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Michael S. Arnold

(he/him/his)

Member / Chair, Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice

[email protected]

+1.212.692.6866

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Michael Arnold is Chair of the firm's Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice.  He is an employment lawyer who deftly handles a wide array of matters. His capabilities include counseling on everyday HR life cycle issues, defending management and senior executives in connection with employment-related proceedings, and assisting companies navigate the complex employment issues that arise in transactions.  Michael’s clients appreciate his strong emphasis on providing not just legal advice, but also practical advice, that aligns with organizational and HR strategies while reducing exposure. He also prides himself on being user-friendly, responsive, and strategic.

When Michael is not with a client, he’s out there leading the Firm’s Employment, Labor and Benefits Section.  He is still quite active blogging for Mintz’s award-winning Employment Matters Blog, where he currently serves as an Editor and where he’s twice been named a top author by JD Supra (2016 and 2017). His peers seem to like him too as they have recognized him consistently; first he was included on the New York Super Lawyers Rising Star List in 2012 and then included among the New York Super Lawyers List from 2013 through the present.

More specifically, here is what Michael is practicing on a day to day basis:

  • Counseling on issues related to the HR life cycle (recruiting, staffing, performance, including evaluations and PIPs; engagement, retention, separation, including reduction in force; post-separation, including employee mobility issues), and compliance with discrimination, wage and hour, family and medical leave, workers’ compensation and disability, and other employment laws and regulations.
  • Investigating and reporting on employee complaints, including sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, and assisting management resolve other employee relations issues.
  • Conducting anti-discrimination/harassment and other HR and legal issue-based training seminars regarding legal requirements, best practices, and risk mitigation.
  • Auditing and assisting in the development and implementation of employment policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Representing management and senior executives in connection with a variety of complex employment litigation matters, including pre-trial, trial and appellate work; administrative discrimination charges and other agency proceedings (including EEOC, NYSDHR, NYCCHR, DOL, WCB); and arbitrations and mediations relating to wage and hour, discrimination, restrictive covenants, contract, and other employment-related disputes, including collective and class actions.
  • Drafting and negotiating employment-related agreements and policies, including offer letters, employment and consulting agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, separation agreements, and employee-related regulatory disclosures.
  • Representing clients in connection with corporate transactions and bankruptcy proceedings, including conducting employment-related due diligence and negotiating employment-related warrants and representations and related employment transaction documents.

Education

  • Boston University School of Law (JD)
  • Cornell University (BS, Industrial and Labor Relations)

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the New York Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor List  (2019 - 2020)
  • Chambers USA: New York – Labor & Employment, Up and Coming (2021)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

NYCCHR Releases Updated Fair Chance Act Guidance Ahead of Important Changes

July 27, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

The NYC Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) has released updated enforcement guidance regarding the Fair Chance Act. New York City amended the Fair Chance Act last year and those changes will go into effect on July 29, 2021.
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NY HERO Act Standards & Template Policies Released – Employer Action Required

July 8, 2021 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has released its HERO Act minimum standards and template policies related to airborne infectious disease prevention. Employers now have 30 days after the standards’ publication – until August 5, 2021 – to either: (1) adopt one of the model standard exposure prevention plans applicable to their industry, or (2) develop and establish an alternative prevention plan that meets or exceeds the minimum standards.
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Webinar Recording: Vaccination and the Workplace – Solving for the Latest Challenges Facing Employers

June 17, 2021 | Webinar | By Michael Arnold, Geri Haight, Jennifer Rubin, Corbin Carter

The CDC’s latest guidance lifting many restrictions for most fully vaccinated individuals has forced employers to consider whether and how to implement workplace vaccination policies. During this webinar, our speakers explored the current workplace vaccine compliance landscape and offered best practices for implementing vaccination policies aimed at making workplaces safe and while accounting for jurisdictional, political, philosophical and physical divides.
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ALERT: New York Hits Key 70% Vaccination Metric; Reopening Rules Lifted

June 15, 2021 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

It’s been a long road to recovery for employers since New York first issued its NY Forward reopening requirements for offices and other similar environments back in May 2020.  Today, as New York reached a key vaccination metric – 70% of adults have now received at least one vaccine shot – Governor Cuomo announced that New York businesses will no longer be required to abide by the current industry-specific guidelines in order to reopen.  Accordingly, the current NY Forward guidelines on capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screenings, contact tracing, and other virus-related restrictions are now lifted in most commercial settings. 
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New York Revises COVID-19 Reopening Guidance & HERO Act Changes on the Way

June 10, 2021 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

It’s been a busy month (year?) for New York employers – one that has brought several important updates with respect to employers’ reopening plans. On the heels of the State’s May 19th adoption of the recent CDC guidance outlining increased privileges for fully vaccinated individuals, New York State updated its NY Forward COVID-19 reopening guidance on June 8, 2021, including its guidance geared toward office environments. As a reminder, New York businesses opting to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic must do so consistent with the State’s industry-specific reopening guidelines, found here; affirm their compliance with same prior to reestablishing in-person operations; and implement a written safety plan governing its workplace safety protocols.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
The New York State Legislature recently passed the Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act”), which has been delivered to Governor Cuomo for his signature. The legislation seeks to address continued COVID-19 safety concerns in the workplace and is designed to codify, supplement, and replace numerous executive actions that have been issued throughout the pandemic. The HERO Act would also pass into law significant new health and safety obligations for New York employers, including the formation of joint labor-management workplace safety committees to help ensure worker safety. Employers should prepare now to come into compliance with the new law, which we summarize below.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Have You Been Vaccinated? Your Employer (and Everyone Else) Wants to Know

May 17, 2021 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Michael Arnold

The CDC’s recent guidance suggesting that most fully vaccinated individuals may discontinue certain safety measures, such as masking and social distancing, has created significant confusion for employers navigating conflicting and ever-changing state and local COVID-19 workplace laws, regulations and guidance. While the most recent CDC guidance endorses resuming activities (indoors and out) without masks for most fully vaccinated individuals, the guidance around vaccination verification and disparate treatment between the vaccinated and unvaccinated is still lacking. Employers are now facing these sensitive but critically important return to office issues without the benefit of critical guidance from Federal, state and local regulators. We provide some guidance below regarding vaccine verification and some considerations for employers thinking about instituting vaccine policies.
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CDC Vaccination Guidance Does Not Supersede State and Local Workplace Regulations

May 14, 2021 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) published guidance indicating that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask or physically distance in certain indoor and outdoor environments, except where otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. The guidance does not apply to healthcare settings and certain other environments.
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New York Amends its Off-Duty Conduct Law to Account for Marijuana Use

May 3, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Danielle Bereznay, Corbin Carter

New York’s off duty conduct law will now explicitly apply to an employee’s off-duty use of cannabis. The change in law came as a result of the recent passage of “The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act,” which generally legalized the sale and use of cannabis for individuals 21 and over, and presents real compliance challenges for employers, which we discuss further below.
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Department of Labor Issues Model COBRA Subsidy Notices and FAQs

April 22, 2021 | Blog | By Alden Bianchi, Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

The Department of Labor has issued model notices regarding COBRA premium assistance (a/k/a COBRA subsidies). As we wrote about here, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress sought to enable qualifying individuals – known under the law as “Assistance Eligible Individuals” – to continue their healthcare coverage by subsidizing their COBRA premium payments for the period between April 1 and September 30, 2021. We discuss these notice requirements and related issues below.
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News & Press

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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Michael Arnold was quoted in an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine that looked at job interview questions and icebreakers that may violate civil rights or present other legal risks.
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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Michael Arnold was quoted in an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine that examined best practices to avoid liability for employers disciplining employees who lie about getting COVID-19 vaccinations.
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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Michael Arnold was quoted in an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s HR Magazine that provided key considerations for employers making a case for returning to the workplace, including employees’ perspectives and preferences, pandemic-related challenges, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for employers seeking to re-establish in-person business operations.
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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Michael Arnold was quoted in a recent Law360 article that highlighted the firm’s new pro bono initiative to provide employment law services to income-screened small businesses and nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Member and leader of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Mike Arnold is quoted in this March Madness feature article. The story notes that employers should use this as an opportunity to create and foster company camaraderie and try to avoid being too harsh on employees.
Fourteen Mintz attorneys have been named New York Super Lawyers for 2017 and thirteen have been named New York Rising Stars. New York Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers with the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievements.  
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JD Supra has recognized Mintz in its 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, highlighting the most widely read authors and articles over the past year. Eleven Mintz attorneys were named JD Supra Top Authors in four industries and Mintz was recognized as the Top Firm with readers in the Energy Industry.
Michael Arnold, a Mintz Employment, Labor & Benefits Member, was quoted in this Society for Human Resource Management article on the U.S. District Court for the Easter District of Texas’s temporary decision to place a nationwide hold on the overtime rule.
Sixteen Mintz attorneys have been named New York Super Lawyers for 2016 and twelve have been named New York Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in The New York Times Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition.
Michael Arnold, a New York Employment, Labor & Benefits Member, was quoted in this Law360 article on attorney feedback regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s final overtime exemption rule.
Michael Arnold, a New York Employment, Labor & Benefits Member, is quoted in this news segment on the forthcoming US Department of Labor final rule regarding the “salary test” determining whether white collar workers will be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements for overtime pay.
Thirteen attorneys from Mintz have been named New York Super Lawyers for 2014 and eleven have been named New York Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in The New York Times Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition.

Events

Speaker
Mar
4
2021
Conference Reference Image
Speaker
Apr
30
2019
Speaker
Jan
28
2016

Second Annual Employment Law Summit

The Princeton Club 14 West 43rd Street, New York, New York

Speaker
Jan
20
2015

Emerging Employment Issues in 2015

The Princeton Club

New York, NY