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William Thacker

Practice includes traditional labor matters, employment litigation and day-to-day counseling of clients on the various employee and labor relations issues that arise within their organizations.

Extensive traditional labor practice.

Advises clients during union representation campaigns and elections as well as non-Board recognition processes, including the negotiation and administration of card-check recognition agreements.

Negotiates collective bargaining agreements; advises clients regarding application and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements and, where disputes arise, represents clients in the grievance process, including arbitration proceedings.

Routinely represents clients in unfair labor practice cases and representation hearings before the National Labor Relations Board and equivalent state agencies.

Assists clients with the assessment of labor issues attendant to various operational decisions including plant closings, transfers, consolidations and mergers and acquisitions.

Represents clients in various industries, including Tier 1 automotive suppliers, gaming and hospitality, manufacturing, health care and technology as well as public sector education and municipal clients and others.

Represents employers in employment litigation in various state and federal forums, such as wrongful termination, whistleblower, sexual harassment and discrimination cases. Defends employers against administrative charges, such as EEOC and equivalent state agencies. Advises clients on the day-to-day application of the numerous employment laws regulating the workplace, such as ADA, FMLA, FLSA, Title VII and various other local, state and federal laws, rules and ordinances.

Assists clients in the development and drafting of employment policies and handbooks as well as employment contracts and non-competition agreements and litigates issues arising out of such agreements.

Education & Credentials


Bowling Green State University

  • cum laude 1993

University of Toledo

J.D., 1996
  • magna cum laude
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Outstanding College of Law Graduate, May 1996
  • Executive Editor, University of Toledo Law Review

Bar Admission

  • Michigan
  • Ohio


  • Benchmark Litigation United States
    • "Local Labor & Employment Star"
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • "Recommended Lawyer" 
    • Labor and Employment Disputes - Defense, 2021-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Employment Law - Management, 2019-2024
    • Labor Law - Management, 2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Employment Law - Management, 2024
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine
    • "Leading Michigan Lawyer"

Representative Clients

  • Henry Ford Allegiance Health
  • Piston Automotive
  • The D Las Vegas
  • Golden Gate Casino and Hotel
  • Circa Resort & Casino
  • Scio Township
  • Saline Area Fire Department

Prominent Assignments

Represented Tier One automotive supplier in the negotiation of recognition agreements and subsequent negotiations for initial collective bargaining agreements for facilities in several states.

Defended clients against unfair labor practice allegations related to common employer policies and handbook provisions.

Represented Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. in a significant charge nurse/supervisor status case before the NLRB. The Oakwood decision, and its companion cases, established the standard by which such cases are adjudicated.

Has represented numerous employers in complex representation hearings before the NLRB, and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.

Professional Involvement

  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • Author, “Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination Among a Union Workforce,” Dickinson Wright All Things HR Blog, June 2021
  • 2015 The NLRB and Non-Union Employers, ICLE Labor & Employment Law Institute, Inn at St. John’s, Plymouth
  • 2014 Right to Work – One Year Later, ICLE Labor & Employment Law Institute, Inn at St. Johns, Plymouth, Michigan
  • 2007 The Board's Post-Kentucky River "Supervisor" Decisions: Possible Implications in other Knowledge-Based Industries. Are these Decisions "Among the Most Important in the Board's History?" ABA Midwinter Meeting, Section of Labor and Employment Law, committee on the Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act, Kohala Coast Hawaii
  • 2005 Legal Considerations for Health Management Plans, Jackson, MI
  • 2002 Understanding Employment Law, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2001 Top Ten Things to Consider Regarding Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, Washtenaw County Bar Association, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2001 Employment Law Update, Jackson, MI
  • 2001 Compensation and Employment Law Update, Michigan College and University Personnel Association, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI
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