Michael C. Schmidt

Vice Chair, Labor & Employment Department

New York

(212) 453-3937

(866) 736-3682

Recent News:

Super Lawyers Recognizes 21 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys in New York

Super Lawyers has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2020 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Michael C. Schmidt is the vice chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, and the office managing partner of the New York Midtown office, where he is resident.

For more than two decades, Mike has concentrated his practice on representing companies and management in all facets of employment law, such as: (i) defense in litigation involving wage and hour (overtime and unpaid compensation), discrimination, harassment, retaliation and whistle-blowing, non-competes and trade secrets, and disability and other leave-related issues, including claims covered under EPLI (employment practices liability insurance) policies;  (ii) day-to-day counseling and in-house training on issues from hiring to firing, and other questions unique to his client’s industries and business; and (iii) drafting and reviewing employment agreements, termination and severance agreements, confidentiality and non-competes, and employment policies and manuals. A substantial portion of Mike’s practice is devoted to maintaining collaborative relationships with his clients, and developing appropriate strategies to avoid litigation and minimize potential exposure in the area of employee relations. He has tried cases and argued appeals in federal and state courts, and has represented companies (non-union and union) in arbitration and before federal and state administrative agencies such as the EEOC, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Labor (state and federal), OSHA, and the National Labor Relations Board.

Mike is an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law School (Central Islip, N.Y.), where he teaches a course on Employment Law, and is called upon regularly as a course planner and speaker for conferences, seminars and continuing legal education programs addressing employment law issues and developments. Mike has been frequently quoted on employment law topics, and is regularly interviewed by trade publications and national journals (online and “traditional”) for his opinions on legal trends. He is proud to be the publisher and editor of a blog devoted to the interplay between social media and employment law, an extremely topical and significant area of law for employers in this new technology era (Social Media Employment Law Blog). Mike also records and produces a podcast called "Employment Law Now", which brings listeners the latest trends, news, and updates in employment law topics. Mike is also an Advisory Board member for Bloomberg BNA's Social Media & Policy Report

Beyond his regular client practice, Mike serves as the chairman of the board of directors of After-School All-Stars of New York, a New York chapter of a national charitable organization founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the mid-1990s to provide after-school and summer programs for inner-city youth. He also spends significant time providing pro bono counsel to various organizations and individuals who are less able to afford representation in times of need.  

Mike earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Brandeis University in 1990. He earned his law degree, with distinction, from Hofstra University School of Law in 1993, where he was a notes and comments editor of the Hofstra Law Review.

Experience

News

Super Lawyers Recognizes 21 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys in New York

September 29, 2020

Super Lawyers has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2020 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

As businesses reopen, workers face a new challenge: getting in the door

July 24, 2020

Michael Schmidt was quoted in Newsday discussing COVID-19 screening for returning to work.

How companies can step up to make workplaces diverse, inclusive

June 14, 2020

Michael Schmidt was quoted in the New York Post discussing an architecture firm that removed any unconscious bias from recruiters for their summer intern hiring process.

Michael Schmidt Recognized by JD Supra

May 11, 2020

Michael Schmidt was named to the 2020 JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards, which acknowledges the top authors and firms for their thought leadership in key topics the previous year.

What does it mean to be furloughed?

April 01, 2020

Michael Schmidt talked with CNN about why a company may do a furlough and what furlough workers should need to know.

The Pros and Cons of Unlimited PTO

February 10, 2020

Michael Schmidt discussed with HR Daily Advisor the downsides and benefits for employers that offer unlimited PTO.

The no-no of asking job hopefuls about salary history

September 08, 2019

Michael Schmidt was quote in Newsday discussing salary history during the interview process.

To hug or not to hug: A 5-step guide to embracing at work

July 13, 2019

Michael Schmidt discussed with CNN about how during the era of #MeToo, employers and workers are paying more attention to their actions in the workplace.

Workplace Ethics: "Keep Your Opinions to Yourself"

July 12, 2019

Michael Schmidt spoke with KPRC AM 950 about social media commentary by employees.

Six Cozen O'Connor Labor & Employment Attorneys Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

January 28, 2019

Benchmark Litigation has named six attorneys from Cozen O'Connor’s Labor & Employment department as Labor & Employment Stars for their respective regions.

How external forces are reshaping FLSA compliance

January 07, 2019

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in HR Dive discussing technology with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

How To Throw A Holiday Party — Without The Legal Hangover

December 13, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Law360 about how the #MeToo movement has impacted work holiday parties.

#MeToo movement has made firms cautious about holiday celebrations

November 18, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in Newsday about the impact the #MeToo movement is having on company holiday parties.

3 Tips To Avoid Legal Horror At Office Halloween Parties

October 26, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in Law360 about costume guidelines at work Halloween parties to avoid any trouble.

Here’s how you should behave at those upcoming company holiday parties

October 22, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discussed with the New York Post how companies can improve the behavior at holiday parties.

HR Support on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

October 18, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, joined the Xpert HR podcast to discuss the #MeToo movement impact on a new sexual harassment policy and training requirements in New York.

More employers offering paid summer internships, despite federal rule changes to make it easier to hire unpaid interns

May 31, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in The Baltimore Sun about new federal guidelines that affect intern programs.

Beware how your state treats overtime rules for managers

May 22, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was interviewed on The Small Business Advocate discussing overtime rules.

How the Trump administration is handling the overtime rule changes

May 22, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was a guest on The Small Business Advocate to discuss the overtime rules under the Trump administration.

How to handle Water Cooler chat that turns Political

April 07, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Western Mass Women about employees engaging in political discussion at work.

Michael Schmidt on Wharton Business Radio In the Workplace

March 29, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, joined Peter Cappelli and Dan O'Meara to discuss new guidelines for summer internships on Wharton Business Radio In the Workplace.

Sexual Harassment Training: The Do’s and Don’t’s

February 28, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair, and David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, were quoted in Bloomberg BNA's Workforce Strategies on sexual harassment.

Cozen O'Connor Gets New Miami and Manhattan Leaders in Leadership Shuffle

February 15, 2018

Cozen O’Connor’s Miami and Midtown Manhattan offices have new leaders, while the former managing partner in Miami has been elevated to a firmwide strategic role.

Cozen O’Connor Names Schmidt New York Midtown Office Managing Partner

February 15, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce Michael C. Schmidt has been appointed to serve as Office Managing Partner for the firm’s New York Midtown office.

Dating danger? Businesses rethink workplace romance policies

February 14, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in Yahoo! about workplace relationships.

Worried About Minimum Wage Increases? Here Are 6 Things You’ll Want to Watch

January 15, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Small Business Trends about the minimum wage increases in 2018.

#MeToo prompts Long Island firms to address sexual harassment

January 12, 2018

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Newsday about companies offering sexual-harassment training.

Why Millennials Want You to Know How Much They Make

November 13, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in TheStreet about why millennials are not shy about discussing their salary with others.

Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Against Men

October 26, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in SHRM regarding Title VII and discrimination against men.

Epidemic at Work?: Businesses Forced to Deal with Drug Abuse

September 20, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted by multiple news agencies, including the Associated Press, CNBC, The Journal Gazette and The Washington Post.

Wharton Business Radio's In the Workplace

September 14, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses concerted activity for mutual aid and protection on Wharton Business Radio.

Two Years Post-Merge, Cozen O'Connor Hitting Growth Goals in Labor Practice

August 10, 2017

Our Labor & Employment department was featured in an article by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Google Gender Debacle Speaks to Tech Culture Wars

August 09, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses this topic on the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The Financial Exchange

April 25, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses how to prevent sexual harassment claims in the workplace.

Labor Attorney Warns Workers Against Getting Too Wrapped Up In March Madness

March 16, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses March Madness on CBS.

How to Keep Your Office Holiday Party From Going Off the Rails

December 14, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses how to keep your holiday party under control in the New York Times.

Caterpillar Hit With Age Bias Suit Over Facebook Firing

November 29, 2016

Michael Schmidt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses this issue on Bloomberg BNA.

Should Employers Continue to Prepare for Overtime Regulations?

November 23, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses if employers should continue to prepare for overtime regulations in Employee Benefit Adviser.

The Brevity of Twitter

November 15, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the brevity of twitter on LeftFoot.

Resigning Without Notice

August 25, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses resigning without notice in The Balance.

Will Overtime Rule Mean Less or More Litigation?

June 27, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the overtime rule on Bloomberg BNA.

Is It Ever OK to Quit on the Spot?

June 21, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses if it is ever okay to leave a job without notice in the Wall Street Journal.

Talking Politics at Work? You Might Want to Cool It

June 15, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses talking politics at work on KING TV.

Employer Lobbying on Overtime Rule Led to Changes

June 01, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses employer lobbying on overtime rule in SHRM.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Recent Yelp Case in HR Magazine

May 01, 2016

Michael Schmidt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the recent Yelp case in HR Magazine.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Recent Yelp Case

February 24, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employee department, discusses the recent firing of a Yelp employee on SHRM.org.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Politics in the Workplace

January 28, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses politics in the workplace on HRE Daily.

Michael Schmidt Discusses the Healthcare HR Checklist for 2016

January 27, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the Healthcare HR checklist for 2016 on PreCheck.

Michael Schmidt Discusses the EEOC Crack Down on Retaliation

January 27, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor and Employment department, discusses the EEOC crack down on retaliation on SHRM.org.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Political Chatter in the Office

January 27, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment department, discusses how political chatter in the office can spell trouble on Law.com.

Michael Schmidt Discusses New York City’s Ban-The-Box Law in Law360

November 17, 2015

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the new Ban-The-Box law and how it will affect employers. This new law seeks to ban the practice of including a check-off box on a job application that asks whether the individual has a criminal past. Michael urges employers to make sure that their job ads and hiring practices are in line with the new law and also emphasizes the importance of training hiring personnel to make sure that they are sensitive to the new regulations in place.

Michael Schmidt Discusses the Elimination of Tipping in Restaurants in SHRM

November 04, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses the recent trend of more and more restaurants doing away with tipping, with the new revenue likely to come in the form of higher food and beverage prices.

Michael Schmidt Discusses DOL’s Potential Rule on Device Use Outside Of Work Hours in Bloomberg BNA

August 24, 2015

Michael Schmidt offers his opinion on how the DOL could resolve the issue of determining when employees must be paid for connecting with their jobs during hours they aren't scheduled to work.

Michael Schmidt Discusses An Employee's Last Day in the Office in The Wall Street Journal

August 18, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses how employers handle an employee's last day of work at the office.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Chicago Trial on the Issue of Off-Duty Portable Device Work in Law360

August 14, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses the increasing need for employers to be aware of potential overtime liability stemming from off-site, off-duty work enabled by smartphones and other technologies.

Michael Schmidt Discusses the DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule in SHRM

July 20, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses the DOL’s overtime rule and how establishing email curfews can help newly nonexempt employees understand the types of work that now are off-limits.

Michael Schmidt Discusses DOL Rule That May Impact Working Outside of the Office in SHRM

June 19, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses a potential rule by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor that will focus on the use of technology, including portable electronic devices, by employees away from work and outside of scheduled work hours.

Michael Schmidt Joins Bloomberg BNA Board of Editorial Advisers

April 23, 2015

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of the Labor & Employment Department, has been invited to join the Advisory Board for Bloomberg BNA’s Social Media Law & Policy Report.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Posting About Work on Social Media in Refinery29

April 03, 2015

In an article titled “You Can Complain About Work on Facebook – But You Shouldn’t,” Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the specific kinds of complaints employees can make on social media that are actually protected by law, no matter your employer’s policy. “When an employee or group of employees are speaking on social media collectively about work and conditions at work, they have a right to engage in that activity according to the NLRB,” says Michael, “The NLRB considers that kind of action — connecting with your fellow employees on social media to discuss working conditions — a 'protected, concerted activity.'"

Michael Schmidt Discusses Employee Tweets in SHRM

April 01, 2015

In an article titled “What to Do About Employees’ #StupidTweets,” Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses whether an employer should take action against an employee for an inappropriate tweet. Michael remarked that “assuming no outright prohibition [by the law] on disciplining the employee for the tweet, the employer also may consider both the impact that the tweet has or may have on co-workers, as well as the impact on morale if the offending employee or others perceive the employer as overly regulating employee speech and expression, particularly of a more innocuous and not patently offensive message.”

Michael Schmidt Discusses Emerging Technical Trends with the Legal Talk Network

March 25, 2015

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses lawyer blogging and what it means to be “part of the social media conversation.” He also talks about the issues of oversharing, setting goals and calculating marketing success, and why every lawyer should be on LinkedIn in an interview with the Legal Talk Network.

Michael Schmidt Offers Tips to Avoid Office Holiday Party Trouble in Law360

December 01, 2014

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, offers 10 tips employers can follow to avoid potential legal trouble during the office holiday parties.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Potential Legal Risks Associated with Halloween Office Parties on CBS Newsradio / WSJ Radio Network

October 21, 2014

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses some of the legal risks employers should consider when hosting a Halloween office party in an interview on CBS Newsradio / WSJ Radio Network.

Michael Schmidt Discusses HR's Challenge with Wearable Technology in Human Resource Executive Online

August 26, 2014

In an article titled, ‘’Banning Wearable Tech at Work,’’ Michael Schmidt, vice chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the challenge human resource departments are facing with the evolution and popularity of wearable technology (i.e. Google Glass). Michael says the main HR challenge is to find ''the proper balance between and employee’s reasonable and protected interests in communicating and depicting workplace conditions and the company’s interests in protecting its valid business interests and ensuring they have productive employees during working time.''

Michael Schmidt Discusses Social Media in the Workplace on ''Power Your Life''

August 21, 2014

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the intersection of social media and employment law in an interview with Dr. Jo Anne White.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Polishing Your Social Media Policy in Home Channel News

August 16, 2013

In an article titled “Polish your social media policy,” Michael Schmidt, vice chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, provides suggestions for creating an effective social media policy that does not infringe on employees’ rights.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Social Media Discovery in Law360

July 25, 2013

In an article titled “7 Tips For Employers on Social Media Discovery,” Michael Schmidt of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group discusses how social media is a new forum of potential evidence in employment cases.

Cozen O’Connor Cybersecurity Conference Highlighted in The Wall Street Journal

May 09, 2013

In an article titled, "FBI: Delete Passwords of Ex-Employees," The Wall Street Journal highlights the firm's Cybersecurity Conference, held on Wednesday, May 8, at the W Hotel. Trevor Cloak, Joe Dever, Greg Fliszar, Brian Gillam, Steven Haas, Mike Schmidt, Stuart Shorenstein, Matthew Siegel, Ahren Tryon and Dave Walton presented during the seminar, along with Richard Aborn, President, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City and Austin P. Berglas, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Cyber, FBI New York Field Office. To read the WSJ article, click here.

Michael Schmidt Discusses Social Media as Court Evidence in Social Media Today

May 02, 2013

In an article titled, ''Legal Concerns: Your Facebook Account as Evidence in a Lawsuit,'' Michael Schmidt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the use of social media as court evidence, and the legal duty to preserve it.

Michael Schmidt Discusses the Risks and Rewards of Social Media in Inside Counsel

May 01, 2013

Michael Schmidt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the application of new and existing regulations in the context of social media in an article titled, ''The Risks and Rewards of Social Media – Regulators and Plaintiffs Take Aim at Companies’ Use of Social Media.'' ''It’s so easy for companies using social media to disclose and talk about things that used to be tightly controlled before they were disclosed to the public,'' Schmidt says. ''But agencies are becoming increasingly vigilant about applying their existing rules to what a company can and can’t say in this new context.''

Michael Schmidt Quoted in Inside Counsel

January 28, 2013

Michael Schmidt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses leave-related issues and medical conditions in an article titled ''Medical Information Not Confidential If Disclosed in Response to General Inquiry.''

Michael Schmidt Quoted in Human Resource Executive Online

January 23, 2013

Michael Schmidt, a member in the firm’s Labor & Employment group, was quoted in an article published in the Human Resource Executive Online titled “Breaking Down the EEOC's Plan.”

Michael Schmidt Quoted in Workforce Management

December 14, 2012

Michael Schmidt argues that employers need to tread carefully before taking action against an employee for misuse of social media in, “Tips on Social Media's Legal Minefields.”

Publications

IV-78- BREAKING: US DOL Issues New Regulations After Federal Court Invalidated Old Regulations [Employment Law Now Blog]

September 14, 2020

In today's new episode, I analyze the new regulations issued by the United States Department of Labor on Friday, September 11, 2020 in response to the federal court's August 2020 decision invalidating portions of the DOL's prior regulations. Download this episode....

IV-77- Breaking: Federal Judge Invalidates Portions of the DOL's FFCRA Regulations [Employment Law Now Blog]

August 04, 2020

Today's new episode analyzes this morning's federal court decision that invalidates four separate (significant) portions of the U.S. Department of Labor's regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Download this episode....

IV-76- Covid-19 Employee Leave Entitlement When Summer Camp/Program Is Unavailable [Employment Law Now Blog]

July 07, 2020

In today's episode, we look at how the U.S. Department of Labor is educating and enforcing the federal Covid-19 Paid Sick Leave and FMLA provisions, and what happens when an employee needs leave because a summer camp or place of care becomes unavailable. Download this episode....

IV-75 - A Covid-19 Update From the EEOC and OSHA [Employment Law Now Blog]

June 23, 2020

In today's new episode, I summarize the most-recent updated guidance from the EEOC and OSHA on such issues as employee accommodations, medical screening, hazard assessments, and pandemic harassment. Download this episode....

IV-74- An Interview Breaking Down Covid-19 and Workers Compensation [Employment Law Now Blog]

June 17, 2020

In today's new episode, I am joined by Robert Snashall, who has 40 years of experience involving workers compensation matters and served as the Chair of the New York State Workers Compensation Board, to discuss the role of workers compensation in the current Covid-19 pandemic. Download this...

IV-73- BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules on Sexual Orientation and Transgender Status [Employment Law Now Blog]

June 16, 2020

Today's new episode addresses the new U.S. Supreme Court decision just released that includes sexual orientation and transgender status within Title VII's protection. Download this episode....

New York Return-To-Work Safety Plan Checklist

June 10, 2020

Michael Schmidt addressed best practices for New York employers to return to work from the COVID-19 pandemic.

IV-72 - The Top 10 Employment Claims Arising Out of Covid-19 [Employment Law Now Blog]

June 08, 2020

In today's new episode, I identify the top 10 likely employment law claims and lawsuits that employers will face from the Covid-19 pandemic. Download this episode....

IV-71-Breaking Down the New PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance [Employment Law Now Blog]

May 19, 2020

New guidance was just issued over the weekend on PPP loan forgiveness issues. Some questions were answered, and others remain. In today's new episode, I am joined by my Cozen O'Connor colleagues Steve Dickinson and James Van Orden to explain this breaking development. Download this episode....

IV-70 - Understanding the Latest EEOC Covid-19 Guidance [Employment Law Now Blog]

May 13, 2020

The EEOC recently updated its Covid-19 guidance (on May 7, 2020) to address such issues as medical screening and testing, required reasonable accommodations, and discrimination/harassment issues. Today's new episode provides a summary of the EEOC's new guidance. Download this episode....

IV-69- Views on the Post-Covid-19 World From Inside the Retail Industry [Employment Law Now Blog]

May 07, 2020

In today's episode, I am joined by Jason Brewer, EVP of Communications and State Affairs of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) to discuss how the retail industry has been planning for the return-to-work phases and what the new "normal" might look like. Download this episode....

IV-68 - The Impact of Covid-19 on Union Organizing [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 30, 2020

In tonight's episode, I am joined by my colleague, Dan Johns, to discuss the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on union organizing and other traditional labor issues. Download this episode....

IV-67- Today's U.S. DOL Phone Briefing re: Federal Coronavirus Initiatives [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 23, 2020

If you missed today's telephone briefing held by the United States Department of Labor (4-23-20), this new episode summarizes the key points made by Secretary Scalia and other senior DOL officials on today's call to discuss current Coronavirus legislation and initiatives. Download this...

IV-66 - Predicting the Next Stimulus Legislation and the Post-Coronavirus Workplace [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 21, 2020

In today's episode, I am joined by my Cozen O'Connor colleagues Howard Schweitzer (public strategies/gov't relations) and David Barron (labor and employment) to discuss what the next federal stimulus legislation might look like, and what employers should be thinking about when bringing employees...

IV-65- The Great Debate Part 2: Employee Lawyer vs. Employer Lawyer [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 17, 2020

This is Part 2 of my 2-part episode pitting employee/plaintiff-side lawyer Hope Pordy, Esq. against employer/defendant-side lawyer Jeremy Glenn, Esq. to finish debating some interesting HR topics. Download this episode....

IV-64- The Great Debate Part 1: Employee Lawyer vs. Employer Lawyer [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 16, 2020

This is Part 1 of a 2-Part episode that pits an employee-side (plaintiff) lawyer against an employer-side (defendant) lawyer to debate various HR and employment law issues, including such questions as the future of at-will employment, the continuing need for unions, whether telecommuting...

IV-63- Your 10 Questions About The New DOL Covid-19 Regulations [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 12, 2020

BREAKING: The U.S. Department of Labor just issued its regulations to implement the new federal Covid-19 obligations on Paid Sick Leave and FMLA. In this episode, I tell you how the new regulations answer the 10 primary questions you have about the new federal requirements. Download this...

IV-62-Weekend Roundtable Discussion on Various Impacts of the Federal CARES/Coronavirus Programs [Employment Law Now Blog]

April 04, 2020

In this special weekend edition, I am having a roundtable discussion with 6 of my Cozen colleagues to discuss frequently asked questions on the following issues: (1) labor and employment considerations; (2) SBA and Treasury funding processes for small, medium and large businesses; (3) the impact on...

IV-61- Antitrust Concerns With The Coronavirus Pandemic [Employment Law Now Blog]

March 30, 2020

In today's episode, I am joined by my colleague, David Reichenberg, to discuss the antitrust concerns that may be overlooked by businesses during this current Coronavirus outbreak. Download this episode....

IV-60- WARN Act Considerations With The Coronavirus Pandemic [Employment Law Now Blog]

March 25, 2020

Today I am joined by my Cozen O'Connor colleague, Jennifer Williams, to answer questions relating to employers' WARN Act obligations in this current Coronavirus period. Download this episode....

IV-59- California Coronavirus Developments (and Independent Contractor/Arbitration Quick-Bites Too) [Employment Law Now Blog]

March 22, 2020

In today's episode, I am joined by Michele Miller (Chair of our firm's West Coast Labor and Employment Group) to discuss how California is addressing Coronavirus issues for employers. While I have her, I also get a few quick thoughts on the status of California's independent contractor and...

NYC Council Considers Legislation to End At-Will Employment in the Fast Food Industry [Alert]

February 11, 2020

Katie Schwab discusses two new bills in New York City impacting fast food employers and employees. A hearing on the bills is scheduled for February 13.

Proceed with Caution: Halloween is the Unofficial Start of the Office Party Season [New Jersey Business]

October 30, 2019

Michael Schmidt discussed how employers can control an office party to avoid legal pitfalls.

New York State and Local Pro-Employee Trend Continues in 2017

December 15, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair and Jennifer Queliz, an associate of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department wrote in New York Law Journal about New York's trend of enacting laws and regulations at both the state and local levels.

The End Of Overtime Pay As We Know It? [Law360]

May 30, 2017

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the end of overtime pay in Law360.

Noncompete Agreements: New Considerations Under Both Employment and Antitrust Law [Labor & Employment Observer]

December 23, 2016

Michael C. Schmidt discusses the legal landscape in 2016 and how the Trump administration might impact various aspects of workplace issues.

Employee Social Networking Sites: A Plethora of Information, But be Careful What You Wish For [Hotel Business Review]

October 28, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses best practices in Hotel Business Review.

FTC and DOJ Issue Guidance on Application of Antitrust Law to Employee Hiring and Compensation [Labor & Employment Alert]

October 25, 2016

The FTC and the DOJ jointly released Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals, advising that, going forward, the DOJ intends to criminally investigate companies who agree with competitor(s) to fix wages or other terms of employment or enter into so-called “no-poaching” agreements by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees.

Does Political Speech 'Trump' Workplace Policies? [Corporate Counsel]

September 08, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses political speech in the workplace in Corporate Counsel.

What Are the Consequences of Political Discussion in the Workplace? [Employee Benefit Adviser]

July 28, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment practice, discusses the consequences of political discussion in the workplace.

DOL Agenda Targets Compensation For Portable Device Work [Law360]

July 07, 2016

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Labor & Employment department, discusses how portable device work will be affected by the DOL agenda in Law360.

Labor and Employment Observer 2015/2016

January 06, 2016

The 2015/2016 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2016.

How New York's (New) Wage Deduction Law Affects Employers [Law360]

December 17, 2015

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses how New York’s new wage deduction law will affect employees.

Happy New Year: New Resolutions for New York in the New Year [Labor & Employment Alert]

December 08, 2015

Here are the top five new laws signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that are designed to continue the push toward pay equity, expand legal protections against workplace discrimination, and otherwise further regulate the employer-employee relationship.

Michael Schmidt Discusses New York City’s Ban-The-Box Law [Law360]

November 17, 2015

Michael Schmidt discusses the new Ban-The-Box law and how it will affect employers.

Is A DOL Rule For Portable Device Work Coming? [Law360]

July 23, 2015

Michael Schmidt offers tips to employers to avoid violating the Department of Labor’s recently proposed rule of changing overtime regulations.

Trick Or Tweet: The Perils Of Punishing Employee Posts [Law360]

April 02, 2015

In an article titled “Trick Or Tweet: The Perils Of Punishing Employee Posts,” Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses a company’s ability to take some form of employment-related action in response to an employee’s negative social media post while maintaining compliance with guidance of the National Labor Relations Board.

2014/2015 Labor and Employment Observer

December 31, 2014

The 2014/2015 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2015.

Internships: Worthwhile Programs or Liability Traps? [New York Law Journal]

October 20, 2014

In an article titled ‘’Internships: Worthwhile Programs or Liability Traps,’’ Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the recent surge in lawsuits brought on behalf of a company’s current (and former) unpaid interns and the steps companies can take in order to avoid such litigation.

5 Things To Consider Before Posting Social Media Policies [Law360]

September 08, 2014

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, authored an article for Law360 titled, “5 Things To Consider Before Posting Social Media Policies.” The article addresses the need for employers to develop an appropriate mindset when it comes to managing social media use by their employees and creating their social media policies and practices. Michael reviews five common workplace issues and explores the National Labor Relations Board’s position on each.

The Latest Do's and Don'ts With Social Media Policies [Bloomberg BNA]

July 15, 2014

In an article published in Bloomberg BNA, Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, advises on the "Do's and Don'ts" of company social media policies and reviews recent NLRB positions on five common workplace issues.

Restrictive Covenants in the Internet Age [The Legal Intelligencer]

May 06, 2014

Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor and Employment Department, and Jason A. Cabrera, associate in the Labor and Employment Department, co-authored an article for The Legal Intelligencer titled, “Restricted Covenants in the Internet Age.” The article discusses the impact of social media on restrictive convents.

The Latest From New York City: New Law Prohibits Discrimination Against Interns [Labor & Employment Alert]

April 18, 2014

There are two trends that continue to gain steam in the employment law world: an increase in employee protections by the new Mayor De Blasio administration in New York City, and an increase in employment law claims made by interns. Both trends have come together in a new law affecting New York City employers beginning on June 14, 2014.

Reminder of Two New Obligations for New York City Employers [Labor & Employment Alert]

January 17, 2014

Employers operating in New York City should be reminded of two significant additions to the checklist of employment obligations that will become effective in the coming weeks.

2013/2014 [Labor and Employment Observer]

January 01, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with our 2013/2014 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2014.

Two New Measures in New York: Wage Deduction Rules and Pregnancy Accommodation

October 16, 2013

Most employers tend to focus on federal law as a source of labor and employment obligations. However, employers should also pay careful attention to state and local laws on workplace issues. The first half of this month has already seen two significant developments in New York.

Harassment Concerns and Effective Policies for Hotel Employers [Hotel Executive]

July 03, 2013

The scene is not uncommon, a beautiful hotel with several floors of luxurious rooms, restaurants and bars, and cascading waterfalls out at the pool. It is not your typical office, yet it is critical that hotel employers understand that the men and women who work in this setting are employees and that the hotel is a workplace. So, as informal, perhaps even as romantic, as the scene may be, employment laws proscribing harassment in the workplace apply in hotels as equally as they do in a medical practice, a law firm or an insurance brokerage house.

Obama Administration 2.0: What’s at Stake for Employers [Profiles in Diversity Journal]

May 01, 2013

During Barack Obama’s first term as president, most of his pro-employee legislative agenda was stymied by Congress. Undeterred, the Obama Administration turned to administrative agencies such as the Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to move forward its workplace agenda. The stakes continue to be high for employers during President Obama’s second term, particularly in the diversity-focused areas of equal employment opportunity and immigration.

New York Increases Its Minimum Wage [Labor & Employment Alert]

April 02, 2013

On March 29, 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will raise the New York minimum wage in staged increases over the next three years.

Five Key Areas to Watch During Obama’s Second Term [HR Morning]

March 27, 2013

One of Barack Obama’s first actions when he became president was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, resetting the statute of limitations each paycheck for equal-pay gender discrimination lawsuits and making it easier for employees to pursue them.

New York City Employers Cannot Discriminate Based on Unemployment Status As of June 11, 2013 [Labor & Employment Alert]

March 19, 2013

The New York City Council continues to grow the chasm that exists between New York City employment law and its state and federal counterparts. Specifically, on March 13, 2013, the council overwhelmingly enacted (by a 43-4 vote) a local law that precludes employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider or hire an applicant because he or she is unemployed, and from posting advertisements that require job applicants to be employed. This comes less than a month after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially vetoed the legislation, which now is set to become effective on June 11, 2013.

2012/2013 [Labor and Employment Observer]

January 01, 2013

We are pleased to provide you with our 2012/2013 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2013.

Employee Social Networking Sites: A Plethora of Information, But Be Careful What You Wish For [Hotel Business Review]

December 01, 2012

How much information would you like to have about your employees before you make a decision about whether to hire or fire them? If you had access to all public and private information about them at the click of a mouse, would you seize the opportunity? Be careful what you wish for.

The New Employee Wage Deduction Law in New York [Labor and Employment Alert]

September 18, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) just made things a little easier for employers. Effective November 6, 2012, employers in New York will have greater flexibility when it comes to permissible deductions from employee wages.

Deciphering the NLRB's Stance on Social Media Issues [New York Law Journal]

October 24, 2011

The National Labor Relations Act was enacted in 1935 to protect trade unionists from unfair labor practices by employers, and afford employees a greater ability to organize and collectively bargain. Social media entered the scene approximately 60 years later, when society (including the labor work force) recognized the ease and benefit of engaging in collective activity without ever leaving one's computer keyboard.

Summer 2011 [Labor and Employment Observer]

July 01, 2011

Our Summer 2011 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act: New Employer Obligations Beginning in April 2011 [Labor & Employment Alert!]

March 29, 2011

Effective next week (April 9, 2011), employers must comply with significant, substantive, and procedural obligations in New York’s new Wage Theft Prevention Act (Act). This alert highlights the new requirements, which apply to virtually every company that employs individuals in New York. While many of these new obligations will cause administrative and logistical headaches, the potential consequences for failing to comply have increased as well.

The Effect of a Cat's Paw on Employment Law and Why Employers Should Limit Social Media Employee Research [Labor & Employment Alert!]

March 04, 2011

On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in the long-awaited “cat’s paw” case of Staub v. Proctor Hospital. The decision will likely broaden the permissible theories under which a current or former employee might bring a discrimination lawsuit against a company. It may also serve as another cautionary tale for those who use social media for employment-related decisions.

Fall 2010 [Labor and Employment Observer]

October 28, 2010

We are pleased to present the latest edition of the Labor and Employment Observer. We hope you find this issue both useful and informative.

Big Brother in the Big Apple: Subtle Erosion of Employment at Will? [New York Law Journal]

September 24, 2010

Employers in New York have taken great comfort over the years in citing the ''at will'' nature of an employee's job status when taking virtually any action ranging from discipline, to a diminution of salary or job responsibilities to outright termination. New York has generally been considered a pro-employer jurisdiction, with employees often having to clear high hurdles before circumventing the cornucopia of legal precedent.

New York Governor Signs Three Employment Bills [Labor & Employment Alert!]

September 09, 2010

The first enactment establishes a test to determine if a construction industry worker is an independent contractor or an employee, and is entitled “The New York State Construction Industry Fair Play Act.”

Summer 2010 [Labor & Employment Observer]

July 01, 2010

Our Summer 2010 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.

Winter 2010 [Labor & Employment Observer]

March 01, 2010

Our Winter 2010 Labor & Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.

Social Media Update: United States Supreme Court to Rule on Novel 'Sexting' Privacy Case [Labor and Employment Alert!]

December 17, 2009

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a case in which a federal appeals court ruled that an employer violated an employee’s right to privacy when it audited his text messages and found sexually explicit and otherwise personal messages. The implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling will be significant.

IRS Begins Major Initiative to Audit 6,000 Companies [Labor and Employment Alert!]

November 23, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has determined to perform its most expansive and widespread audit initiative in recent history. Beginning in early 2010, the IRS will audit the federal tax returns of 6,000 companies to assess compliance with tax and labor regulations. This new audit initiative will be conducted in three phases, with the IRS studying the tax returns of 2,000 companies in each of 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The Employment Classification Trilogy - Part I of III: The Overtime Exemption Dilemma [HotelExecutive.Com]

November 03, 2009

As we rapidly approach the end of 2009, it is clear that wage and hour lawsuits continue to make up a large portion of all new cases filed in federal court.

Lawyers warn: Bosses who 'friend' are begging to be sued [The National Law Journal]

October 22, 2009

Bosses who ''friend'' their subordinates on social networking sites may seem warm and harmless, but they've got liability risk written all over them. So warn employment lawyers.

Fall 2009 [Labor and Employment Observer]

October 01, 2009

We are pleased to present the latest edition of the Labor and Employment Observer. We hope you find this issue both useful and informative.

New York Employers on Notice: The Labor Law Imposes New Notice Requirements [Labor and Employment Alert!]

September 14, 2009

New York employers must now comply with new notice obligations owed to employees, and also must now consider tougher penalty provisions for violations of New York's wage and hour laws.

Experts: Carefully Consider Independent Contractor Classifications [Independent Contractor]

September 08, 2009

Given the present state of the economy, employers are looking for ways to reduce costs and overhead. One way a company may choose to save money is to classify current workers or new hires as independent contractors rather than employees, but misclassifying employees - even unintentionally - can prove to be extremely expensive for employers, opening them up to administrative fines and penalties as well as costly private lawsuits.

Employers Face Crackdown On Misclassification [Law360]

August 13, 2009

Employers looking to save money and avoid layoffs by classifying workers as independent contractors are facing heightened scrutiny by federal and state work force agencies, whose own coffers are shrinking the rise of the U.S. jobless rate and the consequent decline in payroll taxes.

Schmidt: Cutting costs by using independent contractors is risky [Long Island Business News]

August 10, 2009

Despite recent news that the economy may have finally bottomed out, businesses small and large continue to look for ways to reduce costs. One method has been to retain independent contractors in lieu of employees and to reclassify current employees as independent contractors.

Top Five Hazards of a Hotel's Economy-driven Employment Decisions [Hotel Business Review]

June 22, 2009

Times are tough. Employers in the hotel and hospitality industries are not immune from the impact that the weakened economy has on their personnel issues. In order to minimize the legal tsunami that can result from economy-driven employment decisions that are made, it is critical for hotel and hospitality employers to take appropriate steps to minimize potential legal exposure.

Spring 2009 [Labor and Employment Observer]

June 01, 2009

Our Spring 2009 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management. Many of these articles are particularly timely given the changing political climate and our increasingly technology driven society.

Winter 2009 [Labor and Employment Observer]

January 01, 2009

Our Winter 2009 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to -in-house counsel, human resource professionals and corporate management. Many of these articles are particularly timely given the changing political climate and current difficult economic environment.

Avoiding The Hazards Of Economy-Driven Decisions [Law360]

December 08, 2008

Times are tough. The weakened economy has spared few industries, causing companies big and small to re-examine their personnel needs and make tough decisions. hard times require businesses to strengthen their resolve to avoid the legal tsunami that can result from such economy-driven decisions. This article sets forth the best practices to help your company minimize its potential exposure in five primary areas.

Work Overtime to Ensure That Your Unauthorized Employees Do Not [The Corporate Counselor]

August 01, 2008

As we have passed the mid-way point of 2008, it is clear that wage and hour lawsuits continue to dominate a large portion of all new cases filed in court each day. This noticeable surge will continue, if not further increase, as current and former employees claim in increasing numbers that they have been classified improperly as ''exempt'' employees and thus are owed overtime premium pay.

The New York Court of Appeals Resolves Issues Concerning the Calculation of Earned Commissions [Labor and Employment Alert!]

June 25, 2008

On June 10, 2008, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision that is significant for the financial services industry, the real estate and insurance brokerage industries, and any other industry or employer that compensates its New York employees in whole or in part on a commission basis. Specifically, the Court of Appeals decided in Pachter v. Bernard Hodes Group, Inc. that New York Labor Law provisions governing the payment of wages and commissions

Winter 2008 [Labor and Employment Observer]

February 29, 2008

Our Winter 2008 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resource professionals and corporate management. Recently, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, which expands the FMLA to provide enhanced leave for families of military personnel. Additionally, in mid-February 2008, the Department of Labor propounded new proposed regulations regarding the FMLA. Moreover, in late February, the Supreme Court weighed in on the use of ''me too'' evidence during trials.

Amendment to New York Law Requires Written Agreements with Commissioned Salespersons [Labor and Employment Alert]

November 01, 2007

As of October 16, 2007, New York law has been amended to require that the terms of employment for all commissioned salespersons be put in writing.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

What the Stimulus Means for Your Company

March 31, 2020 - Webinar

2018 Hot Labor and Employment Law Topics

October 23, 2018 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance 2018

February 13, 2018 - New York, New York

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

New York Paid Sick Leave Law

August 09, 2017 - Webinar

Labor and Employment Law Update

June 14, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

Wage & Hour Claims & Class Actions

June 12, 2017 - New York, NY

2016 ACC Annual Meeting

October 19, 2016 - San Francisco, CA

Above the Law: Converge Conference

March 18, 2015 - New York, NY

2015 Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans

March 05, 2015 - Miami Beach, FL

The 2014 ACC Annual Meeting

October 28, 2014 - New Orleans, LA

Polish Your Social Media Policy

May 27, 2014 - Webinar

PACT Industry Event

January 15, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

Social Media and Employment Law

December 03, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

Annual Law in the Workplace Conference

March 08, 2013 - Central Islip, NY

4th Annual Fundamentals of Employment Law Seminar

November 13, 2012 - White Plains, NY

Employment Law Beyond the Basics Seminar

November 01, 2011 - White Plains, NY

The Future of Social Media & the Law

October 05, 2011 - New York, NY

Strictly Hospitality Seminar

September 21, 2011 - Scottsdale, AZ

Education

  • Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • Brandeis University, B.A., 1990

Awards & Honors

Benchmark Labor & Employment Star for the Northeast

New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2020

  • New York
  • New York Court of Appeals
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  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association