Michael Oliver Eckard is a shareholder in the Charleston and Atlanta offices and has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree his entire legal career. Michael represents companies in labor, employment, restrictive covenant, and wage and hour matters in the health care, manufacturing, chemicals, hospitality, transportation and logistics, and retail industries, among others. He regularly advises companies on human resources and labor policy issues. Michael represents his clients in many types of employment litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment claims, employment discrimination claims, employment contracts, wage and hour claims, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements. He also represents management in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and unfair labor practice and representation proceedings.
Michael’s nationwide litigation and advice practice focuses on protecting corporate clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; claims involving restrictive covenants, unfair competition, and trade secret claims; federal and state wage and hour laws; and claims of defamation, breach of contract, and intentional torts. He has litigated labor and employment-related matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His litigation matters include single-plaintiff, multiple-plaintiff, and collective action cases, as well as labor and employment arbitrations and administrative proceedings.
Michael serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, regularly providing counsel to corporate executive, legal, and human resources leaders on matters such as risk management; labor relations; workforce planning (including workforce growth and reductions in force); labor and employment matters pertaining to corporate mergers, divestitures, and other transactions; employee recruiting and hiring practices; employee discipline and termination; wage and hour law compliance; and strategies for preventing and investigating harassment and discrimination claims.
Prior to his legal career, Michael served in the U.S. Army, specializing in Military Intelligence. Michael served in multiple duty stations, including operational tours in Kuwait. Michael is also a licensed pilot and enjoys flying airplanes for recreation.
Michael is a former law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Division, Washington D.C. Michael is also the 2005 recipient of the University of South Carolina Law School’s coveted Knox L. Haynsworth Labor Law Scholarship Award.