Thomas C. Pence



Thomas C. Pence is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He represents employers in labor negotiations, labor arbitrations, and NLRB proceedings. Mr. Pence also counsels employers concerning all aspects of employment and labor law, including reductions in force, the ADA, the FMLA, and workplace harassment. He works with employers to develop problem prevention processes, training programs, and alternative dispute resolution programs. Mr. Pence is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law topics and is the former chair of the firm's Labor & Employment Practice.


Mr. Pence has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2005 – 2017). He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of labor and employment law. Mr. Pence was also selected for inclusion in the 2007 and 2008 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists.


Mr. Pence received his bachelor's degree in 1977 from Indiana University, and his law degree from Indiana University in 1980, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.


Mr. Pence is admitted to practice in Wisconsin. He also is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representative Matters

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Harley-Davidson is an American manufacturer of heavyweight touring and cruiser motorcycles. In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its long-term business strategy to drive growth through a single-minded focus of efforts and resources on the unique strengths of the Harley-Davidson brand and to enhance productivity and profitability through continuous improvement. That included a strategy to develop world-class manufacturing capability throughout the company by restructuring and consolidating operations for greater competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. The company sought flexibility to produce motorcycles closer to customer demand, enabling delivery of the right motorcycle to the right customer at the right time. Harley-Davidson certainly has had many advisors in its 110-year history who have supported the company’s vision, and Foley is honored to have been one of its legal advisors in a wide array of areas for more than 25 years. In particular, Harley-Davidson gave Foley the opportunity to assist with its recent strategic efforts in several ways. We supported Harley-Davidson in the transformational restructuring of its manufacturing operations in York, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; and Wisconsin by assisting the company in negotiating new “state-of-the-art” labor agreements to facilitate flexible manufacturing, continuous improvement and third-party sequencing. Foley also has assisted Harley-Davidson with the insourcing of its transportation management operations, which also supports the company’s advanced manufacturing philosophy and commitment to efficiency. We have been involved in contract development in logistical areas such as a new shipping crate that enables the company to better track and manage motorcycles during shipping and a corresponding shipment/distribution arrangement that helps the company to more efficiently manage its shipment of motorcycles to dealers. Another area in which we assisted the company was in the negotiation of a sequencing and subassembly services contract under which a third party provides those services to support just-in-time manufacturing at Harley-Davidson’s restructured York, Pennsylvania, manufacturing facility. In addition to our significant work on that venture, we assisted Harley-Davidson in connection with the opening of the new leased facility from which the third party provides those sequencing and subassembly services. Our assistance included negotiating service agreements with equipment and service providers who were responsible for moving equipment from the service provider’s former facility to the new facility, installing electrical/compressed air systems, installing docking systems, and other important logistical aspects. At a Glance: Next-Generation Manufacturing Business Issues: • Continuous Process Improvement• Enterprise-Wide Supply and Distribution Chain Management and Collaboration• Facilities Siting, Reconfiguration, and Management• Next-Generation Technologies