Burr & Forman

Marcel L. Debruge

Marcel L. Debruge Headshot
  • J.D., Managing Board of the Alabama Law Review and The Order of the Coif, University of Alabama School of Law (1991)
  • B.A., Louisiana State University (1987)




  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Alabama

  • Alabama State Bar
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Texas State Bar
  • Alabama State Bar, Labor & Employment Law Section, Chairman
  • Alabama Automobile Manufacturers Association
  • National Tank Truck Carriers, Safety Council
  • Named, Chambers USA, Labor & Employment (2016-2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America┬« (2006-2022), Employment Law-Management (2011-2022), Labor Law-Management (2011-2022)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor and Employment Star (2021)
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers (2020)
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow (Class of 2012)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2016-2018)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2008-2009, 2013-2015)
  • Defense of retaliation suit filed against automotive supplier by the U.S. EEOC; successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims.

  • Successful decertification of union for paper company; represented company in all facets of decertification, including successful defense of unfair labor practice charges.

  • Obtained summary judgment on natural origin, race, gender discrimination, and retaliation claims brought by former employee against automotive supplier.

  • Defense of pregnancy discrimination and FMLA retaliation claims against large technology company; obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims

Partner | Birmingham, AL

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Labor Relations Employment Litigation Non-Compete & Trade Secrets OSHA Employer Advising, Policies & Training Whistleblowing, Retaliation and Compliance Transportation and Logistics Labor & Employment


Automotive Manufacturing Transportation

Marcel Debruge is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and Super Lawyers. He is past Chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice Group and past Chair of the Alabama State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section.

Marcel focuses his practice exclusively on representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law, including litigation before federal state courts and administrative agencies.

Marcel has successfully represented management in over eighty union organizing campaigns and assists clients with all aspects of union organizing. He has successfully tried employment cases in federal and state courts, as well as in federal administrative actions.

Marcel’s practice embraces a variety of matters relating to wrongful discharge, sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, employment discrimination, and labor relations. Marcel also handles violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as regularly counseling clients on disability matters. He litigates the enforcement of employment contracts and restrictive covenants, such as covenants not to compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Marcel advises clients regarding Fair Labor Standards Act compliance and has defended a number of FLSA lawsuits, including collective action litigation. He has substantial experience with arbitration of employment disputes, matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and litigation before administrative agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Commission.

He has also defended nationwide complex employment discrimination class actions. Additionally, Marcel engages in a significant amount of employment law counseling regarding policies and procedures, hiring decisions, workplace diversity, and reduction in force. He often conducts training seminars for supervisors and human resource managers. Marcel routinely handles labor organizing campaigns and National Labor Relations Board issues for clients, and assists clients with all aspects of employee relations and management training matters.

Marcel has lectured extensively throughout the Southeast in the areas of procedure, labor relations, case assessment, employment law, occupational safety and health law, alternative dispute resolution, and employment torts, including restrictive covenant issues. He has written several articles in the areas of litigation and employment law.