Michael J. Puma focuses on complex litigation, particularly wage and hour class and collective actions, and restrictive covenant and trade secrets disputes, including successfully prosecuting claims to prevent or limit executives seeking to join competitors and/or to recover stolen files. He has litigated a number of race and gender discrimination class actions and more than 100 wage and hour class and collective actions across many industries. Michael is the labor and employment practice leader for the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices and a member of the global labor and employment practice leadership team.
In addition to litigation, Michael conducts comprehensive internal wage and hour audits to assist clients in properly classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt, avoiding off-the-clock liability, and ensuring compliance with meal and rest, wage payment, and other US federal and state law obligations. In particular, as one of the leaders of the firm’s cross-practice independent contractor initiative, Michael counsels clients on avoiding contractor misclassification and joint and co-employment liability. He also helps them manage legal risks and financial and employee relations issues associated with reclassification projects. He represents clients in state and US Department of Labor (DOL) audits.
Michael taught a University of Pennsylvania Law School course on litigating employment class and collective actions for several years.
The George Washington University Law School, 1999, J.D.
Boston University, 1996, B.S.
Awards and Affiliations
Ranked, Labor & Employment, Pennsylvania, Chambers USA (2022, 2023)
Best of the Bar, Employment Litigation, Philadelphia Business Journal (2020)
Fellow, The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers
Recognized, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Philadelphia, The Best Lawyers in America (2020–2024)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)