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Michael S. Arnold

Member / Chair, Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice



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.


  • 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)

Recent Insights

News & Press


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A quick update to our earlier posts on New York State and New York City’s paid sick leave laws. The agency that enforces NYC’s paid sick and safe time law – the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection – has just released its updated sick and safe time Notice of Employee Rights, which you can access here. We highlight some compliance issues to consider below.
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New York State Addresses Paid Sick Leave Requirements in New Guidance

October 23, 2020 | Blog | By Brie Kluytenaar, Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

This week, New York State issued guidance and an FAQ document regarding the State’s new paid sick leave law (“NYPSL”). As a reminder, New York State enacted statewide paid sick leave requirements for employers under Section 196-b of the New York Labor Law and they took effect on September 30, 2020. We provided an overview of the new NYPSL requirements for New York State employers in our previous post.
These permanent paid sick leave requirements (which differ from the COVID-19 quarantine leave measures that New York State enacted earlier this year) require New York employers to provide all employees with sick leave (which varies based upon the employer’s size), and grant employees the ability to use accrued sick time starting January 1, 2021.
The new guidance issued by New York State provides some clarity on select NYPSL topics, but leaves a number of questions unresolved. We provide a summary of key new information from the guidance for employers below:
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COVID-19 Telecommuting Tax and Leave Issues for Employers

October 20, 2020 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee, Michael Arnold

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many employer telecommuting arrangements remain in place, with several large corporations opting to extend these arrangements well into 2021. The benefits of such arrangements have been clear for many employers during the pandemic, including that they permit continued productivity while keeping employees safe. However, the longer that employees remain out of the office, the more telecommuting-related issues arise, including with respect to taxation of employee income and leave requirements, which we discuss below.
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Election Politics Featured Viewpoint

Navigating Politics in the Workplace During the Election Season

October 8, 2020 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Gauri Punjabi, Brie Kluytenaar

With the presidential election less than a month away, it is more important than ever that employers proactively manage their work environment to protect against the potential pitfalls that can arise when political discussions occur in the workplace. The new remote working environment in which many employers find themselves only adds a layer of complexity to this challenge. We discuss this difficult issue further below.
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The New York State Paid Sick Leave Law’s accrual provisions go into effect today, September 30, 2020.  In April, Governor Cuomo signed into law new permanent paid sick leave requirements for all New York State employers (separate from COVID-19 leave which was passed in March and went into effect immediately).  Employees may begin using sick leave for purposes consistent with the law on January 1, 2021.  Although we expect the New York State Department of Labor to issue guidance or regulations on the new law, the agency has not done so to date.  We will continue to monitor for any updates. 

Meanwhile, the New York City Council swiftly passed an updated Sick and Safe Time law to align the City’s law more closely with the New York State sick leave law.  But there are some important differences with the State’s sick leave law.

Our full analysis of New York State’s new paid sick leave law can be found here.  More information on the City’s updated sick leave law, which also went into effect today, is addressed further below. 
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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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News & Press

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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.



Second Annual Employment Law Summit

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


Emerging Employment Issues in 2015

The Princeton Club

New York, NY