Michael D. McKnight

Shareholder Raleigh

Michael McKnight provides counsel to and represents employers in labor and employment matters.

Michael is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in North Carolina and has represented employers in venues ranging from small claims court and administrative agency proceedings to appeals before state and federal appeals courts.

Michael also provides advice and counsel to employers on compliance with state and federal equal employment opportunity, wage payment, unemployment benefits, labor, and workplace safety and health laws and regulations.  He enjoys working with clients to find creative, practical, and cost-effective solutions to litigation and workplace problems.


Since joining the firm, Michael has successfully defended employers in litigation involving claims for discrimination, retaliation, and harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section 1981”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (“REDA”).  In addition, Michael has represented clients in courts, arbitration proceedings, and before state and federal regulatory agencies in matters involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, the North Carolina Employment Security Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina (“OSHA”), the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the North Carolina Trade Secrets Protection Act, as well as in matters involving North Carolina’s campaign finance and election laws. 

Michael has also successfully represented and advised employers in disputes involving employment contracts, non-compete, and non-solicitation agreements as well as numerous state law tort claims including lawsuits involving wrongful discharge, defamation, conversion, unjust enrichment, fraud, blacklisting, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with business and contractual relations claims. 

Michael routinely assists employers in resolving charges of discrimination and complaints filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the North Carolina Department of Labor (“NCDOL”).  He also regularly advises employers on unemployment benefits matters and assists employers in obtaining favorable results in unemployment benefits appeals before the North Carolina Department of Employment Security.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Wake County Bar Association and Wake County Bar Young Lawyers Division
  • North Carolina Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section and Young Lawyers' Division)
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network
  • Raleigh-Wake Human Resources Management Association


  • Association of Corporate Counsel Lunch-and-Learn - ''New Year, New Rules - What to Watch Out for in 2017'' - Greensboro - April 12, 2017
  • Capital Associated Industries - ''Winning Unemployment Claims'' - Raleigh - May 2011
  • Capital Associated Industries (teleconference) - ''Can I Ask That? Avoiding Liability-Creating Pitfalls in the Hiring Process'' - October 14, 2010

Published Works


Our Insights


Media Quotes

2006 - 28 Campbell L. Rev. 291 - "Don't Know What A Slide Rule Is For: The Need For A Precise Definition Of Public Purpose In North Carolina In The Wake Of Kelo v. City Of New London"