About Steve

Strategic labor and employment litigator and advisor

Steve Kruzel is an experienced litigator and counselor who supports a wide range of employers — from multiple international manufacturers to startups — on traditional labor and employment issues. Steve’s practice has an emphasis on:

  • Union relations
  • Grievance arbitrations
  • Collective bargaining
  • Strategic defense of complex labor and employment disputes
  • Mergers and acquisition support
  • Class and collective action litigation

Steve works closely with his clients to gain a deep understanding of their businesses to help inform his legal and business advice. He also has completed two secondments for large clients and understands the unique pressures of serving in an in-house role. Steve relies upon this knowledge and experience to create negotiation, arbitration and litigation strategies that are comprehensive, practical and address each client’s needs and budgetary objectives.  

Steve is a frequent lecturer and trainer on labor law and employment topics.

Experience in Action

  • Negotiates, on an ongoing basis, collective bargaining agreements and assists employers in contract administration and arbitrations.
  • Defends employers in state and federal court as well as before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor and Wisconsin Equal Rights Division.
  • Represents unionized and nonunionized employers in response to charges, elections and in hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Provides customized, front-line training to employers and their supervisors, managers and human resources personnel.
  • Supports buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions regarding labor and employment issues.
  • Regularly defends clients in complex class and wage and hour collective actions.

Successes

  • Obtained dismissals and successful arbitration rulings on behalf of employers in cases involving employee discharges, paid time off benefits, position reassignments and other contractual disputes.
  • Successful negotiation of a multi-year collective bargaining agreement on behalf of a manufacturing client.
  • Oversaw and executed strategy that led to defeat of a union campaign at manufacturing client.
  • Provided day-to-day legal human resources support for large international manufacturing clients.
  • Navigated multiple clients through complex accommodation, disciplinary and termination decisions.
  • Obtained favorable settlements for multiple employers regarding class claims of failure to pay required wages to employees.

Professional Recognitions

  • State Bar of Wisconsin – Pro Bono Honor Society (2015)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch" (2021-2023: Labor and Employment Law - Management, 2023: Litigation- Labor and Employment)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • St. Thomas More High School
    • board chair, 2019-2021
    • board member, 2016-2019
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, member
  • American Bar Association, member
  • Milwaukee Bar Association, member
  • Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, volunteer
  • Children's Hospital Guardianship Pro Bono Clinic, volunteer

News & Insights

Education

Bar Admissions

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