Chris trebilcock pp

Christopher M. Trebilcock



500 Woodward Ave
Suite 3500
Detroit, MI 48226
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Practice Areas
Labor & Employment
J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
B.A., Alma College, Alma, Michigan
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
DBusiness Top Lawyers, Employment and Labor-Management, 2014 to Present
Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law-Management and Litigation-Labor & Employment, 2013 to Present
Chambers USA, Ranked Employment and Labor Attorney in Michigan, 2017
Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40," 2012
Michigan Super Lawyers, Employment + Labor, Rising Star, 2008 to 2014
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections
Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan
National School Board Association, Council of School Attorneys
Michigan Council of School Attorneys
Oakland County Bar Association, New Lawyers' Council, Board of Directors, 2004 to 2008

Christopher M. Trebilcock


Christopher M. Trebilcock litigates labor and employment disputes in federal and state courts and in administrative agencies across the country.  His appellate experience includes oral arguments before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Michigan Court of Appeals.  With over 15 years of legal experience, clients turn to Chris for his timely responses and practical solutions to the toughest employee relation problems.

In addition to his employment litigation experience defending claims under state and federal civil rights laws, Chris brings a wealth of traditional labor experience. He routinely litigates grievance arbitrations, appears before the NLRB and MERC, and acts as the Chief spokesperson in collective bargaining negotiations. He also provides counsel on labor relations and CBA administration, for existing bargaining units ranging from 2 to over 1,500 and covering employees represented by major unions, including the Teamsters, UAW, SEIU, Carpenters & Millwrights, IUOE, and the Laborers International.

Chris has expertise in wage and hour issues under the FLSA and in advising employers on reductions in force. Chris previously worked in the U.S. Department of Labor, National Office, and has assisted employers in proactive internal FLSA reviews to avoid litigation. He represents employers in overtime lawsuits, including collective actions, and wage & hour investigations.

His work with public bodies, school districts and universities includes providing guidance on responding to Freedom of Information Act requests, compliance with the Open Meetings Act, student disciplinary matters and employee discipline and discharge.  Chris has significant experience defending public bodies against FOIA and OMA claims. He has also provided extensive advice to public entities seeking to enter into intergovernmental cooperation agreements.

Chris also has significant general litigation experience involving state and federal election law. He routinely advises candidates, elected officials, political action committees, and ballot question committees on all matters involving campaign finance, ballot access, recount and other election law issues. In the past, Chris has organized state-wide Election Day voter access response teams and state-wide recount teams for state and federal candidates.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of a regional commercial painting company during a jurisdictional dispute between rival local unions.
  • Defense of a furniture and assembly company for operating an unlawful double-breated company to avoid health and welfare and pension contributions.
  • Defense of electrical contractor against claims for delinquent health and welfar and pension contributions.
  • Labor relations training for a commercial general contractor operating in eight states.
  • Labor relations compliance training for an auto-supplier in response to a union organizing a drive.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal (by motion) of age discrimination and breach of contract case on behlaf of a Fortune 500 manufacturer.
  • Drafted severance agreement for the U.S.-based Director of global human resources for a Canadian company.  This work was complicated because it involved addressing concerns under both Ontario and United States law based on the location of the company and the residence of the director.
  • Created the severeance agreement for the Vice President and CorporateSecretary for a newly acquired subsidiary.
  • Completion of severance agreement between the Regional Manager of a Canadian corporation and its U.S. subsidiary.
  • Negotiated severance agreement for the President of the U.S. subsidiary of a Belgian corporation, which significantly reduced the company's liability under a for-cause employment agreement.
  • Drafted a severance agreement for a long-term Project Manager.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal (by motion) of a sex discrimination and harassment case on behalf of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical supply services company.


“Defending and Managing the Latest Off-the-Clock Claims Involving the Continuous Work Day, Use of Smart Phones/ Mobile Devices Outside of Scheduled Hours, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies and Working Remotely,” ACI's 27th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, New York, NY, June 2-3, 2016

“The Latest DOL Guidance on Independent Contractor vs. Employee; and Defending Federal and State Claims Involving the Improper Labeling of Exempt/Non-Exempt Employees By Key Industry," ACI's 26th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL, January 28-29, 2016

“The Latest on Joint Employer Liability Under the Wage-and-Hour Laws; California Law Nuances; and Defeating Joint Employment Allegations Early in Employment Litigation,” ACI's 22nd National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, San Francisco, CA, September 28-29, 2015

"Government in the Workplace, of the Workplace, and for the Workplace: Who Can You Hire, What Can They Say About You, What Can You Do About It, and When Do You Have to Pay Them?"ABA Section of State and Local Government 2014 Fall Council Meeting, Denver, CO, October 10, 2014

“Assessing the Legal Implications of Proposed FLSA Minimum Wage Increases and Obama Directives Regarding ‘Paycheck Fairness’," American Conference Institute's 22nd National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2014

"Conducting Lawful and Effective Investigations Into Workplace Harassment and Discrimination," Michigan HR Day, Lansing, MI, April 23, 2014

“Latest Trends in Mediation/Settlement Strategies,” ACI’s 20th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL, January 30-31, 2014

“Pot of Gold or Chimera? Shared Services and Collective Bargaining,” Michigan Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Bellaire, MI, September 15, 2011

"Fair Labor Standards Act: A Local Look for Local Officials," Michigan Library Association Financial Fitness for Libraries, Novi, MI, April 29, 2011

"Navigating the Trickiest Issues Under the Fair Labor Standards Act," Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 36th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, Plymouth, Michigan, April 15, 2011

"Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern Discrimination in the Post-9/11 Era,” American Bar Association, Live Webinar and Teleconference, February 2, 2011

"Effective Strategies for Labor and Employment Relations," Michigan Leadership Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, October 14, 2010

"Employee Relation Strategies You Can't Learn From Watching 'The Office,'" MSBO Conference, Detroit, Michigan, April 30, 2009

"Legal Barriers to Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreements in Michigan," Michigan State University, Land Policy Institute, Intergovernmental Cooperation Conference, 2007; Michigan Municipal League, 2007; Michigan Association of Township Supervisors, 2007

"The New “White-Collar” FLSA Regulations: A Lesson Plan for School Districts." Oakland County School Business Officials, November 17, 2004

"Arbitration Agreements: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly," Baker College, March 5, 2004

"Tired of Waiting? Practical Advice for Employers Anticipating Changes to the FLSA," Troy Chamber of Commerce, Employment Law Roundtable, February 10, 2004


"National Labor Relations Board Continues Expansion of Joint Employer Doctrine by Blessing Mixed Units of Regular Employees and Staffing Agency Temps," Human Resource Outlook, Michigan Healthcare Human Resources Association, Summer 2016

Quoted in "OT Rule Spinoff: DOL to Study Hours Logged Electronically," Bloomberg BNA, June 13, 2016 "Campaigning With A Purpose," The Review, Michigan Municipal League, January/February 2015

"Age Discrimination in Employment Law" Chapter Editor, ABA Labor and Employment Law Section and Bloomberg BNA, 2012-2016 Cumulative Supplements

"The Developing Labor Law," Contributing Editor, 2009-2016 Cumulative Supplements

"Working Capital," (Interview) Detroit Legal News, October 28, 2011

"FLSA Amendments Provide Clarity But Stop Short of Changes," State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section, Lawnotes (Summer 2011)

"Wage-and-hour claims could stunt economic recovery for some companies," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, March 28, 2011

"How Independent Are Your Contractors," Michigan Council of School Attorneys, Council News, Spring 2011

"Careful with wellness plans: HIPAA might just getcha," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 26, 2010

"Employment Law Handbook," Chapter Editor, Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Quoted in, "Tread Carefully: Furloughs Useful for Cost Saving but are not without Risks,", November 19, 2009

"Tread Carefully: Mass Layoff Landmines Ahead," Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce E-Newsletter, June 2009

Quoted in, "How to Avoid the Legal Perils of RIF Alternatives," Law 360, May 1, 2009

"Legal Barriers to Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreements in Michigan," co-author, Intergovernmental Cooperation

Conference, Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, May 17-18, 2007

"Employment Discrimination Litigation: Entertainment for Some, Sport for Others," co-author, ABA Sports & Entertainment Law Mid-Winter Meeting, April 2006

"Important Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Confirms 3-Year Limit on Discrimination Claims," Hot Points, Fall 2005

"Continuing Violations Doctrine Extinguished in Michigan," Midwest In-House, July 2005

"The Largest Pension Bailout in U.S. History Leads to Contract Concessions," State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Lawnotes, Summer 2005

"Tired of Waiting? Practical Advice for Employers Anticipating Changes to the FLSA," Midwest In-House Counsel, October 2003

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

  • Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Board Member, 2015 to Present
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Junior Council, President 2011, Board of Directors, 2006 to 2014
  • Michigan's Children, Board of Directors, 2009 to 2012
  • Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council, appointed by Governor Granholm, 2009
  • Downtown Detroit Rotary, Board of Directors, 2006 to 2008
  • The Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation, Detroit, Board of Directors, 2005 to 2008
  • Leadership Oakland XVI, Cornerstone Program, 2005 to 2006
  • Downtown Detroit Rotary, Speaker Program Chair, 2004 to 2005
  • Michigan Political Leadership Program, Michigan State University, Fellow, 2004