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Michael S. Arnold

(he/him/his)

Member / Chair, Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice

MSArnold@mintz.com

+1.212.692.6866

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Michael Arnold serves as the Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor, & Benefits Practice and has significant experience advising private and public employers on a wide variety of employment-related issues across a broad range of sectors, including the financial, professional services, life sciences, health care, real estate, energy, technology, media, retail, industrial, and governmental sectors.

Mike’s client-centric approach and consistent ability to provide practical advice that reduces risk and aligns with organizational and HR strategies is a continued testament to his broad expertise and leadership. He is singled out by Chambers USA sources as an incredible advisor and asset to in-house legal departments and operations teams, sharing both his technical expertise and always providing practical guidance.” Chambers USA sources add that Mike is “extremely responsive, knowledgeable, practical, and commercial” and “distinguishes himself in the market by delivering information and work product in the most user-friendly manner possible, enabling teams to efficiently operate in a fast-paced environment.

Clients turn to Mike for his expertise in navigating sophisticated and highly-sensitive workplace matters, including:

  • Counseling on issues related to all aspects of the HR life cycle (from recruiting and onboarding, to retention and development, to separation and post-separation) covering discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour, leave and accommodation, restrictive covenant issues and other employment-related issues.
  • Conducting investigations of employee complaints, including discrimination and harassment complaints, and assisting management resolve other employee relations issues.
  • Auditing and assisting in the development and implementation of employment policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Conducting anti-discrimination/harassment and other HR and legal issue-based training regarding legal requirements, best practices, and risk mitigation.
  • 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.

As Chair of the employment practice, Mike works alongside Firm leadership and key stakeholders to drive strategy and operations, while ensuring optimal client service. Mike also remains out in front on identifying and commenting on employment industry hot topics, including by authoring many posts for the group’s award-winning blog, regularly speaking and reporting on timely and important trends, and hosting the firm’s Annual Employment Law Summit.

Michael Arnold serves as the Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor, & Benefits Practice and has significant experience advising private and public employers on a wide variety of employment-related issues across a broad range of sectors, including the financial, professional services, life sciences, health care, real estate, energy, technology, media, retail, industrial, and governmental sectors.

Experience

  • Represented a global financial institution in connection with multiple discrimination claims, including claims of national origin, age, sex and pregnancy discrimination.
  • Represented an international media company in connection with claims of age and race discrimination arising out of a reduction in force.
  • Represented one of the world’s largest hotel chains in successfully obtaining a dismissal of an Article 78 wrongful termination proceeding.
  • Represented one of the nation's premier medical centers in successfully obtaining a dismissal of national origin and religious discrimination claims.
  • Represented a luxury residential and commercial real estate development and management company in defending against a wage/hour class action based on alleged failure to pay overtime.
  • Represented an independent global expert services and advisory firm in defending against claims of equal pay and sexual harassment.
  • Represented a state development agency in addressing a highly complex pandemic-related telecommuting disability accommodation issue.
  • Conducted a full-scale employment practices audit for publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.
  • Conducted a hiring and onboarding employment practices audit for a national life insurance company.
  • Advised a global hospitality company on multiple reductions in force, including regarding WARN Act implications, disparate impact issues, OWBPA compliance, severance program structuring, and implementation of the same.
  • Advised a global consulting firm in successfully navigating mobility issues arising out of various new hires.
  • Advised an international Am Law 75 law firm in complying with its background check compliance obligations.
  • Advised a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company in connection with potential employment compliance issues related to the use of a remote workforce.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a global consulting firm in response to an executive’s alleged sexual harassment.
  • Drafted and negotiated an executive employment agreement for a C-Level executive at one of the nation’s largest debt securities underwriters.
  • Advised a multinational energy company in connection with its vaccination compliance obligations and overall policy strategy.
  • Advised a global banking institution in connection with the creation and implementation of a bonus plan.
  • Represented various employers in successfully vacating initial determinations of contractor misclassification before unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation agencies.
  • Advised various employers on their compliance obligations with respect to employee use of cannabis.
  • Guided numerous employers in redesigning their workplaces in the next phase of COVID, including by providing extensive counseling on designing an effective “return to office” strategy (in person, hybrid, or remote), creating vaccination, booster, and testing policies and ensuring a safe office environment overall, realigning leave policies and procedures, and undertaking various workforce planning and change management exercises.
  • Guided numerous employers in formulating and implementing pay transparency strategies that ensure compliance and align with operational needs.
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viewpoints

Group Health Plans in the Crossfire: Facilitating Reproductive Choice in the Wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

June 26, 2022 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Michelle Capezza, Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

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NYC Council Amends Salary Range Transparency Law; Delays Implementation Date

May 3, 2022 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter, Danielle Dillon

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New York City Commission on Human Rights Provides Salary Range Transparency Act Guidance

April 11, 2022 | Blog | By Danielle Dillon, Evan Piercey, Michael Arnold, Jennifer Rubin

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has released a Fact Sheet entitled Salary Transparency in Job Advertisements, which provides much-welcomed guidance to employers on the NYC Salary Range Transparency Act.  Some questions, however, remain unanswered.
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Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Vaccine Rule for Large Employers

January 13, 2022 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Corbin Carter

The Supreme Court has stayed OSHA from enforcing its vaccine-or-test rule for large private employers. In its opinion, the Court found that Congress did not grant OSHA the authority to issue such a sweeping rule. Empowered to issue a workplace safety rule? Yes. But, according to the Supreme Court, OSHA did not impose such a rule; instead, it attempted to impose a broad public health measure, which the Court considered outside of the agency’s purview. In short, as the Court noted: “imposing a vaccine mandate on 84 million Americans in response to a worldwide pandemic is simply not ‘part of what the agency was built for.’”
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(Updated) A Comprehensive Breakdown of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Rule

January 12, 2022 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Jennifer Rubin, David Barmak, Corbin Carter, Evan Piercey, Danielle Bereznay, Danielle Dillon, Nicole Rivers, Paul Huston, Emma Follansbee

Read Mintz’s comprehensive analysis of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard pertaining to workplace COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees.
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New York State Department of Health Issues Updated Interim COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

January 7, 2022 | Blog | By Evan Piercey, Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

On January 4, 2022, and faced with record numbers of COVID-19 cases in New York State, the New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) issued Interim Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance. The Interim Guidance aligns NYSDOH’s isolation and quarantine recommendations for the general population with the guidance issued by the CDC on December 27, 2021, which the CDC has updated repeatedly since then, and about which we previously reported on here. This Interim Guidance also supersedes the essential worker portion of NYSDOH’s December 24, 2021 shortened isolation guidance, although the portion pertaining to healthcare workers remains in effect. We will continue to provide updates on NYSDOH’s recommendations, as well as those issued by other public health agencies, as events continue to unfold.
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(Updated) Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Periods Will Impact Workplaces

January 6, 2022 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Michael Arnold, Jennifer Rubin

UPDATE: Following its original announcement, the CDC further updated its guidance to apply the 5 day quarantine rule to those who are asymptomatic but now also to those whose symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours). The guidance now also includes a reminder that applicable local laws continue to apply and that the recommendations do not apply to healthcare workers (for whom the CDC has issued separate guidance). The CDC separately updated its definitions of “isolation” and “quarantine” and outlined additional recommendations regarding testing and masking procedures for individuals who test positive and those who are exposed to COVID-19. This post has been updated to reflect these changes.
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The New York State Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations interpreting and further defining the contours of the HERO Act’s joint labor-management workplace safety committees.  We summarize the proposed regulations below. 
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Mayor-elect Eric Adams has announced that he plans to keep New York City’s vaccine mandate in place once he takes office.
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News & Press

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17 Mintz attorneys have been named New York Metro Super Lawyers and nine Mintz attorneys have been named New York Metro Rising Stars by Super Lawyers for 2022.
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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.
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Events & Speaking

Speaker
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

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Michael Arnold serves as the Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor, & Benefits Practice and has significant experience advising private and public employers on a wide variety of employment-related issues across a broad range of sectors, including the financial, professional services, life sciences, health care, real estate, energy, technology, media, retail, industrial, and governmental sectors.

Recognition & Awards

  • Legal 500 United States: Workplace and Employment Counseling (2022)
  • Included on the New York Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor List  (2019 - 2022)
  • Chambers USA: New York – Labor & Employment, Up and Coming (2021)
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Michael S. Arnold

(he/him/his)

Member / Chair, Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice

New York