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Phoenix Employment Lawyer

Michael J. Petitti

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating

Rated by Super Lawyers 

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Employees

Employment Law - Employers

Honors and Awards

The Best Lawyers in America®: “Lawyer of the Year,” Employment Law - Individuals (Phoenix), 2017

The Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law - Individuals, Labor Law - Union, Labor and Employment Litigation), 2005-2018

Super Lawyers (Employment & Labor): 2007-present

Who's Who in American Law, 2001-2017

AV Preeminent® Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®

Success Stories


Professional Memberships

American Bar Association

State Bar of Arizona: Employment and Labor Law Section, Executive Council Member and Past Chair

National Employment Lawyers Association

Arizona Employment Lawyers Association

Maricopa County Bar Association

Court Admissions

Arizona, 1987

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Reported Cases

Paul R. Peterson Construction, Inc. v. Arizona State Carpenters Health and Welfare Trust Fund, 179 Ariz. 474, 880 P.2d 694 (App. 1994)


J.D., cum laude, Arizona State University, 1987: Willard H. Pedrick Scholar; Arizona State Law Journal, 1985-1986

B.A., Arizona State University, 1982


Michael Petitti: Peer-recognized legal skill in labor and employment law


Employees and employers alike benefit from Michael Petitti’s 25-plus years of experience in labor and employment law, human resources management, administrative proceedings and employment litigation.

Michael is The Best Lawyers in America 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” (Phoenix) in Employment Law - Individuals.

Employee Counseling

Michael's services to public- and private-sector employees and members of labor associations emphasize counseling them on their rights and responsibilities in disputes against current or former employers. For workers whose claims may lead to EEOC and other administrative investigations and proceedings, Michael and his colleagues represent individuals and groups of employees in matters and class actions involving private and public employers, including the federal government and state, county and municipal employers. In addition, Michael frequently assists individuals in negotiating and litigating employment contracts and restrictive covenants.

Employer Protection

Michael's experience in advising employees also adds value to their representation of employers in a wide variety of labor, employment and human resource management issues. We help employers avoid employee-related disputes through informed review of their employee policies, manuals and handbooks; guidance in employee recruiting, interviewing, hiring, discipline and termination; and drafting of enforceable employment contracts, including non-compete agreements, such as trade secret protection, customer list protection, and other restrictive covenants.

Areas of Experience Benefitting Workers and Employers

  • Employment discrimination based on age, gender, race, disability and other protected categories

  • Employment contracts, non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants

  • Wage disputes, including wage-and-hour and overtime requirements

  • Wrongful termination

  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors

  • Sexual harassment and hostile work environment

  • Defamation (libel and slander) and invasion of privacy

  • ADA compliance

  • Civil Rights Act compliance

  • Employee benefits

  • Union/Management issues

  • Unemployment insurance claims

  • Human resource management

  • Employer policies and manuals

  • Investigations into employee claims

Articles and Presentations

Arizona Employment Law Handbook (Contributing Chapter Author), State Bar of Arizona, 2016 Edition

'Deflategate,' Part 3: The U.S. Court of Appeals Reinstates Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension" (article), May 2016

'Deflategate,' Part 2: The District Court’s Decision to Vacate the NFL’s Suspension of Tom Brady Is a Win for Unions and Their Constituents" (article), October 2015

"'Deflategate': Brady, the NFL, and a Primer in Labor Law" (article), August 2015

"Analyzing Employment Claims: Frequent Issues" (presentation), 2013, 2014

Arizona Employment Law Handbook (Chapter Author), State Bar of Arizona, 2007 edition

"Drug and Alcohol Testing in Arizona: The Plaintiff’s Perspective," Arizona Attorney, State Bar of Arizona, December 1994