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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.