Editorial Board   

Mr. Schmidt

Michael C. Schmidt

Partner, Cozen O'Connor

Michael C. Schmidt is a member of Cozen O'Connor and practices in the firm's Labor & Employment Practice Group. He concentrates in representing management in all facets of employment law, including: o defending companies in litigation involving discrimination, harassment, wage and hour (overtime and unpaid compensation), non-competes and trade secrets, and disability and other leave-related issues; o drafting employment agreements, termination/severance agreements, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, employee manuals, and individual corporate policies; and o counseling and providing corporate training on day-to-day issues from hiring through firing. A substantial portion of Mr. Schmidt's practice is devoted to advising large and small businesses on how to avoid litigation and minimize potential exposure for claims that are made. He has specifically represented clients in the hospitality and restaurant industry in matters involving wage and hour, discrimination and employment contract disputes. Mr. Schmidt is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Touro Law School in Central Islip, N.Y., where he teaches a course on employment law. He frequently lectures and conducts seminars for human resources professionals, corporate executives, and lawyers. A regular author on employment law issues, his recent pieces include: "Avoiding the Hazards of Economy-Driven Decisions," Law 360 - Portfolio Media, Inc. (December 8, 2008); "Work Overtime to Ensure That Your Unauthorized Employees Do Not," The Corporate Counselor (August 2008); "The Wage and Hour Minefield: Some Words of Wisdom for Employers," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (November 2007); and "Overtime Confusion Leads to Lawsuits," Executive Counsel (July/August 2007). Mr. Schmidt earned his juris doctor degree, with distinction, from Hofstra University School of Law in 1993, where he was a notes and comments editor of the Hofstra Law Review. He received his bachelor of arts degree, with honors, from Brandeis University in 1990. Mr. Schmidt is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York.

Mr. Schmidt can be contacted at 212-453-3937 or mschmidt@cozen.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.