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Thomas P. Godar
Attorney
33 East Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 1379
Madison, WI 53701-1379
Phone: (608) 234-6064
Fax: (608) 258-7138


Labor & Employment
Thomas Godar is a shareholder at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.’s Madison office and a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Team. Mr. Godar brings a decades-long passion for solving clients’ problems to his practice, which spans traditional labor law and all aspects of employment counseling and law. By learning a client’s culture, challenges and commitments for the future, Mr. Godar also adds value with his proactive counseling that reduces risks of conflict, litigation, or government interference with business objectives. Mr. Godar has experience in nearly all forms of administrative and civil litigation, whether at the federal or state level. He has also been involved in areas as diverse as sexual harassment avoidance, class action wage and hour issues, bargaining and advice regarding union relationships, executive compensation and contracts, and successful discipline of employees.

Education

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1981
  • University of Wisconsin, B.A, cum laude, 1977
  • Andhra University, Vishkaputnam, India (Telugu Diploma)

Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Awards & Distinctions

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in Labor and Employment Law (2009-2012), Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management and Litigation - Labor & Employment (2012-2014)
  • Named to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers list (2008-2013)
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®

Representative Work

  • Successful summary judgment and subsequent defense of FLSA summary judgment at Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successful appeal to California Court of Appeals reversing a million dollar verdict for employee.
  • Improve relationships with Union by use of Interest Based Bargaining.
  • Assist non-union employer in the purchase of unionized facilities, and dealt with ongoing collective bargaining obligations related to the purchase.
  • Provide human resources counsel to complex university related medical clinic.
  • Restructure relationship between orthopedic clinic and local hospital organization.
  • Engage in an investigation of employee misconduct, and counseled members of management regarding appropriate steps following completion of the investigation.
  • Draft employment, confidentiality, non-compete, consulting, independent contractor and sales representative agreements.
  • Represent clients before the National Labor Relations Board, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Madison Department of Civil Rights, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the U.S. Department of Labor, and other administrative agencies.
  • Develop policies and handbooks for employers.
  • Conducted seminars and training sessions for clients, as well as for Society for Human Resource Management, Lorman, National Business Institute, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Present training for trade organizations such as the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Builders Association, the Madison Builders Association, and others.

Professional Associations

  • Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Advisory Board Member
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Associate Member Board and former member of General Contractor Board
  • Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Former Member and Chairman, Wisconsin State Elections Board

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
  • Secretary, Okauchee Lake Management District Board
  • Board of Directors, Kettle Moraine Curling Club

Articles and Presentations

  • The Affordable Care Act, presenter, 45th Residential Services Association of Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 21, 2014).
  • Social Media for Municipalities: Friend or Foe?, presenter, Cities & Villages Mutual Insurance Company (May 8, 2014).
  • Impending Changes to Wisconsin’s Unemployment Compensation Laws, co-authorer with Tiffany Hutchens, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin (RSA-WI) Newsletter, Issue 4 - 2013.
  • Affordable Care Act – Are You Ready?, presenter, AGC of Greater Milwaukee (September 25, 2013).
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act – Spotlight on Class Action Suits Brought Against Employers, presenter, Lorman Education Services Annual Wisconsin Employment Law Update (July 31, 2013).
  • Tips on Winning an Unemployment Compensation Case: How to Assemble this Jigsaw Puzzle, presenter, 44th RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 23, 2013).
  • Affordable Care Act – How does Provider Health Insurance fit in the puzzle?, presenter, 44th RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 23, 2013).
  • FLSA Class Action Waiver Enforced in Mandatory Arbitration Agreement, WHD Workplace Newsletter, Spring 2013.
  • Changes and Victories for Employers: The Supreme Court 2012 Term, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Issue 2 - 2013.
  • The Sound Practice of “Happy Law”: Legal Experts Share 4 Tips for Heading Off Nuisance Lawsuits by Ex-employers, quoted, In Business Magazine, November 2012.
  • Milwaukee and Madison: A Need for Stronger Links, quoted, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (June 8, 2012).
  • What, Me Discriminate? The Ins and Outs of Non-Discriminatory Hiring and Firing, presenter, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 18, 2012).
  • Federal Healthcare Regulation Changes, presenter, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 17, 2012).
  • Federal Court Kills "Quickie" Election Rules Adopted by NLRB, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Issue 3 - 2012.
  • Wage and Hour Issues Loom Large, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Issue 2 - 2012.
  • What, Me Discriminate? The Ins and Outs of Non-Discriminatory Hiring and Firing, Residential Services of Wisconsin Annual Conference, May 2012.
  • How Disqualifying Are Conviction Records?, In Business Magazine, January 2012.
  • Employment, Human Resources & Labor Relations, presenter, Leadership AGC Business Management Symposium (November 15, 2011).
  • Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law, interviewed, WISC 3 TV – News 3 This Morning (November 1, 2011).
  • Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law, interviewed, WIBA 1340 AM Radio – Madison in the Morning (October 24, 2011).
  • Wisconsin’s New Concealed Carry Law, presenter, Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce (October 20, 2011).
  • Decision Time: Should Your Business Allow Guns on the Premises when Wisconsin’s Concealed-Carry Law Takes Effect?, quoted, In Business Magazine, August 2011.
  • Custodial Teams are Atwitter over Social Media – Networking and Training are Made Easier through the Use of Social Sites, quoted, Housekeeping Solutions (August 10, 2011).
  • How Federal Health Care is Impacting Services & Benefits, presenter, 42nd RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 19, 2011).
  • Collective Bargaining in Wisconsin: The Budget Repair Bill and Its Impact on Care Providers, presenter, 42nd RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 19, 2011).
  • Title VII Protects Third Party From Retaliation, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Issue 2 - 2011.
  • Who’s Coming to Dinner: Developing on Effective New Media Strategy (see The “Other” Side Side Bar), quoted, Corporate Report Wisconsin, March 2011.
  • NLRB Signals That Employees Facebook Comments Disparaging a Supervisor are Protected Activities, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Issue 1 - 2011.
  • Employers Beware: Social Media is Changing the Hiring Process, quoted, BizTimes (November 26, 2010).
  • Employment, Human Resources & Labor Relations, presenter, Leadership AGC Business Management Symposium (November 9, 2010).
  • Anti-Discrimination Laws Trump Residents' Racial Preference, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Inc. Newsletter, Oct. 2010, Issue 4 - 2010.
  • HR Law Meets Great Management – Can the Two Co-Exist?, presenter, 41st RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 20, 2010).
  • Determining the Prevailing Wage Rate, presenter, Lorman Education Services Seminar (January 28, 2010).
  • Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision Impacts Noncompetition Agreements, Wisconsin Medical Journal, co-authored with Attorney Paul Cranley, Vol. 108, No. 9, December 2009.
  • Legal Considerations for Employing Physicians, Wisconsin State Bar, panel moderator (September 9, 2009).
  • Employment Issues in a New Era: What Can We Expect with Democratic Control in Madison and Washington?, presenter, 40th RSA Wisconsin Annual Conference (May 20, 2009).
  • Employee Free Choice Act, Union Organizing Reborn: Employer Response, FranMac News, Quarterly Magazine for Taco Bell Franchisees, Vol. 14, No. 1, April 2009.
  • Direct Evidence of Discrimination: Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink, Credit Union Newsletter, Spring 2009.
  • Pulling a "Favre": Lessons in Employee Relations, Residential Services Association of Wisconsin Inc. Newsletter, Issue I - 2009; Wisconsin Medical Journal Medigram, October 2008.
  • Disaster Recovery / Human Resource Issues, presenter, 2008 Wisconsin State SHRM Conference (October 15-17, 2008).
  • Disaster Recovery / Human Resource Issues, 2008 Wisconsin SHRM State Conference (October 16, 2008).
  • Employment Developments: Expansion of the FMLA to Those Serving in the Military, presenter, Tri-County Human Resources Association (September 18, 2008).
  • House Passes Amendment to ADA, WHD Workplace Newsletter, Summer 2008.
  • Developing and Implementing Wellness Programs that Work and are Legal, Lorman Seminar (March 12, 2008).
  • Practical and Legal Issues of Employee Wellness Programs, presenter, Seminar on Employee Wellness Programs (March 12, 2008).
  • Disaster Recovery, Lorman Seminar on Human Resource Issues, February 13, 2008.
  • Employment Developments: Expansion of the FMLA to those Serving in the Military, Wisconsin Constructor, Issue I, 2008.
  • Employer/Employee Relations: From Good to Great, presenter, Wisconsin SHRM State Conference (October 11, 2007).
  • Reference Material: How to Give a Reference for a Former Employee, quoted, Business Watch Magazine, September 2007.
  • Wage and Hour Challenges: Do You Know Who’s Exempt and Who’s Not?, quoted, Business Watch Magazine, May 2007.
  • Covenants non-compete agreement: What good are they, anyhow?, Wisconsin Medical Journal, 2007, Volume 106, No. 3.
  • What Every Employer Needs to Know about Noncompete Agreements, quoted, BusinessWatch, December 2006.
  • How Far Can Companies Go?, quoted, BusinessWatch, May 2006.
  • “You’re Fired” Why Donald Trump Has It Easy Compared to You When It Comes to Terminating Employees, Wisconsin Badger Builder, March/April 2006.
  • Wage and Hour Challenges: Are You Prepared?, Business Watch, March 2006.
  • Workplace Spying: How Far Can Companies Go?, quoted, BusinessWatch, October 2005.