Michael Tiliakos practices in the area of employment law. Mr. Tiliakos has significant experience representing both private and municipal clients from a broad range of industries in employment actions, including class and collective actions, brought under anti-discrimination statutes, and in such civil rights cases as false arrest, excessive use of force, malicious prosecution, selective enforcement and First Amendment retaliation.
In addition, Mr. Tiliakos has experience handling restrictive covenant matters, including preparation of restrictive covenant agreements and litigation surrounding theft of trade secrets and breach of restrictive covenants; and Title III ADA cases involving public access disability discrimination. He also performs due diligence analysis in mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Tiliakos conducts extensive employee and management training courses, including anti-harassment training and courses on how to effectively manage employees in accordance with various employment laws. He also counsels clients on compliance with employment laws and conducts workplace investigations and wage-and-hour audits.
Prior to practicing privately, Mr. Tiliakos served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department, where he handled matters ranging from workers' compensation to employment discrimination cases and civil rights violations, and was recognized by the corporation counsel for outstanding performance and dedication.
Mr. Tiliakos is a 1996 cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, and a graduate, with honors, of Pennsylvania State University.
Areas of Practice
- Employment Law
- Wage and Hour Class and Collective Action Litigation
- Represented TÜV SÜD in its strategic acquisition of RCI Consultants Inc., located in Houston, Texas.
- Represent national cosmetology school in matter involving purported nationwide FLSA collective action and multiple Rule 23 state wage and hour law class actions in which students allege they are owed wages for time spent in school.
- Represent international spa company in purported Connecticut wage and hour class and collective action arbitration in which personal service employees assert multiple causes of action for alleged unpaid wages, including commissions, tips and overtime premium payments; successfully negotiated stipulation for consolidated mediation and arbitration of individual claims of opt-in claimants and achieved voluntary dismissal with prejudice of class allegations.
- Represent two diners in New York state wage and hour class and collective action in which seven named plaintiffs allege multiple federal and state wage law violations, including unpaid minimum wages, overtime premium payments, and spread of hours payments.
- Represented restaurant in New York state wage and hour class action in which three restaurant workers alleged failure to pay minimum wages, overtime premium payments, and spread of hours payments; class and collective allegations voluntarily dismissed and individual claims of three named plaintiffs settled on terms favorable to employer.
- Represented professional staffing services firm in purported nationwide collective action in which financial services industry workers alleged they were misclassified as exempt administrative and/or executive employees in violation of the FLSA; named and purported opt-in plaintiffs stipulated to consolidated mediation and arbitration and individual claims of the plaintiffs settled at mediation on terms favorable to employer.
- Negotiated favorable resolution of a threatened harassment, discrimination, and retaliation suit on behalf of a large New York City not-for-profit (2014).
- Successfully settled two Title III ADA actions brought against a large NYC landlord and developer (2014).
- Rodier v. Chico’s FAS, Inc., White House/Black Market, et al., United States District Court, District of New Jersey (2013). Obtained summary judgment in former employee’s action alleging age discrimination.
- Obtained favorable settlements in wage and hour class and collective actions for a variety of clients in diverse industries, including the hospitality and automotive repair industries.
- Negotiated favorable resolution of a United States Department of Labor audit and investigation brought against a NYC restaurant (2013).
- Secured favorable settlement for a New Jersey shopping center landlord in a Title III ADA action (2013).
- Defeated TRO application brought by former employer against former employee seeking enforcement of non-competition agreement and ultimately obtained settlement of claims of conversion, NJ Computer Theft Act and other claims (2013).
- Obtained finding of no probable cause from U.S. EEOC in a race discrimination matter against a suburban New York restaurant (2012).
- Russo v. Chico’s FAS, Inc., White House/Black Market, and Elizabeth Medeiros, United States District Court, District of New Jersey (2011). Obtained summary judgment in former store manager’s action alleging disability discrimination and retaliation.
- O’Neill & Padaong v. Genesis Logistics, Inc., Alameda Superior Court (2010). Obtained summary judgment against a male and a female employee alleging nine claims including sexual and national origin harassment and retaliation.
- Canales v. Panini & Co., U.S. Southern District of New York (2010). New York Rule 23 class action alleging overtime, off-the-clock, minimum wage, and spread of hours violations.
- Torres v. DHL Express, et al., New York Supreme Court (2010). Obtained summary judgment in false imprisonment, false arrest, assault and defamation action arising from termination.
- Robles v. Goddard Riverside Community Center, U.S. Southern District of New York (2009). Obtained dismissal on an aiding and abetting claim against multiple board members.
- Taylor v. DHL Express (USA) Inc., Los Angeles Superior Court (2009). Obtained dismissal in action alleging negligence, joint employment and ostensible agent liability.
- Obtained on behalf of a hospitality services client an award of dismissal of claims of race and sex discrimination brought by a former employee. New York State Division of Human Rights (2012).
- Meixel-West v. Exel, Inc., U.S. Central District of California (2008). Obtained settlement client found favorable in action alleging sex and pregnancy discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.
- Economou v. Vandoros Ventures, Ltd., d.b.a. Blue Bay Diner, et al., U.S. Eastern District of New York (2008). Obtained dismissal of New York class allegations against successor in interest in action alleging overtime and minimum wage violations.
- Ruchaevsky v. Costco Wholesale Corp., U.S. District of New Jersey (2008). Obtained summary judgment on claims of national origin and religious discrimination claims, retaliation, hostile work environment and breach of contract.
- Mullins et al. v. City of New York et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2007). FLSA collective action concerning exempt status of Sergeants in the New York City Police Department.
- Represented gas station chain in FLSA action brought by the United States Department of Labor for alleged unpaid overtime and "off the clock" work.
- Kramer v. Exel, New York Supreme Court (2007). Obtained settlement client found favorable on plaintiff's claim of defamation and wrongful termination following close of discovery.
- Spatola v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Superior Court of New Jersey (2005). Secured voluntary dismissal of action with prejudice on plaintiff's claims of disability discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and ADA
- Shafer v. TBI Airport Management Inc., U.S. Northern District of New York (2004). Obtained summary judgment on claims of sex and national origin discrimination claims, hostile work environment, retaliation and constructive discharge.
- Uddin v. City of New York, et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2001). Obtained summary judgment of Plaintiff’s claim of retaliation.
- Wheeler v. City of New York et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2000). Obtained summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of retaliation and discrimination.
- Handled numerous administrative trials before various state and local agencies.
- Obtained award of dismissal at arbitration of claims of race discrimination and hostile work environment on behalf of a national health education institution.
- Goddard Riverside Community Center v. Local 74, United Service Workers Union, NLRB hearing (2011). Obtained full dismissal of board charges alleging unilateral changes without bargaining and refusal to bargain in good faith.
- Sunar v. Sunar, private arbitration, New York (2011). Obtained dismissal of breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims following private arbitration.
- Mullins, et al. v. City of New York et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2008). Obtained defense verdict in jury trial in FLSA collective action concerning exempt status of select groups of NYPD sergeants.
- Kadesh v. United Airlines et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2007). Obtained defense verdict in bench trial on plaintiff’s sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation claims.
- Cole v. City of New York, New York City Police Department, et al., U.S. Eastern District of New York (2001). Obtained defense verdict in jury trial on plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 claims.
- Uddin v. City of New York, Administration For Children's Services, et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2001). Obtained defense verdict in jury trial on plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim.
- Hemric v. City of New York, New York City Department of Correction, et al., U.S. Southern District of New York (2001). Defense verdict for individual defendant and favorable verdict for defendant City of New York/Department of Correction in jury trial on excessive use of force claim.
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- New York Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1996
- Law Review
- The Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Administration of Justice, with honors, 1993
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2012-present
- Rao Tiliakos LLP
- Partner, 2008-2012
- Seyfarth Shaw LLP
- Senior Associate, 2003-2008
- Wade Clark Mulcahy
- Associate, 2002-2003
- New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel
- Assistant Corporation Counsel, 1997-2002
- New York State Bar Association
- Hellenic Lawyers Association
- Board Member
- Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce
- Penn State University Law School Boot Camp
Honors and Awards
- Named to "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys—Up-and-Comers" list published by Human Resource Executive magazine and based on peer and client evaluations conducted by Lawdragon
- Listed in New York Super Lawyers
Civic and Charitable Activities
- John G. Phillips Foundation, Board Member
- Workshop in Business Opportunities ("WIBO"), Volunteer
- Mentor for law students from various law schools, including New York Law School and Penn State Law School
- Author, "U.S. Supreme Court: Analyze Title VII Retaliation Claims Under a 'But For' Causation Standard," Duane Morris New York Employment Law Blog, June 26, 2013
- Author, "New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Calls for a 'Do-over' on the Inside Sales Exemption," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, March 11, 2012
- Author, "Keeping FLSA Settlements Confidential: Far from a Slam-Dunk," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, February 5, 2012
- Author, "NLRB Postpones Effective Date for Posting Notice of Employee Rights," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, October 7, 2011
- Author, "Connecticut Mandates Paid Sick Leave for Service Workers," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, June 11, 2011
- Author, "NLRB Issues Final Rule for Notification of Employee Rights," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, August 29, 2011
- Author, "NLRB Issues Facebook Complaint Against a Non-Profit in Buffalo," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, May 24, 2011
- Author, "Say It Ain't So—The DOL and ABA Will Refer Plaintiff's Employment Counsel," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, December 6, 2010
- Author, "New York's Fair Play Act Creates a Tough Independent Contractor Test in the Construction Industry," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, November 15, 2010
- Author, "Removal Clock on Diversity Grounds in New York Starts Ticking with Service of the First Paper Stating on Its Face the Amount of Damages Sought," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, November 3, 2010
- Author, "It's Official: Nonresident of New York City/State Must Plead and Prove Discriminatory Conduct Had an 'Impact' in New York to Proceed with Discrimination Claims Under NYCHRL and NYSHRL," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, October 6, 2010
- Author, "Employer's Failure to Investigate Complaint Not Retaliation," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, May 14, 2010
- Author, "New York May Become First State to Enact a 'Healthy Workplace' Law," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, May 12, 2010
- Author, "New York State Labor Department Deputizes Ordinary People to Assist in Its Efforts to Enforce Wage Laws," Rao Tiliakos Tri-State Employment Law Blog, January 26, 2009
- Co-author, "Place Your Bet: The Legality of Office Pools," HR Advisor, West Group, May/June 2007
- Co-author, "Child Pornography – An Employer's Duty to Report," HR Advisor, West Group, September/October 2007
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, "Blowing the Whistle: Perspectives from Both Sides," Puerto Rican Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers Association, March 12, 2014
- Presenter, "Broadway Lights: The Importance of Transparency in Business," Lexington Development Group, December 20, 2013
- Co-Presenter, "New York Employment Law Update," Duane Morris Institute Webinar, October 29, 2013
- Guest Lecturer, "Basics of Labor and Employment Law," Monroe College, October 1, 2013
- Appeared on Fox Business News to discuss the NLRB's advice memo on social media and Giant Food matter. July 29, 2013
- Presenter, "Recent New York and Selected Federal Law Update," Duane Morris Institute Webinar, February 2013
- Presenter, "New York Prevailing Wage Law," Duane Morris Labor and Employment Law Breakfast Briefing, February 2013
- Recurring Lecturer, "Human Resources" and "Ethics and the Law," Workshop in Business Opportunities ("WIBO")
- Presenter, "Recent Federal and State Law Update: Implementation & Interpretation," Human Resource Association of New York (HR/NY), an SHRM affiliate, October 16, 2012
- Presenter, Penn State Law School's annual "Summer Boot Camp," April 2012
- Presenter, "FMLA and ADA/ADAA Update," Annual Duane Morris Developments in Workplace Law and Practice Seminar, May 2013
- Co-presenter, "Using Social Media in Litigation," Practising Law Institute's 2011 Information Technology Law Institute, April 2011
- Co-presenter, "Annual Labor & Employment Law Update," Human Resource Association of New York (HR/NY) an SHRM affiliate, March 2011
- Co-presenter, "The New York State Construction Fair Play Act," New York Hispanics in Real Estate and Construction Association, February 2011
- Presenter, "Interviewing Skills 101: How to Bridge the Gap from Law School to the Start of Your Career," 2011 New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting, January 2011
- Guest, "Hot Topics in New York Employment Law," Radio Neo, December 2010
- "The Impact of Healthcare Reform on Your Business," Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. October 2010
- "Avoiding Common Mistakes of New York Employment Law," Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, July 2009
- "One Salad Bowl: Many Recipes, The Evolving Role of Labor Law in a Changing Economy," Business Outreach Center Network, May 2009
- Presenter, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Seminar Series, May 2014
- Presenter, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Seminar Series, May 2013