As a member of the Employer Services practice group, Karl has over 25 years of experience representing employers both in and out of the courtroom. Karl regularly advises governmental entities, manufacturers, small businesses, health care providers, and large corporations. He gives employers practical advice from hiring, to the termination of the employment relationship to help them comply with the law and avoid litigation.
Representative matters include:
- Advising employers regarding wage and overtime policies to comply with Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Counseling human resources directors of small and medium sized businesses regarding disciplinary, termination, and severance issues.
- Negotiating and preparing executive employment agreements.
- Preparing public employer responses to union grievances alleging violations of collective bargaining agreements.
- Investigating allegations of sexual harassment against company executive on behalf of employer.
- Working with employers in a wide variety of industries and sizes to develop employee handbooks and hiring procedures to facilitate human resources operations and avoid litigation.
- Consulting public school district regarding compliance with Family Medical Leave Act.
Karl takes a vigorous and proactive approach in pursuing his clients’ interests. Sometimes litigation is a client's best or only option. Karl has litigated a variety of state, federal and administrative matters, including:
- Defended mid-sized company in National Labor Relations Board administrative proceedings against charge that company terminated worker for engaging in activities protected by National Labor Relations Act.
- Represented small manufacturer in investigation, appeal and dismissal of citation for violation of MIOSHA lockout/tagout safety standards.
- Arbitrated union grievance on behalf of municipal employer regarding wage and benefit issues.
- Litigated religious discrimination and retaliation claims in federal court on behalf of health care provider.
- Defended municipality against charge of unfair labor practices under Michigan Public Employment Relations Act.
- Filed complaint and request for preliminary injunction to enforce non-compete agreement on behalf of employer health care provider.
- Defended government employer against gender discrimination and retaliation charges filed with Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Karl is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University School of Law. He served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Litigation Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. He also served on its Board of Trustees and Chaired the Membership Services Committee. Additionally, he represented the 17th Circuit as elected representative to the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly.
Karl has been selected by Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law and Commercial Litigation. Additionally, Karl has been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell and was given the top AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating.
Honors & Recognitions
AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America® 2020-2024 (Commercial Litigation)
Best Lawyers in America® 2021-2024 (Employment Law – Management)
Memberships & Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Michigan
- State Bar Representative Assembly for 17th Circuit
- Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
Industry & Professional Associations:
- Grand Rapids Bar Association, Executive Committee for Litigation Section
- Grand Rapids Bar Association, Former Board of Trustee Member and Chair of Membership Services
- Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
- County Road Association of Michigan, Associate Member
- Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids
- University of Michigan Club of Grand Rapids
- The Employers' Association
- City of Grand Rapids
- Income Tax Board of Review
- Housing Appeals Board
Recent Blog Posts
Michigan Labor & Employment Law Blog
- Time to Revisit Your “Standard” Employment and Separation Agreements
- Employer Q & A About New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
- NLRB Puts Employment Handbooks Under More Scrutiny
- An HR Audit to Position You for a Great Start to 2022
- Biden Administration Executive Orders Impacting Employment Law Issues
- EEOC Issues New Guidance on Religious Discrimination and Accommodation of Religious Beliefs
- The Pro-Union PRO Act passes the U.S. House of Representatives
- Remote Work in the Pandemic Age: Employer Obligations and Best Practices
- Supreme Court Upholds Right of Employers to Opt Out of ACA Contraceptive Mandate on Religious or Moral Grounds
- U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Workplace Discrimination on the Bases of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is Prohibited Under Title VII
- Whitmer Proposes Universal FMLA: Legislature Likely to Decide by Year-End, Foster Swift Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, September 7, 2023
- U.S. Supreme Court Sides with USPS Worker on Religious Accommodation, Foster Swift Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, July 6, 2023
- NLRB General Counsel Targets Non-Compete Agreements, Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, June 6, 2023
- Court of Appeals Ruling Halts Pending Minimum Wage Increase and New Earned Sick Time Act – For Now, Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, January 27, 2023
- Don't Forget! Michigan's Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, Additional Hike Expected, Foster Swift Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, December 28, 2022
- DOL Proposes New Rule Related to Employee Classification, Foster Swift Labor & Employment Law News E-blast, October 17, 2022
News & Events
- Fall 2023 Labor & Employment Law Update, Foster Swift Going Forward Webinars, October 12, 2023
- What Employers Need to Prepare for in 2023, Foster Swift Going Forward Webinars, October 12, 2022
- Employers: Are You Ready for the Changes Coming in 2022?, Foster Swift Going Forward Webinars, March 10, 2022
- Looking Forward: What Employers Need to Know for 2022, Foster Swift Going Forward Webinars, October 19, 2021
- Hot Employment Law Topics for HR Teams in 2021, Foster Swift, February 25, 2021
- Employer Guidance for a Lawful and Safe Re-Opening, Foster Swift, May 27, 2020
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named 2024 Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America, August 17, 2023
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named 2023 Best Lawyers in America©, Best Lawyers in America, August 18, 2022
- Foster Swift Addresses Changes Coming for Employers in 2022, February 16, 2022
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America©, August 19, 2021
- When Employees Need to Home School, Material Handling & Logistics (MH&L), September 10, 2020
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America©, August 20, 2020
- 42 Foster Swift Attorneys Listed as Best Lawyers® 2020, August 15, 2019
Indiana University School of Law, J.D., 1994
University of Michigan, B.A., 1989
Bar and Court Admissions
State Bar of Michigan
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan