Editorial Board   

Mr. Schmidt

Michael C. Schmidt

Partner, Cozen O'Connor

Michael C. Schmidt is a member of Cozen O'Connor and practices in the firm's Labor & Employment Practice Group. He concentrates in representing management in all facets of employment law, including: o 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; o drafting employment agreements, termination/severance agreements, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, employee manuals, and individual corporate policies; and o counseling and providing corporate training on day-to-day issues from hiring through firing. A substantial portion of Mr. Schmidt's practice is devoted to advising large and small businesses on how to avoid litigation and minimize potential exposure for claims that are made. He has specifically represented clients in the hospitality and restaurant industry in matters involving wage and hour, discrimination and employment contract disputes. Mr. Schmidt is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Touro Law School in Central Islip, N.Y., where he teaches a course on employment law. He frequently lectures and conducts seminars for human resources professionals, corporate executives, and lawyers. A regular author on employment law issues, his recent pieces include: "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); and "Overtime Confusion Leads to Lawsuits," Executive Counsel (July/August 2007). Mr. Schmidt 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 received his bachelor of arts degree, with honors, from Brandeis University in 1990. Mr. Schmidt is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York.

Mr. Schmidt can be contacted at 212-453-3937 or mschmidt@cozen.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.