The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012
Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2013
Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2012)
Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012)
Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey
honors + affiliations
Listed, "Rising Star" in Labor and Employment Law by Law360 (2013)
Lecturer, "Litigating Employment Class and Collective Actions," University of Pennsylvania Law School (2010–2012)
Listed, "Rising Star," Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2006 & 2008, 2011–2012)
Member, Labor and Employment Section, American Bar Association
Member, Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, American Bar Association
First Judicial District Pro Bono Honor Roll
Anti-Defamation League, Daniel R. Ginsberg Leadership Award (2010)
American Bar Association Leadership Development Program (2011)
- New York
Michael J. Puma is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Puma's practice includes the full spectrum of labor and employment law matters, including single-plaintiff, class, and collective action litigation (both wage/hour and discrimination claims); employee benefits litigation; wage/hour and other employment counseling; traditional labor work; counseling and litigation related to the protection of trade secrets and unfair competition; and occupational health/safety counseling and litigation.
Mr. Puma has focused his practice on complex litigation, including dozens of wage/hour class and/or collective actions and race and gender discrimination class actions in jurisdictions across the country in the entertainment, retail, financial services, insurance, food services, and telecommunications industries. Mr. Puma also taught a full-semester course for several years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on litigating employment class and collective actions. Representative results from Mr. Puma’s complex litigation include:
- Class certification defeated in both race and gender discrimination class actions.
- Class or conditional certification defeated in wage/hour class and collective actions.
- Motions for summary judgment or motions to dismiss granted as to the claims of the named plaintiffs in class and collective actions, thus mooting the classwide claims.
- Litigated wage/hour class or collective actions to voluntary dismissal by the named plaintiffs without payment of compensation.
- Successfully enforced class/collective action waivers in arbitration agreements signed by named plaintiffs in wage/hour class and collective actions in multiple jurisdictions.
- Settled a variety of wage/hour and discrimination class and collective actions on a classwide basis on favorable terms.
In addition to his litigation background, Mr. Puma has advised clients in a broad range of industries with respect to compliance with the requirements of the FLSA and state law wage/hour and wage payment requirements. He also has conducted a number of comprehensive internal wage/hour audits to assist clients in properly classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt and to revise other wage/hour and wage payment practices as necessary, and he has worked with employers to manage financial and employee relations issues associated with reclassification projects. He has also represented clients in federal and state Department of Labor (DOL) audits and negotiated favorable settlements of violations.
Mr. Puma also has counseled employers on reductions in force, decisions regarding adverse employment actions, compliance with OSHA's standards for health and safety in the workplace, and compliance with a broad spectrum of other federal, state, and local regulations.
Mr. Puma is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New York.
- George Washington University Law School, 1999, J.D.
- Boston University, 1996, B.S.