General Motors Counsel, Employee Benefits - LEG0000536 in Detroit, Michigan

Our Employee Benefits Counsel will provide support and legal advice under the supervision of a senior executive compensation, employment and employee benefits attorney within the Employment, Pension and Benefits Group of GM Legal. The attorney will provide legal counsel regarding various aspects of employee benefits, employment and labor, and executive compensation matters in a time sensitive and often fast-paced environment.The attorney will play an active role in the review of Statements of Work and negotiation of commercial services agreements with HR and Benefits-related carriers and service providers.The attorney will also manage employment and benefits litigation. The role is located at GM's global headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.Relocation assistance is available for qualified candidates, and we encourage out of state candidates to apply!

Position Overview

The Employee Benefits Counsel position calls for a high energy and enthusiastic attorney with prior experience in the area of employee benefits counseling who is interested in working on routine and challenging employment, labor, compensation and employee benefits matters in a large in-house corporate legal function.Qualified candidates should appreciate and like diversity in their daily work and be comfortable working on a variety of projects with a diverse client base.Qualified candidates should also be comfortable in a sometimes fast-paced environment.

Specific responsibilities of the role include –

  • Providing counsel in the design and implementation of employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements maintained by the company that are subject to Federal and/or state law.
  • Providing counsel regarding the application of and compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as pertains to retirement, health and welfare and other employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements.
  • Assisting in the drafting of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, health and welfare arrangements, and other employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements.
  • Drafting legal summaries for client and case management purposes, describing legal concerns with employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements.
  • Working daily with the compensation and benefits group to address and assist in resolving administrative concerns, including those relating to collectively bargained plans.
  • Handling threatened litigation and managing outside counsel for cases in litigation.
  • Drafting or editing plan documents, summary plan descriptions and other required documentation for the company’s various employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements.
  • Negotiating commercial agreements relating to HR and benefits administration.
  • Reviewing draft documents from clients and other stakeholders, and revise to reflect legal requirements as well as broader company communication needs.
  • Assisting and managing responses to agency (e.g., IRS, DOL) inquiries regarding plan operations.
  • Interfacing with agencies to assist in resolution of conflicts regarding plan operation.
  • Advising employee benefits plans committee regarding operation in accordance with the committee’s charter and applicable law.
  • Reviewing and revising QDRO procedures, and assist in administration of procedures.
  • Assisting in developing approach to and implementation of correction procedures for plan errors under IRS and DOL plan correction procedures.
  • Drafting severance, retention, and other employment-related agreements.
  • Providing advice and handling other HR and labor related matters, as needed.
  • Maintaining and supporting a culture of legal compliance.

  • Lawdegree from an accredited law school with excellent academics; graduation from a nationally recognized law school a strong plus.

  • Active license to practice law in Michigan, or the ability to obtain admission into the Michigan State Bar within a year of employment.
  • A minimum of five to eight years of legal experience as a practicing attorney in a position of responsibility with a national law firm and/or corporate legal department in the desired area of expertise. Experience with global corporate clients highly desired.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA as pertains to employee benefit plans and program.
  • Working knowledge of US labor and employment laws and benefit plan litigation process.
  • Initiative, integrity, resilience, and ability to manage multiple projects at the same time.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Ability to present information to supervisors timely, clearly and concisely.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Superior organizational ability.
  • Ability to work independently and in a cross-functional team environment.
  • Collaborative with strong ability to build relationships

The policy of General Motors is to extend opportunities to qualified applicants and employees on an equal basis regardless of an individual's age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or veteran status. Additionally, General Motors is committed to being an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and offers opportunities to all job seekers including individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation to assist with your job search or application for employment, email us at In your email, please include a description of the specific accommodation you are requesting as well as the job title and requisition number of the position for which you are applying.

This position requires the ability to legally operate a motor vehicle on a regular basis.