Sue Ellen Eisenberg is the Principal of Sue Ellen Eisenberg & Associates, P.C.
Ms. Eisenberg’s legal career has focused on advocacy work that promotes the equal rights of all employees; assures compliance with anti-discrimination and other fair employment laws; prevents discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; ensures lawful hiring, disciplinary, investigatory, and termination practices; represents the interests of workers and work organizations in litigation; and resolves conflict. Because of her consistent success, her clients include national businesses and executive employees in automotive, manufacturing, risk management, administrative tribunals, medical, athletic, financial, academic, and legal industries.
Ms. Eisenberg supports her clients’ needs with a multitude of legal services. Knowledgeable in all aspects of employment law and having an astute sense of corporate necessities, she employs her considerable skills in negotiation to seek early case resolution by using facilitation and other alternative dispute methods. Ms. Eisenberg’s counseling activities include developing, designing, and implementing effective policies and procedures; providing training; and conducting or providing legal advice regarding work place investigations. Ms. Eisenberg has recognized expertise in reviewing and negotiating separation agreements and severance packages on behalf of executives in senior management; providing legal advice regarding employment contracts and non-competition agreements.
If Ms. Eisenberg’s pre-litigation efforts do not produce a resolution, she is fully prepared to engage in vigorous litigation. She brings focus to that process by developing strategies and participating in every aspect of discovery, trial, and appellate proceedings.
Prior to forming her own firm, Ms. Eisenberg worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at its Washington D.C. headquarters in the Litigation Services Branch. Later, she was promoted to Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the EEOC. While working for the EEOC, Ms. Eisenberg was instrumental in drafting the Federal Guidelines on Sexual Harassment.
Ms. Eisenberg is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the College of Labor and Employment, the Michigan Employment Lawyers Association, the State Bars of Michigan and the District of Columbia, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan/Women’s Bar Association.
Ms. Eisenberg has been selected for inclusion in lists of Michigan Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, Crain’s Detroit Business’ 100 Most Influential Women in Metro Detroit, and Corp! Magazine’s 95 Most Powerful Women. Her awards and recognitions include:
- Crain’s “Notable Women in Law,” 2021
- AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® (2006 – present)
- Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ Martindale-Hubbell® (2013). This Preeminent rating is received by less than 5 percent of women lawyers and is exclusively for women attorneys who have received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from their peers.
- Best Lawyers (2013-2016) in Employment Law (Individuals and Management) and Labor Law (Management)
- Michigan Super Lawyers (2006-2018)
- Top 50 Women Michigan Super Lawyers (2006-2018)
- Top 25 Women Business Michigan Super Lawyers (2013-2014, 2016-2017)
- Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers (2016)
- Leading Lawyer in Employment Law (Employee) since inaugural year that Leading Lawyers were identified in Michigan (2014-2016)
- Champion of Justice Award by the State Bar of Michigan (2007)
- Congressional Recognition from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow for “significant contributions toward improving the well-being of women in the workplace and the community” (2005)
- Annual honoree for outstanding contributions to legal community, The Women’s Bar Association of Oakland County (2003-2004)
- 3rd Annual Law Award, Women’s Justice Center (1999)
- Special Recognition Award, Detroit Human Rights Commission, Women’s Equality Day (1997)
- Jewish National Fund Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Service (1990)
- Represented and counseled employees and employers in pre-litigation strategy and litigation avoidance.
- Advised employees and employers on executive contracts, employment agreements, and non-competition agreements.
- Negotiated separation agreements and severance packages on behalf of executives, senior management, and employees.
- Represented employees and employers in discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, and retaliation litigation.
- Investigated complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on behalf of corporations and other business clients.
- Drafted employee handbooks and policies, and trained employers on policies, procedures, and other risk preventive measures.
- Served as a neutral facilitator and mediator for numerous employment disputes.
- Appointed by federal judges to serve as a facilitator for major class action lawsuits.
- Served as a court-appointed monitor for enforcement of class action settlement.
- Retained as an expert witness on issues related to corporate investigations.
- Instructed fellow practitioners and industry groups on the complex array of state and federal statutes governing employment issues.
- University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1975)
- University of Michigan (Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, 1972)
- Michigan, 1975
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1975
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1977
- District of Columbia, 1976
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- “Simple and Momentous” – Bostock v. Clayton County is a Landmark Victory for LGBTQ+ Equality – Summer 2020: Labor and Employment Lawnotes Vol. 30, No. 2.
- #MeToo and the Movement to Empower the Female Voice – June 27, 2019: National Employment Lawyers Association 2019 Annual Convention (Written Article and Panel Discussion).
- Exhaustion and Agency Investigation Under Federal Law: Bloomberg BNA – Workplace Harassment Law, 2nd Edition.
- The #MeToo Movement and Scope and Handling of Harassment in the Workplace and Academia – November 8, 2018: Practical Law Television Show.
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Under VII and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. – October 10, 2017: Oakland County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Committee.
- How to Attack & Defend Internal Investigations: Serving as an Impartial & Neutral Investigator – September 28, 2017: Labor and Employment Law Section – State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting.
- Title IX Training – July 9, 2017: Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD).
- Workplace Investigations From Start to Finish: A Roadmap for Challenging Workplace Investigations – (June 22-25, 2016): National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Annual Conference.
- Does Attendance at Work Require Actually Showing up? EEOC v. Ford and Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation – May 14, 2015: Employment Law Panel, 2015 Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference.
- Effective Strategies for Negotiating Executive Employment Contracts – June 28, 2014: National Employment Lawyers Association presentation.
- The Top Ten Pitfalls That Subject Employers to Legal Action – March 26, 2014: Western Wayne Chamber of Commerce Workshop.
- WCCCD: A Justified Mandate for the Prohibition of Guns on Campus – October 25, 2013: MACLEA Fall Conference.
- A Return to the Culture of Civility in Higher Education: A Proactive Approach to Bullying – June 3, 2013: The Michigan American Council on Education Women’s Network – Women of Color Collaborative, Lunch Keynote Address.
- Beyond Sticks and Stones: Prevention of Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace – October 30, 2012: Wayne County Community College District’s District-Wide Conference Day.
- Workplace Bullying From a Plaintiff’s Perspective – Spring 2012: Labor and Employment Section – State Bar of Michigan; National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law – American Bar Association.
- The Extraordinary Leader – September 2011: Fifth Third Bank Women’s Network.
- The Drama Stops Here: A Dramatization of Hiring, Harassment, and Performance Review – April 2011: Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber Professional Edge Workshop.
- Current Issues in Negotiating Severance Agreements – June 23, 2010: National Employment Lawyers Association, 21st Annual Convention.
- Keys to Success: A Woman’s Perspective – February 23, 2010: Sponsored by Wayne State University President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
- Best Practices for Advising Employees on Buy-Out Offers in a Tough Economic Climate – September 24, 2009: Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Seminar.
- Drafting Employment Agreements and Policies to Prevent Disputes, Avoid Tax Traps, and Settle Cases – Fall 2008: American Law Institute/American Bar Association.
- New Considerations for Severance Agreements in Light of IRS Code Section 409A – Summer 2008: Labor and Employment Section – State Bar of Michigan.
- Legally Terminating Employees: An Employer’s Best Practices Guide – June 5, 2008: The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Spring Management Show.
- Risk Management: An Employer’s Guide to Employee Hiring, Discipline and Termination – April 22, 2008: The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Industries Professionals Conference.
- The Negotiation of Executive Severance Agreements: Best Practices and Strategies – April 11, 2008: Institute for Continuing Legal Education – 33rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute.
- The Essential Terms of Executive Severance Packages – July 2, 2007: Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
- An Employer’s Guide to Employee Discipline and Termination – June 22, 2007: Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants’ CPE Mega Conference.
- Leveling the Playing Field: Using Experts to Defeat the Ellerth/Faragher Affirmative Defense in Harassment Claims – June 23, 2006: National Employment Lawyers Association, 17th Annual Convention.
- State and Federal Whistleblower Statutes: A Legal Roadmap – January 27, 2006: State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2006 Winter Seminar.
- Member, National Advisory Board, University of Michigan Depression Center (2016-present)
- Public Policy Committee (2019-present)
- Emeritus Trustee, Oakland County Bar Foundation (2013-present)
- Volunteer, Philanthropy Committee, Leader Dogs for the Blind (2017-2019)
- President, Michigan Chapter of the International Women’s Forum (2005-2010), Emeritus Past President
- Member, Board of Trustees, Music Hall (1999-present)
- Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers – Credentialing Committed for the Sixth Circuit Court, Committee Member for Membership Selection Committee (2012)
- Member of Advisory Committee, Michigan Employment Relations Commission
- Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Member, American Bar Association
- Council Member, Labor & Employment Law Section (2006-2007)
- Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation (2006)
- Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (2005)
- Chairperson, Oakland County Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section (2004-2005)
Kerry is an advocate for the rights of employees and a trusted counselor to management-side clients. She has represented a wide range of individuals in difficult employment transitions, including executives and other professionals involved in employment and contract disputes. Kerry’s extensive experience in employment law includes the following areas of specialty: wrongful and retaliatory termination; discrimination and harassment; wage and hour claims; Whistleblowers’ Protection Act claims; severance agreement negotiations; Family Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act claims; civil rights litigation; Title IX internal processes related to college sexual discrimination and misconduct investigations; and numerous cases involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, including obtaining and defending against injunctive relief. Kerry has successfully litigated cases in federal court and state court, and she has resolved many highly contested matters through private facilitation. She has also developed state-of-the-art policies and employee handbooks as well as conducted harassment training for a variety of professional organizations, executive leadership teams, and human resources professionals, including a two-day transgender transition/anti-harassment training for a major manufacturing company.
Although Kerry works to protect all employees, she is known for her commitment to the equal treatment of women in the workplace and the elimination of artificial barriers to advancement. Kerry also has a particular interest in advocating for the rights of pregnant and parenting women.
With compassionate, client-centered advocacy, Kerry is respected as both a formidable adversary and a skilled negotiator able to shepherd creative, successful resolutions. She was honored as a member of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law Class of 2016, which celebrated individuals who have made meaningful and inspiring contributions to the legal community. Recognized twice by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for pro bono contribution, Kerry is committed to giving back through a variety of pro bono projects and volunteer opportunities, including joining a volunteer effort to rebuild special education schools in Cartago, Costa Rica.
Prior to joining Sue Ellen Eisenberg & Associates, Kerry was an associate at a premier Midwest law firm where her practice focused on employment and complex business litigation at trial and appellate levels.
Kerry and her husband Chris, an animator and illustrator, live in Royal Oak and are the proud parents of Clare Elizabeth and Jack Patrick. Kerry is a sports and travel enthusiast. She is six states and one continent shy of reaching her goal of visiting all fifty states and seven continents. An avid tennis player, she has achieved her goal of visiting all four Grand Slam tennis venues. She currently enjoys watching Clare’s two-handed backhand.
- Wayne State University Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2004)
- University of Michigan (B.A., with distinction)
- State Bar of Michigan
- American Bar Association
- Oakland County Bar Association
- Oakland County Bar Foundation – Life Fellow
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- Former Board Member – Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers
- Member – Impact 100 of Oakland County
- Former Board Member – Operation Give Foundation
- Oakland County Inns of Court
Publications, Awards & Presentations
- State Bar of Michigan, Business Law Section, Business Boot Camp: Effective Employment Agreements and Employment Law Primer, Panel Presenter (November 2023)
- National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention: Negotiating Agreements on Behalf of Workers, Panel Presenter (June 2023)
- ICLE: Executive Employment Agreement Checklist (June 2023)
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “Go To Lawyers, Employment Law,” 2021
- “Simple and Momentous” – Bostock v. Clayton County is a Landmark Victory for LGBTQ+ Equality – Summer 2020: Labor and Employment Lawnotes Vol. 30, No. 2
- Exhaustion and Agency Investigation Under Federal Law: Bloomberg BNA – Workplace Harassment Law, 2nd Edition
- State Bar of Michigan’s Labor and Employment Lawnotes: Ten Commandments for an Effective Neutral Investigation (Spring 2018)
- ICLE: Psychological Issues in the Workplace (Panel Moderator, Feb. 2018)
- ICLE: Conducting Effective Transgender Education and Anti-Harassment Training (Dec. 2017)
Admitted to Practice
- Michigan State Courts
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit