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Hema Steele
Senior Counsel

4200 Regent Street • Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43219
Hema Education

Hema Steele is a Senior Counsel in Conn Maciel Carey LLP’s Columbus, OH office supporting the OSHA, MSHA, and Labor and Employment practice groups. 


Hema advises and represents clients in all aspects of workplace safety and health regulatory matters involving the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and state OSH programs, and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Hema focuses on defending employers against OSHA and MSHA citations and working with them to ensure their safety programs and policies not only meet – but exceed – OSHA and MSHA requirements.


As a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group, Hema represents and advises employers in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship including wage and hour claims with a special focus on independent contractors and gig economy issues. She also counsels employers on a variety of traditional labor issues, including pension plan disputes.

Before joining Conn Maciel Carey, Hema spent more than 11 years as a Solicitor with United States Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor (DOL) first as a Trial Attorney, then as a Senior Trial Attorney.  As a Solicitor, Hema litigated workplace safety and health cases on behalf of OSHA, in additional to litigating a wide range of labor and employment matters, including but not limited to wage hour claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and whistleblower cases on behalf of MSHA.

Hema is a four-time recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019) for work on various, high-profile OSHA and FLSA litigation matters; 2018 Recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Worker Protection Award; and selectee of 2017-2018 Office of the Solicitor’s Attorney Leadership Development Program.

Before her tenure at the DOL, Hema served as an associate at a large, regional law firm where she represented employers with respect workplace harassment and discrimination, workers compensation and wage hour matters. Most recently, , Hema was proud to serve as the Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the nation’s 7th largest housing authority. In that role, she oversaw the organization’s handling of Fair Housing Act issues (e.g., reasonable accommodations for residents with disabilities), its Davis-Bacon (prevailing wage) compliance, and its procurement programs for minority/women-owned businesses.

Hema is an avid world traveler and loves all things food: eating, cooking, baking, vegetable gardening, and reading cookbooks. She resides with her husband and son in Cleveland, Ohio, where she is perpetually hunting for the next great restaurant, bakery, or specialty grocer.


J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2006

  • Scholarship Recipient

  • South Asian Law Students’

Association B.A., Wesleyan University, 2003

  • Co-Chairperson, Shakti - South Asian Students’ Association (2000-2001)

  • Secretary, Shakti - South Asian Students’ Association (1999 - 2000)

  • Member, Asian/Pacific American Alliance (1999-2003)


Chairperson, Asian/Asian-American Awareness Month Committee Eastern College Consortium Program (ECCO) in Bologna, Italy, 2001


Konkani (Fluent)

Italian (Fluent)

French (Basic)

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

6th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio


President of the Board of Directors, Verb Ballets

Class of 2023 Cleveland Bridge Builders Leadership Program

Hema Languages
Hema Admissons
Hema Memberships
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