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Labor and Employment Attorney

Since 1981, Rick has represented employers exclusively in solving labor and employment law problems in the workplace. He devotes most of his time to advising employers about how to avoid workplace crises, comply with state and federal labor and employment laws and regulations, and prevent litigation. He routinely works with clients in the application and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements.

Rick has first-chaired over 100 labor arbitrations on behalf of management, and for 30 years has successfully bargained both initial and successor labor contracts on behalf of employers against unions in both the private and public sectors. He has successfully represented clients in formal administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC). He also represents school districts in labor and education law matters. Rick routinely speaks to industry groups and authors articles regarding labor and employment law.

For more information, please contact Rick Fries at 616/336-6637 or


Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law – Management, Kalamazoo, 2019

Best Lawyers in America®, 2020

Leading Lawyers: Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management

Martindale-Hubbell® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

Kalamazoo Area Labor/Management Committee, member

Kalamazoo County Bar Association

MASB Council of School Attorneys, past president, 2002

Michigan Negotiators Association

NASB Council of School Attorneys

State Bar of Michigan: Labor and Employment Section; Public Corporations Section; Labor Relations Section

State Bar of Texas: Labor and Employment Section; School Law Section

State Bar of Wisconsin, Labor and Employment Law Section

Community Involvement

Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross: Board of Directors, past member; Personnel/Human Resources Committee, chair; Board secretary

Safety Council of West Michigan, past Board member

News & Publications


"Managing Employee Attendance," ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, February 2000

"The Family & Medical Leave Act," Battle Creek Employers Association, February 2000

ADA & FMLA:  "Impact on No-Fault Attendance Program," University of Louisville Labor Law Symposium, May 2000



Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Lansing, Michigan
J.D., 1981

University of Dayton
Dayton, Ohio
M.B.A., 1977

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, Michigan
B.A., 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • All Michigan state courts
  • All Texas state courts
  • All Wisconsin state courts
  • 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
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