Overview

Michael Congiu complements his broad labor and employment litigation and counseling practice with three specific and distinct areas of focus:

  • Multiemployer pension plan counseling and litigation, and other employee benefits litigation
  • Business and human rights, and international labor standards
  • Leave and disability accommodation litigation and counseling

Michael's broad litigation practice includes specific skills regarding multiemployer pension plans. He regularly counsels and represents employers with issues involving the interplay between collective bargaining, multiemployer pension plan obligations, and withdrawal liability touching on the following laws:

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • The Taft-Hartley Act
  • The Pension Protection Act
  • The Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act

Michael also is recognized for his significant knowledge regarding business and human rights and international labor issues, and is a frequent speaker and author on these topics. He has spoken repeatedly as a voice for business on these issues at the United Nations, and he regularly counsels multinational employers on business and human rights issues, international labor standards, brand protection, and responding to global corporate campaigns, including in connection with the following:

  • The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • The International Labour Organization and its Committee on Freedom of Association
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • The United Nations Global Compact

While in law school, Michael served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Joan Gottschall of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and as a legal extern for Hon. Margaret Lee Herbert, supervisory administrative law judge at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He served as notes and comments editor for the Chicago-Kent Law Review and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. In college, he was captain of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's men's soccer team.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

American Bar Association

Member

International Bar Association

Member

Federal Bar Association

Member

Illinois Bar Association

Recognition

Recipient, CALI Award for Excellence in International Employment Law

News, Analysis & Press

Handling Human Rights Issues in Tech Supply Chains

Inside Supply Management

February 2, 2017

Human Rights Issues in Tech Supply Chains

Today's General Counsel

December 1, 2016

Union Petition Under US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Highlights Labor Violations in Oil and Sugar Industries in Colombia

ACC Docket

July/August 2016

From “Soft-Law” to “Hard-Law”? News from the Regulatory Front

CSR & Human Rights Newsletter

December 1, 2015

Managing Employees During Political Unrest

Law360.com

March 30, 2011

Designing a Bonus Plan That Rewards Attendance and Productivity Without Violating the FMLA

2009 Employment Law Update

Wolters Kluwer Law & Bus

2009

From Shopping Malls to Cubicles: The Contours of Restricting Political Speech in the Private Sector Workplace

2009 Employment Law Update

Wolter Kluwer Law & Bus.

2009

In the Shape-Shifter’s Shadow: Strategic International Union Organizing Along Multinational Corporate Lines

2007 Employment Law Update

Wolters Kluwer Law & Bus.

2007

Corporate Responsibility for Union Busting and Forced Labor Around the World: The Alien Tort Claims Act and the State Action Requirement

2007 Employment Law Update

Wolters Kluwer Law & Bus

2007

An End to Empty Distinctions: Fee Shifting, the IDEA, and Doe v. Boston Public Schools

80 CHI-KENT L. REV. 963

2005

From Rights to Remedies: The Alien Tort Claims Act, Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, and the State Action Requirement

South Carolina Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 2

2005

Books & Book Chapters

  • Imposing Liability on Employers Under the Shadow of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, 2017 Employment Law Update, Chapter 4, Wolters Kluwer, chapter co-author Lavanga Wijekoon, 2017
  • Whistleblowing & Retaliation: A Guide for Human Resources Professionals & Counsel, Chapter 10, International Whistleblowing Issues, LexisNexis and Littler Mendelson, 5th Ed., Chapter Co-Authors: P. Berkowitz and L. Wijekoon, 2014
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Examining Firestone Deference in Delinquent Contribution Lawsuits, Chapter 2, 2014 Employment Law Update, Wolters Kluwer, chapter co-authors: Stefanie H. Kastrinsky and Lavanga V. Wijekoon, 2014
  • The Soft-Law Revolution – International Labour Standards and Human Rights, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment & Labour Law 2012, Global Legal Group, chapter author, 2012
  • International Whistleblowing Issues, Chapter 10, Whistleblowing & Retaliation: A Guide for Human Resources Professionals & Counsel, LexisNexis and Littler Mendelson, 3rd Ed., chapter author, 2010

Speaking Engagements

Improving Effectiveness of Nonjudicial Mechanisms

2017 U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva

November 28, 2017

The Role of Human Rights Due Diligence in Determinations of Sanctions and Remedies

United Nations Human Rights Council

October 6, 2017

Update on Treaty Process

2016 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva

November 16, 2016

Panelist

United Nations Human Rights Council – 2nd Session of Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG), Geneva

October 24-28, 2016

Business and Human Rights Workshop – Exchange Between European Companies and Federations

BDA | Confederation of German Employers, Berlin, Germany

February 18-19, 2016

The Interface Between Judicial and Non-judicial Remedy: Experiences and Challenges

2015 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights

November 16, 2015
Employer Considerations for Operations in Mexico

Chicago, IL

November 4, 2015

Procurement as Policy: Minimum Wage, Paid Leave, Anti-Trafficking, Equal Employment Opportunity Executive Orders

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Labor, Immigration and Benefits Division, Washington, D.C.

October 28, 2015
International Business & Human Rights: What the Corporate Legal Department Should Know

October 13, 2015

Coverage of the Instrument: [transnational entities] and other Business Enterprises – Concepts and Legal Nature in International Law

United Nations Human Rights Council – 1st Session of Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG), Geneva

July 7, 2015

Business and Human Rights: The Increased Expectations Placed on Companies to Respect Human Rights and Strategies to Mitigate the Adverse Impact

The 2015 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

May 6, 2015

Business and Human Rights: The Increased Expectations Placed on Companies to Respect Human Rights and Strategies to Mitigate the Adverse Impact

Littler Global Latin America Conference

Littler Mendelson, Miami, FL

March 6, 2015

Improving access to remedy: What needs to be done

International Conference on Business and Human Rights - International Organisation of Employers and the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève (IOE-FER), Genève. Switzerland

November 19, 2014
The 2014 Charlotte Employer — International Edition

Charlotte, NC

September 23, 2014
The Contrasting Positions of the EEOC and the Courts on Key ADA Issues – What's An Employer to Do?

February 26, 2013
Leave Me Alone

Chicago, IL

March 8, 2012

Navigating the Top FMLA Concerns for Employers

Thompson Publishing Group Webinar

February 2012

Transitioning Employees Returning from FMLA Leave: Avoiding Legal Landmines

Thompson Publishing Group Webinar

December 2011

Dangerous Assignments: Practical & Legal Considerations

SHRM Webinar, Atlanta, GA

March 2011

Education

  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2006
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2003

Languages

  • Italian
  • Spanish

Bar Admission

Minnesota
Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota