Michael H. Cramer

Shareholder || Chicago

Mike Cramer advises employers ranging from small non-profits to Fortune 500 companies on a variety of labor and employment-related legal matters, leads workplace investigations, and conducts learning sessions for attorneys, executives, HR professionals, and entire workforces. Mike also represents employers in employment-related litigation.

Counseling, Investigations and Training

Mike partners with employers to help them create positive work environments, increase engagement, comply with applicable laws, and reduce litigation. This work includes:

  • Assisting in-house counsel, HR professionals, and business leaders with workplace policies and day-to-day employment decisions;
  • Leading workplace investigations of possible harassment, discrimination, bullying and other behavior that can harm a company’s culture and bottom line; and
  • Conducting training for executives, HR professionals and entire workforces on topics including anti-harassment, internal investigations, performance management, workplace bullying, and professionalism.

Mike 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 North Shore Labor Counsel.

Employment Litigation

Mike litigates discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases and wage-and-hour class/collective actions. He has negotiated cost-effective resolutions to many contentious disputes, and has litigated to many victories. Examples of his work include:

  • Defending manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions and other employers 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 overtime violations, 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, and
  • Defeating an executive’s suit claiming he was entitled to millions of dollars under an executive severance plan.

Peer Recognition

Based on other peer surveys, Mike 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. Based on extensive interviews of in-house attorneys, BTI Consulting Group named Mike a 2015 Client Service All-Star—one of just 29 Labor and Employment attorneys in the United States to achieve this recognition that year. Mike 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.”

 

Learn more about Michael H. Cramer

Education

Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) (Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer, 2021-present; Board of Directors, 2017-present)
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections)
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (Labor and Employment Law Advisory Committee, frequent speaker)
  • CARPLS – Cook County’s Legal Aid Hotline (Advisory Board 2008-present, Board of Directors 2000-2008, President 2004-05)
  • Ogletree Deakins Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee (2011-2018)
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Investigations and Organizational Assessments Practice Group Steering Committee (2022-present)
  • The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (Senior Mentor, Mentorship Academy, 2017)
  • Award-Winning Independent Filmmaker

Speeches

Insights by Michael H. Cramer