Deborah Brouwer, Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer PC Photo

Deborah Brouwer

  • 200 Talon Centre Drive
    Suite 200
    Detroit, Michigan 48207


Deborah Brouwer is managing partner of Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer and brings a wealth of diverse legal experiences and practical wisdom to her client engagements. After twenty years as in-house counsel at the UAW Legal Services Plan, Deborah joined Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer with a strong background in  traditional labor law, ERISA benefits litigation, employment discrimination claims, and legal malpractice defense. Her experience as in-house counsel provided her with a pragmatic approach to problem solving, as well as insight into optimal working  relationships between in-house and outside counsel.   Deborah provides counseling, training, and litigation services to wide range of public and private sector and nonprofit clients and has extensive experience with claims of race, age, disability, gender and religious discrimination and harassment, as well as claims brought under the FMLA and FLSA. She has appeared before state and federal administrative agencies and courts in multiple states. In addition to providing harassment prevention and civility training for employers, Deborah is also a skilled workplace investigator. Before entering private practice, she taught legal writing and criminal law and procedure at Wayne Law School and Wayne State University, skills she continues to use in her frequent appearance before appellate courts, including the Michigan and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A prolific and devoted volunteer, Deborah is an engaged and respected leader in the legal and non-profit communities and is committed to making a positive impact to any organization with which she is aligned.  

Honors & Awards

  • Crain's Notable Leader in Employment & Labor Law, 2023
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a rating system compiled by peers in the legal community, as “AV”, the highest rating for legal ability and upholding ethics in the legal profession, 2023
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2022
  • Best Lawyers® in America, Labor Law-Management | Litigation-Labor and Employment, 2021-2024
  • DBusiness Top Lawyer: Labor and Employment Law, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel - Best Michigan Defense Quarterly Article, 2023
  • Leading Lawyers, Employment Management, 2020-2023
  • Michigan Go To Lawyer in Business Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2020
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, Employment Litigation-Defense, 2019-2023
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Anita Comorski Volunteer Award, 2022
  • Go To Lawyer in Business Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2020
  • Crain's Notable Women In Law, 2019
  • DBusiness Top Lawyer: Appellate Law, 2019
  • Class of 2018 “Women in the Law,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly

Memberships & Affiliations


  • Secretary, Board of Directors, Assured Family Services
  • Past President, Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
  • Chair, Board of Trustees, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Member, DRI
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan, Appellate Section and Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society/Advocates Guild

News & Events


Speaking Engagements

Noted Presentations and Publications

  • "Michigan Employment Law Summary," Lexology Getting the Deal Through, 2023
  • "E-Sigs: As Bad as E-Cigs?" MDTC Quarterly, February 2023
  • Remote Firing segment with Brooke Allen - Critical Mention, November 8, 2022
  • Detroit Legal News Interview, “Attorney looks at responsibility of employers in new OSHA ruling on COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” November 2021
  • Detroit Free Press Interview, “How Michigan businesses are preparing to implement Biden COVID-19 vaccine, testing rule,” November 2021
  • Detroit News Interview, “Biden’s vaccine mandate: Here’s what employers, employees should know,” September 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, “Questions linger after Biden announces vaccine requirements for businesses,” September 2021
  • Channel 4 News Interview, “Metro Detroit businesses confused over national mask, vaccine mandates,” September 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, Let it Rip “Should masks be mandated?” August 2021
  • Today Interview “Can brokerages require agents to get their shots?” August 2021
  • The Detroit News Interview “Pontiac’s UWM bucks work-from-home trend” August 2021
  • The Feldman Report WWJ Radio, “Firing Remotely” July 2021
  • “Attorneys as Public Bodies Under the WPA - Still The Law In Michigan, and Still A Curious Interpretation Of The Act,” Co-Author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 37, No. 4 - 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, “Your Take: As we go back to work can bosses ask about or demand vaccinations?” June 2021
  • The Detroit News Interview, “Workplace pot policies shift law, culture, federal rules,” June 2021
  • CCTV Interview (Civic Center TV) “Legality of businesses requiring in person work and vaccinations for their employees,” June 2021
  • LEXOLOGY, “Has remote hiring made remote firing acceptable?” June 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, “The COVID-19 vaccine and mask questions are coming as we go back to work,” June 2021
  • “Hot topics on the minds of employers? Recreational marijuana use is no longer on the list…but religion is,” Detroit Legal News, April 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, “Your Take: Can employers force you to get vaccinated?” April 2021
  • Fox 2 News Interview, “Protesters' Rights at Work,” What can your employer do if you are seen in violent protests? January 2021
  • WWJ Radio Interview regarding “can your employer mandate you get the COVID vaccine?” December 2020
  • “Holiday Parties in 2020 with a twist,” Mighigan Lawyers Weekly, December 2020
  • “Pandemic Performance Reviews Pose Challenges for Managers,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Detroit Legal News and, August 2020
  • “Is a furlough a kinder, gentler lay-off?” Detroit Legal News, April 2020
  • WADL, News NOW, Interview regarding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Harvey Weinstein and the Coronavirus, March 2020
  • “Weinstein verdict should have employers looking at their sexual harassment policies and practices,” Detroit Legal News, February 2020
  • WWJ Radio Interview regarding business travel due to the Coronavirus Outbreak in China, February 2020
  • Fox 2 News Interview, new laws and trends impacting the workplace. “Legalization on sports betting in the workplace-online betting.” Discrimination in the workplace. What is appropriate/not appropriate conduct in the workplace, “Going along to get along,” January 2020
  • “Company drug use policies predominate Michigan's recreational marijuana law,” Detroit Legal News, November 2019
  • “Emerging Trends in Employment Litigation: Hot Issues in a #MeToo World,” Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) Annual Meeting and Conference, June 2019
  • “Making Sure That Your Employment Agreements Mean What They Say: Recent Roadblocks for Mandatory Arbitration Provisions and Shortened Limitations Periods,” Co-Author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 35, No. 4 - 2019
  • “New federal overtime rules could boost some pay for some workers,” Interview, Detroit Free Press, March 2019
  • “ ‘Tis the Season…for personal injury claims,” Detroit Legal News, November 2018
  • “Kids, These Days, Can Get Away With Filing Lawsuits,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 35, No. 1 - 2018
  • “2018 Employment Law Update,” Raising the Bar, Nemeth Law, P.C., January 2018
  • “Introducing Nuance to the Whistleblowers’ Protection Action,” Co-Author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 34, No. 3 - 2018
  • “Welcome to the United States! Passport, attorney-client information, and trade secrets, please,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 34, No. 1 - 2017
  • “The Disfavoring of Non-Compete Agreements For Low-Income Wage Earners,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 33, No. 3 - 2017
  • “The FLSA Changes Are Coming: Business Considerations and Implementation Strategies,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 33, No. 2 - 2016
  • “Trade-Secrets Litigation under Michigan Law and the New Defend Trade Secrets Act,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 33, No. 1 - 2016
  • “Employer v. Employee Side of Social Media Policy,” NADONA 29th Annual Convention and Expo, November 2016
  • “Dealing with The Problem Employee,” Raising the Bar, Nemeth Law, P.C., May 2016
  • “Study Suggests Some Employers May Disfavor Job Seekers Who Disclose a Disability,” Co-author, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 32, No. 3 - 2016
  • Fox 2 News, The Job Shop, “What they cannot ask you during a job interview,” February 2016
  • “Successfully Defending Unemployment Claims,” Raising the Bar, Nemeth Law, P.C., October 2015
  • “Managing Religion in the Workplace: Tattoos, Body Piercings, Headwear,” Raising the Bar, Nemeth Law, P.C., June 2014
  • “Workplace Violence, Safety, and Security: Risk Assessment and Prevention,” Michigan HR Day, April 2014
  • “Workplace Violence, Safety, and Security: Risk Assessment and Prevention,” Raising the Bar, Nemeth Law, P.C., September 2013
  • “Labor and Employment Law Update: Social Media Networking Sites and Employment Related Decisions,” Sterling Education Services, February 2013
  • “Privacy, Social Media and Employment Law in the Workplace,” Sterling Educational Services, January 2011
  • “Investigator Beware: Even Employees with Tangential Roles in Internal Investigations May be Deemed to ‘Oppose’ Discrimination Under Title VII,” Employment Law 360, February 2009
  • “Internal Employer Investigation of Discrimination Complaints: Proceed with Caution,” Detroit Legal News, February 2009
  • “Recent Interpretations of the Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act,” LACHES, August 2008 
  • Health Care Association of Michigan Annual Convention, “Identity Theft Issues in the Workplace,” September 2007; “Disciplining and Terminating Employees,” September 2004
  • “Strategic HR Management-Employment Law,” Eastern Michigan University, 2005 and 2007 
  • “Employment Law Made Easy,” Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Conference, November 2005
  • “Annual Survey of Employment and Labor Law," Co-author, Wayne Law Review, 2005-2010, 2012, 2014-2015, 2019
  • “Non smoking Rules in the Workplace,” Public Television Channel QTV (Delta College), 2004

Blog Posts


  • Michigan state courts
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fifth and Sixth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Juris Doctor (J.D.), Wayne State University School of Law, 1980
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Michigan, 1975
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), With Distinction, University of Michigan, 1973

Licensed to Practice In

  • Michigan

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Woman-owned and led, Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer has exclusively represented management in the prevention, resolution, and litigation of labor and employment disputes for more than 30 years.

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