Daniel B. Tukel is a Shareholder practicing in Butzel’s Troy office and serves as Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Law Department. He is an honors graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1982), and also received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (A.B. with high honors and high distinction, 1979).
Mr. Tukel’s practice is devoted to representing both public and private employers in state and federal discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation, as well as traditional labor matters such as collective bargaining, labor arbitrations and union organizational drives. He regularly counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, in statutory compliance and in creating, implementing and administering employee handbooks and other personnel policies and practices. He has particular expertise in representing colleges and universities in litigation involving student dismissal, including claims of violation of due process and equal protection, discrimination and failure to accommodate. He has represented employers before state and federal trial and appellate courts, and various administrative agencies including: the National Labor Relations Board; National Mediation Board; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Michigan Department of Civil Rights; Michigan Department of Labor; Michigan Employment Relations Commission; and Michigan Employment Security Commission.
Mr. Tukel has lectured on a wide range of employment and labor issues, has served on the faculty of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and has served as a private arbitrator and private facilitator in employment matters.
Representative matters include:
- In case of first impression, successfully argued before the Michigan Supreme Court that the notice requirement of the Court of Claims Act applies to statutory discrimination claims filed in circuit court. Christie v Wayne State University, - Mich -, 2023 WL 3213922 (2023);
- Successfully obtained summary judgment of claims by student dismissed from graduate program, for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act, race discrimination and retaliation, violation of due process and violation of Title IX. Peeples v Wayne State University, United States District Court Case No. 18-cv-14049;
- Negotiated with UAW multiple collective bargaining agreements on behalf of automotive related employer for 150 person unit;
- Successfully obtained Summary Judgment of claims for race discrimination and retaliation under state and federal law brought by graduate nursing student dismissed from program. Asika v. Wayne State University, et. al., United Stated District Court Case No. 15-CV-12485;
- Successfully upheld employee discharge in arbitration. UAW v. Eastern Michigan University, AAA Case No. 54 300 0031413, 4/24/2014, George Roumell, Jr., Arbitrator;
- Motion to Dismiss granted and affirmed in RICO class action claim alleging conspiracy between physician, employer and workers compensation carrier/administrator to wrongfully deny workers compensation benefits. Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, 731 F.3d 556 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc); Certiorari successfully opposed;
- Summary Judgment granted in claim by hospital employee for violation of Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act, affirmed by Michigan Court of Appeals. Prieskorn v University of Michigan, Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 08-000987-CZ, Michigan Court of Appeals Case No. 298996 (2012);
- Jury trial victory in claim of sex discrimination brought by long-term, high ranking administrator, affirmed by Michigan Court of Appeals. Cunnnigham-Rouse v University of Michigan, Genesee County Circuit Court Case No. 98-64358, Michigan Court of Appeals Case No. 233090;
- Negotiated collective bargaining agreements for public higher education clients with their full time faculty unit, adjunct faculty unit and administrative unit.
Publications (partial list):
The Best Defense Or A Good Offense? Are The Damage Caps In 42 U.S.C. § 1981a Waivable Affirmative Defenses?; The Labor Lawyer (publication of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section), Vol. 24, No. 3, Winter/Spring 2009;
Testing Accommodation: Is a ‘Level Playing Field’ Unfair?; The Labor Lawyer, Vol. 23 No. 1, November, 2007;
Binding Employee Arbitration, Not So Final and Binding After All; July, 2002, Michigan Bar Journal, (publication of the State Bar of Michigan), Volume 81, No. 7;
To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate Discrimination Claims: That is Now the Question for Michigan Employers; September, 2000, Michigan Bar Journal, Volume 79, No. 9;
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Amendment To Michigan Handicap Act Prohibits Use of Genetic Information in Employment; Summer, 2000, Labor and Employment Lawnotes (publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section - State Bar of Michigan), Volume 10, No. 2;
Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But That May Not Constitute a “‘Disability;” Fall, 1999, Labor and Employment Lawnotes, Volume 9, No. 3;
Student Versus Student: School District Liability for Peer Sexual Harassment; November, 1996, Michigan Bar Journal, Volume 75, No. 11.
Speaking Engagements (Partial List):
Religious and Disability Accommodation in Today’s Workplace, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, 2016;
Human Resources Primer, Basic Introduction To Labor And Employment Statutes, State And Federal Personnel Laws, Lorman Education Services, 2001;
To Arbitrate Or Not To Arbitrate And Other ADR Issues, Chamber Of Commerce Labor and Employment Law Seminars, 2000;
Motion Practice, Mediation And Other ADR, Discrimination Litigation: Life of a Lawsuit, Lorman Education Services, March, 1998;
The “Contract” of Employment, Fundamentals Of Michigan Employment Law, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, July, 1995;
Workplace Investigations, Surveillance, and "Sting" Operations, a Management Perspective, Representing Michigan Employers, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, October, 1993.
Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers;
2011 Michigan Supreme Court Distinguished Brief Award, awarded by Cooley Law School Law Review;
Michigan Top 100 Lawyer, named by DBusiness Magazine;
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business - Labor and Employment Law;
The Best Lawyers in America: Lawyer of the Year, Labor Law - Management, 2022
The Best Lawyers in America – Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - Labor & Employment;
Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers;
Michigan Super Lawyer – Employment Litigation Defense;
DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Civil Rights Law and Labor and Employment Law.
National Association of College and University Attorneys;
American Employment Law Council;
Michigan Council of School Attorneys;
Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan Foundation;
American Bar Association (Labor and Employment, and Litigation sections);
State Bar of Michigan (Labor and Employment, and Litigation sections);
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association;
Oakland County Bar Association.
• University of Michigan, Undergraduate, 1979, A.B. (with High Honors and High Distinction)
• University of Michigan Law School, Law School, 1982, J.D., cum laude
• United States Supreme Court
• United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
• United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
• United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
• United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
University of Michigan 1979, A.B.
University of Michigan Law School 1982, J.D.
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- National Association of College and University Attorneys
- American Employment Law Council
- Michigan Council of School Attorneys
- American Bar Association - Labor and Employment, and Litigation Sections
- State Bar of Michigan - Labor and Employment, and Litigation Sections
- Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
- Oakland County Bar Association
Awards & Recognitions
Awards & Recognitions
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Fellow, State Bar of Michigan Foundation
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business - Labor & Employment
The Best Lawyers in America: Lawyer of the Year, Labor Law - Management, 2022
The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management; Litigation - Labor & Employment, 2008-2023
Michigan Super Lawyers, Employment Litigation Defense, 2008-2022
Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers, 2014,2015 & 2020
Michigan State Bar Foundation - Fellow
DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Civil Rights Law, 2011-2013 Labor and Employment Law, 2011-2017, 2019-2023, Litigation - Labor Employment Benefits, 2017, 2021 & 2022
- Summary disposition affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals
- Successfully defended a motion for summary disposition for a major university before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Represented higher education clients in negotiation of collective bargaining agreements for full time faculty; adjunct faculty and administrators.
- Successfully defended national media client in claim for violation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act before the United States Department of Labor.
- In case of first impression, obtained summary judgment in favor of cargo airline carrier of claim for retaliatory discharge in violation of the Railway Labor Act, based on statute of limitations.
- Obtained summary disposition in favor of major University on claims for sexual harassment and breach of employment contract, affirmed, Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Obtained summary disposition in favor of national media client on claims for gender discrimination, retaliation and violation of Sales Representative Commission Act.
- Obtained summary disposition in favor of national retailer on claims for race discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
- Defended regional newspaper in defamation case
- Successfully represented national service provider in overturning trial judgment for plaintiff in claim for race discrimination - failure to promote before Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Trial verdict in favor of major University on claim alleging wrongful discharge/breach of employment contract.
- Jury trial verdict in favor of major University in gender discrimination case. Affirmed by Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Obtained summary disposition in favor of major University on claims for gender discrimination and retaliation.
News & Events
- Firm News, 9.6.2023
- Firm News, 8.23.2023
- Firm News, 7.27.2023
- Firm News, 11.15.2022
- Firm News, 10.13.2022
- Firm News, 8.18.2022
- Firm News, 8.12.2022
- Firm News, 7.5.2022
- DBusiness Magazine, 11.26.2018
- Event, Virtual Webinar, 10.27.2022
- Virtual, 11.17.2021
- Virtual, 10.29.2020
- Detroit, MI, 11.29.2018
- Detroit, MI, 11.16.2017
- Livonia, MI, 8.29.2017
- Detroit, MI, 10.28.2016
- Flint, MI, 6.15.2016
- Flint, MI, 1.20.2016
Alerts & Publications
- Client Alert, 6.30.2023
- Client Alert, 6.29.2023
- Client Alert, 6.16.2023
- Client Alert, 3.27.2023
- Client Alert, 8.17.2022
- Client Alert, 8.2.2022
- Client Alert, 5.24.2022
- Client Alert, 5.17.2022