Mike serves as Co-Chair of Ogletree Deakins’ California Class Action and PAGA Practice Group. He focuses the majority of his practice on defending California employers against wage and hour claims alleged in class actions and representative litigation under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). He currently serves, or has recently served, as lead defense counsel on a number of significant California wage and hour class and PAGA actions, and has obtained favorable results for clients in both federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies.
Mike has extensive experience handling high stakes wage and hour class and PAGA actions involving the following claims and allegations:
- meal period and rest break violations
- unpaid minimum, regular, and overtime wages
- off the clock work
- improper rounding practices
- failure to pay regular rates for overtime, premium wages, and paid sick leave
- wage statement violations
- failure to timely pay wages during employment and upon termination
- failure to reimburse expenses
- misclassification of exempt employees and independent contractors
- failure to provide reporting time and split shift pay
- failure to provide suitable seating
- failing to pay bonuses, commissions, and other incentive pay
- improper alternative workweek schedules
- improper tip and gratuity distribution practices
- failure to maintain and timely provide personnel and payroll records
- unfair competition and violations of the Business & Professions Code
In his career, Mike also served as a federal judicial clerk for Judge Rudolph T. Randa of the Eastern District of Wisconsin and for Judge Daniel A. Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, where he gained valuable insights on what courts most appreciate when reviewing a case.
Mike regularly provides practical advice to California employers on how to adopt the best practices to manage risk and ensure compliance with California’s complex wage and hour laws, while also meeting business needs and goals. He leads wage and hour compliance audits, provides tailored logic and language for employer attestation systems to manage risk, drafts all necessary wage and hour policies and practices, and counsels employers on how to resolve wage and hour disputes without litigation.
Mike is a recognized expert on California wage and hour law. He has been published and quoted in Comstock’s Magazine, the Recorder, World at Work, Law360, the Daily Journal, Corporate Counsel, the Sacramento Business Journal, SHRM Online, Bloomberg BNA, Business Management Daily, and in various trade association publications. He has also recorded two podcasts with the California Chamber of Commerce on California’s meal and rest break laws and PAGA.