Labor and Employment
- Employment Litigation
Employment Relations, Policies, and Regulatory Practice
- Affirmative Action Programs
- Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets
- Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing
- Employee Discipline and Termination
- Employment Counseling
- Employment Policies and Manuals
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- Management Training
- Wage and Hour/Fair Labor Standards Act
- Whistleblower Protection
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN")
- Workplace Harassment, Including Sexual Harassment
- Workplace Technology Policies
- Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1993, magna cum laude
Cleveland State Law Review, Associate Member, 1991–1992, research editor, 1992-1993
- College of the Holy Cross, B.A., 1979
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Mike is a senior attorney in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the labor and employment practice group. He has defended several employers in national and multi-state collective and class actions under federal and state wage-hour laws. Mr. O’Brien has also defended employers in federal and state courts in a broad range of employment-related lawsuits, including Title VII, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the American with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. He counsels clients on a broad range of employment issues, including federal and state employment laws, discharge and discipline of employees, layoffs, employment contracts, and the drafting of employee handbooks.
His notable experience includes:
- Defending and advising employers regarding state and federal wage-hour laws, class actions and collective actions
Mike has presented seminars regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, sexual harassment, employment discrimination and how to conduct an employment audit.
Mike received his J.D. magna cum laude from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was a research editor of the Cleveland State Law Review. He received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and was awarded a National Merit Scholarship.
Honors & Awards
- Howard Oleck Distinguished Writing Award, Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
- 12/28/2018Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP recently advised Greif, Inc. in its $2.974 billion committed financing as well as acquisition-related due diligence, in connection with Greif’s expected acquisition in the first quarter of 2019 of Caraustar Industries Inc.
- 4/26/2018On April 26, 2018, Vorys hosted its annual Cincinnati Labor and Employment Update.
- 6/3/2014Vorys attorney Michael O’Brien presented at the National Conference for Legal Services Managers hosted by the Management Information Exchange on June 3, 2014.
- 9/20/2018The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets forth requirements for employers who obtain criminal background checks (consumer reports in FCRA parlance) on applicants or employees from third parties (referred to as consumer reporting agencies).
- 8/24/2016Labor and Employment Alert: The Split Widens: Now the Ninth Circuit Invalidates Class Action WaiversOn August 22, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that requiring employees to sign an arbitration agreement prohibiting them from filing class or collective actions over wages, hours, and employment terms and conditions violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
- 6/7/2016Labor and Employment Alert: Seventh Circuit Issues Surprising Ruling Backing NLRB’s Prohibition on Class/Collective Action WaiversIn December 2013, in D.R. Horton, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) prohibition on mandatory arbitration clauses. Since then, the vast majority of federal courts addressing this issue have agreed with the Fifth Circuit, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits.
- 2/2/2015This is a reminder to all employers with employees in California to implement the new workplace bullying training requirements that went into effect for California employers on January 1, 2015.
- 1/15/2015Health Care Alert: Federal Court Strikes Down DOL’s New Companionship Services Exemption RegulationsNew U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations concerning the companionship services exemption to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.
- 1/12/2015The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision regarding whether interruptions of an employee’s meal period automatically render that time compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- 10/20/2014A federal district court in Virginia last week tentatively approved a $4 million settlement between Dollar General and a nationwide class of job applicants to settle a proposed class action claiming that the company did not properly notify more than 100,000 job applicants since 2007 that they would be screened by background checks.
- 3/14/2014On March 13, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations” related to the overtime exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees. The memorandum does not specify exactly what the new rules should include. However, the administration’s intent to narrow these overtime exemptions is apparent from President Obama’s statement that, “Because these regulations are outdated, millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime and … the minimum wage.”
- September/October 2003