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Janet Lanyon primarily devotes her practice to labor and employee benefits law and litigation. She has represented private and public sector employers in state and federal court litigation, collective bargaining, arbitration, employee benefit plans, development of employment policies and strategies, and has represented employers before the National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state agencies.


Employee Benefits Experience:

A significant part of Janet’s practice involves the representation of private and public sector employers with respect to all aspects of employee benefits.  Her practice includes designing, drafting, implementing and amending a wide array of tax-qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including Code §401(k) plans, Code §403(b) plans, Code §457 plans, and Code §414(h) governmental “pick-up” plans.  Janet has also assisted employers in developing non-qualified deferred compensation plans, as well as incentive and phantom stock bonus programs, including compliance with Code §409A.  She has also advised employers with respect to fiduciary obligations and reporting and disclosure requirements under ERISA and the Michigan Public Employee Retirement System Investment Act.  Janet has advised employers in connection with multi-employer pension plans and multi-employer pension plan withdrawal liability.  She has represented plan sponsors before the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC).

Janet has assisted employers with COBRA compliance, as well as drafting and designing cafeteria plans, flexible benefit plans, HSA and HRA arrangements.  She has also assisted employers in assuring compliance with the coverage, privacy and security requirements of HIPAA.  Janet has also designed early retirement incentive programs.  She has also represented clients before the IRS and provided advice as to tax qualification of life insurance and annuity products and the use of these products in traditional and Roth IRAs.

Labor and Employment Experience:

Janet has represented employers in state and federal court employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and other employment-related litigation. She has also engaged in collective bargaining and represented employers in grievance arbitration.  Janet has represented employers before the Michigan and U.S. Departments of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights and various other administrative agencies.

Janet has worked with employers to address issues arising in connection with the discipline and discharge of employees, including concerns under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act, the Whistleblowers Protection Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and Constitutional concerns.  She has advised employers in the preparation of employee handbooks and related policies and the development of paid time-off and attendance programs.

Janet has particular expertise in Federal and state wage and hour laws. She has advised employers concerning numerous issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Michigan Wage and Fringe Benefit Act and has represented employers in audits by the U.S. and Michigan Departments of Labor pertaining to wage and hour matters.  She is also the co-author of the chapter of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education treatise, Employment Law in Michigan, concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act and Michigan Wage and Fringe Benefit Act.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022 editions in the following practice areas: Employment Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor & Employment.
  • Named Michigan “Super Lawyer Business Edition” by Law & Politics® for Employee Benefits/ERISA (2012).
  • Named Michigan “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics® for Employee Benefits/ERISA (2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019 & 2021) and previously for Employment Litigation-Defense.
  • Named a Leading Lawyer in Michigan in Employee Benefits Law by Leading Lawyers Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020).
  • Listed as one of the dbusiness “Top Lawyers” in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 by dbusiness Business Journal.
  • AV-Preeminent rated Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. This is the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell. For over 100 years, Martindale Hubbell has published peer review ratings for attorneys.  An AV rating is a combination of the Legal Ability Rating (“A” from very high to preeminent) and the General Ethical Standards Rating (“V” very high).
    spp Best Lawyers Award Badge