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Michael S. Arnold

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)

Recent Insights

Viewpoints

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Updated: Department of Labor Guidance for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

September 20, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay, Michael Arnold

The Department of Labor has again updated its guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"). 
Below we summarize the DOL’s interpretative guidance, and note in bold where the DOL has either reaffirmed or changed its guidance in light of the federal court decision.  As a reminder, the law expires on December 31, 2020. 
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Case Study Hero Dismissal of Class Claims Against Eaglet on School Mintz

COVID-19, the New School Year, and Working Parents

September 8, 2020 | Blog | By Delaney Busch, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Arnold

The reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for working parents and the businesses that employ them. Not surprisingly, a one-size-fits-all approach for employers to appropriately manage working parents is likely difficult, if not impossible, to craft. In this post, we highlight some of the risks employers may face while offering some guidance regarding best practices to address these risks.
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Return to Work COVID-19 Testing Considerations

August 10, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Bereznay, Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

As employees increasingly transition back into the physical workplace, employers have begun to grapple with whether and how to deploy COVID-19 diagnostic testing as a return-to-work solution. Many employers want to avoid extended employee quarantine or isolation requirements that prevent their employees from returning to the office for weeks and disrupt their operations. But is this potential solution legal? And is it effective? Below we discuss practical considerations for employers considering a return to work COVID-19 testing strategy.
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A New York State Trial Court judge recently ruled that an agreement between a company and an employee to arbitrate sexual harassment claims was unenforceable due to 2018 amendments to New York State’s Human Rights Law, which prohibit such arrangements. The decision creates a split in authority, as a 2019 decision by a judge in the Southern District of New York – a federal court – upheld the enforceability of such arbitration agreements, ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts the New York statutory prohibition. This decision also now creates some uncertainty around the viability of arbitration agreements in New York where employees agree to arbitrate discrimination claims. We summarize the decision below.
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Supreme Court Rules That Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees

June 16, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

In a landmark opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from employment discrimination. The Court’s holding will have major implications for employers and LGBTQ employees in dozens of states where state and/or local law did not already prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status.
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Coronavirus Molecule

Executive Compensation: Moving Forward in a COVID-19 World

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Song, Anne Bruno, Michael Arnold, Steve Gulotta, Andrew Bernstein, Alexandra Serre

Employers reacted in a variety of ways to cope with the unprecedented financial impact of COVID-19.  Employers must begin to shift their focus to whether their current executive compensation practices are designed with sufficient incentives to retain key employees and to spur recovery and sustained growth.  This post reviews the range of cost-cutting measures companies have enacted over the past few months, and provides guidance on executive compensation issues employers should consider as they move forward in a COVID-19 world.
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New York State Releases Reopening Guidance for Phase 2 Businesses

May 31, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold, Jessica Catlow

New York State has issued industry-specific interim guidance for “Phase 2” businesses, which includes a number of “minimum requirements” certain businesses must meet before reopening their workplaces in light of COVID-19. The new Phase 2 guidance provides specific guidelines relating to office-based jobs (excluding medical offices); real estate services; select in-store retail; commercial building management; retail rental, repair and cleaning services; and vehicle sales, leases and rentals.  Importantly, this new guidance applies to “non-essential” businesses in these industries where regions are permitted to reopen, as well as “essential” businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.  As various regions begin progressing through the reopening phases under the New York Forward initiative, businesses should become thoroughly familiar with these new obligations and begin taking steps toward achieving compliance.
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Part Nine of the COVID-19 Roadmap Series: Ensuring Compliance – Leave Management

May 18, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Natalie C. Groot, Michael Arnold, Andrew Matzkin

As management and human resources professionals are well aware, COVID-19 has drastically and rapidly impacted the workplace. Among other things, employees require more flexibility, employers are increasingly reliant upon remote work arrangements, and legislative and administrative responses to the pandemic from various levels of government have created new requirements for businesses, including new leave entitlements for employees. In Part Nine of our Roadmap Series, we explore key considerations surrounding leave management and compliance as employees and businesses navigate this new terrain.
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Part Five of the COVID-19 Roadmap Series: Ensuring a Safe Workplace - COVID-19 Screening and Testing

May 6, 2020 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Michael Arnold, Karen Lovitch, Hope Foster, Cynthia Larose

In Part 5 of our Roadmap Series, we take a closer look at COVID-19 screening and testing, including best practices and legal implications, as potential tools to maintain a safe workplace.
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On April 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.16 mandating that essential businesses in New York require their employees to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. The New York State Department of Health has now issued guidance regarding the order, which went into effect April 15th. We highlight the provisions of the order and the DOH guidance below.
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News & Press

News Thumbnail
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
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