- J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2001, cum laude
- B.A., University of Michigan, 1997
Cathy Tracey is a Member at the firm, serves as Chair of the Employment and Labor section, and has practiced law since 2001. Her practice is focused on representing a wide range of public and private sector employers in matters related to employment law and school law.
Labor and Employment Law
Ms. Tracey has broad experience handling labor and employment law matters, including employment litigation. She counsels both public and private sector employers on how to handle a wide variety of employment issues, including difficult harassment, discrimination, Family and Medical Leave, disability accommodation and wage and hour situations. Ms. Tracey frequently represents employers in federal court and before federal and state administrative agencies.
In addition to her work in the area of employment law, Ms. Tracey has extensive experience working with K-12 public school districts, public school academies, and private schools on both complex and day-to-day matters, including student disciplinary and special education matters, teacher discipline and tenure disputes, teacher evaluation, FERPA issues, contract negotiations, Title IX controversies, and discrimination and constitutional related litigation. As an example, Ms. Tracey recently represented a school district in a tenure case involving a teacher charged with criminal sexual conduct, and was able to use that criminal charge to prevent the teacher from receiving pay and benefits while awaiting his hearing. She has also been successful in many other high profile cases, including a case filed by taxpayers challenging the inclusion of “no-privatization” provisions in collective bargaining agreements related to support staff.
Through her years counseling school districts, Ms. Tracey has learned that counseling schools on “the law” is a necessary, but not sufficient, requirement of her job. Ms. Tracey therefore makes an effort to respond promptly to her clients’ concerns, with practical advice that takes into account the unique challenges that public schools face.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
Ms. Tracey is a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Council of School Attorneys, and serves on the Regional Council for Inforum, a women’s professional development organization. She also stays involved in the community by serving on the Board of Indian Trails Camp. Ms. Tracey is a member the Human Resources Group of Grand Rapids, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Grand Rapids Bar Association.
Ms. Tracey has been named a “Rising Star” for Employment and Labor Law by Super Lawyers and is listed in the “Best Lawyers in America®” for Education Law and Employment – Management.
Articles and Presentations
Ms. Tracey is a frequent speaker on various employment and education related topics, including presentations on The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Civil Rights Act of 1991, sexual harassment, education reform, student discipline, FERPA administration, collective bargaining and the legal ramifications of employment decisions. Additionally, she has authored articles on student discipline, collective bargaining, disability discrimination and accommodation, and constitutional issues.
Ms. Tracey received her law degree, , from the University of Michigan Law School. While in law school, Ms. Tracey was awarded the Carl Gussin Memorial Prize for excellence in trial advocacy. Ms. Tracey also received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, was a James B. Angell Scholar, and was awarded the William J. Brandstrom Freshman Prize. Ms. Tracey is admitted to practice in all Michigan state and appellate courts, as well as the Sixth Circuit and federal courts in Michigan.