Education

Emory University School of Law, J.D.
  • Student Bar Association, Secretary; Emory Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, Director and ABA Regional Arbitration Team Member; Emory Mock Trial Society, Director of Competitions and National Trial Competition Team Member
University of Michigan, B.A.
  • History and Political Science
  • with distinction; William J. Branstrom Award; National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Golden Key Honor Society

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

American Association for Justice, Labor & Employment Section

State Bar of Michigan

  • Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Litigation Section

Oakland County Bar Association

Overview
Experience
Community
News & Resources
Honors

Overview

Christopher Kazanowski is a labor and employment attorney who concentrates his practice on employment litigation, day-to-day employment counseling, and employment-related aspects of private equity deals.

  • Defends wage and hour claims, including Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions in various courts across the United States.
  • Conducts executive-level employee investigations and consults regarding employment screening procedures, such as the use of credit history and performing criminal background checks in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
  • Negotiates and drafts employment, phantom equity, and separation agreements for executive-level positions.
  • Drafts and reviews employee handbooks and other employment policies and procedures for multi-state and federal compliance.
  • Defends Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) investigations, citations, and administrative proceedings.
  • Defends employment discrimination claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR).
  • Prosecutes and defends trade secrets misappropriation, unfair competition, and noncompete cases nationwide.
  • Represents employers in administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Represents private equity firms in relation to employment practices due diligence, negotiating employment-related acquisition and sale terms, and preparing initial employment documents for startups and newly acquired businesses.
  • Provides day-to-day advice and counsel to various businesses for purposes of complying with leave and accommodation/modification requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Experience

  • Achieved summary judgment of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims filed against a national automotive insurance company.
  • Led a legal team to establish employment practices and draft various employment and profits interest agreements and a multi-state handbook for a national real estate developer startup.
  • Negotiated and drafted a highly favorable employment agreement and phantom equity arrangement on behalf of a CFO joining an insurance firm.
  • Negotiated and drafted an employment agreement and complex bonus scheme on behalf of a national property developer in relation to its new COO, which involved creating a profits interest “put option” exercisable after a certain time period.
  • Provided advice and counsel to a national financial services company in relation to employee onboarding processes, including employment applications and background check disclosures and authorizations.
  • Performed multi-jurisdiction employment due diligence and negotiated employment-related purchase agreement terms and conditions in various private equity deals across the country.
  • Helped achieve summary judgment dismissal of collective action claims filed against a national financial services company under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Mathis v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 07-10981 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 16, 2012); Biggs v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 10-11928 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 16, 2012).
  • Assisted with obtainment of a United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmance of a jury verdict in favor of a national financial services company in a collective action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Henry v. Quicken Loans Inc., 698 F.3d 897 (6th Cir. 2012).
  • Achieved favorable settlements of various employment claims brought against clients in Michigan state courts, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Obtained dismissal of Fair Housing Act (FHA) discrimination claims against a national property management firm brought by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Successfully defended a national property management firm in proceedings before the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).
  • Defended a national financial services company in relation to unfair labor practice charges before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Represented various clients in pursuing claims against former key employees who misappropriated trade secrets and violated non-competition obligations, and routinely obtained favorable injunctions and settlements.
  • Assisted with drafting and responsible for procedural compliance of an amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of a national financial services company with the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Defended automotive supplier against sales commissions claims by former independent contractor, including by achieving favorable results on summary judgment involving contractual interpretation arising under Canadian law.
  • Assisted with defense of a summary judgment order before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the contractual shortening of the statute of limitations period for an employee to bring a claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • Served as lead co-counsel in defending Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime claims brought against franchisees of a national restaurant chain in various federal courts across the United States.
  • Served as a judicial extern for Chief Judge Bernard A. Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Served as a legal intern for Judge William Leo Cahalan of Wayne County 3rd Circuit Family Court.

Community

Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

  • Volunteer, 2010

Pro Bono

  • Defended local homeless shelter in successfully defending housing discrimination claims

News & Resources

News

Publications

Blogs

Honors

  • Michigan Super Lawyers, Recognized as a Rising Star, 2013, 2017, and 2018