Mechelle Zarou

Partner, Immigration and Labor & Employment Practice Co-Administrator

Focusing her practice in the areas of labor and employment, immigration, and sports and entertainment, Mechelle is known for immersing herself in her clients’ businesses and industries. Dedicated to providing excellent service to clients, she recognizes the importance of having a real understanding of her clients’ business, allowing her to give practical and actionable legal advice.

Mechelle has extensive experience representing companies in all areas of labor and employment law, including:

  • Wrongful discharge
  • Discrimination
  • Workers' compensation
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Business immigration
  • Labor negotiations and arbitrations
  • Unfair labor practice charges

She regularly advises employer clients on a variety of workers compensation and unemployment compensation issues, and represents employers at all levels of the administrative hearing process for such claims. In addition, Mechelle handles workers' compensation and unemployment compensation court appeals, as well as intentional tort lawsuits due to workplace injuries.

Seen as a go-to-consultant by her clients, Mechelle’s labor and employment practice includes regularly advising clients regarding state and federal employment law claims, with particular emphasis on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII and related state statutes. She routinely defends employers who face administrative charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), as well as court actions relating to employment discrimination or retaliation. Mechelle also frequently defends employee grievances in arbitration.

On the immigration side of Mechelle’s practice, she assists employers with obtaining temporary and permanent visas for skilled foreign workers, including coaches, athletes and physicians. She has extensive experience in obtaining L-1, H-1B, TN, O-1 and E visas on behalf of foreign workers, as well as permanent residency based on employment and extraordinary ability in athletics, the arts, business or science. Health care clients turn to her for her vast experience with their specialized immigration needs, including obtaining H-1B cap exemptions and J-1 visa waivers.

Coaches, athletes, and administrators draw on Mechelle’s broad ranging experience, including policy review, investigations, training initiatives, and negotiating and drafting contracts. Mechelle regularly represents coaches who face disciplinary investigations, and also serves as a neutral third party investigator on behalf of educational institutions. Given her extensive first-hand experience in both conducting and defending clients during investigations, she offers training sessions to human resources professionals, Title IX officers, and other higher educational employees on how to conduct prompt, thorough and fair investigations.

Mechelle is not only involved with clients, but she is also heavily involved in the Toledo community. Mechelle uses her experienced voice to welcome and advocate for immigrants who enhance Toledo’s economy and help create a vibrant Toledo. She is also an avid supporter of the Arts, as she sits on multiple boards to keep Toledo artistic.

  • Mechelle has successfully briefed and argued American Interstate Insurance Co. v. G&H Service Center, 112 Ohio St. 3d 521 (2007), a workers' compensation subrogation case, before the Ohio Supreme Court, resulting in a unanimous decision in favor of Mechelle's client.

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