Carol A. Poplawski

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC

$ $$$

North Upper Wacker Drive 155
Chicago 60606 IL US

Carol Poplawski has spent her entire career representing the interests of management in all areas of labor and employment law. She is a trial attorney and has litigated hundreds of cases in courts and before administrative agencies.

Ms. Poplawski’s litigation experience has given her a keen insight into the employment relationship which she shares with her clients when counseling, advising and training them on workplace issues.

This advice and counseling reaches the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies and well as small businesses and non-profit organizations. Additionally, Ms. Poplawski is a frequent speaker on workplace issues facing today’s employers.


  • J.D., DePaul University, 1986
  • B.S., University of Illinois, 1982

Admitted to Practice:

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern (including Trial Bar) and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin


Ms. Poplawski has tried age discrimination cases before federal juries in Ohio and Illinois. Additionally, she was lead trial attorney in a two-plaintiff sexual harassment case before a federal jury in Chicago, and also served as lead trial attorney in a Title VII retaliation case before a federal jury in Chicago.

Ms. Poplawski was lead trial attorney in two federal bench trials involving claims under the Labor Management Relations Act and Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and in employment discrimination cases before the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Throughout her career, Ms. Poplawski has been lead counsel in hundreds of cases in state and federal courts, covering the full range of employment litigation under laws like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act.

Additionally, she has served as lead counsel in cases raising state claims for wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, breach of contract, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and assault and battery. Ms. Poplawski’s skilled approach to defending these actions, routinely results in obtaining summary judgment or dismissal of these claims.

In addition to her employment litigation, Ms. Poplawski has considerable experience representing clients in the area of traditional labor law. Her work in this area has included the defense of unfair labor practice charges alleging refusal to bargain, unlawful termination or discipline, and retaliatory discharge and discipline.

Her experience also includes filing unfair labor practice charges against labor organizations for unlawful secondary boycotts. Ms. Poplawski has served as lead counsel in a unit clarification hearing and work jurisdictional disputes before the National Labor Relations Board, and has advised employers on union avoidance and campaigns.

Ms. Poplawski has been representing management in labor arbitrations throughout her career. She has handled over 60 arbitrations addressing a variety of just cause and contract interpretation issues. This experience permits her to advise employers on workplace issues in a union environment.

Professional Activities:

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section)


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North Upper Wacker Drive 155
Chicago 60606 IL US
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