Michael Dee is a strategic partner to public and private employers for their most challenging labor and employment problems. Whether that partnership involves traditional labor matters, compliance with the ever-evolving regulatory schemes affecting employers, or the many phases of litigation, he takes a proactive approach to achieve the best result for his client efficiently.

Mr. Dee concentrates his practice on representing and counseling private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has represented employers in matters pending in State and Federal Court, arbitral tribunals, and administrative agencies involving claims under Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, among other statutory and common law claims. He has extensive experience representing both public and private sector employers in traditional labor matters, including as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations, labor arbitrations, and before the National Labor Relations Board and the Public Employment Relations Commission. In addition to his litigation and counseling practice, Mr. Dee regularly conducts investigations on behalf of public and private sector employers, including allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, conflicts of interest, and other alleged violations of internal rules and policies.

From 2014 through 2016, Mr. Dee served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations under Governor Chris Christie. As Director, Mr. Dee served as the Governor’s agent in all matters involving the State and the various unions representing the over 50,000 employees within the Executive Branch of State Government and State Colleges, including as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations, litigation, and matters before administrative agencies. During that time, he also served as Chair of the Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Impact Task Force, created by legislation to study and report to the Legislature and Governor on the impact of recent amendments to the interest arbitration law for police and fire employees throughout the State. In 2017, after returning to private practice, the Governor reappointed Mr. Dee as Chair of the Interest Arbitration Task Force to issue its final report and recommendation.

Matters

  • Obtained dismissal of claims for breach of contract and fraud by former employee against international loss adjuster, successfully defended on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Hodge v. Abaco, 825 Fed. Appx. 46 (2d Cir. 2020).
  • Lead counsel in AAA arbitration on behalf of two technology companies and individual defendants resulting in denial of all claims for unlawful termination and failure to hire under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
  • Lead counsel in FINRA arbitration on behalf of financial services firm resulting in denial of claims for unpaid bonus and severance pay.
  • Lead counsel for employers across diverse industries in labor arbitrations, successfully obtaining denials of grievances concerning employee discharges and alleged contract violations.
  • Obtained summary judgment in AAA arbitration on behalf of technology company in defense of claims of breach of contract and fraud.
  • Successfully obtained reversal of NY Department of Labor determination that drivers of limousine company should have been classified as employees.
  • Obtained dismissal of Unfair Labor Practice Charges pending in four Regions of the National Labor Relations Board challenging Fortune 100 company’s nation-wide changes to retiree health benefits.
  • Spearheaded information campaign in connection with union organizing effort of security guards at private sector institution of higher education resulting in a majority of employees voting against union representation.
  • Part-time seconded attorney for Fortune 50 healthcare company, counseling human resources, labor relations, and executives regarding various labor and employment matters (2016-2017).
  • Successfully argued emergent interlocutory appeal regarding the attorney-client privilege in Hedden v. Kean University, 434 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2013).

Honors & Awards

  • Named one of New Jersey's "New Leaders of the Bar" by the New Jersey Law Journal
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2021), in Labor Law – Management
  • Listed in Super Lawyers® (2021), in Employment & Labor: Employer and Employment Litigation: Defense
  • Listed in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars (2013-2014, 2018, 2020)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Section; (Legislative Coordinator for the Executive Committee, Employment Law Roundtable Committee)
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association, Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Committee
  • Chair, District VA, Fee Arbitration Committee and Fee Arbitration Panel Chair

Government Service

  • Director of the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, Office of the Governor, 2014-2016

Clerkship

  • Hon. John J. Coyle, Jr., J.S.C.