Employers in Michigan and throughout the United States regularly encounter complex issues dealing with employees and unions. Because an enterprise’s success heavily depends on its workforce, proactively managing labor and employment issues is critical.  The labor and employment practice at McShane & Bowie is proactive, with an emphasis on avoiding problems, limiting risk, and minimizing problems when they occur, but also vigorously defending litigation, administrative claims, and arbitrations when they occur.

Employment Counsel

We proactively and practically advise clients on all stages of the life cycle of the employment relationship, including:

  • Recruiting, interviewing, performing background checks, and making conditional offers of employment
  • Making acceptance of an offer of employment conditional on the candidate executing an appropriate employment and arbitration agreement (which shortens the period for filing claims), and confidentiality, invention and non-solicitation or non-compete agreement
  • Advising on executive incentive compensation and deferred compensation arrangements
  • Consulting on discipline, performance improvement plans, discharge decisions, termination letters, and severance agreements
  • Advising on workplace violence prevention and investigation, drug and alcohol problems, and the surrounding issues
  • Reviewing exempt and nonexempt status, travel time policies, meal and break periods, and other potential wage and hour landmines for employers
  • Planning for reductions in force and compliance with WARN requirements
  • Advising on Title VII, ADEA, OWBPA, OSHA, FLSA, NLRA, WARN, and their state counterparts, as applicable, as well as FMLA, ADA, worker’s compensation, and leave issues, especially where those issues overlap
  • Preparing and presenting training and workshops for managers and supervisors on topics such as documentation, discipline and discharge, labor and employment law for supervisors and managers, harassment and discrimination prevention, wage and hour law compliance, and top ten mistakes in labor and employment law
  • Conducting investigations into allegations of sexual and other harassment and discrimination, and making recommendations to address problem behavior
  • Reviewing and drafting language regarding labor and employment provisions in transaction agreements
  • Advising on record retention requirements
  • Evaluating independent contractor status and preparing agreements concerning same

Litigation, Arbitration, and Administrative Claims

When employer-employee and employer-union disagreements arise, we vigorously defend our clients’ interests, seeking to obtain the best possible outcomes.  Our attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of lawsuits and charges brought by employees in federal and state courts in Michigan and elsewhere, including collective and class action litigation. Our track record is equally impressive before administrative agencies and tribunals such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, and their state counterparts.  We have enjoyed great success in defending employers in arbitration.  Our attorneys have routinely handled litigation, administrative matters or arbitrations as applicable, involving:

  • Sexual harassment and other forms of alleged harassment
  • Discrimination of all types whether based on age, gender, race, disability, religion, national origin, or other protected status
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Wrongful discharge and retaliation allegations
  • Trade secret, breach of fiduciary duties, and non-compete lawsuits
  • Unfair labor practice charges
  • Wage, hour, and overtime claims, including collective actions
  • Class action litigation
  • Government investigations

Management Labor Law Counsel

Our experience includes thoughtfully advising employers concerning:

  • Union avoidance
  • Union elections
  • Negotiating the initial and ongoing collective bargaining agreements
  • Collective bargaining agreement administration
  • Shut down agreements
  • Grievance processing, mediation, and arbitration
  • Picketing and work stoppages

Representative Clients

Our attorneys have represented clients in businesses of all kinds, including large publicly held companies.  In the automotive arena, our attorneys have represented numerous companies in the automotive industry, including automotive suppliers in all tiers.


Commanding and Simplifying Your Legal Complexities in Business and Real Estate


99 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 1100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Street Address

McShane & Bowie, P.L.C.
99 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Grand Rapids, MI 49503