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I have worked with Erik extensively over the last few years, always with successful outcomes. I appreciate his practical and proactive approach to contentious employment matters, as well as his in-depth understanding of our unique industry. His guidance has not only resolved some complex issues, but also has helped us avoid issues that we otherwise might not have seen coming.”

Chief Human Capital Officer, Healthcare and Human Services Organization

Overview

Erik helps businesses manage their most valuable assets – their employees. 

Clients trust Erik’s ability to offer practical, effective advice on the many labor and employment issues that arise in the workplace.  He counsels employers of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, often helping them draft and enforce employment contracts, restrictive covenants and other workplace agreements.

While Erik’s goal is to help his clients stay out of court, his substantial experience before state and federal courts and administrative agencies across the country has prepared him to vigorously defend their interests when litigation is necessary.

Whether it is a workplace safety matter before OSHA, a traditional labor matter resulting in a grievance or unfair labor practice charge, or a sensitive internal investigation involving allegations of fraud or harassment, clients rely on Erik’s proven ability to guide them to positive resolutions. 

Erik is Vice Chair of Husch Blackwell’s Labor & Employment practice group.

I have worked with Erik extensively over the last few years, always with successful outcomes. I appreciate his practical and proactive approach to contentious employment matters, as well as his in-depth understanding of our unique industry. His guidance has not only resolved some complex issues, but also has helped us avoid issues that we otherwise might not have seen coming.”

Chief Human Capital Officer, Healthcare and Human Services Organization


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star - Midwest, 2019
  • Wisconsin Law Journal, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2018
  • Executive Leadership Program – Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, 2018
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2012-2017
  • American Bar Association/Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in Labor & Employment Law
  • Lorman Education Services, Distinguished Faculty

Education

  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School
    • with high honors
      • Order of the Coif
      • The George Washington Law Review
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin
    • with honors
      • Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Oneida Nation

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
Featured Case Study

Dismissal of OSHA Action Saves Company Millions

Erik’s team successfully persuaded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to completely dismiss an enforcement action against one of the nation’s largest producers of animal feed and veterinary pharmaceuticals. OSHA initially assessed six-figure penalties, as well as abatement steps that would have required comprehensive retrofitting at virtually all of the client’s facilities.

Erik identified the world’s preeminent expert in the industry, and his team successfully persuaded OSHA that the company’s facilities were safe and compliant as designed. By convincing OSHA to dismiss the case, Erik’s team saved the client more than $10 million.


Additional Experience

Advice and Counseling

  • Acted as regional employment counsel for national hair salon, handling litigation and regulatory matters in state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
  • Provided day-to-day counseling for employees located across the United States for international manufacturer of commercial laundry systems, and coordinated network of international legal providers for operations worldwide.

Employment Litigation

  • Represented world's largest company before Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on claims involving Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) discrimination/retaliation, gender discrimination and disparate pay.
  • Secured victory in federal court for national produce wholesaler in case involving breach of contract claims by former executive.
  • Defended regional social service organization against claims of discrimination in federal District Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Won summary judgment for construction executive in restrictive covenant dispute in federal court.

Workplace Safety

  • Represented national construction contractor in multistate dispute with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
  • Managed OSHA investigation involving employee fatality for multinational manufacturer of automotive components, including negotiation of favorable settlement to avoid repeat/willful citations.

Corporate Transactions

  • Handled all labor and employment components of complex corporate purchase and sale transaction for one of the nation's largest distributors of car wash systems and supplies, from due diligence to closing.
  • Represented family-owned regional bakery in sale of assets to publicly traded company.
Outside the Office

Music has always been an integral part of Erik’s life.

Erik has played the French horn since childhood, and his passion for music has taken him around the world. He has performed in Italy and Spain with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra; at the Rose Bowl in California with the University of Wisconsin Marching Band; and alongside other lawyers and judges as a member of the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra.

Erik currently plays with his parents, sister and brother-in-law in the nationally recognized Waukesha Area Symphonic Band.

Community Leadership

Erik is on the board of directors for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) and is co-chair of the organization’s alumni group, the Allegro Association.

He played in MYSO’s Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia and Senior Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 1999.

Erik has developed strong relationships in Scandinavia by virtue of his membership in the Brittingham Viking Organization (BVO), an international scholarship group with ties to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served on the board of directors of the BVO’s U.S. affiliate since 2017 and also serves as its outside counsel, providing advice on corporate and compliance issues.

Data Retention and Management

Managing information is a huge task for any organization. Erik founded and leads the firm’s Data Retention and Management group, which advises clients on all aspects of their data retention schedules and policies.  He also works closely with the members of the Husch Blackwell eDiscovery Solutions team in counseling clients on general email and electronic record retention and destruction.