Pitt selected to receive SBM Distinguished Service Award

Local attorney Michael Pitt has been selected for the 2017 Distinguished Service Award by the State Bar of Michigan's Labor & Employment Section. Pitt is co-founding partner of Royal Oak-based Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, one of the state's largest firms specializing in civil and employment law.

The award honors a lawyer who has made major contributions to and advanced the practice of employment law; demonstrated a long-established commitment to excellence; and is recognized and respected by constituents in the legal community.

For more than 40 years, Pitt has been a trailblazer in employment law. He has handled major cases which have changed the laws to protect and advance the civil rights of workers.

He has been successful in many landmark employment law actions, including:

- $45 million arbitration award against DTE Energy for1,500 employees alleging race and age discrimination.

- $12 million award against a major employer, including cash and restoration of retiree benefits.

- 10 million award against Ford Motor Company for age discrimination.

- Multi-million-dollar settlement in group age discrimination case representing older employees who were selected for layoff because of their ages.

- $2 million arbitration award against Oakland County Road Commission on behalf of eight employees alleging race discrimination.

- $900,000 judgment against major airline for gender discrimination.

- $750,000 jury verdict in whistleblower case.

- $700,000 settlement on behalf of contract employees retaliated against for complaining of racial discrimination.

- $500,000 verdict in Family Medical Leave Act case.

He and his firm currently represent Flint residents in three class action civil rights lawsuits arising from the city's water crisis. In another high-visibility case, they represent the tens of thousands of state residents wrongly accused of fraud by the State of Michigan.

Pitt is a member and has served in board or leadership positions for: American Bar Association; State Bar of Michigan; Oakland County Bar Association; Wayne State University Law School Board of Visitors; American Civil Liberties Union; National Employment Lawyers Association; Michigan Association for Justice and Public Justice Foundation.

He has previously been selected by State Bar of Michigan as recipient of its 2014 Champion of Justice Award.

Published: Thu, Jan 26, 2017