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Robert M. Vercruysse

Of Counsel
fax +1 313.309.6958

Robert M. Vercruysse is nationally recognized as a leading counselor, negotiator and litigator in all facets of employment, labor, civil rights and ERISA litigation.

His clients include automobile manufacturers and suppliers, newspapers, news organizations, and television stations, distributors, financial institutions, hospitals, physician groups, and universities. While Michigan is primary, he handles cases for clients throughout the United States.

Robert served as a law clerk in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and was an adjunct professor of Labor Law at The University of Michigan Law School.


J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., with High Honors, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, Social Sciences


Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment (1987-2023)

Chambers USA’s “Leader in Their Field”, Labor & Employment (2004-2021)

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers list for Employment & Labor (2006-2021)

  • Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers Top 100 list

Who’s Who Legal USA: Management Labour & Employment (2006-2021)

Selected by his peers from across the United States as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (1997)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Michigan by Leading Lawyers℠ (2022)


Sixth Judicial Conference for the United States Court of Appeals (Life Member)

Federal Bar Association (Eastern District of Michigan Chapter)

American Employment Law Council (Charter Member and Presenter)

State Bar of Michigan (former Chair, Labor & Employment Law Section)

American Bar Association (Member and presenter at the Committee’s Annual and Midwinter meetings, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Labor Law Section)

American Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Michigan State Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Michigan Employment Relations Commission (Member, Advisory Committee)

EEOC Advisory Committee on ADR

ABA/EEO Liaison Committee for Michigan

State Bar Licenses


Trials, Appeals and Negotiations

  • Won a 2019 Jury Trial against the EEOC and an individual defendant filed against an auto supplier alleging retaliation in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  • Successfully negotiated the settlement of a NLRA 301 and ERISA class action lawsuit filed by the UAW against a major auto supplier and class action counterclaim by the auto supplier against class representatives seeking a declaratory judgment under ERISA and the Pension Plan Protection Act.
  • Defended a Refusal to Bargain Charge before the NLRB against an auto supplier in connection with effects bargaining negotiations.
  • Won a summary judgment in a disability discrimination case against a major auto supplier in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
  • Negotiated a three-year agreement with the Teamsters for Detroit area beer distributors.
  • Recently sought and won an injunction in University faculty strike. Won a Michigan Fact Finding and resolved the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Successfully advised a major auto supplier in shut down negotiations in Detroit and New York.
  • Won summary judgment in a national origin discrimination and retaliation case in Bay City Federal Court.
  • Defended and settled a class action ERISA matter in the Federal Court for the Western District of Michigan with a non-opt out class.
  • Defended and tried unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB in New Jersey for a major publisher.
  • Recently won a class action ERISA case in the Eastern District of Michigan which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of an automotive parts supplier.
  • Recently negotiated several auto supplier’s collective bargaining agreements with the UAW achieving major concessions and long term agreements.
  • Successfully tried and won numerous class actions, jury trials, arbitrations, NLRB and MERC trials on behalf of both public and private employers throughout the United States.
  • Has, through his work over the years, helped to shape the labor and employment laws in Michigan.


  • Editor, Michigan Employment Law Letter
  • Co-author, Age Discrimination In Employment Law (BNA 1999)
  • Co-author, Employment Litigation in Michigan (ICLE 1999)
  • Co-author, Employment Discrimination Law, 3rd edition (BNA 2002)
  • Co-author, Employment Litigation in Michigan, 2nd edition (ICLE 2004)
  • Co-author, The Handbook of Fraud Deterrence (2007)

SE MI LE Conference 2016 Gender Pregnancy and Retaliation