Michael R. Blum - Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC

Michael R. Blum

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013

Mike Blum is an award-winning Michigan labor and employment lawyer in Detroit who has litigated some of the state’s most important cases.  He joined Foster Swift in 2008.

Part of Mike’s effectiveness as a litigator, in ADR and as a counselor to employers, comes from his 11 years with the National Labor Relations Board.  He went to work for the NLRB as a field examiner right out of college and became an NLRB trial attorney in 1987, when he finished law school and was admitted to the bar.

Mike focuses his practice in five areas:

  • Labor law.  Counsels and represents employers in all kinds of labor matters, including negotiation of collective bargaining agreements; grievance processing, mediation and arbitration; development and implementation of union campaigns; and, matters before the NLRB, including election and unfair labor practice proceedings. 
  • Employment law for private employers:  Helps in compliance with state and federal statutes affecting private-sector employers in Michigan, and defense of claims before federal and state agencies. 
  • Employment law for public employers.  Works with municipalities, public schools, and state courts in legal matters involving public employees, including defense of claims before governmental agencies. 
  • Litigation.  Handles high-stakes cases at the trial court and appellate levels.  In 2009, for example, Mike prevailed in a precedent-setting claim before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which reversed a federal district court's denial of costs and attorneys' fees under the Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Has represented employers in arbitrations and as an advocate and mediator.  He’s a recognized arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's Neutral Employment Panel.

He’s a prolific author and is frequently invited to speak on complex labor and employment issues.  Mike has written dozens of articles for leading organizations and publications.  He recently assisted in revising the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring to Termination Guide, a project led by Foster Swift attorney Melissa Jackson.  He has spoken on a wide range of key topics, including how to handle e-mail communications and the significance of the amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other state and federal rules and regulations. 

Additional Information

Court Admissions — U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
Experience Representative Matters
  • Mike has recently successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with various unions, including the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the Michigan Association of Fire Fighters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of American, the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the Command Officers of Michigan, and the Michigan Nurses Association. By way of example, negotiations for a public sector employer completed in 2015 resulted in an almost 50% reduction in Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability and significant reduction in retiree health insurance costs.
  • Mike has successfully defended class action litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and related state wage and hour laws in Michigan, Illinois, New York and Ohio, and is currently defending class action litigation involving the employment status of cosmetology students in Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee.
Michigan State UniversityBA 1978Wayne State University Law SchoolJ.D. 1986
Michigan State Bar AssociationMacomb County Bar AssociationOakland County Bar Association

Office Location

28411 Northwestern Highway, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48034
United States

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management