Stephen B. Rotter, Partner
Before forming The Workplace Counsel, Mr. Rotter was an employment litigator with an Am Law 100 firm, a federal prosecutor, a postal services litigator, and a human resources consultant and executive recruiter.
After graduating from Northwestern University with a Psychological Services degree, Mr. Rotter began his career as a human resources consultant and executive recruiter for employers across various industries. He co-founded a recruiting and consulting firm to assist companies with workplace issues, talent development, and hiring practices. His background and experience in working with human resource personnel to confidentially identify and evaluate internal resources and needs directly translates to his ability to work with employers on improving and enriching their workplaces - ranging from process improvements to harassment prevention to defending unfair employment practice claims. In addition, Mr. Rotter's experience in screening individuals for highly-specialized positions, negotiating deals, drafting and preparing employment contracts, and identifying problem areas lends itself well to his current practice and assisting clients with workplace issues and disputes.
After attending the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Mr. Rotter joined the United States Postal Service Employment Law Department where he investigated, litigated and mediated numerous discrimination and retaliation charges by employees in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Merit Systems Protection Board forums. Mr. Rotter immediately began appearing in court and mediations on behalf of the Postal Service - the second largest employer in the United States. He successfully won hearings involving allegations of race, age, gender, and disability discrimination, among other protected categories, in addition to several cases against employees for misconduct.
In 2008, Mr. Rotter was appointed as a Federal Prosecutor in Chicago to investigate and charge white-collar crimes on behalf of the Postal Service and worked closely with Federal agents to investigate, indict, and sentence employees and federal contractors engaged in fraud, waste, and abuse. As a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Rotter charged over 75 defendants between 2008-2013 in crimes involving employee theft, fraud, bribery, and embezzlement, in addition to defendants guilty of mortgage fraud, gun and drug violations, counterfeiting, and robbery.
In 2013, Mr. Rotter returned to focusing on the workplace and assists clients with defending against claims, charges, and external investigations, in addition to prosecuting employees involved in wrongdoing such as fraud and trade secret theft. His clients appreciate his practical advice, leading to efficient and successful results whether involving litigation, investigations, or settlement. Mr. Rotter provides advice and counsel to companies on everyday employment issues in addition to complex problems affecting his clients' ability to operate as effectively as possible. Mr. Rotter also conducts human resources and management training in an effort to assist clients with creating and developing positive workplaces and litigation avoidance.
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 2005
Northwestern University, B.S., Psychological Services, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Mr. Rotter has extensive litigation experience, including the following:
- Obtained complete defense verdict in U.S. District Court jury trial on behalf of Fortune 500 client against former employee's discrimination and harassment claims.
- Defended national residential and hospitality property owner and operator against former employee's claims of Title VII sex and race discrimination and retaliation resulting in full dismissal of claims.
- Defended national restaurant chain against wage and hour claims, resulting in de-certification of class and eventual dismissal of lawsuit.
- Successfully defended employer's termination of employee based on safety concerns in MSHA trial and against employee's discrimination and retaliation claims.
- Defended numerous clients against employee charges of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, leave, wage and hour, and other employment claims before the EEOC, DOL, NLRB, and various state agencies.
White-Collar Investigations and Defense
- Successfully defended Colorado-based company against grand jury investigation and potential charges for alleged EPA/OSHA violations.
- Obtained Restraining Order against client's former employee after threats of workplace violence.
- Successfully obtained dismissal of ADA Title II violations brought by restaurant patron.
- First-chaired litigation asserting civil theft charges against employee engaged in fraud and embezzlement.
- Defended dairy company against false allegations of animal mistreatment, including criminal investigation by law enforcement and civil claims by plaintiffs, resulting in dismissal of lawsuit.
Restrictive Covenant Litigation
- Successfully defended national media company and its newly hired employee against allegations by competitor for trade secret violations, breach of non-compete, and tortious interference.
- Prosecuted former employee of client after breach of non-solicitation and non-competition agreement, resulting in issuance of permanent injunction.
- Successfully defended numerous clients against allegations of trade secret violations and tortious interference of contract, leading to defeats of restraining orders and eventual case resolution with zero damages.
- Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, Colorado Super Lawyers, Labor and Employment Law, 2020
- Award for Prosecutorial Excellence Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Service
- Bruce B. Johnson Memorial Scholarship, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
- Evans Scholar Recipient, Northwestern University
- "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act," Client Training, Denver, Colorado, July 2020
- "Sick Leave and C19 - FFCRA, EFMLA, and PSL," Client Training, Denver, Colorado July 2020
- "Manager Training: Legal Updates and You," Client Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, June 2020
- "Managing C19 and Your Workplace," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, April 2020
- "Closing the Gender Gap," The Workplace Counsel, Denver, Colorado, November 2019
- "Illinois Workplace Law Refresher and Updates," Client Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, November 2019
- "Workplace Violence Prevention: Enabling a Safe Environment," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, September 2019
- "Workplace Investigations: Employment Issues and Protecting the Business," Client Training, Chicago, Illinois, April 2019
- "The Gender Gap: Doing More for the Workplace," Client Training, Chicago, Illinois, March 2019
- "Invisible Risks: Managing Mental Health Problems in the Workplace," Mile High SHRM Briefing, Denver, Colorado, September 2018
- "Battle of the Sexes: Doing More for the Workplace," Client Briefing, Denver, Colorado, August 2018
- "Protecting Your Workplace," Client Briefings, Denver, Fort Collins & Boulder, Colorado, April 2018
- "The Cost of Noncompliance in Performance Management," National Human Resources Webinar, April 2018
- "Thieves, Bullies, and Fraudsters: How To Protect Your Workplace From Evildoers," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, November 2017
- "Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, August 2017
- "Recognizing and Responding to Threats of Workplace Violence: A Practical Guide," Mile High SHRM Briefing, Denver, Colorado, May 2017
- "Workplace Investigations: Employment Issues and White Collar Defense," Mile High SHRM Webinar, Denver, Colorado, April 2017
- "Workplace Investigations," Client Briefing, Denver, Colorado, March 2017
- "Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em? A Panel on Dispute Resolution," Client Briefing, Denver, Colorado, September 2016
- "Hostile Work Environment: When Enough is Enough," National Management Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, June 2016
- "Strategic Approaches to Leave Issues," Client Briefing, Denver, Colorado, April 2016
- "Drug-Testing in the Workplace," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, February 2016
- "Breaking Up is Hard To Do: Drafting Effective and Enforceable Separation Agreements," Client Seminar, Denver, Colorado, October 2015
- "Panel on Recruiting and Interviewing Practices," National Annual Managers Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, May 2015
- "A Nightmare Employee: The Drug-Smoking, Leave-Abusing, Social Media Posting Bully," Client Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, October 2014
"Workplace Issues with Federal Employees," National Postal Service OIG Conference, Potomac, Illinois, November 2012