Wage & Hour Matters

The complex and ever-changing web of federal and state laws governing the payment of wages can result in employers failing to properly compensate their workers. Violations of wage and hour laws, even if unintentional, can deprive employees of fairly earned wages and expose companies to potentially devastating liability. Mr. Pappas has extensive knowledge of state and federal wage and hour laws, and has successfully handled a wide range of wage and hour matters, including:

  • Class and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law

  • Claims for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime

  • Improper classification of employees as non-eligible for overtime

  • Failure to provide meal breaks, vacation pay, spread-of-hours pay, and other benefits

  • Wage and hour audits by government agencies

  • Denial of unemployment compensation

  • Drafting appropriate wage and hour policies

  • Review and analysis of employers' wage and hour practices to ensure legal compliance

Practice Areas


Conducting thorough investigations of employee complaints is not only a best employment practice, but can provide an important defense to legal liability if a lawsuit ensues. For a variety of reasons, employers may be ill-equipped or not sufficiently experienced to conduct their own internal investigation, or might simply prefer that it be conducted by an independent third party. In some circumstances, a company’s regular outside counsel might have a policy of not conducting internal investigations in order to prevent disqualification from representing the company in potential litigation. Mr. Pappas has significant experience conducting internal investigations of employee complaints, including complaints involving sexual and other types of harassment, discrimination, whistleblowing, and code of conduct issues, among many others. He has developed investigation protocols, forms, and procedures to ensure a thorough and unbiased fact-finding process that will withstand scrutiny in potential litigation.

Legal Compliance

Employment-related lawsuits now account for more than 25% of court litigation in the United States, causing employers to incur millions of dollars in legal fees and costs. Given the highly complex, heavily regulated, and frequently changing legal landscape, even the most well-intentioned company can run afoul of employment laws without proper legal guidance. In some cases, a single mistake applied to a large group of employees can result in potentially company-ruining legal liability. For employers, the most efficient and effective way to avoid costly employment litigation is to engage experienced counsel to conduct a detailed review of employment practices to ensure they are legally compliant.

For more than 20 years, Michael Pappas has conducted sophisticated employment practice audits on behalf of employers, and advised companies of all sizes on how to bring their employment policies and practices into compliance with the myriad of existing employment regulations. With up-to-the-minute knowledge of the latest employment law obligations, Mr. Pappas can help guide your organization through the maze of legal compliance by reviewing and analyzing existing policies, providing advice on best practices, and revising or re-drafting written employment policies, forms, and handbooks. Whether you are a start-up needing to create employment policies from scratch, a small business that has not yet had the opportunity to develop detailed policies, or a large corporation seeking to ensure existing policies are up-to-date, working with experienced counsel to ensure legal compliance is a vital investment in the future of your company.

Employment Litigation

Michael Pappas has extensive experience providing smart, aggressive, and efficient legal representation to individuals and employers in employment-related lawsuits, including federal and state jury trials. Over the past 25 years, he has developed particular expertise in cases involving:

  • Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, religion, disability, and other protected categories

  • Sexual harassment

  • Unlawful retaliation and whistleblowing

  • Breach of employment contracts and compensation agreements

  • Non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements

  • Accessibility of public accommodations to people with disabilities

  • Family and medical leave laws