Michael Palmer is Co-Chair of the Wage and Hour Practice at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP and a partner in the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on the representation of individuals in complex litigations, including wage and hour class actions, False Claims Act and anti-kickback cases, and employment discrimination actions.
Michael serves as lead counsel in Johnson v. Oracle, an arbitration brought on behalf of a class of commissioned sales employees which alleges that Oracle America owes the employees for millions of dollars in unpaid commissions. After Oracle refused to participate in the arbitration, the parties battled in federal court, first in district court and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Arguing the issue before the three-judge panel, Michael secured a win from Ninth Circuit, affirming the lower court’s order compelling Oracle to arbitration.
Michael is also one of the lead trial attorneys in Abrishamcar v. Oracle, a California Private Attorney General Action (“PAGA”) seeking civil penalties for the violation of state laws governing commission agreements and the timely and full payment of commissions. Following weeks of trial testimony, the Court issued a decision finding Oracle liable for violating California law. Plaintiffs anticipate a trial on penalties under PAGA in 2022.
He likewise heads up an overtime class action against telecom company Alaska Communications Systems (“ACS”), in which it’s alleged that ACS misclassified sales employees as exempt from overtime pay under state and federal law. Michael won certification of a class of current and former sales employees and defeated ACS’s attempt to overturn the decision at the Ninth Circuit. After more than nine years of litigation, the parties agreed to settle the multi-million dollar class action in 2021.
On June 23, 2020, Michael and his team filed a $100 million gender discrimination class action against international oilfield services company, Schlumberger Technology Corporation. The case, Saidman v. Schlumberger, alleges a longstanding pattern of abuse in which Schlumberger knowingly permits women who work on male-dominated oil rigs to be sexually harassed, assaulted, and discriminated against by their male colleagues.
Since graduating from the New York University School of Law in 2004, Michael has devoted his legal career to representing employees and public interest law—recovering millions of dollars for his clients and fighting for individuals’ rights. Michael has been selected multiple times to the New York Metro Super Lawyers List.
Updated Sep 2021