Shanel T. Thomas is a member of Plunkett Cooney's Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. She represents clients in employment litigation involving alleged claims of sex and age discrimination, wage and hour disputes, harassment and violations of the FMLA and ADA.

In addition, Ms. Thomas' litigation practice includes serving as second chair in medical malpractice cases and handling commercial litigation. She also has experience handling business matters involving governance, real estate and tax law, mergers and acquisitions, and complex purchase and buy-sell agreements. 

Ms. Thomas graduated, cum laude, from Western Michigan University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she served on the executive board for the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, Student Bar Association and Women’s Law Society. While in law school Ms. Thomas worked as a law clerk to the Chief Judge at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Federal Defender’s Office, Washtenaw Public Defenders Office, and became a certified mediator through the State of Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.

Representative Client Work

  • Defends charges filed against employers with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
  • Advises clients on an array of employment issues, including hiring, firing, employee (internal) investigations and discipline
  • Drafted several corporate governance documents, assisting in multiple mergers worth $50-100 million collectively
  • Obtained favorable rulings and/or dismissals in several matters on behalf of national healthcare providers
  • Successfully drafted and argued several motions for summary disposition in state court involving claims asserting medical malpractice and/or professional negligence

Professional Affiliations

  • Detroit Bar Association (Barristers Section, Board Member)
  • Oakland County Bar Association (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Board Member)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Business Law, Criminal Law, YLS and Young Lawyers sections)
  • Federal Bar Association


  • Mediator, State Bar of Michigan

Publications and Lectures

  • “Harassment U” - We Major in Violating Employment Law Best Practices, Panelist, Plunkett Cooney's Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Seminar, Detroit Marriott Troy, Nov. 17, 2023



  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Chief Judge Denis Page Hood, 2021


  • Western Michigan University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, cum laude, J.D., 2022
  • Michigan State University, B.A., 2019


  • Michigan, 2022
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District, 2023


Blog Posts