Michael J. Gray’s practice focuses on representing corporate clients with complex employment matters, including class action and multiplaintiff employment discrimination lawsuits, state law overtime class actions, FLSA collective actions, and trade secret and restrictive covenant matters.
He represents employers throughout the U.S. in bench and jury trials, administrative hearings, arbitrations, and appellate courts in matters arising under federal and state antidiscrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the FMLA, ERISA, labor management relations laws, and state law wrongful discharge claims.
Michael also advises clients on preventive measures, including reviewing policies, counseling on disciplinary actions and investigations, negotiating severance agreements, and conducting employment practices reviews.
Michael co-chairs the Firm’s Global Labor & Employment Practice. He brings a creative, business-minded approach to problem-solving and litigation. In recognition by Chambers and Legal 500, clients praised him by stating “he’s the guy I want in front of the judge” and “quickly gets down to the nuts and bolts and gets people focused on what’s important — his approach is unique and he gets exceptional results.”
Michael was named one of the “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” by HR Executive magazine and Lawdragon for the last eight years. He is a frequent speaker for the ABA’s Labor and Employment Section and is a member of the Advisory Board of The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations and NYU Law’s Center for Labor and Employment Law. Michael also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
- Northwestern University (J.D. 1992; Editorial Board, Journal of International Law and Business);
- University of Michigan (B.A. 1989)
- U.S. District Courts for the:
- Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois;
- Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; and
- Western District of Wisconsin; and U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits
- USG to be acquired by Gebr. Knauf for $7 billion
- Shopcore sells “The Shops at Fort Union” in Midvale, Utah
- McDonald’s victorious against state-wide California class action wage and hour PAGA claims
- RotaDyne secures victory in long-running trade secret and non-compete matter
- Amici U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Trucking Association, and National Association of Manufacturers set out winning position in NLRB misclassification case
- McDonald’s wins summary judgment, defeats class certification and PAGA claims in wage and hour class, joint employer action
- McDonald’s defeats class certification and PAGA claims in statewide California class action wage and hour case
- Kraft Heinz obtains summary judgment on FMLA interference and retaliation
- Advocate Health Care wins summary judgment against multiple discrimination claims
- Major non-profit health system successfully defends against discrimination charges
- Publix wins summary judgment on questions of FLSA regular rate calculation.
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