use of Drones Continues to Erode Our Concept of Privacy and Privacy Rights, 13 U. Pitt. J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 1, 2 (2013)[Author].

Speeches

  • “Best Practices for Outside Counsel,” Austin Bar Association (Austin, TX, February 2019)(co-panelist)
  • “Lessons Learned from recent Hazardous Waste Enforcement Actions,” RILA Environmental Compliance Committee (Louisville, KY, September 2018)(presenter)