Jeffrey S. Kopp is one of the country’s leading prevailing wage counselors. A partner in the Detroit office, Jeff represents employers in federal and state cases around the country and in traditional labor grievance arbitrations. He focuses on trade secrets/noncompete cases, prevailing wage compliance, government contractor employment compliance, and leave and accommodation issues. Jeff also handles employment and commercial litigation matters for automotive clients. He is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment and Litigation Practices.
Jeff is an experienced advocate and has handled hundreds of labor arbitrations and unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB. He has successfully defended appeals before the U.S. Sixth Circuit and the Michigan Court of Appeals. Most recently, he successfully obtained a jury verdict for an automotive client in a multimillion-dollar recall litigation matter and prevailed in several employee noncompete disputes.
Jeff has authored articles for Practical Law on both the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and is very knowledgeable about state law prevailing wage issues. In addition to litigation, Jeff regularly provides employers with proactive employment counseling techniques to minimize the risk of litigation. He regularly advises corporate clients in labor and employment issues in merger and acquisition transactions and with complex FMLA, OFCCP, OSHA, and EEO compliance, unemployment, workers compensation leave, prevailing wage issues, and noncompete and trade secret matters. He is a member of the firm’s Manufacturing Sector, Automotive Industry Team, and the Affirmative Action Compliance and the Trade Secret/Non-Compete Task Forces.
Jeffrey’s notable recent engagements successfully representing:
- Manufacturing clients in defending investigations before the Department of Labor regarding alleged FMLA violations.
- An automotive supplier in the defense of litigation alleging claims for interference and retaliation under the FMLA.
- A construction client in a Service Contract Act audit and investigation by the Department of Labor.
- Automotive suppliers in obtaining numerous summary judgment victories in age, sex, disability, and race discrimination lawsuits.
- Various manufacturing and hospital clients concerning FMLA, ADA accommodation, and military leave and benefits issues under USERRA.
- Federal contractors in obtaining favorable results in OFCCP desk and on-site audits, and Service Contract Act audits.
- Manufacturing clients in numerous injunctive relief proceedings related to the enforcement of the company’s rights against departing employees who were alleged to have, among other things, violated their employment agreements and misappropriated trade secrets.
- Manufacturer in prosecution of claims against former employees for breach of fiduciary duty and other torts related to the former employee’s start-up of a competing business.
- Automotive suppliers in obtaining a favorable settlement and jury verdicts in multimillion-dollar warranty and recall disputes.
- Private equity companies in handling all aspects of labor and employment transitions in mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions.
- A defense contractor and manufacturer in obtaining successful results in numerous labor grievance discharge arbitrations.
Awards and Recognition
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Employment Law — Management and Litigation — Labor and Employment (2021 – 2024)
- Selected for inclusion in the Michigan Super Lawyers® lists (2013 – 2016)
- Recognized as the Barrister of the Year in 2007 and 2008
- Received the State Bar of Michigan’s Unsung Hero Award in 2012 for his efforts in leading various pro bono initiatives
- State Bar of Michigan
- Detroit Bar Association
- Barristers Organization (former board member and president)
- Member, Board of Governors, West Point Society of Michigan
- Lifetime member, Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Detroit Legal Services Clinic (pro bono services)
- Graduate, Leadership Detroit XXVIII
- Former board member, Arkay
Jeff recently retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he served in numerous roles, including the International Law/Rule of Law Advisor to the Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He also served as the Commander of the 91st Legal Operations Detachment (JAG) in Darien, Illinois. He deployed to Iraq in 2008 as the Detainee Operations Counsel at Camp Cropper in Baghdad. Among other awards, Jeffrey is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal.
Presentations and Publications
Jeffrey frequently writes and lectures about a variety of topics, including FMLA and ADA accommodation issues.
- Speaker, “Emerging Employment Law Issues,” 48th Labor and Employment Law Institute, Michigan State Bar (April 14, 2023).
- Author, “Government Contracts: Service Contract Labor Standards Compliance,” Thomson Reuters Practical Law, May 2023.
- Author, “Davis Bacon Act: Overview,” Thomson Reuters Practical Law, December 2022.
- Co-author, “ADA Website Accessibility: What Businesses Need to Know,” Journal of Management Policy & Practice (October 5, 2020)
- Co-author, “Key employment issues facing employers in the automotive industry,” Thomson Reuters® Westlaw® Journal (April 2, 2020)
- Speaker, “FMLA Intermittent Leave Issues: Strategies for Preventing Abuse,” Clear Law Institute (January and June 2019)
- Speaker, “Joint Employer Issues,” 2015 State of the Law: Tools to Minimize Risks and Maximize Your Role, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACCA) – Michigan (November 18, 2015)
- Contributor, “Experts Give Their Solutions to Difficult Workplace Problems,” What’s Working in Human Resources (November, 2015)
- Presenter, “Tackling Difficult FMLA Intermittent Leave Issues: Strategies for Preventing Abuse,” (September 10, 2015)
- Speaker, “FMLA Intermittent Leave: Preventing Abuse While Mitigating Interference or Retaliation Claims,” Strafford Webinar (February 26, 2014)
- Speaker, “FMLA Abuse: How to Spot It – and Stop It,” BLR FMLA Abuse Webinar (March 2011)
- Co-author, “Implementing a Drug and Alcohol Testing Program — Things to Consider,” Employment Law Update – Foley & Lardner LLP Legal News (December 2010)
- Author, “The Expanding Reach of the OFCCP — Are You a Government Contractor?,” Employment Law Update – Foley & Lardner LLP Legal News (November 2010)
- Speaker, “When Johnny (or Joanna) Comes Marching Home Again: Are You on Top of USERRA,” Foley & Lardner LLP Web conference (June 2009)
- Speaker, “Labor and Employment Year in Review,” Fourth Annual State of the Law Update, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACCA) – Michigan (April 2009)
- Editor in chief, Teenagers and the Law Handbook (2008)
Jeff Kopp is the Detroit Office hiring partner and is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. He also is the office Professional Responsibility Partner. He previously served as the Detroit Office Litigation Department Chair.