Christopher R. Mikula

Associate Detroit (Metro)

Christopher R. Mikula’s practice focuses on defending businesses in traditional labor matters, and in employment counseling and litigation. Immediately prior to joining Ogletree, Mr. Mikula worked at a large Michigan-based law firm where he focused on these same areas of practice. Before entering private practice, Mr. Mikula served as Legal Director for the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan (SEIU) in Detroit, Michigan.

Mr. Mikula regularly defends employers in litigation matters in state and federal courts as well as in administrative charges and hearings brought before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Michigan Department of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Labor, and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth – Wage and Hour Division.

Mr. Mikula also has significant experience representing management in collective bargaining negotiations, and in representing companies in labor arbitration and employment arbitration matters.

In addition to his experience in adversarial matters, Mr. Mikula also specializes in providing preventative legal advice to help companies develop positive labor-relations strategies and avoid litigation and labor organizing. Mr. Mikula has also drafted and revised dozens of employee handbooks and numerous other types of employment policies to ensure clear communication of workplace objectives while also ensuring compliance with ever-developing federal and state laws.


  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national automobile hauling company in a suit where the plaintiff had alleged that he was terminated because of his race, in violation of Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (Western District of Michigan, 2016).
  • Obtained dismissal, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), of putative class action alleging that the employer failed to compensate unionized employees properly in violation of the Labor Management Relations Act (Eastern District of Michigan, 2016).
  • Obtained arbitration decision upholding discharge of 17-year employee of utility company who was involved in an alcohol-related accident in a company vehicle after work hours (American Arbitration Association, 2015).
  • Obtained dismissal of race and age discrimination claims pursued through private arbitration by engineer discharged from employment at national automobile manufacturer (American Arbitration Association, 2015).
  • Obtained dismissal of unfair labor practice charge filed by former employee who alleged that she had been terminated from her human resources position in retaliation for her protected, concerted activities in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (National Labor Relations Board, 2016).
  • Motion to Dismiss granted in favor of mortgage lender sued by former employee alleging race discrimination and FMLA interference (Eastern District of Michigan, 2015).
  • Dismissal of age discrimination civil rights charge filed against nursing home employer by terminated employee (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2015).
  • Advised parking management company during labor negotiations with Teamsters labor union for 130 employee bargaining unit at large Detroit hospital (Detroit, Michigan 2014-2015).
  • Obtained labor arbitration decision upholding non-seniority based job bidding procedure used by unionized auto part supplier (American Arbitration Association, 2015).
  • Obtained labor arbitration decision upholding termination of municipal police sergeant for substance abuse and work rule infractions (American Arbitration Association, 2014).
  • Advised auto part manufacturer during collective bargaining negotiation with United Auto Workers labor union (Warren, Michigan 2014).
  • Favorable resolution of unfair labor practice charges filed by former employees of fast-food employer (NLRB, 2014).
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of lawsuit filed by former pharmacist employee following employee’s discharge for possession of a firearm while at work (Genesee County Circuit Court, 2014).
  • Summary Disposition obtained for elected official in lawsuit filed by terminated employees alleging race discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and public policy claims (Wayne County Circuit Court, 2013).
  • Favorable settlement obtained for auto part manufacturer in lawsuit filed by employees alleging FLSA overtime violations (Eastern District of Michigan, 2013).
  • Summary Judgment obtained for drug store client in lawsuit filed by terminated employee alleging race discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel, and other state and federal claims (Eastern District of Michigan, 2012).
  • Dismissal of unfair labor practice charge filed by terminated employee against nursing home client (NLRB, 2012).
  • Dismissal of race discrimination charge filed against non-profit company by terminated employee (Michigan Department of Civil Rights, 2011).

Professional Activities and Speeches


  • 2015 Midwest Utility Group (MUG) Conference - ''The NLRB’s New Ambush Election Rules, And Strategies To Help You Avoid Becoming A Victim'' - Detroit - May 13, 2015
  • Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference - ''Tying it all Together: Healthcare, EVIP, Labor & More'' - Lansing - March 21, 2012
  • Michigan Association of Township Supervisors Fall Education Conference - ''Roundtable Discussion: Changes to Act 336 and Act 312'' - Grand Rapids - October 19, 2011