S. Rae Gross

Shareholder Detroit (Metro)

Rae Gross has spent over 25 years as litigator and counselor on a wide range of employment matters. With a combination of private practice and in-house experience, Rae has a keen understanding of the challenges employers face and the importance of providing practical legal advice and business-oriented solutions. 

Rae is an experienced litigator at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts and before various federal and state administrative agencies, including the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, DOL, OSHA, and MIOSHA.  Rae has successfully defended a variety of claims involving discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, family medical leave, whistle-blower protection, test validation, and breach of contract. 

Rae also counsels clients on litigation avoidance measures, personnel policies, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, pre-employment testing, disability accommodations, and terminations.  She has conducted numerous employee misconduct and workplace fatality investigations and provided HR compliance training for management and human resource professionals.  Rae has a track record of successfully planning and executing potentially high risk employment initiatives, including reorganizations, incentive exit programs, and involuntary reductions in force.   

Rae served for 7 years as a director and the assistant general counsel for employment and labor for a Fortune 500 energy company, where she was responsible for providing guidance to senior executives, human resource professionals, corporate safety personnel, and all levels of operating unit leadership on the full gamut of employment, labor relations and security/compliance matters associated with the operation of an electric/nuclear/gas utility in a regulated environment. 

Rae’s community activities include volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Forgotten Harvest, Meals on Wheels, and serving as a coach for the Just the Beginning (JTB) Summer Legal Institute for Detroit area high school students, with a mission to inspire under-represented students and increase the diversity in the legal profession.


Experience

  • Obtained summary dismissals of sexual harassment, age, race and sex discrimination cases for automotive manufacturers and suppliers
  • Obtained summary dismissal of putative retiree discrimination class action for automotive manufacturer
  • Successfully closed numerous OFCCP compliance audits 
  • Designed and oversaw implementation of involuntary reductions in force and a voluntary incentive exit program involving over 400 departures from a 5000+ workforce
  • Served as in-house counsel to corporate benefits committee and corporate compliance/ethics office
  • Supplied legal oversight for occupational safety and affirmative action planning
  • Provided managerial responsibility for corporate security/emergency management functions.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • State Bar of Michigan - Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • ASIS International
  • Association of Women in Energy

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Future of Performance Appraisals: Trends, Successes, and Best Practices'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Death by a Thousand Cuts: Managing Litigation on Multiple Fronts'' - Boca Raton - November 09, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''A Brave (and Scary) New World Without Performance Appraisals'' - San Diego - May 05, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Pardon the Interruption! Workplace Strategies Style'' - San Diego - May 05, 2017
  • American Society of Employers (ASE) Mid-Michigan Employment Law Workshop - ''Federal Legislative Update'' - Bay City - June 2015
  • American Society of Employers (ASE) Mid-Michigan Employment Law Workshop - ''Navigating the Interplay between the ADA, FMLA, Workers’ Compensation, and GINA'' - Bay City - June 2015
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Media

Media Quotes

May 18, 2018 - SHRM Online - "More Employers Ditch Performance Appraisals"
June 12, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Guard Against Harassment of Muslims, Particularly After Terrorist Attacks"
May 09, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Without Performance Reviews, How to Handle Pay Equity, Firings"

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