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Maria Fracassa Dwyer

fax +1 313.309.6865

Maria Dwyer litigates employment and business cases and advises senior management in employment and business considerations. She also conducts workplace investigations and investigates and serves as a certified Hearing Officer in Title IX claims and counsels educational organizations in Title IX issues.

Maria represents clients in the food industry including growers and distributors. Maria regularly advises clients in labor issues, including H2A and farm labor contractor relationships. Maria navigates agency inspections and audits and advises clients regarding federal compliance issues including Title VII, OSHA, FLSA and PACA matters.

Maria advises clients across a wide range of industries including public and private employers and works with her clients to conduct workforce and senior management training, and to develop policies and strategies for workforce optimization.

Maria is the Member-In-Charge of Clark Hill’s, Detroit Office, is the Co-Practice Leader of the Food, Beverage and Hospitality Team, and a Co-Chair of Clark Hill BOLD – Detroit, the firm’s strategy to promote women within the firm, the legal profession, and the business community.

Maria is a member of the faculty of ICLE and is a frequent speaker on EEO and employment issues before various groups, including the State Bar of Michigan. She also advocates for prevention through education and specializes in training her clients’ workforces.


J.D., cum laude, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
B.S., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan


Listed as a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer (2024)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Detroit by Leading Lawyers℠ (2020-2024)

Selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in Law (2023)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law-Management (2021-2024); Labor Law – Management (2024)

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Women In The Law, Class of 2020

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers list, 2013 – Present

Selected to the Michigan Rising Stars list, 2012

Top Women Attorneys In Michigan, 2013 – Present

DBusiness Top Lawyer, 2017 and 2020

Named a Notable Leader in Labor & Employment Law by Crain’s Detroit Business (2023)


American Bar Association

State of Michigan, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections

United Way Southeastern Michigan, Board of Directors

Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Served as Member of the Michigan State Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Two Terms

Dearborn Public Schools Education Foundation

Women Celebrating Life Downriver

Michigan Business and Professional Association

Women and Leadership in the Workplace

Michigan Food and Beverage Association

Leadership Detroit Class XXXV

Council Member for the Michigan State Bar Labor and Employment Section

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

Maria defends employers in employment-related claims. Her experience includes:

  • Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, and state law harassment, discrimination, whistleblower and retaliation claims
  • Extensive class action litigation
  • Breach of contract, wrongful discharge, defamation, non-compete, and trade secret cases
  • Complex business litigation
  • Trying discharge and contract interpretation arbitrations
  • Drafting high level executive employment and severance agreements and employment contracts
  • Advising and training clients on personnel policies, documentation and supervisory relations