Michael focuses his practice on employment law matters principally in the areas of:
- Employment law compliance
- Employment law counseling
- Employment litigation
Michael’s practice includes application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). He counsels employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law, providing essential services for the firm’s corporate clients. Michael advises employers in several areas, including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug and alcohol testing.
Michael regularly conducts training for employers on topics such as sexual harassment, employment law basics, and management of performance and misconduct issues. Additionally, he drafts and edits various employment policies, employee handbooks and manuals.
Michael provides employment law support in a variety of transactional settings, including the performance of employment-related due diligence. He drafts and negotiates employment agreements for key personnel, executive compensation agreements, change in control agreements and independent contractor agreements. Michael also counsels companies regarding reorganizations and reductions-in-force, including applications of federal and state WARN Acts, and drafts separation and release agreements.
Michael’s legal analyses have contributed to several groundbreaking cases establishing employer rights. Michael also has extensive national experience responding to discrimination charges filed against employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Minnesota Human Rights Department, and state and local fair employment agencies throughout the country. He also assists employers before the Minnesota unemployment compensation agency, the Minnesota Department of Labor, and state and federal affirmative action agencies, including the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
Michael is a lecturer for labor and employment law seminars on topics such as disability discrimination, avian flu, workplace defamation, sexual harassment, exempt status, company culture and employment reference disclosures.
While in law school, Michael was executive editor of the William Mitchell Law Review. He served a clerkship with the Hon. Peter S. Popovich of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Honoree, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management (2018 – present)
Honoree, Minnesota Super Lawyers
Honoree, Who’s Who in American Law
Honoree, Top Lawyers, Litigation – Labor and Employment Benefits, Minnesota Monthly (2022 – present)
- William Mitchell College of Law (1985)
Student Award Merit
- University of Minnesota, B.A. (1981)
- State - Minnesota
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- State - Wisconsin
- Federal - 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - District of Minnesota
- Defense of a retaliatory discharge claim filed in Wisconsin with, and dismissed by, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Defense of national company in dismissal of EEOC charge filed in Minnesota alleging race, national origin, and age discrimination.
- Defense of private-held Minnesota bank in dismissal of EEOC charge of age and sex discrimination.
- Dismissal of charge of alleged disability discrimination filed in Wisconsin by former employee of a regional airline.
- Dismissal of EEOC charge filed in Georgia against national private transportation carrier alleging race discrimination brought by former driver.
- Dismissal of EEOC charge of disability, age and race discrimination filed in Minnesota against a national company.
- Dismissal of Minnesota OSHA complaint filed against a regional media company alleging retaliatory discharge.
- Dismissal of OSHA retaliatory discharge claim filed in Wisconsin against national company.
- Representation of a large Minnesota church in resolving a dispute with two lead pastors and negotiating the terms of their resignation.
- Representation of a publicly-held thrift holding company in its response to a proxy contest by one of its institutional shareholders.
- Representation of executive in negotiating the terms of his employment agreement, including severance and restrictive covenant provisions, and subsequent amendment to that agreement.
- Representation of national hair salon franchisor in obtaining dismissal of alleged discrimination claims filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
- Representation of regional airline in dismissal of an EEOC charge filed in Arizona alleging age and disability discrimination.
- Representation of regional bank in resolving threatened lawsuit by former teller alleging disability discrimination.
- Resolve an AIR21 OSHA complaint filed in Colorado by a former employee against a regional airline.
- Resolve threatened lawsuit by former manager against a regional bank alleging sex and pregnancy discrimination and workplace harassment.
Speeches and Publications
Co-Author, “Survey on Employee Privacy Laws in Minnesota,” Practical Law (Dec. 2019)
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors