Employment, Labor & Benefits

Employment Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

Employers of all sizes and in every industry face increasing legal exposure as state and federal legislation becomes more protective of employees. Increasingly, some employment issues will end up in litigation — even for employers following best practices in managing their workforce. In those instances, it is more important than ever for your business to have experienced employment litigators on your side to put you in the best position to represent and protect your interests.

Our Employment Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice includes attorneys who are in court defending employers on a daily basis. Whether you face a single-plaintiff discrimination claim, a wage and hour class action, a noncompete case, or other issue, our attorneys have the depth of experience and knowledge required to ensure that your interests are protected. We have represented employers in some of the toughest and most complex employment litigations, including nationwide wage and hour class actions, high-stakes noncompetition and trade secret litigation, and harassment and discrimination cases. We also routinely represent clients in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation, and counsel our clients on the most effective ways to ensure that any litigation they face is resolved as quickly and as favorably as possible.

Quick Facts

  • Represent clients in all types of employment-related litigation, including discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, noncompete enforcement and defense, and wage and hour disputes
  • Significant wage and hour class action experience involving overtime, misclassification, and “off the clock” claims filed in both federal and state courts
  • Tried to judgment or verdict dozens of cases
  • Experienced before the Federal Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state antidiscrimination agencies
  • Represented clients in dozens of arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, JAMS, and other forums
  • Clients include public and private sector organizations, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies and major hospital systems
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Michael S. Arnold

Michael S. Arnold

Member / Chair, Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice

Representative Experience

  • Represented our client, an HR solutions company, in Massachusetts federal court on claims for federal and state overtime violations. We obtained dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims alleging nonpayment of overtime and training time wages to temporary pickup and delivery drivers who claimed joint employment by our client and a large logistics services company.
  • Represented a large health care system in Massachusetts federal court. The case involved federal and state overtime and “off-the-clock” claims. We obtained dismissal of all state overtime claims for unionized class members on federal labor law preemption grounds, as well as all state overtime claims for all employees based on the Massachusetts hospital exemption.
  • In a hybrid Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action and state wage law class action, we successfully opposed plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification of FLSA class against a community health care system.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 company in a class action brought by former employees alleging harm from workplace exposure to PCBs. We obtained dismissal after discovery on grounds of workers’ compensation immunity in precedent-setting case involving exceptions to the statutory employer’s immunity under Massachusetts law.
  • Successfully represented a trade association and its former executive director in a highly publicized defamation suit by a former employee.
  • Represented a leading defense contractor and security and risk management company against a former employee asserting gender and disability discrimination claims in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case was favorably resolved for nuisance value.
  • For the same company, currently defending an ex-employee’s defamation claim in the Fairfax County (VA) Circuit Court. We prevailed on a motion to dismiss (demurrer); the plaintiff has filed an Amended Complaint. We expect to file a new motion to dismiss. 
  • Won summary judgment in a Title VII retaliation case filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division) against a chain of “fast casual” restaurants. 
  • Settled for nominal value a race and gender discrimination claim brought in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against the same client referenced above. 
  • In a case brought in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging theft of trade secrets, tortious interference, breaches of non-compete agreements, and other claims against our clients, we prevailed against the Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
  • Currently representing one of the country’s largest commercial landscaping companies in defense of a Title VII discrimination and retaliation case pending in the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia. A motion to dismiss seeking to dismiss our client on the grounds that our client was not plaintiff’s employer under either the joint or integrated employer doctrines will be heard in early March.
  • Won summary judgment in a DC Human Rights Act age discrimination case filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia against a financial industry trade association. Prior to drafting the motion for summary judgment, we prepared and responded to discovery requests and defended three employee depositions. 
  • Negotiated the settlement of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and FMLA interference case filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia against a national health insurance company. 
  • Successfully defended a large aerospace and defense company before the Howard County, Maryland Office of Human Rights. After a former employee filed a charge of sex discrimination and retaliation against the company, we drafted a position statement and prepared four senior level employees, including the company’s president, for interviews with the assigned investigator. The Office of Human Rights issued a no probable cause finding in the company’s favor and dismissed the charge.
  • Successfully defended a national hospitality development and management company against a charge of race discrimination filed by a former employee with the EEOC. We prepared a position statement and response to the EEOC’s request for information. We also prepared three managers and three employees for on-site interviews with two EEOC investigators. The EEOC issued a no probable cause finding in the company’s favor.
  • Successfully defended a nonprofit organization engaged in food recycling and meal distribution programs on a race discrimination charge before the DC Office of Human Rights; the claim was dismissed.
  • Advised a state transportation authority on corrective action programs arising from a consent decree on race discrimination charges with the state's Attorney General’s office.
  • Conducted litigation avoidance audits specific to prospective discrimination/harassment/retaliation claims for the following companies: a power and energy company, an international trucking company, and a provider of cleaning and facility services.
  • Successfully defended against an age discrimination claim brought in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on failure to exhaust administrative remedies grounds. The claim, which was brought by a former manager against a regional retailer, was subsequently filed at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and was dismissed on lack of probable cause grounds. 
  • Successfully defended against gender and sexual orientation discrimination and constructive discharge claims brought by a male nurse who resigned from a regional hospital network. The claim was brought at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and, after discovery, was dismissed on lack of probable cause grounds.
  • Obtained summary adjudication of a former management-level employee’s claims for hostile work environment harassment, and constructive termination in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego. The employer was a major San Diego based defense contractor. As a result of the Court granting summary adjudication of the two most damaging claims made by the plaintiff, the remainder of the case was settled for a small fraction of the plaintiff’s settlement demand before the summary judgment hearing.
  • In an arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (Los Angeles office), obtained summary judgment and dismissal of the entire action in a matter where the plaintiff, the former CEO and president of a publicly traded gaming company, was seeking over $10 million in damages for fraud, breach of the employment contract, and retaliation based on the termination of his employment contract worth over $1.5 million per year in total compensation. 
  • Represented a large, publicly traded medical device company, and was able to get the plaintiff to agree to a walk-away settlement in a case where the plaintiff had filed a constructive termination, pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination, and harassment suit, claiming that the employer had intentionally caused her to have a miscarriage and had originally demanded over $1 million to settle the case. The case was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego. 
  • Successfully settled for nuisance value a disability and race discrimination lawsuit brought by a plaintiff against an aircraft manufacturer. Settlement occurred after we took the plaintiff’s deposition. The case was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego.
  • Represented a major investment bank/public company in claims asserted against it by a former employee. The claims arose as a result of an assault upon a woman investment banker during a business trip that occurred when an individual obtained a key to her hotel room by false pretenses. The case was resolved in mediation on acceptable terms to our client.
  • Defended a major defense contractor facing widespread allegations of gender discrimination, including pay disparities, failures to promote, and wrongful discharge.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a national sales company facing harassment and misclassification claims on independent contractor grounds.
  • Represented a Massachusetts hospital in its defense of an appeal of a jury trial verdict in a sex harassment/retaliation matter.
  • Represented a medical hospital in connection with an EEOC discrimination claim filed by a former employee. 
  • Advised New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens in a case involving an allegation by a former employee that the hospital had discriminated against her because of her race and national origin. The trial court entered summary judgment in the hospital’s favor and the Second Department affirmed on appeal. 
  • On behalf of a leading bottled water brand, we successfully resolved claims of race discrimination and harassment filed under Title VII and Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 for less than 3% of the plaintiff’s initial demands.
  • Represented a leading bank and several of its employees in an employment discrimination action commenced by a former bookkeeping department employee alleging that the bank discriminated against and harassed him because of his age, religion, and national origin. We were able to bring discovery, which had taken years, to a close and file a summary judgment motion, and were then able to settle the matter on favorable terms before the court rendered a decision on that motion. 
  • Successfully defended a gender and disability discrimination claim brought in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by a “C-suite” employee who was terminated by our client, an independent, not-for-profit designated by the FCC to administer universal telecommunications services for under-served communities. Shortly after filing our Motion for Summary Judgment, the plaintiff settled her claims for nuisance value.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest cell tower construction companies in AAA arbitration filed by two female employees alleging sexual harassment, retaliation, and gender discrimination. After a three-week arbitration before a seasoned employment arbitrator, involving dozens of witnesses, we obtained judgment in our client’s favor on all claims.
  • Provided mandatory non-harassment and non-discrimination training to a Canadian-based public relations company's California employees.
  • Successfully defended two separate claims of discrimination brought by former employees of our client who is an independent, not-for-profit corporation.
  • Represented a nonprofit organization in a suit alleging failure to accommodate based on medical conditions. We obtained a summary judgment on the case, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit. 
  • Advised a famous New York real estate developer in a race discrimination lawsuit commenced by four former doormen and porters of a building in which our client has an interest in the building’s owning entity. We successfully secured an order from New York’s First Department vacating a jury verdict because of the admission of highly prejudicial hearsay evidence at trial. 
  • Represented a private, venture-backed media company and its founder and president in an employment discrimination matter asserted by two former employees alleging the company had terminated them because of their sexual orientation and perceived sexual orientation. We settled on favorable terms.
  • Represented a major construction company with operations throughout the United States in a matter involving significant discrimination and harassment claims. We negotiated a settlement and settlement agreement on favorable terms for the client. 
  • Represented the Milford Plaza Hotel in connection with two discrimination charges filed with the EEOC and the New York State Division of Human Rights. The first allegation dealt with failure to provide adequate access, and the second dealt with the failure to provide adequate fire safety protection for hearing-impaired guests. Both cases were settled on favorable terms for the client.