Michael A. Wilder regularly advises and represents employers in various areas of employment law before state and federal district courts, state and federal appellate courts, the American Arbitration Association, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state agencies responsible for investigating workplace discrimination and harassment.

A skilled litigator, Michael successfully defended a major health care provider in an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in which the Court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of all counts for want of prosecution. He successfully argued an appeal before the same Court on behalf of a refractories company, which resulted in the Court’s affirmation of the district court’s grant of summary judgment on all counts.

Michael was recently part of a trial team that defended a waste disposal company during a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. His team received a complete defense verdict on all claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the verdict in its entirety on appeal.

Michael also successfully defended a major retailer in a sexual harassment case, leading to summary judgment for the employer, which was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals following oral argument.

Michael is an active member of the firm’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Practice Group and lectures on this subject before government contractor groups on various affirmative action and audit preparation topics. He has successfully defended dozens of OFCCP compliance audits for the firm’s clients throughout the country. He has prepared and defended dozens of desk audit submissions and has significant on-site defense experience preparing and defending managers in interviews and preparing employees for interviews. His experience includes:

  • Preparing affirmative action plans
  • Representing government contractors before the OFCCP
  • Preparing for and defending OFCCP audits and onsite visits
  • Responding to OFCCP information requests
  • Evaluating compensation, hiring, promotions, and terminations disparity claims

Michael is a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. He has authored several publications on recent issues in employment class and collective actions.

Michael was a judicial extern to the Hon. Diane Larsen of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In law school, he was an editor for the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, an extern for the National Labor Relations Board, and was inducted into the prestigious Bar and Gavel Society. He also earned his Certificate of Labor and Employment Law. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member, Board of Directors

Illinois Equal Justice Foundation


Labor and Employment Law Committee

American Bar Association

Member, Board of Directors

Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization

Associate Board Member

Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS)


The Chicago American Inn of Court

Adjunct Law Professor

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Spring 2017


Black Men Lawyers' Association


Former Co-Chair

Minority Law Student Job Fair Committee

Cook County Bar Association

Former Member, Board of Directors

Cook County Bar Association


Recipient, 40 Game Changer Class of 2020

WVON and Ariel Investments

October 12, 2020

Named, Leading Lawyers

Top Lawyers in Illinois


Named, Top 5 Under 40

Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization


Named, Leading Lawyers

Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in Illinois


Named, One of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago

Crain's Chicago Business Magazine

December 2017

Named, 40 Under 40

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin


Recipient, Presidential Award

Cook County Bar Association


Recipient, Junior Counselor Award

Cook County Bar Association


Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Black Law Students Association

Chicago-Kent College of Law


Recipient, Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Chicago-Kent College of Law

News, Analysis & Press

A Call For Greater Collaboration Among Attorneys of Color Within Law Firms

Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP)

June 23, 2020

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al.: Wal-Mart Prevails Before U.S. Supreme Court in Discrimination Case

Labor and Employment Section - American Bar Association

Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employees in FLSA Complaint Case

Labor and Employment Section - American Bar Association

The Post-Dukes Era: Employment Class and Collective Action Decisions

Labor and Employment Section - American Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

Moderator: Don't Get Lost in the Weeds: The Latest on Marijuana and the Workplace

2019 National Bar Association: Section of Labor and Employment Conference

October 2019

Panelist, Effective Strategies for Mediating Single, Multi and Class Action Employment Disputes

National Bar Association Labor & Employment Section Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA

October 27, 2017

OFCCP Update: Compliance in a Time of Change

The 2017 Executive Employer® Conference

May 11, 2017

OFCCP's Final Regulations for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities

March 18, 2014

Affirmative Action Boot Camp

Chicago, IL

October 3, 2012

Littler Presents Our Affirmative Action Boot Camp

Chicago, IL

June 16, 2011


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

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana