Main Menu Main Content


Todd defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and other employment litigation claims. He represents employers in labor contract negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges and NLRB election proceedings. He enforces noncompetition and related covenants and pursues remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets. He designs risk reduction strategies for discipline and discharge of protected-class employees and works closely with clients to develop employee handbooks and personnel policies, including drug testing, workplace harassment, and disciplinary policies. He provides training to employers on a variety of topics, including the ADA, FMLA, employee discipline and discharge, workplace harassment, and workforce reductions.

Since 2021, Todd has been recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" in Labor & Employment in Band 4 in Ohio by Chambers USA. Chambers USA researchers commented, "Todd Palmer is well regarded for his expertise in traditional labor issues. He also acts on behalf of employers in litigation and EEOC proceedings, as well as advising on the labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions. Todd is a strong lawyer." Clients interviewed by Chambers USA researchers noted, "Todd Palmer is a very good lawyer and litigator. I have the highest respect for him as a labor lawyer."

He is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section, along with the Ohio Management Lawyers’ Association. He has served on the boards of local charities, a private club and his church.  

Todd also serves as counselor to Calfee’s management on the Firm’s employment matters. In that role, Todd gains a unique perspective on the operational and business ramifications of advice on employment issues. Todd joined Calfee in 1995, was elected Partner in 2000, and began serving as Vice Chair of the Labor and Employment practice group in 2020 and Co-Chair in 2024.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, Band 4, Ohio (2021-2023)
  • Benchmark Litigation, "Labor & Employment Star" – U.S. (National), Midwest, and Ohio (2019-2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management (2019-2024)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2004-2009, 2011, 2018-2024)


J.D., The Ohio State University College of Law, 1990

B.A., Miami University, 1987



Traditional Labor Law

  • Served as counsel for the Respondent, a global manufacturing company, in an NLRB Charge filed by a union on behalf of an employee who served as the local union president. The employee filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge (ULP) against Calfee’s client, alleging that the Company violated Section 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act when it issued a disciplinary write-up allegedly because of the employee's Union support and/or activities. The Company denied these allegations. It has had a long-standing rule against having food and open drink containers, including open soda cans, on the shop floor. These are safety rules designed to keep its work area clean and its employees safe. The Company had announced at Company-wide meetings that it would begin enforcing the rule with renewed vigor since oral warnings had proven ineffective in curbing the problematic behavior to date. The employee received the write-up because they were observed violating the rule. The Company filed its position statement in response to the charge. Following a favorable settlement between the Company and the Union, the Union withdrew the Charge, and the matter was closed.
  • Represented employer with a newly certified union through negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement and subsequent withdrawal of recognition of the union, restoring the employer to union-free status.
  • Represented employer through union election petition and subsequent campaign leading up to a National Labor Relations Board-supervised secret ballot election, in which union failed to procure a majority of votes cast.
  • Represented employers through numerous grievance arbitration proceedings resulting in decisions upholding employee discharges, suspensions, other forms of discipline, and contract interpretation.
  • Served as lead negotiator for numerous employers in the negotiation of more than 20 collective bargaining agreements.

Employment-Related Litigation

  • Represented Plaintiff (two related companies) in the filing of a Complaint and Application for Injunctive Relief against a former employee who separated from their organizations two months previously to join Calfee’s client company. Plaintiff alleged that the former employee/Defendant violated covenants not to solicit customers and not to disclose or use confidential information and misappropriation of trade secrets. Following expedited discovery and conferences with the Court preparatory to a preliminary injunction hearing, the parties agreed to submit the case to mediation before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. At the mediation conference, the parties reached a favorable settlement of Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant, terms of which included a modest cash payment to the Plaintiffs and a brief extension of an Agreed Temporary Restraining Order, which restricted Defendant from calling on certain enumerated clients.
  • Serving as counsel for a billion-dollar, multi-state company charged with alleged age discrimination and retaliation arising out of the company's non-renewal of an employment agreement and subsequent termination from employment of the Charging Party, who served as an executive of the company.
  • Serving as counsel for a U.S. manufacturing company with nearly 10,000 employees in a matter in which the company was charged with disability discrimination by a terminated employee, a charge that was dually filed with the EEOC and a state Human Relations Commission. Following Calfee’s submission of a letter to the EEOC contesting that agency’s jurisdiction over the Company, the EEOC terminated its processing of this charge and transferred the matter to the state Human Relations Commission. The matter remains ongoing.
  • Serving as defending counsel for a global medical treatment company against an allegation of religious discrimination and failure to accommodate in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. The Plaintiff, a former employee alleged religious discrimination and failure to accommodate religious beliefs based on their discharge following refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in violation of a company-wide vaccine mandate. This case is one of a few cases addressing the validity of a vaccine mandate during a worldwide pandemic and the scope of religious accommodation in the workplace. There is no direct governing authority on the issues raised in this case, and litigation of this dispute will contribute to the development of employer rights and religious accommodation jurisprudence.
  • Served as counsel for the Defendant in a matter involving a former employee of Calfee's client, a packaging company, producer, and supplier with operations in the U.S. and Canada. The former employer filed a petition against the client company alleging workers' compensation retaliation. Calfee vigorously defended against these baseless claims and was able to negotiate the case to a favorable resolution at a nuisance value.
  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of an employer in a case alleging age and disability discrimination stemming from reductions-in-force implemented during the 2009 recession and its aftermath.
  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of employers in cases alleging age, race, sex, pregnancy, and disability discrimination.
  • Attained summary judgment on behalf of an employer in cases alleging retaliation for engaging in protected activity.
  • Representing employers in numerous cases seeking to enforce non-competition covenants and other types of post-employment covenants and seeking to protect trade secrets.

Counseling Employers

  • Routinely advise a multi-billion-dollar, multinational holding company based in the U.S. on employment agreements and separation agreements for executive employees and prepare said agreements, which reduces the company's risk of hiring and terminating high-level executives who command robust compensation and benefits packages.
  • Routinely advise employers on strategy for discharge or discipline of protected class employees, including measures to reduce legal risks attendant to same.
  • Design separation agreements and separation packages with releases of claims, including, where necessary, compliance with mandates of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
  • Routinely advise employers on the management of employees with disabilities, including determination of the nature and extent of disability, impact on the ability to perform essential functions of the job, potential accommodations, and the interactive process.
  • Routinely advise employers regarding the management of employees utilizing leaves of absence under the Family & Medical Leave Act and other applicable laws and employer leave policies, to ensure employers comply with applicable legal requirements but also take advantage of employer rights and measures to combat abuse.
  • Prepare, review, and revise employee handbooks and numerous types of employer policies, including employment-at-will and contract disclaimers, sexual harassment, Family & Medical Leave Act and other leaves of absence, social media, electronic communications, and non-solicitation.

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

  • American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section, Member
  • Ohio Management Lawyers’ Association, Member  



  • "Reach Out Live," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Reach Out for Nonprofits,  Panelist, Webinar (May 2020)
  • "Responsible Restart – Keeping People Safe and Reducing Liability," Alliance Bernstein, Panelist, Webinar (May 2020)

News & Events




Licensed In

  • Ohio 

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

"Todd Palmer is a very good lawyer and litigator. I have the highest respect for him as a labor lawyer."

Client quote from Chambers USA 

Jump to Page