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A Better Partnership

Steven A. Palazzolo

Senior Counsel | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2191

    f. +1.616.752.2500

  • Detroit

    t. +1.248.784.5091

    f. +1.313.263.6855


Steve Palazzolo has extensive and varied experience counseling clients on all aspects of the employment relationship. His practice focuses on employee relation issues in both union and nonunion workplaces and representing clients before the NLRB, EEOC, MDCR and other state agencies. Steve assists employers in navigating all major federal and state labor and employment laws including Title VII, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, ADEA and NLRA and international labor relations. In addition to counseling clients on day to day labor and employment matters, Steve’s services extend to the labor and employment law aspects of mergers and acquisitions, employee benefits and employment and civil rights litigation. He advocates for organizations in the automotive supply, agriculture, finance, food processing, hospitality, higher education and health care industries, ranging from start-ups to large Fortune 500 clients. Steve is an in-demand speaker for industry organizations, including the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Steve brings valuable expertise to his practice through his unique work history. Prior to law school, he was a shop floor supervisor in both union and non-union food processing plants. He spent 11 years as in-house counsel in labor and employment law and oversaw an HR department for a multi-billion-dollar multinational corporation with extensive manufacturing operations.

Steve is the creator, writer and producer of the highly popular Warner Employment News From the Law Shanty vlog. Visit the Law Shanty vlog on Warner’s website and twitter@zoemploymentlaw to stay informed on the latest employment and labor law trends.


  • Wayne State University Law School J.D. 1992 Bronze Key Award, 1990-91; Silver Key Award, 1989-90; Dean Scholar Award magna cum laude
  • Michigan State University B.A. 1982


  • 1992, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan


  • Assist employers in resolving a wide variety of employment-related issues, such as hiring, discipline, termination, leaves of absence, and in complying with all major federal and state employment and labor laws, including Title VII, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, ADEA, and NLRA. Represent employers before administrative agencies such as EEOC, USDOL, MDCR, and NLRB
  • Draft and review employee handbooks, employment policies and procedures, employment agreements, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, separation agreements and sales representative agreements
  • Represented Amway Corp. securing $26 million arbitration award in suit arising out of non-compete, non-solicit and trade secret claims. Report at 2008 WL 5386774; 2010 WL 3927661
  • Serves as labor and employment counsel for numerous union and non-union organizations in the automotive supply industry
  • Serves as labor and employment counsel for higher educational institutions
  • Frequently conducts training sessions and speaking engagements for a number of employer organizations and for management on labor and employment topics
  • Served as in-house labor and employment counsel for Alticor Inc. for 11 years

Honors & Awards

  • Order of the Coif
  • Survey Editor (1992) and Member (1990-92), Wayne Law Review


Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog


Professional Affiliations

  • Society for Human Resource Management

Speaking Engagements

  • "The Pandemic, the Workplace, and What Happens Next?," 22nd Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium, March 11, 2021
  • "New COVID-19 Rules and Requirements for Michigan Employers," Warner Webinar, November 10, 2020
  • "Legal Insights and Strategies for Automotive Suppliers," Warner Roundtable, October 13, 2020
  • "COVID-19 Safeguards for Staying Back at Work and Avoiding Litigation," OESA Webinar, August 18, 2020
  • "COVID-19 Safeguard Requirements for Your Workplace," ACC Webinar, July 23, 2020
  • "Requirements for Your Workplace as Michigan Reopens," Warner Webinar, May 26, 2020
  • "Returning to Work After COVID-19," Warner Webinar, April 27, 2020
  • "Marijuana and the Workplace: Employer Obligations and Workplace Health and Safety" and "Addressing the Coronavius: Force Majeure and HR Issues," OESA 2020 Automotive Supplier Legal Hot Topics, February 12, 2020, Troy, Michigan
  • Moderator, "Employee Benefits Panel," and Presenter, "Labor and Employment Panel," Warner 2019 HR Executive Panels, October 1, 2019, Midland, Michigan
  • “Marijuana in the Workplace,” 2019 West Michigan Spring Symposium, May 22, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Leave Issues," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "PMLA and the Marihuana Act," Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act + Marihuana, March 21, 2019, Owosso, Michigan
  • Moderator, "Employee Benefits Panel," and "Labor and Employment Panel," Warner 2018 HR Executive Panels, September 20, 2018, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Panelist, " Labor and Employment Panel," Warner 2018 HR Executive Panels, September 19, 2018, Midland, Michigan
  • "FMLA, ADA and Mental Health Issues," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018
  • “Shining a New Light on an Old Problem,” The Automotive Supplier’s Legal Guide to 2018: Buckle Up and Get Ready for Rapid Change, OESA Seminar, February 7, 2018, Troy, Michigan
  • “Myth or Truth: Labor & Employment Panel,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panels, October 6, 2017, Midland, Michigan
  • "Trump Administration Scenarios," The Automotive Supplier's Guide to 2017: Legal Trends and Insight for the New Year, OESA Seminar, February 2, 2017, Troy, Michigan
  • Moderator, “Managing an Evolving Workforce” and “Wage/Hour and FLSA Issues,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, November 2, 2016, Novi, Michigan; Panelist, “Managing an Evolving Workforce,” October 25, 2016, Midland, Michigan
  • "IP Protection and Employment Matters," Navigating the Intersection of Today's Automotive IP and IT, OESA seminar, September 27, 2016, Troy, Michigan
  • "Exploring the Impact of the FLSA Overtime Ruling on Nonprofit Organizations," Beene Garter Seminar, July 13, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Navigating the FMLA," Warner Human Resources Seminar, June 9, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Employing Independent Contractors," Legal Trends to Watch in 2016, OESA briefing, February 16, 2016, Troy, Michigan
  • Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, Warner Seminar, October 26, 2015, Troy, Michigan and October 7, 2015, Midland, Michigan
  • "Anatomy of a Discharge Case, Best Practices in HR Litigation," Mid-Michigan and Cadillac Area Human Resources Association, September 15, 2015, Clare, Michigan
  • “Documentation Legalities,” Employer Training Council, January 22, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “Effective Performance Reviews,” AHRM, October 8, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor and Employment Panel, Labor and Benefits Executive Panel-Government Enforcement Initiatives, October 2, 2014, Southfield, Michigan
  • "Workplace Bullying and Violence," SCHRMA, June 26, 2014, Jackson, Michigan
  • "Unsocial Media - Walls, Links and Tweets in the Workplace - LOL (or you might just cry)," KHRMA, May 20, 2014
  • "Workplace Violence and Bullying," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 22, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Salary Exempt/Non-Exempt Determination," Employers Association of West Michigan, March 25, 2014
  • "Employees and Contractors and Temps . . .  Oh My!," February 26, 2014, Detroit
  • “HR and Benefits Executive Panel,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, October 9, 2013, Midland, Michigan
  • "How Does the Historic DOMA Decision Impact Employers?," Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar, August 28, 2013
  • "The NLRB for Nonunion Employers" and "Wage/Hour Update - Classifying Employees Correctly to Avoid Liability," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 29, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Workplace Bullying and Violence," MISHRM 2013 Conference, March 2013
  • "The Fine Print: Setting the Stage for Successful Employment,"  Original Equipment Suppliers Association 2012 Talent Town Hall, October 25, 2012, Troy, Michigan
  • "Twitter and the Law - How to Get in Trouble in 140 Characters!," Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), October 16, 2012
  • "The Intersection of Employment and Social Media," Employment Outlook & Strategy Seminar, October 2, 2012
  • "Social Media - What Every Manager Should Know," Ludington Chamber of Commerce, September 11, 2012
  • "Social Media - What Every Manager Should Know," Michigan Bankers Association, September 5, 2012
  • "How to Handle an Unemployment Claim," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 2, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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