Keith E. Kopplin

Shareholder Milwaukee

Keith E. Kopplin’s practice focuses on employment litigation and employment law matters.

Keith assists clients in resolving wage and hour class and collective actions, defending employment discrimination claims, responding to government audits, and improving workplace policies and procedures. He also provides day-to-day counseling to employers regarding a wide range of human resource matters including discipline and discharge decisions, the Wisconsin and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, wage and hour practices, and workplace accommodations.

Keith strives to find creative and cost-effective solutions to some of the most vexing workplace issues, including Family and Medical Leave Act abuse, incidents of off-the-clock work, and reasonable accommodation requests.  He has given presentations on numerous topics, including the use of social media by employees, Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, employee handbooks, workplace violence, employee privacy, the hiring process, the Wisconsin and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, discipline and discharge, and unemployment insurance.  Keith also presents customized training programs for employers.

He is admitted to practice in all Wisconsin state courts and in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin and the District of Colorado.


Experience

  • Granted motion to dismiss FMLA retaliation and interference claims brought by medical receptionist with driving restrictions stemming from head trauma who was unable to return to regular, full-time duty following exhaustion of leave entitlement.
  • Co-chaired trial of one of the first Wisconsin State Court class actions seeking compensation for clothes-changing activities performed by canning factory employees.  Among the issues of first impression addressed during this case was whether “gap-time” could be recovered under Wisconsin’s Wage Payments, Claims, and Collections Act, whether Wisconsin overtime claims can be heard by a jury, and whether clothes-changing rules can deter employees from taking off-premises meal periods, thereby rendering those breaks paid time. 
  • Assisted with defense of one of the first Wisconsin State Court class actions seeking compensation for donning and doffing activities performed in a prepared food facility.  After summary judgment was granted to our client finding the clothes-changing activities not compensable, plaintiffs appealed, and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court then granted our client’s petition for review.  Our client settled the matter before oral arguments, on favorable terms.
  • Negotiated settlement of off-the-clock overtime claims brought by four employees for a nuisance amount, despite their initial demand of approximately $200,000.
  • Secured voluntary dismissal, with prejudice, of a collective action seeking overtime compensation for a group of truck drivers through the use of a Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 safe harbor motion outlining the factual and legal deficiencies with their claims, including their likely overtime-exempt status under the Motor Carrier Act.
  • Successfully petitioned Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals twice pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f) to review order certifying class of approximately 300 administrative assistants seeking overtime compensation for alleged off-the-clock work.  The second review resulted in an order vacating the certification order and remanding the case for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes.  The plaintiffs’ subsequent effort to amend the pleadings to add opt-in plaintiffs as named plaintiffs was denied and the case was eventually dismissed for failure to prosecute.
  • Granted motion to dismiss claim brought by three former employees for penalties associated with our client’s alleged failure to pay prevailing wages under Chapter 66 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  After our client paid the prevailing wages allegedly due and owing during an administrative investigation, the employees commenced an action solely to collect liquidated damages.  As an issue of first impression, the circuit court agreed with our client that the penalty is only available under Chapter 66 if prevailing wages remain due and owing at the commencement of a civil action, dismissing plaintiff’s claims accordingly.
  • Awarded summary judgment on disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by establishing that the plaintiff was not disabled, despite having experienced a compensable worker’s compensation injury from frostbite.
  • Utilized a Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 Offer of Judgment to satisfactorily resolve a lawsuit seeking $750,000 in damages for harassment, discrimination, and civil conspiracy.
  • Successfully handled numerous administrative proceedings regarding discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour practices, and unemployment insurance benefits.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • State Bar of Wisconsin 

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Leaves, Leaves, and More Leaves! Successfully Managing the Most Difficult Situations (Immersion Session)'' - Kohler - September 2017
  • Private Client Presentation - ''Conducting Successful Workplace Investigations (Immersion Session)'' - Kohler - September 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Wage & Hour Roadmap: Federal and Wisconsin Tour'' - Kohler - September 2017
  • Private Client Presentation - ''Employment Documentation and Recordkeeping for Supervisors'' - Beloit - July 19, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''The Seasons of Employment Law – Fall: Termination'' - Kenosha - June 20, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Invisible Risks – Managing Mental Health Problems and Threats of Violence in the Workplace'' - Milwaukee - June 15, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''The Seasons of Employment Law- Fall: Termination'' - Brookfield and Appleton - April 4 - April 6, 2017
  • Private Client On-Site Training - ''The Bermuda Triangle of Employment Law'' - Beloit - March 30, 2017
  • Wisconsin LGBT Chamber Commerce - ''Top HR & Employment Law Issues for 2017'' - Milwaukee - February 09, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins "Reel Ethics" Briefing - ''What Hat Are You Wearing? Attorney—Client Privilege'' - Waukesha - January 2017
  • In-house CLE - ''Wage & Hour 101'' - Milwaukee - November 2016
  • Metro Milwaukee SHRM – Legislative SIG - ''Employers Feeling the B(u)rn: Managing Political Expression in the Workplace'' - Milwaukee - October 2016
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin – Sixth Annual Construction HR and Accounting Conference - ''Turning S.O.L into SOL(VED): Understanding the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Regulations'' - Wisconsin Dells - October 2016
  • Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services - ''How Do the New Overtime Regulations Impact You?'' - Egg Harbor - October 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Wage and Hour Jeopardy'' - Kohler - September 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Is It Time For a Change? Avoiding Legal Liability Under the New Overtime Regulations and Other Wage and Hour Pitfalls'' - Kohler - September 2016
  • American Payroll Association - Northeast Wisconsin Statewide Payroll Conference - ''Avoiding a DOL Audit'' - Green Bay - September 2016
  • Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee - ''How Do The New Overtime Regulations Impact You'' - Milwaukee - August 2016
  • Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training & Support – Region 4 Parent Technical Assistance Center – Webinar - ''How Do The New Overtime Regulations Impact You?”'' - August 2016
  • Walworth Country Human Resource Association - ''FMLA: Finally Manage Leave Abuse'' - Elkhorn - April 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Who’s the Boss? Updates from the U.S. Department of Labor'' - Brookfield and Appleton - March 2016
  • Milwaukee Bar Association - ''Social Media in the Workplace – NLRA Section 7 Rights Protected, Concerted Activity'' - Milwaukee - February 2016
  • Milwaukee Metro SHRM – Legislative SIG - ''Social Media in the Workplace – NLRA Section 7 Rights Protected, Concerted Activity'' - Milwaukee - January 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Employment Law Briefing: HIT OR MIS(classification)'' - Madison - November 2015
  • State Bar of Wisconsin’s Health, Labor & Employment Law Institute - ''Conducting Wage and Hour Audits – Identifying Policies and Practices that Give Rise to Litigation'' - Milwaukee - August 20, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Employment Law Update I.—Thanks For Coming To Work Today!'' - Kohler - June 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''It's All About Time'' - Kohler - June 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - ''Facebook Firings: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt You'' - Milwaukee - February 24, 2015

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

August 07, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Microchipping Employees: Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?"
March 29, 2017 - Wisconsin Law Journal - "Ogletree Deakins’ Kopplin sniffs out issues before they become unmanageable"
January 27, 2015 - SHRM.org - "Wis.: DOL and DWD Team Up to Reduce Employee Misclassification"

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