Thompson, Troy D.

Troy D. Thompson

Lisa Lindert


Troy D. Thompson is a partner and Labor and Employment Practice Group Leader with the law firm of Axley Brynelson, LLP in Madison, Wisconsin. Attorney Thompson’s practice focuses on helping his clients be successful in legal compliance, operational flexibility, leadership development, and risk avoidance and management matters.  He represents businesses, municipalities, and their insurers in business, labor and employment, risk avoidance and management, and litigation matters across the country.  His clients span the range from large businesses with multi-state and global operations to small and mid-sized multi-generation family businesses and everything in between.

Attorney Thompson is committed to his clients’ current and long-term success and subscribes to a model of servant leadership.  He counsels his clients to commit to excellence, give their best efforts on a daily basis for institutional and individual success, always lift up, and remember that effort never had a bad day.  He and his wife have together provided hundreds of hours of community service including especially coaching girls youth basketball and soccer.  He believes in leaving egos outside the door but has difficulty restraining his pride in his children including NCAA Division 1 collegiate runners in the Big 10 and ACC as well as a talented artist who each share his strong work ethic and spirit of perseverance in the face of challenge.

Attorney Thompson frequently represents clients in transactional, risk management, and litigation matters. He has been admitted pro hac vice and managed local counsel in federal and state courts and agencies around the country on behalf of his clients.  He has also appeared before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (MSHA & MSHRC) the Occupational and Safety Health Review Commission (OSHA & OSHRC), the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC), the Wisconsin Wage and Hour Division, the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD), the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Division, the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Division, and the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission (MEOC).  He is available to serve as local counsel for multi-national organizations with claims pending in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  The following are select examples of his representation experience:

Leadership Development
  • Coach clients on leadership development and business planning;
  • Coach clients on team development including employee recruiting, hiring, performance management and coaching, corrective action and discipline, reasonable accommodation and other leaves of absence, and termination matters;
  • Advisory counsel to telecommunications and manufacturing companies on employment and litigation matters across the country.
Enterprise Risk Avoidance & Management
  • Team development for rapid response site control and evidence preservation;
  • Coordination of experts including accounting, data forensics, engineering, environmental, fire and explosion causation, medical, valuation, and vocational experts;
  • Crisis communication leadership;
  • Emergency action and business continuity planning;
  • Litigation of civil disputes;
  • Management and oversight of client risk management programs and litigation portfolios.
Restrictive Covenants & Unfair Competition
  • Prepare, draft, enforce, and challenge seller, buyer, and employee restrictive covenants in compliance with law including but not limited to covenants of confidentiality and non-disclosure of trade secrets, non-competition, customer non-solicitation, employee non-solicitation, and covenants of;
  • Assist development of trade secret protection programs including engineering and administrative security controls;
  • Litigate breaches of restrictive covenants and other torts of unfair competition including but not limited to intentional interference with contract, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, misappropriation of corporate opportunities, misappropriation of trade secrets and other confidential information, and injury to business.
Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations
  • Serve as chief labor negotiator on behalf of acute care hospital, manufacturers, credit union, construction contractors, and municipalities for initial or successor collective bargaining agreements;
  • Successfully defend acute care hospital, rural hospital, nursing home, national blood bank, school district, municipal police department, and construction contractors in union organizational drives with petitions for election filed before the NLRB and Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (“WERC”);
  • Successfully defend businesses against unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charges before the NLRB including alleged or threatened business closures, relocation or transfer of business operations to other states, lean manufacturing, unilateral changes to terms or conditions of employment;
  • Successfully defend acute care hospital and construction contractors against “objections to election” before NLRB.
Litigation & Management of Disputes
  • Manage product liability, personal injury, worker’s compensation, or employment claims on behalf of multi-state manufacturer, telecommunications companies, electrical utility contractor, and equipment lessor;
  • On behalf of orthopedic surgery clinic litigate business ownership issues and breaches of fiduciary duty, conflicts of interest, and unfair competition by departing owner and affiliated hospital;
  • On behalf of acute care hospital and home health care provider, obtain dismissal of registered nurse’s federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) lawsuit, pending before United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin;
  • On behalf of a manufacturer, obtain dismissal of former employee’s federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) complaint, pending before United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin;
  • On behalf of a printing company, obtain dismissal of former employee’s federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) complaint, pending before United States Department of Labor;
  • On behalf of a manufacturer, obtain dismissal of former employee’s Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (“WFEA”) sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaint, pending before State of Wisconsin Equal Rights Division;
  • On behalf of printing company, obtain dismissal of former employee’s federal military leave complaint under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), pending before United States Department of Labor;
  • On behalf of a healthcare institution and national blood bank, obtain dismissal of former employee’s whistleblower/retaliation complaint, pending before Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”);
  • On behalf of many clients, obtain dismissals of disability, gender, and race discrimination complaints, pending before State of Wisconsin Equal Rights Division under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (“WFEA”);
  • On behalf of employers and insurance carriers, defend primary worker’s compensation and “unreasonable refusal to rehire” penalty claims, pending before Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Division.
Safety & Health
  • Representation of mine operators in MSHA inspection and citation and penalty contest matters;
  • Representation of businesses in OSHA inspection and citation and penalty contest matters including, tragically and unfortunately, more than a dozen worker fatality matters;
  • Representation of businesses and individuals in OSHA whistleblower claims.

Attorney Thompson enjoys working with high integrity individuals and being an added-value member of his clients’ teams.  He is committed to continuous self-improvement, tries to learn from everyone, and strives to provide same-day responsiveness to clients.

Admitted to practice in the State Courts of Wisconsin, Federal Courts of the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.


J.D., Marquette University
B.S., Advertising/Public Relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Involvement & Recognition


  • Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Group, Axley Brynelson, LLP
  • Member, Dane County Bar Association
  • Member, Labor and Litigation Sections, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, Blackhawk Human Resources Association


  • Named to the 2007-2010 Wisconsin Rising Stars Lists (Primary Area of Practice: Employment and Labor Law)


Other Presentations & Publications
Article: Legalities of Human Resources, Hoard's Dairyman, October, 2023
Article: "Minimizing Liability Exposure to Worker's Compensation Wrongful Termination Claims" Wisconsin Employment Law Letter (9/2015)
Article: "NLRB Hacks Employer E-Mail Systems." Wisconsin Employment Law Letter (1/2015)
Presentation: "Wage and Hour: Minimizing Liability Exposure to Wage and Hour and Prevailing Wage Claims." Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin (4/2013)
Presentation: "How to Coach, Discipline, and Discharge Employees." Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin (2/2013)
Presentation: "Preventing Unfair Competition by Current and Former Employees." Axley Brynelson, LLP (11/2012)
Article: "Bully 'Beat Down' Bill Throws Performance Management Under the Bus." Wisconsin Employment Law Letter (9/2013)