Michael Thomas is a principal in the Los Angeles, California office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His experience includes defending employers in state and federal wage and hour class actions, litigation brought under the Private Attorney General’s Act (PAGA), and single plaintiff cases.
Michael has defended employers in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, restaurant, hospitality, transportation, janitorial services, security services, and the gig economy. He has a record of success obtaining pre-trial dismissals, successful settlements, and defense verdicts.
Michael’s class and PAGA action experience includes:
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a class action brought on behalf of over 2,000 hotel employees involving claims of minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest period, reporting time pay, regular rate of pay, and wage statement violations.
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a PAGA representative action filed on behalf of approximately 200 limousine drivers involving minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest periods, and expense reimbursement claims.
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a PAGA representative action and class action involving over 15,000 janitors alleging unpaid minimum wages; unpaid overtime; and unpaid expense reimbursement for uniforms, safety shoes, and cell phone use.
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a PAGA representative action and class action filed against a large museum on behalf of security guards involving allegations of piece-rate payment violations, off-the-clock work, unpaid rest periods, and waiting time violations.
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a PAGA representative action and class action involving over 5,000 independent contractors in the gig economy claiming they were misclassified.
- Lead defense counsel in resolving a class action alleging donning and doffing claims at a manufacturing facility brought on behalf of over 250 production workers.
Michael has also conducted customized in-house seminars and training for managers, supervisors, and employees concerning employment compliance, including but not limited to trainings regarding workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation, wage and hour issues, workplace violence and effective communication in the workplace.
Michael is available to assist with the full spectrum of workplace diversity and inclusion related issues, including conducting trainings on unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, creating inclusive cultures and behaviors, employee engagement and developing, leveraging and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives. Michael regularly speaks and publishes on diversity related topics. He obtained a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University. Michael has a yoga certification from the Niroga Institute in Berkeley, California and has studied and published on the role of yoga, mindfulness and meditation on understanding trauma in the workplace. His approach to diversity and inclusion includes best practices, neuroscience, adult learning, experiential learning, dialogue, body awareness and mindfulness.