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Employment Law - Country Club

A country club's former golf professional brought breach of contract and marital discrimination claims against the club, alleging the club declined to renew his employment contract following his notorious and public separation from his wife and cohabitation with another woman.  The circuit court summarily dismissed the professional's claims, but the Court of Appeals reinstated the marital discrimination claim.  We convinced the Michigan Supreme Court that an employer does not violate the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act if it discriminates on the basis of conduct (adultery) as opposed to marital status.  Thomas M. Cooley Law Review awarded us their annual Distinguished Brief award in this case.