Michael Dee concentrates his practice on representing and counseling private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has represented employers in matters pending in State and Federal Court, arbitral tribunals and administrative agencies involving claims under Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, among other statutory and common law claims. Michael has extensive experience representing both public and private sector employers in traditional labor matters, including as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations, labor arbitrations and before the National Labor Relations Board and the Public Employment Relations Commission. In addition to his litigation and counseling practice, Michael regularly conducts external investigations on behalf of both public and private sector employers, including investigations relating to allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, conflicts of interest and other alleged violations of internal rules and policies.
From 2014 through 2016, Michael served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations under Governor Chris Christie. As Director, Michael served as the Governor’s agent in all matters involving the State and the various unions representing the over 50,000 employees within the Executive Branch of State Government and State Colleges, including as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations, litigation and matters before administration agencies. During that time, he also served as Chair of the Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Impact Task Force, created by legislation to study and report to the Legislature and Governor on the impact of recent amendments to the interest arbitration law for police and fire employees throughout the State. In 2017, after returning to private practice, the Governor reappointed Michael as Chair of the Interest Arbitration Task Force to issue its final report and recommendation. Prior to entering private practice, Michael served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. John J. Coyle, Jr., J.S.C. (retired).
- Lead counsel in AAA arbitration on behalf of two technology companies and individual defendants resulting in denial of all claims for unlawful termination and failure to hire under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
- Lead counsel in FINRA arbitration on behalf of financial services firm resulting in denial of claims for unpaid bonus and severance pay.
- Successfully argued interlocutory appeal regarding the attorney-client privilege in Hedden v. Kean University, 434 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2013).
- Part-time seconded attorney for Fortune 50 health care company, counseling human resources, labor relations and executives regarding various labor and employment matters (2016-2017).
- Obtained summary judgment in AAA arbitration on behalf of technology company in defense of claims of breach of contract and fraud.
- Successfully obtained reversal of NY Department of Labor determination that drivers of limousine company should have been classified as employees.
- Obtained dismissal of Unfair Labor Practice Charges pending in four Regions of the National Labor Relations Board challenging Fortune 100 company’s nation-wide changes to retiree health benefits.
- Spearheaded information campaign in connection with union organizing effort of security guards at private sector institution of higher education resulting in a majority of employees voting against union representation.
Honors & Awards
- Named one of New Jersey's "New Leaders of the Bar" by the New Jersey Law Journal
- Listed in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars (2013-2014, 2018), a Thomson Reuters business, in the areas of Employment & Labor: Employer and Employment Litigation: Defense. A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolade is based can be found here. (No aspect of the advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.)
Memberships & Affiliations
- Member New Jersey State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
- Member New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
- Member of the Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section, New Jersey State Bar (Legislative Coordinator for the Executive Committee, Employment Law Roundtable Committee)
- Member Essex County Bar Association, Co-Chair Labor and Employment Committee
- Vice Chair and Panel Chair, District VA, Fee Arbitration Committee
- 2019 Labor and Employment Summer Institute, Speaker (New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education ("NJICLE")) (New Brunswick, July 2019)
- New Jersey's New Paid Sick Leave Act (NJICLE) (Webinar, February 2019)
- Dollar for Dollar: New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act and Other Recent Developments in Employment Law (New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education) (New Brunswick, June 2018; Atlantic City, August 2018)
- Employment Law Roundtable (NJICLE) (New Brunswick, December 2018)
- Contributing Editor, Sixth Edition, 2013 Supplement, The Developing Labor Law, BNA publications
- Contributing Editor, Sixth Edition, The Developing Labor Law, BNA publications
- Contributing Editor, Fifth Edition, 2011 Supplement, The Developing Labor Law, BNA publications
Labor & Employment
- State of New Jersey
- State of New York
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- University of Connecticut (J.D. 2006)
- College of the Holy Cross (B.A. 2002)