New York, NY, September 2, 2021 — Michael Schmidt, vice-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s national Labor & Employment Department, has been elected a fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. This distinguished honor recognizes attorneys with sustained outstanding performance in the legal profession, and who also exemplify integrity, dedication, and excellence.
“Being selected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is a distinct honor for a labor and employment practitioner,” said Joe Tilson, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department and a longtime fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. “This prestigious distinction further highlights Mike’s top-notch legal skills, his dedication to his clients, and his prolific contribution to the New York and national legal and business communities with his award-winning employment law podcast and his pioneering use of digital and social media.”
Schmidt, who practices out of Cozen O’Connor’s New York office, was also recently recognized by The National Law Journal as an Employment Law Trailblazer. The "Trailblazers" represent agents of change who have moved the needle at their respective firms, making significant marks on practice, policy, and technological advancements in their areas of legal practice.
He was recognized on the NLJ Trailblazers list as a big law pioneer in the use of digital and social media as the founder and host of the award-winning podcast “Employment Law Now,” which features the latest trends and developments in employment law and employer liability issues and ranks among the country’s most listened-to podcast on the subject, winning JDSupra Reader’s Choice awards in 2020 and 2021.
In addition to serving as the vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, Schmidt serves as co-office managing partner of the firm’s New York office and as a member of the firm’s national board of directors. For more than 25 years, he has assisted businesses and their management teams throughout the United States in accomplishing their goals through litigation, negotiation, and day-to-day counseling.
Schmidt is a trial lawyer who represents employees in federal and state courts, in arbitration, and before government agencies, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; wage and hour, including class and collections actions, FMLA, ADA and other federal, state and local leave obligations, breach of contract, whistle blowing, including SOX and other laws; restrictive covenants, non competes, and non-solicits, social media use, WARN, Families First Coronavirus Response ACT (FDCRA) and other COVID-19 legislation and employment law matters.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Schmidt has been instrumental to Cozen O’Connor’s development and rollout of its Covid Human Resources Tool Kit, a collection of essential forms, templates, and policy guides to help employers navigate through the maze of new regulations and local workplace requirements. He has further contributed his industry perspective during the pandemic in myriad webinars, seminars, and media interviews.
Schmidt is a 1990 graduate of Brandeis University, B.A., with honors, and a 1993 graduate of Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., with distinction.
Beyond his regular client practice, Schmidt serves as the chairman of the board of directors of After-School All-Stars of New York, the New York chapter of a charitable organization founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger to provide after school and summer programs for inner city youth. He also spends significant time providing pro bono counsel to various organizations and individuals who are less able to afford legal representation.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 800 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 30 offices across two continents.
About the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is a non-profit professional association honoring the leading lawyers nationwide in the practice of Labor and Employment Law. Its Fellows are recognized as distinguished members of the labor and employment community who promote achievement, advancement and excellence in the practice by setting standards of professionalism and civility, by sharing their experience and knowledge and by acting as a resource for academia, the government, the judiciary and the community at large. The College is represented by more than 1,600 members nationwide and in Canada.