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About Sean

Pragmatic, collaborative and results-oriented employment counsel

Sean Scullen is a no-nonsense legal professional with a wide array of experience and particular strengths advising on wage and hour issues and mounting solid defenses against class actions. Having deep experience working with employers in the higher education, health care, manufacturing and financial services industries, Sean focuses on:

  • Employment law counseling
  • Employment litigation and litigation prevention

As a friendly competitor says, Sean impresses both clients and peers as a “lawyer with buckets of common sense.” He works smart and controls costs, develops options and gives clear recommendations, always placing the highest priority on delivering solutions aligned with a client’s business objectives.

Sean is national co-chair of the Quarles Labor & Employment Practice Group.

Experience in Action

  • Representing both private and public sector employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including multijurisdictional defense of litigation, employment discrimination and whistleblower claims, collective bargaining, contract administration, grievance arbitration, noncompetition and trade secret litigation, and federal and state wage and hour, FMLA, USERRA, state military leave and OSHA compliance.
  • Advising on benefits disputes and related litigation, including claims under ERISA related to denial of benefits, coverage disputes and investigations regarding fiduciary compliance and related matters.
  • Helping higher education institutions comply with federal and state laws, including Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Helping clients avoid or litigate class action and multi-plaintiff matters, including collective/class wage and hour claims.
  • Developing claim-avoidance strategies for clients to respond to the increase in litigation, particularly in the wage and hour area.


  • Successfully defended a class and collective action brought by and on behalf of hundreds of day laborers (many undocumented) alleging minimum wage and overtime violations, and their claims of retaliation.
  • Defended claims brought against a meat processing facility related to time employees spent donning and doffing protective equipment. The client paid no damages in connection with the claims.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement in connection with defending a client against a class and collective action by and on behalf of a significant class of mortgage loan officers in multiple states. The plaintiffs claimed minimum wage and overtime violations in connection with allegations of improper classification.
  • Represented a client in an OSHA-reportable fatality from the early phase of internal investigation through OSHA’s onsite investigation and internal and external communications. Successfully litigated and resolved issue violations and assisted the client with proactive follow-up workplace safety audit and policy changes.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2019: Employment Law – Management)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2011-present: Employment & Labor)
  • Best Lawyers in America® (2010–present: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management)
  • Chambers USA® (2004–present)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2006-2009)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Labor and Employment Section, member
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, member
  • Human Resources Management Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, member
  • Children’s Outing Association, board of directors
  • Waukesha County Community Foundation, board of directors
  • Next Door Foundation, board of directors

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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