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Todd Palmer serves as Vice Chair of Calfee's Labor and Employment practice group. He has more than 25 years of experience counseling management of publicly traded and privately held businesses to drive employment law compliance and solve sensitive, complex and high-risk employment problems.

Todd defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract and other employment litigation claims. He represents employers in labor contract negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges and NLRB election proceedings. He enforces noncompetition and related covenants and pursues remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets. He designs risk reduction strategies for discipline and discharge of protected-class employees and works closely with clients to develop employee handbooks and personnel policies, including drug testing, workplace harassment and disciplinary policies. He provides training to employers on a variety of topics, including the ADA, FMLA, employee discipline and discharge, workplace harassment and workforce reductions.

He is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section, along with the Ohio Management Lawyers’ Association. He has served on the boards of local charities, a private club and his church.

Todd also serves as counselor to Calfee’s management on the Firm’s employment matters. In that role, Todd gains a unique perspective on the operational and business ramifications of advice on employment issues. Todd joined Calfee in 1995, was elected Partner in 2000, and began serving as Vice Chair of the Labor and Employment practice group in 2020.


  • The Calfee Building
    1405 East Sixth Street
    Cleveland, OH 44114-1607


  • The Ohio State University , J.D., graduated 1990
  • Miami University, B.A., graduated 1987

Bar Admissions

  • United States, Ohio


  • American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section - Member
  • Ohio Management Lawyers’ Association - Member

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Employment Law - Management


  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star - Midwest (2019-2022)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Employment Law - Management (2019-2023)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers (2004-2009, 2011, 2018-2022)
  • Chambers USA 2022, Labor and Employment, Band 4, Ohio

Traditional Labor Law

  • Represented employer with a newly certified union through negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement and subsequent withdrawal of recognition of the union, restoring the employer to union-free status.
  • Represented employer through union election petition and subsequent campaign leading up to a National Labor Relations Board-supervised secret ballot election, in which union failed to procure a majority of votes cast.
  • Represented employers through numerous grievance arbitration proceedings resulting in decisions upholding employee discharges, suspensions, other forms of discipline and contract interpretation.
  • Served as lead negotiator for numerous employers in negotiation of more than 20 collective bargaining agreements.

Employment-Related Litigation

  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of employer in case alleging age and disability discrimination stemming from reductions-in-force implemented during the 2009 recession and its aftermath.
  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of employers in cases alleging age, race, sex, pregnancy and disability discrimination.
  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of employer in cases alleging retaliation for engaging in protected activity.
  • Represent employers in numerous cases seeking to enforce non-competition covenants and other types of post-employment covenants and seeking to protect trade secrets.

Counseling Employers

  • Routinely advise employers on strategy for discharge or discipline of protected class employees, including measures to reduce legal risks attendant to same.
  • Design separation agreements and separation packages with releases of claims, including, where necessary, compliance with mandates of Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
  • Routinely advise employers on management of employees with disabilities, to include determination of nature and extent of disability, impact on ability to perform essential functions of the job, potential accommodations and the interactive process.
  • Routinely advise employers regarding management of employees utilizing leaves of absence under the Family & Medical Leave Act and other applicable laws and employer leave policies, to ensure employers comply with applicable legal requirements but also take advantage of employer rights and measures to combat abuse.
  • Prepare, review and revise employee handbooks and numerous types of employer policies, including employment at-will and contract disclaimers, sexual harassment, Family & Medical Leave Act and other leaves of absence, social media, electronic communications and non-solicitation.

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