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About Chris

Labor and employment counsel with business objectives top of mind

Chris Nickels helps employers understand and navigate the technical and sometimes nuanced confines of labor and employment law and litigation. He helps them devise and implement strategic plans that address leadership, accountability, policies, procedures and training. Areas in which he advises clients include:

  • Workplace safety and OSHA matters
  • Leave and accommodation issues
  • Class action defense
  • Health and life sciences
  • Franchise

Corporate clients seeking to innovate and improve their talent culture look to Chris for his experience and practical advice. He considers their broader business objectives, resources and industry in determining which approach is best. Chris investigates, evaluates and develops an effective legal solution or litigation strategy for his clients, all while keeping a keen eye on budget parameters.

A frequent speaker on employment law issues, Chris often provides on-site, customized training for his clients. He has been recognized by the State Bar of Wisconsin for his pro bono work and commitment to the community.

Experience in Action

  • Guides companies in understanding the potential costs, including the impact on productivity and job turnover, that can be tied to harassment and misconduct. Chris also helps employers develop proactive and concrete approaches to creating workplace environments where harassment and misconduct do not occur in the first place.
  • Counsels employers on a wide range of employment compliance issues, including wage and hour compliance and discipline and discharge matters.


  • Litigated over 40 employment discrimination matters to hearing, achieving positive decisions or effective settlements for his clients.
  • Advised an employer regarding communication plan and exit of several senior management staff.
  • Coordinated with state licensing and regulatory agency regarding a health care entity's employment of a medical provider with a restricted license.
  • Conducted investigation into allegations of unfair treatment made against senior management.
  • Advised regarding the evaluation and accommodation of employees who presented health-related restrictions.
  • Evaluated and advised an employer regarding construction work involving cutting of asbestos bricks, including OSHA regulatory compliance and separation of workspaces.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2022, 2024: Employment Law – Management; 2023, 2024: Litigation – Labor and Employment)
  • Chambers USA® (2024-present: Labor & Employment)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, member
  • Milwaukee Bar Association, member
  • Ronald McDonald House Eastern Wisconsin, Human Resources Committee, member; board of directors (2015-2024)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society (2015)

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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