An of counsel attorney in the firm’s Detroit office, Claudia D. Orr exclusively represents and advises employers and management in employment and labor law matters.

Ms. Orr has an ever-growing practice in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).  In this regard, she is an appointee to the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Neutrals for its Employment Panel, and serves as a mediator for the American Arbitration Association and others.

As a counselor, Ms. Orr has advised clients on employment/labor matters, including hiring, discipline/discharge, complex ADA/Family and Medical Leave Act/STD-LTD/Workers' Disability Compensation issues, and labor grievances/arbitration matters.

Ms. Orr has defended employers in litigation and arbitration matters involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA violations, wage/benefit issues, retaliation against whistleblowers, public policy discharge, unpaid commissions, and pension, severance and other ERISA claims, etc.

Ms. Orr has represented clients in administrative proceedings before government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, state and federal Departments of Labor (including their Wage and Hour Divisions and Occupation Health and Safety Agencies), and the Michigan Employment Security Commission.

Ms. Orr's clients have included Fortune 500 companies, local governments, tier-one automotive suppliers, nationwide distributors of pharmaceutical products, numerous nonprofit agencies, health care providers, restaurants, and wholesale food distributors. She also has extensive litigation and appellate experience, and has practiced before state and federal courts as an advocate.

Ms. Orr has spoken on employment law issues for, among others, the Lorman Business Institute and the Council on Education in Management, Detroit-SHRM, and has been a guest lecturer at the Lawrence Institute of Technology and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.  Ms. Orr is the author of “The Defense of Resume Fraud and Other ‘After-Acquired Evidence’ of Misconduct Under Sixth Circuit and Michigan Case Law,” 70 University of Detroit Law Review 657 (1993), and she has authored articles for the State Bar of Michigan’s Employment and Labor Law Section Journal and Laches, a publication of the Oakland County Bar Association.

Notable Cases

  • Rosenthal v. National Beverage Corp., 202 F. Supp.3d 700 (2016)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Dairy Fresh Foods, 2009 WL 1508379 (E.D. Mich. 2009)
  • Wallace v. Detroit Coke Corp., 818 F. Supp. 192 (1993)
  • Hartleip v. McNeilab, Inc., 83 F.3d 767 (6th Cir. 1996)
  • Switzer v. Hayes Wheels Int’l, Inc., 976 F. Supp. 692 (1997)
  • Wilcoxon v. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, 235 Mich. App. 347 (1999)
  • Collucci v. Eklund, 240 Mich. App. 654 (2000)
  • Jordan v. Michigan Conf. of Teamsters Welfare Fund, 207 F.3d 854 (6th Cir. 2000)
  • Switzer v. Hayes Wheels Int’l, Inc., 2000 WL 92273 (6th Cir. 2000)
  • Boyd v. Wayne County, 469 Mich. 987 (2003)

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Mediator, under MCR 2.403 (2001)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan (Master Lawyers and Employment and Labor Law sections)
  • American Arbitration Association (Special Employment Panel of Neutral Arbitrators, Mediation Panel member)
  • Detroit-SHRM (previously known as HRAGD)(Board of Directors and Vice President of Legal Affairs, 2009 to 2012, Secretary, 2018-2022; Member, 2002 to 2022; Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee; Chair, 2002 to 2009, 2014 to 2018)

 Publications and Lectures

  • Legal updates and predictions under the Trump presidency, Panelist, Detroit SHRM, Shiners - Southfield, Michigan March 22, 2017
  • “Sixth Circuit Clarifies Definition of ‘Joint Employers,’ Explains Key Sexual Harassment Defense Under Title VII,” Chartis Legal Insights newsletter, Spring 2010
  • “The Defense of Resume Fraud and Other ‘After-Acquired Evidence’ of Misconduct Under Sixth Circuit and Michigan Case Law,” University of Detroit Law Review, Vol. 70:657, 657-690, 1990
  • “Employment Law Review,” lecture, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, June 29-30, 2005
  • “Fair Labor Standards Act: New Regulations, Exemptions From Overtime: Who Is In & Who Is Out Now?,” lecture, Association of Manufacturing Technology, May 18, 2005
  • “Dealing With the Fair Labor Standards Act,” lecture, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2002
  • Employee Discharge & Documentation in Michigan, lecture, Lorman Educational Services, 1998-1999
  • Discharge and Other Employment Issues in Michigan, lecture, Lorman Educational Services, 2000-2001
  • “How to Terminate Employees Without Prompting a Lawsuit,” lecture, Council on Education in Management, 2002
  • “ADA Update 2000,” lecture, Council on Education in Management, 2000
  • Managing Pay and Employee Benefits Without Violating the FLSA or Leave and Disability Laws, lecture, Council on Education in Management, 2002
  • "ADA, FMLA & GINA - The Good, Bad & Ugly," lecture, Plunkett Cooney's Labor & Employment Law Practice Groups Informed Employer Webinar Series, 2011
  • Genesee County’s Office of Equity and Diversity Department Heads, Managers and Supervisors training on Employment and Michigan Civil Rights Laws, 2011
  • “Misclassifying Workers ... Pitfalls & Penalties for Employers," lecture, Plunkett Cooney's Labor & Employment Law Practice Groups Informed Employer Webinar Series, 2012



  • University of Detroit Law School, summa cum laude, J.D., 1991
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn, high distinction, B.G.S., 1986


  • Michigan, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1991
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1994
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2004


Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law - Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2014 - 2023
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated - Judicial Edition, 2017
  • Women in the Law honoree, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2021
  • Top Lawyer in Labor & Employment Benefits Litigation, dbusiness Magazine, 2020
  • Top Lawyer in Employment Law - Management, dbusiness Magazine, 2015
  • Top Lawyer in Labor & Employment, dbusiness Magazine, 2010, 2015


Speaking Engagements


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