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.