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Top 10 Considerations For Your Employee Handbooks

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From harassment and discrimination to leave policies, and from social media and confidentiality to progressive discipline, the legal world continues to see an explosion of regulation and decisions governing the employer-employee relationship. How employers communicate company policies and practices is often critical to ensuring a good relationship. This CLE course offers a top 10 list of issues to consider when drafting or reviewing/revising a primary form of company communication: employee handbooks.

Lecturer Bio

Michael C. Schmidt, Esq.

Michael C. Schmidt is a member of Cozen O'Connor and practices in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. He concentrates in representing management in all facets of employment law, such as: (i) 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; (ii) drafting employment agreements, termination/severance agreements, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, employee manuals, and individual corporate policies; and (iii) counseling and corporate training on day-to-day issues from hiring through firing. A substantial portion of Mike’s practice is devoted to counseling large and small businesses on how to avoid litigation and minimize potential exposure for claims that are made. He has tried cases and argued appeals in federal and state courts in New York.

Mike is an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law School in Central Islip, N.Y., where he teaches a course on employment law. He is often cited in various media outlets and publications as an authority on employment law issues, and frequently lectures and conducts seminars for human resources professionals, corporate executives, and lawyers. He is a member of the editorial board of, where he is a contributing author on legal issues relevant to the hospitality industry, including large hotel operators and real estate developers.

Mike is the author of numerous articles, including, most recently, “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); “Overtime Confusion Leads to Lawsuits,” Executive Counsel (July/August 2007); “The New York Court of Appeals Resolves Issues Concerning the Calculation of Earned Commissions,” Cozen O’Connor Labor & Employment Alert! (June 25, 2008); “The Forgotten New York Labor Law,” Cozen O’Connor Labor & Employment Observer (Winter 2008); and “Amendment to New York Law Requires Written Agreements With Commissioned Salespersons,” Cozen O’Connor Labor & Employment Alert! (November 1, 2007).

Mike 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 earned his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, from Brandeis University in 1990. Mike is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York.

Mike is a frequent blogger and writes about social media and employment law issues. You can find his blog here:

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