- J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1997
- B.A., Calvin College, 1994
Nate Plantinga is a Member of the firm, is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and co-chairs the firm’s Recruiting Committee, and has been practicing law since 1997. His practice focuses on traditional labor, employment counseling, and health care.
Labor and Employment Law
Mr. Plantinga possesses broad experience handling labor and employment law matters for clients of all sizes in a variety of industries. He enjoys a busy counseling practice for union and nonunion clients, advising employers on the full spectrum of employment matters, including civil rights charges, difficult medical leave issues, employee discipline and discharge, wage and hour, and unemployment. Mr. Plantinga also specializes in traditional labor work involving collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, unfair labor practice litigation, labor-management relations and union avoidance.
Mr. Plantinga employs a practical, problem-solving approach to find creative, efficient and effective solutions to the obstacles his clients face. He believes that legal advice cannot be given in a vacuum, but must always be crafted in the context of a particular client’s industry, environment, and business plans and objectives. Mr. Plantinga addresses client issues clearly and directly; he doesn’t just “quote the law” and leave the client to pick its own path through the woods.
As importantly, Mr. Plantinga works with clients on conscientious policies and human resources practices that form the basis of a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan. Employee issues—even ones which are addressed effectively—create cost and generate risk. Mr. Plantinga assists employers through management training, policy review, employment audits, and human resources counseling, to anticipate and prevent issues from arising in the first place.
Mr. Plantinga has extensive experience working with hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other health care organizations on labor and employment matters. He represents the largest private-sector employer in West Michigan, a health care system, providing daily counsel on all of the organization’s labor and employment needs.
Mr. Plantinga represents a wide range of not-for-profit clients and is well versed in the particular legal issues unique to such employers. He works with his non-profit clients to evaluate employment actions not only in the light of the law, but also in the light of the organization’s mission statement, purpose and calling.
Mr. Plantinga has specific expertise in the particular labor and employment needs of union and non-union construction companies. He has counseled large and small contractors through strikes and labor disputes, project picketing and other work disruptions, union organizing, state and federal prevailing wage, and other matters of concern to the industry.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
Mr. Plantinga belongs to the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and Grand Rapids Bar Association, the Committee on the Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the Society for Human resource Management. He is also sits on the Board of Directors of the Human Resources Group of Grand Rapids.
Mr. Plantings is a former chair of Miller Johnson’s Employment & Labor Section.
Mr. Plantinga was named as Best Lawyers 2014 Grand Rapids Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year. He is named in “The Best Lawyers in America®” for employment law – management and labor law – management. He was also selected for inclusion in “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” for Employment and Labor.
Articles and Presentations Mr. Plantinga is a frequent published author and lecturer on employment and labor law topics including union avoidance, labor relations, human resource practices, employment law compliance, discrimination and harassment, employee leave issues, wage and hour, social media, and unemployment. He is also a contributing editor to “The Developing Labor Law,” the preeminent treatise for labor law practitioners in the United States.
Mr. Plantinga currently serves on the Ada Christian School Foundation Board and the Boys & Girls Club Campaign Cabinet. He has served on the Board of Directors for several local non-profit and alumni organizations, including Camp Tall Turf, Friendship Ministries, and the Grand Rapids Chapter of the Calvin Alumni Association. He is active with Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church as a youth leader. He has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Dickinson Elementary School Tutor Program.
Mr. Plantinga received his law degree in 1997 from University of Michigan Law School and his undergraduate degree in 1994 from Calvin College, where he received the Faculty Honors Scholarship, the Academic Achievement Award, and the Boot Scholarship. He is admitted to practice in all Michigan state and appellate courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court.