For nearly 30 years, Mike Lord has provided solutions to workforce problems for employers of all sizes. Business owners, managers, human resources and safety professionals appreciate Mike’s practical guidance, which is grounded in his experience, legal acumen and controversy skills. Mike serves as a trusted resource for his clients as they confront a variety of labor challenges, including those related to employment-related drug testing, probationary employment issues, EEOC sexual harassment charges, reduction in force management and more.
For nearly 30 years, Mike Lord has provided solutions to workforce problems for employers of all sizes. Business owners, managers, human resources and safety professionals appreciate Mike’s practical guidance, which is grounded in his experience, legal acumen and controversy skills.
Mike serves as a trusted resource for his clients as they confront a variety of labor challenges, including those related to employment-related drug testing, probationary employment issues, EEOC sexual harassment charges, reduction in force management and more. Examples of questions Mike frequently addresses include:
- May I reject an applicant for a positive drug screen when she claims that a prescription medicine caused her to fail the test?
- May I drug test an employee involved in a near-miss accident on the manufacturing floor?
- May I fire a probationary employee for excessive absenteeism when he belatedly claims to have hurt his back while on the job?
- I just received notice from the EEOC about a Charge of sexual harassment from a current employee who never raised her concerns with me – how do I respond?
- How may I best manage a reduction in force with a largely age-protected workforce?
- Our key sales representative resigned without notice on Friday and has been calling on customers throughout the weekend on behalf of our competitor– what may I do to protect the business?
- A DOL representative just arrived at our offices and wants to begin an investigation – help!
Mike proactively suggests best practices and provides training to help minimize being pulled into the quagmire of litigation. Nonetheless, lawsuits and administrative complaints are facts of corporate life. He has represented management in employment law and related litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Clients will receive a vigorous defense, but, more importantly, they will receive the benefit of his accumulated wisdom. Not all actions threaten the existence of a company, and there is great value in resolving disputes in a manner that serves business needs. Mike’s approach is to leverage client communication into informed collaboration, efficiency and achieving “success” as mutually defined.
Mike has represented general industry, construction and agricultural employers regarding OSHA matters. By handling hundreds of these matters, he has practical experience with the General Duty Clause and virtually every OSHA standard.
However, Mike’s representation is not limited to citation defense. To avoid proposed penalties and unnecessary abatement costs, he advises clients on how to prepare for the inevitable OSHA inspection. Mike works closely with management and, in some cases, private consultants to devise and implement a workable safety and health program. Mike also counsels clients on creative abatement methods to suit their particular needs and circumstances.
Similarly, Mike has carved a niche practice involving employee mobility and restrictive covenants. He advises businesses on how best to protect their trade secrets, goodwill and other assets. Mike frequently litigates non-compete, non-solicitation, non-hiring and non-disclosure promises when pre-suit negotiations fail.
Mike has served several stints as in-house employment counsel with GlaxoSmithKline and serves as de facto general counsel for smaller businesses. He understands the need to actively listen to business partners and then to deliver legal services at the business’s pace that meet commercial objectives in a lawful manner.
His philosophy is not to dismissively announce, “No, you can’t,” without offering any constructive strategy. Instead, Mike identifies a range of options and helps the client select the most appropriate one to implement. Clients appreciate both Mike’s calming demeanor as he talks to them as partners and Mike’s keen sense of humor.
Mike learned the virtue and dignity of hard work at an early age – in and outside of the home. As a teenager working at produce farms, he picked, sorted and packed blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, melons and corn. Other summers were spent in retail stockrooms and remodeling. Mike also worked his way through college in various food-service jobs and worked in law school as a professor’s assistant. Work is not a four-letter word to him; that type of aversion was acquired later when Mike learned the four-letter acronyms that are the stock of the human resources alphabet soup: OSHA, EEOC, FLSA, ADEA, NLRB, etc.
Directly upon graduating from the Wake Forest University School of Law, Mike clerked for the Honorable Eugene A. Gordon, Senior U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina. Mike experienced first-hand how the law is applied at the trial-court level in civil actions. He also assisted Judge Gordon when he sat by designation with the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to decide challenges to district court rulings.
In sum, Mike actively works with clients to quickly and efficiently achieve the best possible result. His business model isn’t based on repeat representations arising from a failed (and unabated) policy or practice. Rather, his client-centric practice generates long-term relationships built on trust and referrals.
- Assisted a national e-pharmacy with a specialized oncology program to obtain over $20 million in private equity investment. Client now able to expand its specialized oncology program to self-insured employers and networking physicians throughout the United States as a result of the investment.