SHERYL A. LAUGHREN

DETROIT OFFICE


Education

  • B.B.A., Eastern Michigan University
  • J.D., University of Toledo College of Law

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Bar Association – Labor and Employment and Litigation sections
  • Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center – Past Chair of the Board of Directors
  • United Methodist Retirement Communities – Board of Trustees and Governance Committee
  • Human Services Association Workers’ Disability Compensation Fund – Secretary
  • Michigan Quality Council – Founding Director and past Secretary
  • World Medical Relief, Inc. – Founding Director and Secretary

Notable Court Decisions

Goldfaden v. Wyeth Labs, Inc.
2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9827; 2012 WL 1676664 (6th Cir. 2012)
In the trial court, Ms. Laughren defended against plaintiff’s claims that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex and ultimately constructively discharged. Her claims were against the Company and her supervisor and brought under both State and federal statutes. Plaintiff filed gender discrimination claims against her former employer and supervisor alleging that she received a warning letter based on her subordinate’s false charges, and was constructively discharged because of her gender. The lower court granted defendants’ summary judgment motion concluding that plaintiff failed to establish that she was treated differently than similarly-situated males and, hence, she failed to establish a prima facie case of gender discrimination. The trial court also rejected plaintiff’s claims of breach of contract and termination in violation of public policy. On appeal, following oral argument by Ms. Laughren, the lower court’s decision was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

NLRB v. Vico, Inc.
989 F2d 1468 (6th Cir 1993)
In an action before the National Labor Relations Board, Ms. Laughren defended a Company’s right to implement a permanent mass layoff during a union organizing campaign. Following trial before the National Labor Relations Board and appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit, the court validated the layoff as a valid business decision.

Bouchard v. City of Warren
2015 WL 5697683 (ED Mich 2015)
Jury returned verdict in favor of defendant after a six day trial in the United States District Court.  Defendant was sued by a former employee who quit his job but claimed he was constructively discharged for engaging in whistleblowing activities and in retaliation for taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.  At trial, the former employee was seeking $540,000 in economic damages in addition to non-economic damages for emotional distress and reimbursement of all attorney fees.  The employer acknowledged that the former employee was a whistleblower and that he took FMLA leave, but denied that it retaliated against the employee or caused him to quit.  Ms. Laughren was lead counsel for defendant.

Riley v. Ennis
2012 Mich App LEXIS 2381 (Mich. App. 2012)
Plaintiff who was terminated after returning from a pregnancy leave asserted sex discrimination/pregnancy discrimination and retaliation claims against defendant. Plaintiff sought to impose personal liability on the CEO of the employer under Michigan’s Civil Rights Act. Ms. Laughren defended the CEO and the trial court dismissed plaintiff’s claims finding that she had been terminated for legitimate business reasons. After oral argument by Ms. Laughren in the Court of Appeals, the employee’s allegations of sex and pregnancy discrimination were completely rejected and the Company received costs against her.

Henry v. Quicken Loans Inc.
2009 US Dist LEXIS 09133 (ED Mich 2009)
Defense of FLSA collective action consisting of over 400 mortgage brokers who alleged that they were improperly classified by their employer as exempt from overtime pay of them as exempt under the FLSA administrative exemption.

Little v. Belle Tire
2015 US Dist LEXIS 142227 (ED Mich 2015)
Judgment for defendant following trial in a wage hour case implicating the executive exemption of the FLSA. Assistant manager found to be exempt. Judgment granted in favor of defendant.

Curry v. SBC Communs., Inc.
2009 US Dist LEXIS 22478 (ED Mich 2009)
Ms. Laughren successfully defeated class certification in claims of 800 sales employees alleging race discrimination.

Leader v. Venture Indus. Corp.
1999 US Dist LEXIS 15947 (ED Mich 1999)
While on approved FMLA leave the employer discovered the employee’s poor performance and she was terminated. Ms. Laughren successfully argued that the FMLA does not shield an employee from termination for legitimate business reasons. The employee’s case was dismissed.

Eide v. Kelsey-Hayes Co.
431 Mich 26 (1988)
In an action in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, Ms. Laughren successfully argued to change the law to prohibit employees from receiving a double recovery in discrimination claims.

Hebert v. Aetna Industries, Inc.
182 Mich App 139 (1989)
Arguing before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Ms. Laughren established the right of employers to refer applicants with preexisting epilepsy, diabetes, back or heart problems for certification pursuant to the Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation Act in defense of a prospective employee’s claim that such a referral violates the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

Saldana v. Kelsey-Hayes Co.
178 Mich App 230 (1988)
Establishing an employer’s right covertly to observe an employee suspected of malingering.

Sheryl A. Laughren
Shareholder

DETROIT OFFICE 
Ph: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300

Sheryl A. Laughren
Shareholder

DETROIT OFFICE 
Ph: (313) 496-1200
Fax: (313) 496-1300

Education

  • B.B.A., Eastern Michigan University
  • J.D., University of Toledo College of Law

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Bar Association – Labor and Employment and Litigation sections
  • Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center – Past Chair of the Board of Directors
  • United Methodist Retirement Communities – Board of Trustees and Governance Committee
  • Human Services Association Workers’ Disability Compensation Fund – Secretary
  • Michigan Quality Council – Founding Director and past Secretary
  • World Medical Relief, Inc. – Founding Director and Secretary

Notable Court Decisions

Goldfaden v. Wyeth Labs, Inc.
2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9827; 2012 WL 1676664 (6th Cir. 2012)
In the trial court, Ms. Laughren defended against plaintiff’s claims that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex and ultimately constructively discharged. Her claims were against the Company and her supervisor and brought under both State and federal statutes. Plaintiff filed gender discrimination claims against her former employer and supervisor alleging that she received a warning letter based on her subordinate’s false charges, and was constructively discharged because of her gender. The lower court granted defendants’ summary judgment motion concluding that plaintiff failed to establish that she was treated differently than similarly-situated males and, hence, she failed to establish a prima facie case of gender discrimination. The trial court also rejected plaintiff’s claims of breach of contract and termination in violation of public policy. On appeal, following oral argument by Ms. Laughren, the lower court’s decision was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

NLRB v. Vico, Inc.
989 F2d 1468 (6th Cir 1993)
In an action before the National Labor Relations Board, Ms. Laughren defended a Company’s right to implement a permanent mass layoff during a union organizing campaign. Following trial before the National Labor Relations Board and appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit, the court validated the layoff as a valid business decision.

Bouchard v. City of Warren
2015 WL 5697683 (ED Mich 2015)
Jury returned verdict in favor of defendant after a six day trial in the United States District Court.  Defendant was sued by a former employee who quit his job but claimed he was constructively discharged for engaging in whistleblowing activities and in retaliation for taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.  At trial, the former employee was seeking $540,000 in economic damages in addition to non-economic damages for emotional distress and reimbursement of all attorney fees.  The employer acknowledged that the former employee was a whistleblower and that he took FMLA leave, but denied that it retaliated against the employee or caused him to quit.  Ms. Laughren was lead counsel for defendant.

Riley v. Ennis
2012 Mich App LEXIS 2381 (Mich. App. 2012)
Plaintiff who was terminated after returning from a pregnancy leave asserted sex discrimination/pregnancy discrimination and retaliation claims against defendant. Plaintiff sought to impose personal liability on the CEO of the employer under Michigan’s Civil Rights Act. Ms. Laughren defended the CEO and the trial court dismissed plaintiff’s claims finding that she had been terminated for legitimate business reasons. After oral argument by Ms. Laughren in the Court of Appeals, the employee’s allegations of sex and pregnancy discrimination were completely rejected and the Company received costs against her.

Henry v. Quicken Loans Inc.
2009 US Dist LEXIS 09133 (ED Mich 2009)
Defense of FLSA collective action consisting of over 400 mortgage brokers who alleged that they were improperly classified by their employer as exempt from overtime pay of them as exempt under the FLSA administrative exemption.

Little v. Belle Tire
2015 US Dist LEXIS 142227 (ED Mich 2015)
Judgment for defendant following trial in a wage hour case implicating the executive exemption of the FLSA. Assistant manager found to be exempt. Judgment granted in favor of defendant.

Curry v. SBC Communs., Inc.
2009 US Dist LEXIS 22478 (ED Mich 2009)
Ms. Laughren successfully defeated class certification in claims of 800 sales employees alleging race discrimination.

Leader v. Venture Indus. Corp.
1999 US Dist LEXIS 15947 (ED Mich 1999)
While on approved FMLA leave the employer discovered the employee’s poor performance and she was terminated. Ms. Laughren successfully argued that the FMLA does not shield an employee from termination for legitimate business reasons. The employee’s case was dismissed.

Eide v. Kelsey-Hayes Co.
431 Mich 26 (1988)
In an action in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, Ms. Laughren successfully argued to change the law to prohibit employees from receiving a double recovery in discrimination claims.

Hebert v. Aetna Industries, Inc.
182 Mich App 139 (1989)
Arguing before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Ms. Laughren established the right of employers to refer applicants with preexisting epilepsy, diabetes, back or heart problems for certification pursuant to the Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation Act in defense of a prospective employee’s claim that such a referral violates the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

Saldana v. Kelsey-Hayes Co.
178 Mich App 230 (1988)
Establishing an employer’s right covertly to observe an employee suspected of malingering.

NEWS & PUBLICATIONS


FMLA Case Law Update for Employers

By David M. Foy, Esq. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished After Leave Given to Ineligible Employee In 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether summary judgment was warranted where an employee was terminated after she was unable to return to work on a...

FIRM OFFICES

Contact UsLearn More