Top rated employment litigation attorney in Detroit, MichiganNemeth Bonnette Brouwer PC
Patricia Nemeth is Of Counsel at Nemeth Law, P.C., which specializes in management, labor and employment law. She focuses her practice primarily on arbitrations, mediations, investigations and litigation. Certified by the American Arbitration Association as a Commercial and Employment Certified Arbitrator, she is also a Certified Mediator for the International Mediation Institute and the state of Michigan. Ms. Nemeth is certified as an investigator for the Association of Workplace Investigation and ATIXA Civil Rights. (Title IX Investigations)
As a mediator, Ms. Nemeth has helped participants reach a resolution to a wide variety of disputes - employment litigation (discrimination/harrassment, workplace violence, whistleblowers, disability, wage and hour, etc.), commercial litigation (franchise agreements, medical malpractice, personal injury, fire loss, breach of contract).
As an arbitrator, she has handled employment and commercial arbitration matters. Employment cases arbitrated include race, ethnic, age, sex, disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation, breach of contract, scope of arbitral agreement, wrongful discharge, refusal to promote, disciplinary issues, numerous discovery and evidentiary issues, etc. Commercial cases include breach of contract, non payment for services, indemnification, fees, etc.
As an investigator, Ms. Nemeth has conducted high level and complex employment and ethics matters involving individual, department wide and organizational issues.
In 1981, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology with distinction from the University of Michigan. At Wayne State University School of Law, she obtained a Juris Doctor in 1984 and an LL.M. Labor in 1990. In 2005, she graduated from the Detroit Leadership program (Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce).
Admitted to practice in Michigan since 1984, she is a member of the Leading Lawyers Michigan Advisory Board, the Illinois Bar Association and the labor and employment, alternative dispute resolution and international law sections of the Michigan Bar Association. She is also admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and all appellate courts in Michigan.
A prolific writer, Ms. Nemeth has published many writings and given lectures on topics related to employment law for the State Bar of Michigan, Channel 4 News, Chanel 2 News, American Society of Employers, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the National Association of Legal Secretaries, Airport Council International and many other organizations. For her commitment to legal ethics and professional accomplishments, she earned the highest peer rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.
* AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
Practice areasEmployment litigation: defense, Alternative dispute resolution, Employment & labor: employer
Employment discrimination, Wrongful termination, Retaliation, Employment law - employer, Arbitration, Mediation, Unions, Whistleblower, Sexual harassment
- 30% Employment litigation: defense
- 50% Alternative dispute resolution
- 20% Employment & labor: employer
First Admitted: 1984, Michigan
Professional Webpage: http://www.nemethlawpc.com/attorneys-2.html
- Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Board Member, 2014-2017, Vice Chair Secretary 2017- 2020. Board Member-present
- Former Vista Maria Vice Chair/Executive Board member; Vista Maria’s Marketing and Fund Development Committee (with Vista Maria for 12 years). Ms. Nemeth was presented with the Distinguished Volunteer Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2005 for her work with Vista Maria. In 2011, Ms. Nemeth received an award from Vista Maria for Outstanding Board Leadership.
- Graduate, 2004-2005 Leadership Detroit XXVI Class.
- "The Art and Value of Persuasion in ADR: Trials and Tribulations for Litigators, Mediators, and Judiciary," Panelist, MDTC Winter Meeting – November 2021
- "Usage Guidelines of Marijuana within the Airport Workforce - Legal Perspective," Airport Council International Risk Management Conference - January 2020
- "Leaders and Innovators: Women Entrepreneurs and Leadership," Panelist, WWJ Newsradio, April 2019
- "Managing the Arbitration Process with Pro Se Parties," American Arbitration Association – October 2018
- "Resolving Tough Cases through Mediation," State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section Council – June 2018
- "From Flattery to Fear-Looking at Sexual Harassment in Everyday Life," Panelist, WLAM, Wayne Law Annual Meeting – May 2017
- Leading Lawyers Michigan Advisory Board, 2016 – present
- "Joint Employer Status, Franchisor and Franchisees – Paying the Cost to be the Boss," from labor’s perspective. Panelist and presenter, Bernard Gottfried Memorial Labor Law Symposium, Wayne State University Law School, October 15, 2015
- "Small Firm, Big Opportunities: Discover the Advantages of a Small/Medium Firm," Wayne State Law School – February 2013
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2012 – present
- Participant in Oakland County Bar Association's ABC's of Practice -- Hanging out your own Shingle – February 17, 2011
- Chambers USA, Employment and Labor, 2010 – 2016
- Labor and Employment Law Delegate to China, 2006
- American Bar Association - Labor and Employment Section; Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; International Law Section
- Michigan Bar Association – ADR International Committee; Labor and Employment Section; Insurance Law Section; Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; Litigation Section
- Master of Labor Law, Wayne State University School of Law, 1990
- Illinois Bar Association
- Lawyer of the Year, 2022, Best Lawyer®
- Class of 2021, Hall of Fame, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
- Excellence in Defense Award, 2020, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
- Fellow, 2019-present, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
- Best Lawyers in America, Labor and Employment Law, 2010-2022, Best Lawyers
- Leading Lawyer in Michigan, 2015-2021, Leading Lawyers
- Super Lawyers, 2006-present, including recognition as one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in the State of Michigan, Super Lawyers
- Top 25 Women Business Michigan Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2013, 2015-2018, Super Lawyers
- Detroit Top Lawyers, 2009-2019, DBusiness Magazine
- Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan, 2017, Crain’s Detroit Business
- Wayne State University Distinguished Law Alumni Award, 2016, Wayne State University School of Law
- Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year, 2010
- Women in Leadership, Small Business Award, 2010, Michigan Business Professional Association
- Wayne State University Distinguished Alumni Award, 2009, Wayne State University
- 25 Leaders in the Law, 2009, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
- Five on the Rise, 2009, Detroit Regional Chamber
- 21st Century Innovators, 2009, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
- One of the 100 Most Influential Women in Southeastern Michigan, 2008, Inforum
- Distinguished Volunteer, 2005, Association of Fundraising Professionals
- Top 10 Woman Business Owners in Michigan, 2002, National Association of Women Business Owners
- Arbitration Certification: American Arbitration Association, Certified Arbitrator (Employment); American Arbitration Association, Certified Arbitrator (Commercial)
- Mediation Certification: American Arbitration Association, Certified Mediator, 2007 – present; International Mediation Institute, Certified Mediator, 2008 – present; State of Michigan, Certified Mediator, 2004 – present
- Workplace Investigation Certification: Title IX Investigator, Certified (ATIXA); Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), Certified Workplace Investigator
- "Leaders and Innovators: Women Entrepreneurs and Leadership," Panelist, WWJ Newsradio, April 2019 • "2019 Labor and Employment Law Update," Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar, January 2019 • "Sexual Harassment Policies and Investigations," ICLE, November 2018 • "The Sticky Question of Salary History," Crain’s Detroit Business, Blog, May 2018 • "Is the Question of Salary History…History?" Detroit Legal News, April 2018 • "Constituents Weigh In On Conyers Sexual Harassment Ethics Probe," Chanel 7 News, November 2017 • "A Side Bar with Patricia Nemeth," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, November 2017 • "Grit, the Secret to Advancement: Stories of Successful Women Lawyers," Contributory Author, American Bar Association, October 2017 • "Managing Religious Discrimination Claims," Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, July 2017 • "Uber's Sexual Harassment House-Cleaning a Reminder of Need for Visible Policies, Disciplinary Measures," Crain’s Detroit Business Blog, June 2017 • "Managing Religious Discrimination Claims against EPLI Coverage," Beazley Group, May 2017 • "Managing Religious Discrimination Claims against EPLI Coverage," Beazley Group, March 2017 • "Intensive HR Labor and Employment Law Training Program," Nemeth Law Seminar, August 2016 • "Inside the New Overtime Rules: Practical Guidelines for Employers," Nemeth Law Webinar, June 2016 • "The On-Demand Workforce: Spotlight on Employee Misclassification," Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, May 2016 • "When A Vague Claim of 'Hostile Work Environment' is A Discrimination Complaint," Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, November 2015 • "Accommodating Pregnancy in the Long Term Care Environment," HCAM/MCAL Annual Convention, September 2015 • "Workplace Violence, VA Shooting Tragedy," Let It Rip, Fox 2 News, August 2015 • "Opinion: Tragedy in Virginia Opens New Chapter for Employers," Crain’s Detroit Business, Blog, August 2015 • " 'Digital Native' Recruiting Term Can Raise Concerns of Age Discrimination," Detroit Legal News, July 2015 • "Litigating the Pregnancy Discrimination Claim," Allied World Assurance Company, July 2015 • "Starting Your Own Law Firm: Advice from Women Who’ve Done It," Michigan LELS, June 2015 • "Employment Practices Liability: Minimizing Exposure and Risk," MBDA, June 2015 • "Litigating the Pregnancy Discrimination Claim," Travelers Insurance Group, May 2015 • "Legal Trends: Employer Criminal Background Check Policies," Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, April 2015 • "Litigating the Pregnancy Discrimination Claim," Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, April 2015 • "Managing Religion in the Workplace," Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, February 2015 • "How Mandated Paid Sick Leave Would Impact Michigan Employers," Crain’s Detroit Business, Blog-Other Voices, January 2015 • "Five Qs: Patricia Nemeth on Employment Law Changes," DBusiness Daily News, January 2015 • "Employment and Labor Law," Co-author, Wayne Law Review – 2002-2010, 2012, 2014-2015, 2019 • "Employment Practices Liability: Minimizing Exposure and Risk," 1st Annual PIA Convention, October 2014 • "Managing Pregnancy in the Workplace," Nemeth Law Raising the Bar, October 2014 • "Managing Religion in Long Term Healthcare," and “LGBT Discrimination in Long Term Healthcare," HCAM Annual Convention, September 2014 • "Employers Liability Arising from Workplace Violence," Travelers Insurance Group, May 2014 • "Vulnerable Workers and Target High-Risk Areas: Developments and Trends in EEO Law," Beazley Group, February 2014 • "Sex and Gender in the Workplace in Light of the EEOC’s 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan: Developments and Trends in EEO Law," Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, January 2014 • "Legal Implications of Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs," Co-author, SHRM, January 2014 • "Sex and Gender in the Workplace," Allied World Assurance Company, November 2013 • "Trends in Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Directors and Officers Coverage," Travelers Insurance Group, September 2013 • "Not Always Black and White," Co-author, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, March 2013 • "Small Firm, Big Opportunities: Discover the Advantages of a Small/Medium Firm," Wayne State Law School, February 2013 • "Sex and Gender in the Work Place," Travelers Insurance Group, February 2013 • "The Debate Over Michigan’s Right-To-Work Law," Co-author, Employment Law 360, February 2013
- Mediations/Arbitrations • 90% of mediations handled are successfully resolved • Numerous (employment and labor) handled through hearing (including managing discovery process, pre-hearing opinions and orders pertaining to all matters)
- Obtained Summary Disposition in favor of municipal client in an action filed by the highest ranking attorney (City Corporation Counsel) based on 1st Amendment retaliatory defamation and discrimination under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983
- Obtained favorable settlement in Department of Labor wage and hour litigation involving proper categorization of employees versus independent contractors.
- Defeated union organizing drives by Teamsters, SEIU and UAW. Successful in defending against unfair labor practices filed for terminations and against objections to union election filed.
- Resolved highly publicized litigation involving the mayor of a major municipality.
- Represented a Casino in a ten Plaintiff Arab American discrimination suit filed in Wayne County Circuit Court. All ten Plaintiffs were employees at the time the suit was filed and remained employed throughout the pendency of the suit. Early in the litigation, the decision was made to file a motion to dismiss one of the Plaintiffs based on judicial estoppel grounds because he did not list the claim in his bankruptcy filing, which was granted. After discovery closed, the strategy was to file motions to dismiss on seven other Plaintiffs leaving the most questionable Plaintiffs for last. The seven motions to dismiss were all granted. After obtaining the Judge’s reasoning on the seven, we used that reasoning to have the seven dismissed. We were able to convince the Judge that the individuals were limited to using incidents of which they were personally aware to support their hostile work environment claims
- Case of first impression in the United States. ERISA litigation dealing with gender rule versus birthday rule and the coordination of benefits between two health care plans. We argued the gender rule was discriminatory. The court in a published decision agreed. Numerous benefit plans were changed throughout the United States as a result.
- Plaintiff sought recovery of $670,000 that he had lost gambling at a Casino, relying on a 150-year old statute that permitted victims of illegal gambling to recover losses. The case, if won, by Plaintiff would have far reaching effects not only for the particular Casino sued, but for all of the other legalized non-tribal casinos in Michigan. Cross motions for summary judgment were filed. Defendant sought summary disposition on the pleadings, arguing that the old statute relied upon by Plaintiff applied only to illegal gambling. Plaintiff’s gambling at the Casino was legal, as the result of a 1996 voter-initiated law that authorized gambling at three casinos in Detroit. Plaintiff also sought summary disposition. Plaintiff and his counsel gave numerous media interviews regarding the case, and posted all of the pleadings on the attorney’s website, apparently fueled by a desire to abolish casino gambling. The court granted Defendant’s motion and denied Plaintiff’s motion.
- Plaintiff filed a four-count complaint arising out his alleged termination of employment as Chief Operating Officer from an energy company. He claimed: (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Violation Of The Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act; (3) Violation Of Michigan Public Policy/Retaliation; and (4) Fraud And Misrepresentation. The claims were filed against five defendants: two corporate entities and three individuals. The complexity of the case was high, and involved novel issues of individual liability and independent contractor versus employee status under both the Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act and Michigan Public Policy. The case also involved complex issues of fraud in the inducement on the Breach of Contract claim and reliance on the Fraud and Misrepresentation claim. When our firm took over from another firm who had handled it, there was a default judgment pending against the Defendants. Plaintiff was demanding 2.5 million dollars. After a hard fought litigation battle, Plaintiff refused to facilitate. In July 2009, two of the individual named defendants were dismissed as was individual liability for all named defendants under the Whistleblowers claim. The court held the remainder of the summary disposition in abeyance. The case evaluated for $65,000 which both parties rejected. At a settlement conference, in August 2009, the case settled for the case evaluation amount.
- Successfully handled numerous sexual harassment litigation claims involving claims against officers such as CEOs of companies and health care organizations. Claims dismissed or settled for nominal amounts, and successfully defended a class action age discrimination claim against an automotive supplier in reduction in force case. Case dismissed
- Handled numerous labor strikes. One that lasted for three months and included over 200 discharges, and one in which there were approximately 30 discharges due to picket line violence. Decertification matters handled successfully.
- Time card fraud case. Successfully defended allegations that administrator of nursing home directed lower level staffing coordinator to pay employees for not working in order to meet state staffing ratios. Wrongful discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Case involving a staffing coordinator. Wrongful discharge case dismissed pursuant to motion. Intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was submitted to a stipulated high/low arbitration. After a 21 day hearing, the arbitrator ruled the discharged employee was entitled to nothing.
- Automotive Company, Automobile Suppliers, Courts, Hospitals, Law Firms, Medical Suppliers, Municipalities, Nursing Homes, Retail
- Wayne State University School of Law, LL.M. Labor (with honors), 1990
- Wayne State University School of Law, Detroit, MI, J.D., 1984
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, B.A., Psychology, Sociology with distinction, 1981. Class Honors (1979-1981)
- Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Detroit; Graduate of LDXXVI (2004-2005).
- Earlier this month, a Florida Appeals Court overruled a lower court decision finding that a former Uber driver was eligible for unemployment benefits. The Appeals Court deemed the Uber driver an independent contractor, making him ineligible for unemployment. Meanwhile, back in Michigan, a new law that goes into effect on March 21, 2017 will take the issue out of Michigan Courts, at least for ridesharing companies. Nemeth Law founder Patricia Nemeth explains that the Michigan Limousine, Taxicab and Transportation Network Company Act defines drivers in these gig economy networks as independent contractors, assuming select criteria are met., Independent Contractors, the Gig Economy and the Law, 2017
- Biological gender or gender identification? The question is gaining increased importance when it comes to employers, currently with the topic of public restrooms. Following backlash from guidance from the Michigan Department of Education on restroom options for LGBT students and a recent North Carolina ordinance, Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law, looks at the potential impact on employers and workplace restrooms. Recent trends indicate the public restroom battle will quickly move to private restrooms and employers should have a plan of action in place with an emphasis on gender identity for bathroom preference., Transgender Employees, Bathroom Access and the Law, 2016
- Remember the I-9 forms you are supposed to have your employees sign within three days of their start date? If you haven’t been taking them seriously, now’s the time to do so. Effective Aug. 1, 2016 the minimum penalty per violation increased from $110 to $216 and the maximum penalty soared to $2,056 from $1,100 per violation. It’s a rapid way to adjust for inflation! The financial penalty increase presents a strong reason to conduct an internal I-9 form audit; Nemeth Law founder Patricia Nemeth explains., Your Employees, the I-9 and the Law, 2016
- With the mosquito-borne Zika virus rampant in South and Central America, it’s not surprising that dozens of cases have been reported in the U.S. from recent travelers to those geographic areas. What does this mean for employers doing business in countries where the Zika virus is prevalent? From opt—out travel plans to tips on avoiding gender discrimination, Nemeth Law founding partner Patricia Nemeth looks at how employers should handle the issues raised by the Zika virus without running afoul of the law., The Zika Virus, Travel Plans and the Law , 2016
- All is not well with wellness plans. The EEOC, fearing employers can use employee health data gained through employer wellness programs to discriminate against employees, recently issued new regulations for employer wellness programs. Patricia Nemeth, founding partner of Nemeth Law, highlights the 4 key EEOC regulations: 1. Wellness plans must have a reasonable chance of improving an employee’s health 2. The program must be voluntary for employees 3. The employer must notify employees if the wellness plan is part of the employer-sponsored health insurance plan 4. Wellness plans must provide reasonable alternatives for disabled employees who are unable to participate, Health, Wellness Plans and the Law, 2016
- The proliferation of smart phone apps allowing individuals to obtain on-demand services such as rides and household tasks has created the so-called gig economy. Unlike other workplace labor mixes, such as adjunct professors in colleges and contingent workers in the healthcare field, the gig economy relies solely on independent contractors. But is it legal? A pending class action lawsuit against Uber prompts Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Law to take a closer look., Welcome to the gig economy! Smart phones, apps, on-demand labor and the law , 2015
- When it comes to understanding what accommodations need to be made for employees, it is important for employers to keep the concepts of workers compensation light duty and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) separate. Nemeth Law attorneys Terry Bonnette and Patricia Nemeth discuss the complexities of the topic., Defining light duty in the workplace, 2015
- Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law PC, notes that changes have been made in Michigan laws this year to prevent former employees from wrongfully claiming unemployment benefits - and cracking down on employers who let them. According to Department of Labor (DOL) estimates, the state of Michigan pays $75 million a year in fraudulent claims. In order to avoid wrongful claims, Nemeth addresses changes in the law and the proper steps both employers and employees should follow to avoid fraud and its ramifications., Unemployment Fraud: Updates to Michigan Laws, 2014
- As an employer, do you have to provide workplace accommodations for a pregnant employee? Yes, according to the EEOC, and the organization issued guidelines for employers to follow. But wait…the accommodations required by employers are now being reexamined due to a case brought to the U.S. Supreme Court involving UPS (United Parcel Service). The case is looking at whether or not employers should be required to offer light duty job restrictions to employees who are unable to do their normal job due to pregnancy; the same accommodation made for employees who are injured on the job. Nemeth Law attorneys Terry Bonnette and Patricia Nemeth discuss what these potential changes could mean for employers in advance of the Supreme Court’s expected 2015 ruling., Accommodating Pregnancy in the Workplace, 2014
- Automobile Manufacturers
- Automobile Suppliers
- Law Firms
- Medical Suppliers
- Nursing Homes
Office location for Patricia Nemeth
200 Talon Centre Drive
Detroit, MI 48207
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