Michael Oliver Eckard is a shareholder in the Charleston and Atlanta offices and has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree his entire legal career. Michael represents companies in labor, employment, restrictive covenant, and wage and hour matters in the health care, manufacturing, chemicals, hospitality, transportation and logistics, and retail industries, among others.
He regularly advises companies on human resources and labor policy issues. Michael represents his clients in many types of employment litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment claims, employment discrimination claims, employment contracts, wage and hour claims, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements.
He also represents management in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and unfair labor practice and representation proceedings.
Michael’s nationwide litigation and advice practice focuses on protecting corporate clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; claims involving restrictive covenants, unfair competition, and trade secret claims; federal and state wage and hour laws; and claims of defamation, breach of contract, and intentional torts.
He has litigated labor and employment-related matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His litigation matters include single-plaintiff, multiple-plaintiff, and collective action cases, as well as labor and employment arbitrations and administrative proceedings.
Michael serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, regularly providing counsel to corporate executive, legal, and human resources leaders on matters such as risk management; labor relations; workforce planning; labor and employment matters pertaining to corporate mergers, divestitures, and other transactions; employee recruiting and hiring practices; employee discipline and termination; wage and hour law compliance; and strategies for preventing and investigating harassment and discrimination claims.
Prior to his legal career, Michael served in the U.S. Army, specializing in Military Intelligence. Michael served in multiple duty stations, including operational tours in Kuwait. Michael is also a licensed pilot and enjoys flying airplanes for recreation.
- J.D., University of South Carolina, 2005
- B.S., College of Charleston, 2002
- U.S. Army Military Intelligence School, 1997
Admitted to Practice:
- South Carolina
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Michael focuses on all aspects of labor and employment law. He advises companies on labor and employment policy matters, including serving as primary outside labor and employment counsel to multiple private and publicly traded companies.
He regularly defends companies and management against discrimination (race, gender, national origin, disability, and religion), sexual harassment, and retaliation claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and before state and federal courts.
He has experience representing employers in wage and hour collective actions, multi-party discrimination claims, and administrative actions. He also represents management in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice and representation hearings.
In addition, Michael has significant experience representing companies and individuals in complex restrictive covenant (non-solicitation, non-competition, etc.) and trade secret actions, including seeking emergency injunctive relief to protect his clients’ interests.
In addition to cases in which he has negotiated favorable confidential settlement agreements or other favorable resolutions to employment and labor disputes on behalf of his clients, the following are some examples of Michael’s representative matters:
- He regularly advises national, regional, and local clients on labor policies and disputes, as well as contract negotiations and grievance arbitrations.
- He has represented national and regional clients in labor contract negotiations with various unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Steel Workers.
- He has represented national and regional clients on workforce restructuring and assisted with strategies for a company-wide reductions-in-force.
- He has obtained summary judgment on numerous occasions in favor of regional and national companies in single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment lawsuits.
- He has obtained emergency temporary restraining orders and injunctions on behalf of multiple clients for workplace violence.
- He has represented multiple national, regional, and local clients claims involving restrictive covenant disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets and computer fraud, along with other tortious conduct.
- American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
- State Bar of North Carolina
- District of Columbia Bar
- Military Intelligence Corps Association
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3142 (Life Member)
- Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Rate : $$$$