Michael H. Cramer

Shareholder Chicago

Mr. Cramer counsels and represents employers on a variety of labor and employment-related legal matters. He has advised clients ranging from small non-profits to Fortune 500 companies on employment matters, negotiated cost-effective resolutions to troubling disputes, and litigated to victory.

Based on extensive interviews of in-house attorneys, the BTI Consulting Group named Mr. Cramer a BTI Client Service All-Star—one of just 29 Labor and Employment attorneys in the United States to achieve this recognition in 2015. Based on other peer surveys, Mr. Cramer has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating (AV), and repeatedly has been named among the Best Lawyers in America, a Leading Lawyer, and an Illinois Super Lawyer. Mr. Cramer has been elected to The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, an organization of labor and employment attorneys in practice for more than 20 years who meet “the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards.”

Mr. Cramer’s employment litigation practice includes discrimination and harassment cases, wage and hour collective actions, and restrictive covenant litigation. Examples of his work include:

  • Defending employers including retail chains, restaurant chains, manufacturers, and staffing companies in numerous class and collective actions involving alleged wage and hour violations;
  • Defeating a former employee’s attempt to certify a class of more than 200 employees alleging denial of overtime pay, then defeating the remaining plaintiff’s claims at trial;
  • Winning summary judgment on behalf of employers in numerous discrimination and retaliation suits;
  • Defeating a 27-count federal lawsuit brought by the former chief executive of a non-profit organization against the entity and each of its board members;
  • Defeating an age and sex discrimination suit in a federal jury trial;
  • Defeating a former high-ranking executive's suit claiming he was entitled to millions of dollars under an executive severance plan; and
  • Assisting clients to reduce EEOC charges and lawsuits by counseling HR and management on policies and potentially volatile disciplinary and termination decisions.

Mr. Cramer often conducts training for clients’ executives, HR professionals and entire workforces on topics including anti-harassment, internal investigations, workplace bullying, and professionalism. He is a frequent speaker and writer on employment law topics through organizations including the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and the Northern Illinois Society for Human Resources Management.





Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Litigation, and Labor and Employment Law Sections)
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (Labor and Employment Law Advisory Committee)
  • CARPLS - Cook County’s Legal Aid Hotline (Advisory Board, Board of Directors 2000-2008, President 2004-05)
  • Chicago Bar Foundation Investing in Justice Campaign (Vice Chair)
  • Ogletree Deakins Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee
  • Award-Winning Independent Filmmaker
  • The Chicago Committee (Senior Mentor, Mentorship Academy, 2017)
  • Public Interest Law Initiative (Board of Directors, 2017-present)

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Media

Media Quotes

November 03, 2015 - NBC5 - "'Fake' Serivce Animals Allowed in More Chicago Businesses"
November 25, 2013 - Law360 - "5 Tips To Keep Your Holiday Party Merry and Lawsuit-Free"

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