Timothy G. Costello

Shareholder || Milwaukee

Timothy G. Costello has been practicing labor and employment law since 1980. His practice emphasis is in the construction, hard goods manufacturing, food manufacturing, and distribution industries.

Tim is a contributing author to various publications on Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Law, OSHA and related safety issues, and co-author of Construction Labor and Employment Law for the Wisconsin Contractor, published by the Wisconsin Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.

He is a frequent presenter to employers and associations on federal and state discrimination law, OSHA and employee discipline and the law. As a member of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s Human Resources Steering Committee, Tim is also involved in several employment cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court or its Courts of Appeals as amicus curiae and has testified before Joint Legislative Committees in Wisconsin concerning employment law reforms.

He is admitted to practice in all Wisconsin state courts, before the U.S. District Courts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern District of Illinois. Tim is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits.

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Some examples of Tim’s litigation experiences are:

  • handling a major labor arbitration involving the right of union employees to engage in sympathy strikes, and litigation concerning keeping peace on picket lines by defining the union’s right to picket and the employer’s right to do business;
  • prevailing in arbitration involving claims of pay guarantees in excess of $30 million;
  • a major ergonomics case which resulted in OSHA significantly reducing the fine and withdrawing major portions of the citation or withdrawing the citation altogether;
  • obtaining a favorable jury verdict of no-liability in an ADA matter brought by the EEOC;
  • an OSHA decision reducing proposed OSHRC penalties from $255,500 to $33,500; and
  • Obtaining a dismissal, which was approved by the Court of Appeals, of a discrimination matter brought by a physician who did not obtain credentials for a hospital.

Tim has also handled over 100 labor arbitrations and has represented many employers in collective bargaining negotiations.


  • J.D., Marquette University Law School, 1980
  • B.A., cum laude, Marquette University, 1977

Admittance to Practice

  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits

Professional Activities

  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (Member of Human Resources Steering Committee)
  • Associated General Contractors, Wisconsin Chapter
  • Associate Board of Directors, Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Legislative Council (Public Member of Special Committee on Genetic and Medical Information in the Workplace)
  • Associated General Contractors (National Labor Lawyers Council)
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, Inc.
  • Wisconsin Legislative Council Committee on the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Wisconsin Legislative Council Committee on Expunction of Criminal Records (testified)
  • Associate Member, Board of Directors of the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc. Chapter


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Drowning in Documentation? Staying Compliant and Current With Handbooks, Investigations, and Other Employment Documentation" - Phoenix - May 9, 2018
  • Metro Milwaukee SHRM - Fall Forum and Legal Legislative Update - "Federal & WI Regulatory Update" - Milwaukee - November 8, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Welcome and Breaking News: Update on Trump Administration" - Kohler - September 13 - 15, 2017
  • WMC Policy Day - "Recent NLRB and DOL Changes and the Impact on Employers" - Madison - August 16, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "The Seasons of Employment Law - Winter: Claims and Charges" - Brookfield and Appleton - April 4 - 6, 2017
  • Madison Area Corporate Counsel Network - Federal and Wisconsin Employment Law Update - "Labor Law Reform and Rollbacks" - Madison - March 9, 2017
  • Madison Area Corporate Counsel Network - Federal and Wisconsin Employment Law Update - "Wisconsin Reform Redux" - Madison - March 9, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins / Madison Area Corporate Counsel Network Briefing - "Federal & Wisconsin Employment Law Update: Labor Law Reform and Rollbacks/Wisconsin Reform Redux" - Madison - March 9, 2017
  • Private Client Briefing - "Emergent Employment Law Issues" - Neenah - January 25, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins "Reel Ethics" Briefing - "Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents" - Waukesha - January 2017
  • Plumbing Mechanical Sheet Metal Contractors’ Alliance - "OSHA Legal Developments in the Recordkeeping Arena" - Milwaukee - November 2016
  • Society of Human Resource Managers Sauk/Columbia County Chapter - "You Have Disciplinary Documentation But Is It Bullet Proof" - Wisconsin Dells - November 2016
  • Society of Human Resource Professionals/Management Resource Association, Milwaukee Chapter - "Recent Developments in Religious and Disability Accommodations in the Workplace" - Brookfield - November 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar, Moderator - "Strategies for Effective Collaboration on Cross-Border Labor & Employment Issues Session" - Chicago - May 2016
  • International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists - "Update On The EEOC’s Enforcement Initiatives Impacting Employee Benefits" - Milwaukee - April 2016
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association - "Paving a New Employment Relationship: Union, Wage, Safety & Pension Reforms" - Bonita Springs - February 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Ch-Ch-Changes – The State of Affairs in Wisconsin" - Kohler - June 25, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Employment Law Update II – Please Ignore My Performance and Misconduct!" - Kohler - June 25, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Can You Keep A Secret?" - Kohler - June 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Organized Employees Beware: New Legal Pitfalls Courtesy of the NLRB" - San Antonio - May 15, 2015
  • Not Your Father's NLRB - "Don’t Break The Rules: The NLRB’s Regulation of Basic Work Policies" - Chicago - March 27, 2015
  • Best Lawyers in America (2019)
  • Leading Lawyer for Business, Chambers and Partners USA (2018)
  • AV Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Member, Madison Who’s Who of Professionals (2006-2007)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2005-2018)

Insights by Timothy G. Costello