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Christopher M. Trebilcock

Employment and Labor Group Leader




Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D. 2000

Alma College, B.A. 1997

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • Sixth Circuit

U.S. District Courts

  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Western District of Michigan
  • Northern District of Illinois

Christopher 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. He also manages arbitrations and administrative proceedings; conducts collective bargaining negotiations; and advises clients on all types of labor and employment issues.

Representative Matters

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 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. 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. 

Reported and Published Decisions

Moss v Bierl, 134 Fed. App. 806 (6th Cir. 2005) (unpublished) (affirming summary judgment of employee’s claim that his termination violated his right to due process)

Mitchell v Highland Park Bd. of Ed., 2005 WL 857383 (Mich. App. 2005)(unpublished)(affirming trial court’s decision dismissing former superintendent’s public policy discharge tort and breach of contract claims)

Reynolds v Lear Corp., 2005 WL 1684127 (E.D. Mich. 2005)(unpublished)(granting motion to dismiss employee’s age discrimination and breach of contract claims)


Wake Forest University School of Law, Moot Court Board; Tulane Sports Law National Moot Court Team; Treasurer, Student Bar Association; President, Sports and Entertainment Law Association; Editor-in-Chief, WFU "Hearsay"

Alma College, cum laude

Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law-Management and Litigation-Labor & Employment 2013-present

Michigan Super Lawyers, Employment + Labor, Rising Star 2008-present

Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40," 2012

DBusiness Top Lawyers, Employment and Labor-Management 2014-present

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section

Oakland County Bar Association, New Lawyers' Council, Board of Directors, 2004-2008

Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan

National School Board Association, Council of School Attorneys

Michigan Council of School Attorneys

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Junior Council, President 2011, Board of Directors, 2006-present

Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Board Member, 2015-present

Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council, appointed by Governor Granholm 2009

Michigan's Children, Board of Directors, 2009-2012

The Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation, Detroit, Board of Directors, 2005-2008

Michigan Political Leadership Program, Michigan State University, Fellow, 2004

Leadership Oakland XVI, 2005-2006 Cornerstone Program

Downtown Detroit Rotary, Board of Directors, 2006-2008; Speaker Program Chair, 2004-2005


“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