Michael Palmer, New York Managing Partner

Michael Palmer

New York Managing Partner

Michael Palmer is the Managing Partner of the New York Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chair of the firm’s Wage & Hour Practice Group.

Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Michael has been recognized in the legal community as a Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney in New York, NY (Super Lawyers), Labor & Employment Star-Northeast in Labor & Employment (Benchmark Litigation), and a Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer.

At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Michael’s practice has focused on wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, and whistleblower claims, representing both individuals and classes. Michael’s representations have included:

  • Litigating a wage and hour case against Google, Inc. on behalf of contract recruiters who alleged that they were denied overtime pay, culminating in a $5.5 million class settlement
  • Litigating a California Private Attorney General Action brought on behalf of thousands of Oracle sales employees through two liability trials, resulting in decisions recognizing that Oracle America violated state laws and failed to pay employees earned commissions
  • Litigating an overtime class action case against telecom company Alaska Communications Systems and obtaining a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of sales employees who alleged they were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under state and federal law
  • Litigating a False Claims Act case against Roche and Humana companies on behalf of a whistleblower who alleged that the defendants engaged in a kickback scheme, resulting in a settlement of greater than $12 million
  • Litigating a gender discrimination case on behalf of female pharmaceutical sales representatives who alleged that they were paid less than their male counterparts, culminating in a $4 million class settlement
  • Negotiating innumerable settlements on behalf of employees who suffered discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful discharge, and recovering millions of dollars for his clients

Michael received his law degree from New York University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors from the University of Texas.

A member of the New York bar, Michael has written on current employment law issues, been published in NELA/NY’s New York Employee Advocate, and presented at conferences on topics that include the litigation of wage and hour cases and the settlement of class actions.


  • J.D., NYU School of Law
  • B.A., The University of Texas

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

I was in awe of the firm’s command of employment law

“I was referred to Sanford Heisler by an associate that has experienced their excellence. The details of a class action lawsuit were more than I could have ever imagined. My team at Sanford Heisler was responsive, understood the complexities of the case, and understood my position and they put forth amazing effort. Their legal skills, and knowledge, allows them to handle the most intricate employment issues. Not once did I have to contact the firm for an update on how my case was progressing. I was informed every step of the way. I was in awe of the firm’s command of employment law. Amazed at their available resources and sense of obligation to fight for the rights of the individual. I always felt that my case was of the utmost importance to Sanford Heisler. The firm works tirelessly to ensure justice prevails and that you receive the best possible outcome under the law. I worked closely with Attorney Michael Palmer and Attorney David Tracey. They not only handled the litigation but sheltered me from the “hired bullies” working for the large insurance company. I always felt prepared and protected. Attorney Palmer and Attorney Tracey were always; receptive, accessible, realistic, strategically focused on my best interest. During my litigation additional issues arose, I was always treated respectfully, and I continually received pragmatic assessments of the circumstances, and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead. I could not ask for better representation than what I received. I was fortunate Sanford & Heisler agreed to represent me. They are by far one of the best employment firms in the country.”
– Stephanie McKinney

I could not have asked for a better firm and people to work with

“Dear Michael, thank you and your team for all that you did to help me resolve my recent legal issues. Everyone I interacted with at Sanford Heisler Sharp was, not only accomplished and brilliant at what they do, but also good people with good values. One of the things that impressed me the most was your firm’s philosophy that the client well-being comes first. There were times that I thought things would not be resolved and I was repeatedly told that your firm’s focus was on me and the outcome for me, independent of any compensation to the firm. Though times were sometimes stressful, you and everyone at the firm were reassuring and confident. I could not have asked for a better firm and people to work with. Thank you again. I sincerely appreciate all that you did for me.”
– Former Client

I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome

“Dear Michael, I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for all the work you put in on my case. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. You are a great lawyer and a kind man.”
– Katie, a former Pharmaceutical Representative for Boehringer Ingelheim

Satisfactory outcome that would not have been possible without his help

“Mr. Palmer was extremely helpful in guiding me as to whether I had a case or not. He laid out the scenarios, all the pros and cons, and let me make all the decisions. My ultimate decision led to a satisfactory outcome that would not have been possible without his help. A no-nonsense lawyer that doesn’t play games and is the utmost professional. I highly recommend his services.”
– Former Client

Extremely approachable and hard-working

“Michael Palmer replaced an attorney on my case. At first I was somewhat skeptical as the former attorney at his firm was impressive. Nevertheless, he did not disappoint. If I had only one word to describe him, it would be thorough, and in my opinion thoroughness leads to success. In addition to being thorough he is also extremely approachable, and hard-working.”
– Roberta

Michael went above and beyond the call of duty

“I was recently involved in a very complex legal situation which required representation from multiple lawyers in 2 different states. My case encompassed several areas of the law including: employment, workers comp and personal injury. As you can imagine, this was a very difficult and stressful time in my life and I was fortunate to have Michael Palmer represent me as my employment counsel. Michael went above and beyond the call of duty and was able to successfully negotiate a settlement for unpaid overtime against a major pharmaceutical company. His communication skills are outstanding. There was never a time when I had to wonder what Michael was doing for me. In addition to allowing me to review every document before taking action, both Michael and his legal assistant kept in constant contact with me providing updates at every turn. I found Michael to be thorough, dedicated, patient, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. But even more important to me was Michael was empathetic to my situation. His hard work was very much appreciated and his kindness will never be forgotten. I can unequivocally, with 100% confidence, recommend Michael Palmer and Sanford Heisler Sharp.”
– Sherry Sunshine

Professionalism, dedication and diligence to the case

“I retained Michael to pursue an employment related issue for me. From the Onset, Michael exhibited a level of professionalism, dedication and diligence to the case that had me pleasantly surprised. He made sure that all facts related to the case were ascertained, and consistently kept me abreast with the status of the case. Michael eventually attained a very satisfactory resolution in my favor. I would definitely recommend Michael to anybody requiring an expert labor or employment related attorney.”
– Daniel

He truly handled everything for me

“Michael Palmer is an amazing attorney. From beginning to the end, he was professional, accurate, attentive, sensitive to certain subject matter, always on time when it came to calls, emails, contracts. From the start he took the time and went over in ever detail for my case, he took time for every call and every email. You could tell that he actual cared about my case. He never let me worry about anything, he truly handled everything for me. I never felt that I had anything to worry about bc I knew that Michael was taking care of it. I knew that I had the right person for the job. Michael was professional and he did an amazing job and I was happy with the end result. He was very compassionate, and I never thought that of a lawyer before. He is great and I would definitely recommend him.”
– Lynette

United States of America ex rel. Derrick v. Hoffman-La Roche LTD et al.

The Relator’s Complaint alleges that in 2013, Roche paid Humana a kickback in exchange for Humana placing Roche’s diabetes testing products on its Medicare Advantage formularies.

Virginia Land Improvement Wage and Hour Class Action

According to the complaint, Defendants regularly failed to compensate the Virginia truck drivers for both straight time and overtime during weeks in which they worked over 40 hours.

Schlumberger Technology Corporation Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Class Action

The Complaint documents 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.

JUUL Labs, Inc. Whistleblower Retaliation/Wrongful Termination Case

Sanford Heisler Sharp represents Siddharth Breja in his whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination claims against JUUL Labs, Inc. 

Google, Inc. Wage and Hour Class Action – $5.5 Million Settlement

Former Google contract employee Tymuoi Ha filed the complaint in Santa Clara Superior Court against Google, Inc. and Urpan Technologies (UrpanTech), one of the many staffing agencies through which Google acquires temporary and contract workers. The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the California Labor Code by denying employees compensation for all overtime worked, failing to pay owed wages upon separation from employment, and not furnishing accurate wage statements.

MetLife Overtime Pay Violation Class Action

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages for Claim Specialists who worked on long-term disability insurance claims (“LTD Claim Specialists”) for MetLife and two of its subsidiaries, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and MetLife Insurance Company USA.

Oracle Commissions Wage & Hour Lawsuits

Sanford Heisler Sharp has filed claims that through the use of a long and confusing set of Terms and Conditions issued to each sales representative with his or her compensation plan, Oracle unlawfully and retroactively reduced the commissions of sales representatives based on grounds, criteria, and methods not defined in a signed commission contract. The case is currently in discovery and continuing investigation. 

Overland Solutions Wage & Hour Class Action – $2.4 Million Settlement

In March 2017, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action complaint on behalf of Plaintiff Martin Fletscher and other California insurance inspectors who were classified by Overland Solutions, Inc. as independent contractors.

Alaska Communications Wage and Hour Class Action

Sanford Heisler Sharp represents sales employees on a class and collective action complaint in U.S. District Court in Anchorage against Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc., and Alaska Communications Systems Holdings, Inc. (Alaska Communications). Plaintiffs allege that Alaska Communications failed to pay sales employees overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (AWHA). In December 2014, the court granted conditional certification of the collective action and authorized notice to the class under the FLSA. 

United States ex rel. Gale v. Omnicare (N.D. Ohio) – $120 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp a leading public interest law firm, teamed with three other law firms in settling a whistleblower (“qui tam”) lawsuit Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE: OCR), the nation’s largest provider of pharmacy services to nursing home patients. Under the agreement, Omnicare has agreed to pay the United States $120 million to resolve kickback and false claims allegations brought by Donald Gale, an Ohio pharmacist who worked for the company’s Wadsworth, Ohio pharmacy from 1993 until 2010. 

U.S. ex rel. Simmons v. Meridian (M.D. Tenn.) – $5.1 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp won a $5.1 million qui tam settlement against Meridian Surgical Partners LLC, an investor in an Ambulatory Surgical Center (“ASC”). The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Meridian violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act by paying unlawful remuneration to ambulatory surgical centers (“ASC”) owners to physicians to induce referrals of patients to ASCs. 

Costco Wage and Hour Class Action Litigation

Sanford Heisler Sharp represents employees who worked at Costco Wholesale warehouses and were subjected to unpaid security “lockdowns” as a routine part of their workday. In December 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California certified their suit as a state class action in California and a federal conditional collective action nationwide. The court later decertified the action and the case is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On appeal, plaintiffs claim that the court misapplied the law and deprived employees of any opportunity for relief from Costco’s wage violations. 

Forest Laboratories Gender Discrimination Class Action – $4 Million Settlement

In July 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against Forest Laboratories, Inc., and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Forest”) in federal court in New York, alleging, among other claims, that Forest discriminates against its female Sales Representatives by paying them less than their male counterparts. The Plaintiffs also alleged claims of failure to promote, discrimination based on pregnancy and maternity leave, sexual harassment, and retaliation. In 2014, the Court denied Forest’s attempt to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims, and in 2015 the Court conditionally certified a class under the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

My Story