Cheryl Wilke focuses her practice in the representation of employers in labor and employment matters, including litigation of FLSA, Title VII and retaliatory cases. In addition, Ms. Wilke provides comprehensive risk management programs for her clients. She counsels on all aspects of employer / employee relations, including business litigation, regulatory compliance, employment defense litigation and workers’ compensation matters. Ms. Wilke also practices in the area of high-dollar commercial litigation and collections and services.

In addition to her trial work, Ms. Wilke also handles all of the firm’s workers’ compensation appellate cases, and has appeared in Florida Supreme Court, defending the constitutionality of Florida’s workers’ compensation statute.

Ms. Wilke's clients include Culligan, Kellogg Company and The Tribune Company.

Ms. Wilke also has experience representing clients in sports law matters, including professional baseball, football and soccer teams such as the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Professional Background

Ms. Wilke is the Partner-in-Charge of Hinshaw's Ft. Lauderdale office, and the Business Development Partner of one of the firm’s two Business Transactions Departments. She is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and its Diversity Committee, and is a past regional director.

Ms. Wilke has taught numerous seminars on workers’ compensation and related employment issues, and was recently interviewed on Talk Radio 790 | KABC regarding the new labor and employment issues for California employers. Among her major professional education efforts, she presented a comprehensive mock trial on behalf of the Palm Beach County Safety Council. She has taught risk management classes for two major publicly traded international corporations.

Ms. Wilke has been quoted in workcompcentral, a section of She was the legal editor for "Patient or Pretender, Inside the World of Factious Disorders," Wiley Press, 1994.

Ms. Wilke served as a workers’ compensation mediator and practiced in the area of workers’ compensation law in Palm Beach County, Florida, before she joined Hinshaw in March 1997.

Professional Affiliations

  • The Florida Bar, Grievance Committee
    • Group
    • Member
    • Past President 
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers
  • Broward County Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in South Florida Business Journal's 2014 Influential Businesswomen
  • Named to South Florida Business Journal's 2014 Power Leaders in Law & Accounting List
  • Recipient of the 2014 Client Choice Award—USA & Canada, recognized for Employment & Labor in Florida
  • Selected as one of "Los Angeles' Women Leaders in the Law" by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbel, February 2012
  • Included in the ranks of the country's top employment lawyers on "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys—Up-and-Comers" list, which was prepared by Lawdragon and appeared in the June 16, 2011 edition of Human Resource Executive magazine, 2011
  • In December 2010, Ms. Wilke was selected as one of the "Most Effective Lawyers of South Florida" in the area of labor and employment law by the Daily Business Review, and was the subject of a profile in the magazine discussing the case. She is one of only 90 attorneys included in this list, and one of only three in the area of labor and employment. Ms. Wilke was selected for her defense of an employer, Toojay's Management Corporation, in Myers v. Toojay's Management Corp.
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Florida Super Lawyers magazine (2006–2007)
  •  Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability


Ms. Wilke is frequently a featured speaker for major corporations and industry events. Her presentations have included:

  • "Fly on the Wall: A Conversation Among L&E Lawyers," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2015.
  • "FLSA Hot Topics/Exemptions," The Palm Beach County Bar Association, West Palm Beach, Florida, June 2015.
  • "Successful Diversity Initiatives: Perspectives from In-House Counsel and Leading Law Firms,"  South Palm Beach County Bar Association, Boca Raton, Florida, October 2014.
  • "Retaliation Claims—What Every Employer Needs to Know to Avoid and Defend Them," HR Tampa Expo 2011, Tampa, Florida, November 2011.
  • "How to Block the Punch of Retaliation Claims," 2010 Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2010.
  • "Measuring Your Labor Liability: Minimize Your Personnel Risk & Maximize Your Labor Output," 2010 Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association (FIADA), St. Pete Beach, Florida, October 2010.
  • "Defending Attorneys’ Fees in Workers’ Compensation Cases," Broward County Bar Association, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, January 2008.
  • "Workers’ Compensation Review: Return to Work Programs and Fitness for Duty Report," Hinshaw’s "Effectively Dealing with Current Labor & Employment Issues" seminar, Chicago, Illinois, September 2007, and again in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, November 2007.
  • "Workers’ Compensation: Mock Cross Examination of a Human Resources Director," Hinshaw’s "Effectively Dealing with Current Labor & Employment Issues" seminar, Chicago, Illinois, September 2006.
  • "Staying Within Legal Parameters When Disciplining or Terminating a Florida Workers’ Comp Claimant: Ensuring Compliance with Florida’s Unique Workers’ Comp Discharge Statute to Avoid Paying a Very High Price," Florida Workers’ Comp Forum, Orlando, Florida, October 2005.
  • "Effectively Dealing with Current Labor & Employment Issues," Hinshaw seminar,Chicago,Illinois, September 2005.


Ms. Wilke is the author of:

  • "Mixed Messages: In a world of temporary staffing, who keeps the OSHA reports?," Staffing Industry Review, February 29, 2016.
  • "Pregnancy Disability Act: What Every Employer Needs to Know," Daily Business Review, January 16, 2015.
  • "Labor: New Options for Compelling Arbitration in Employment Disputes," Inside Counsel, April 29, 2013.
  • "Labor: Temporary Staffing and PEOs," Inside Counsel, April 15, 2013.
  • "Labor: The Benefits and Obstacles to a Valid Tip Pooling Arrangement," Inside Counsel, April 1, 2013.
  • "Social Media Mandates and the Quagmire for Employers," South Florida Business Journal, March 22, 2013.
  • "Labor: Non-profits and the FLSA’s Overtime Provisions," Inside Counsel, March 18, 2013.
  • "Labor: 3 Strategies for Handling Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claims," Inside Counsel, March 14, 2013.
  • "Labor: The New Frontier of Bankruptcy Discrimination," Inside Counsel, February 18, 2013. 
  • "Apparent ‘Frivolous’ Suits Can Prove Costly to Companies," Daily Business Review, December 7, 2012.
  • "Board of Contributors: Employers May Consider Job Applicants’ Bankruptcy History," Daily Business Review, March 23, 2012.
  • "Understanding Adverse Employment Actions in Title VII and Bankruptcy Discrimination Claims," a chapter in "Recent Developments in Whistleblower Claims," Aspatore Books, 2010 (part of the Inside the Minds™ series).

J.D., Stetson University College of Law, 1991

  • Member, Mock Trial Board
  • Member, National Trial Team
  • Member, Florida State Championship Team, 1988

B.A., with honors, English, Florida Atlantic University, 1988