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A Better Partnership

Jonathan P. Kok

Partner | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2487

    f. +1.616.752.2500


Named Best Lawyers' Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year in 2022, 2019 and 2021, Jon specializes in all aspects of labor and employment law. He counsels major public and private corporations on such issues as discrimination and harassment, unfair competition, disability and leave issues and the design and negotiation of executive employment and compensation agreements. In addition, Jon regularly handles union negotiations, arbitrations and NLRB proceedings. The current co-chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group, Jon prides himself on providing clients with prompt, straightforward legal advice, adding: "Responsiveness and clarity are my top priorities. I respond to all of my client inquiries within hours, regardless of where I am at the time." Jon focuses on getting employers results, not just answers: "It is easy to say 'no,' but that's not what good lawyers do. Good lawyers find solutions."

Clients say Jon provides a level of service that allows corporate executives and in-house counsel to focus on managing their companies without having to fret over labor issues. “Jon is straightforward, down-to-earth and exceptionally responsive — with a great deal of common sense,” said the CEO of a large, international manufacturer. “He has effectively streamlined our union contracts and helped significantly reduce our employment costs. Jon has also represented our company in several arbitrations and has won them all. He is an excellent business partner who provides sound insight for our long range employee planning.”


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  • Calvin University B.A.
  • University of Michigan Law School J.D. cum laude


  • 2000, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association


  • Represents major employers in all industries in collective bargaining negotiations and labor relations
  • Represents employers in EEOC and state agency proceedings
  • Assists in employment compliance issues with ADA, FMLA, NLRA, FCRA, FLSA, WARN and other federal and state labor and employment laws
  • Assisted a leading international insurance provider in the design and negotation of their executive team's employment agreements
  • Represents employers in litigation, including discrimination, retaliation, payment of wage and hours, harassment, defamation and unfair competition claims
  • Represented Michigan health care facility in successful appeal of supervisory determination under the National Labor Relations Act
  • Successfully represented several hospitals and health care institutions in collective bargaining negotiations
  • Represented large Michigan hospital in successful union decertification election

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers' Grand Rapids Labor Law - Management (2022) and Employment Law (2021 and 2019) Lawyer of the Year
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Michigan Go To Lawyers, 2021
  • Top Lawyer in Labor and Employment Law, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2020-21
  • Best Lawyers in America, Labor Law - Management, 2014-Present
  • Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2008-15
  • Columnist for the Society for Human Resource Management newsletter
  • Contributing author, Michigan Law of Damages (ICLE 2002)
  • Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review



Professional Affiliations

  • University Club of Grand Rapids
    Board of Directors

Community Affiliations

  • Leadership Grand Rapids
    Class of 2009

Speaking Engagements

  • Regular speaker at seminars and civic functions on various employment-related issues, including ADA/FMLA, labor relations, harassment and discrimination, non-competition law and wage and hour issues
  • Presenter, "The Biden Admidnistration and Legal Impacts in the Workplace," ACC Michigan Virtual Program, May 13, 2021
  • Presenter, "COVID-19 Safeguards for Staying Back at Work and Avoiding Litigation," OESA Webinar, August 18, 2020
  • Presenter, "COVID-19 Safeguard Requirements for Your Workplace," ACC Webinar, July 23, 2020
  • Presenter, "Requirements for Your Workplace as Michigan Reopens," Warner Webinar, May 26, 2020
  • Presenter, "Strategies and Pitfalls for Retaining, Terminating and Returning Employees to Work in the World of COVID-19," Warner Webinar, April 24, 2020
  • Presenter, "Employment Law Update on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and New Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act," Warner Webinar, March 31, 2020
  • Presenter, "Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s Impact to Employers and Employees," Warner Webinar, March 24, 2020
  • Moderator, "Employee Benefits Panel" and "Labor and Employment Panel," Warner 2019 HR Executive Panels, October 16, 2019, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • "Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Issues," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Moderator, "Employee Benefits Panel" and "Labor and Employment Panel," Warner HR Executive Panels, October 12, 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • "Legal Issues of Performance Management," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 10 Common Mistakes Managers Make Webinar, March 21, 2018
  • "Myth or Truth: Labor & Employment Panel," Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panels, October 6, 2017, Midland, Michigan
  • "Wage & Hour / FLSA," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 23, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Moderator, "Managing an Evolving Workforce" and "Wage/Hour and FLSA Issues," Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, October 18, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • "Legislative Update" and "The Policies Your Company Needs," Warner Human Resources Seminar, June 9, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • FLSA Briefing - New Regulation Update, The Employers Association Seminar, June 1, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, Warner Seminar, October 5, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • "Hot Topics in Labor and Employment" and "Recent Changes to the FMLA, ADA," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 20, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor and Employment Panel Moderator, Labor and Benefits Executive Panel-Government Enforcement Initiatives, October 2, 2014, Southfield, Michigan
  • "FMLA/ADA and Workers' Comp," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 22, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “HR and Benefits Executive Panel,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, October 9, 2013, Midland, Michigan
  • "The Challenges of FMLA and ADA," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 29, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "An Aging Workforce: Navigating the Perfect Storm," Employment Outlook & Strategy Seminar, October 2, 2012, Birmingham, Michigan
  • "An Aging Workforce:  Navigating the Perfect Storm," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 2, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "FMLA/ADA Update" and "An Uptick in Union Organizing?," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 25, 2011, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "FMLA Update," Warner Human Resources Seminar, March 23, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "The Importance of Positive Employee Relations for Non-Union Employers," Warner Human Resources Seminar, September 11, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Whistleblower, Retaliation & Protected Concerted Activity," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 10, 2007, Grand Rapids, Michigan


"I have worked with Jon for the past few years on employment-related issues our company has faced. Jon provides concise, thoughtful and practical advice. He has been especially helpful in coming up with reasonable approaches on difficult matters where there is no "right" answer. He has always been able to cut through the chatter and get to the core of the issue. Also, Jon is strategic in his thinking and with our company's national presence in many states, we need that kind of thinking. Very smart guy! I would recommend Jon without hesitation." - Assistant General Counsel, Fortune 400 Retail and Food Distribution Company
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"Jon handles things efficiently but without sacrificing any litigation edges. He also has a characteristic that many other attorneys lack: the ability to take on a new matter that is going to a hearing or trial in the near future, and to do so calmly. That means a lot to clients. So does his excellent written work product, which needs no editing and which allows me to focus on the matters on my desk instead of having any concern about the matters that I’ve put on his desk." - Senior Labor and Employment Counsel, Fortune 500 Energy Company
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"Jon is responsive, knowledgeable and he lays out the issues in terms that everyone can understand. He always puts our interests first and he has saved us a tremendous amount of money." - Human Resources executive at a leading provider of inspection, engineering, training and consulting services

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