(WASHINGTON, D.C.) D. Michael Hancock, the former Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, today joined national plaintiffs’ firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC as Of Counsel and a member of the firm’s Civil Rights and Employment practice group.
As a senior U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) employee for 20 years, conducting policy-related work, including policy interpretation and enforcement, Hancock helped enforce a wide range of workplace protections, from minimum wage, overtime, child labor and Family Medical Leave Act to guest worker and other employment-based immigration programs. Most recently, as Acting Director, DOL’s Division of Interpretation and Regulatory Analysis, and Assistant Administrator for Policy, from 2008 – 2015, Hancock managed a team of 40 senior managers and analysts and worked with the Solicitor of Labor, the Secretary of Labor, other federal agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House.
“We are immensely pleased that Michael Hancock has joined the firm. As a senior level strategist, he brings an unprecedented depth of knowledge and expertise about a broad range of federal laws protecting workers, which we know will be of great value to clients within our Civil Rights and Employment practice who face labor, wages and other workplace violations,” said Joseph M. Sellers, head of Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights and Employment practice group.
Hancock and Sellers met about 20 years ago when both were investigating labor law violations within the poultry industry — Hancock from the DOL perspective, and Sellers from the private litigation sector. “How Joseph Sellers and I were going about this investigation was very similar,” said Hancock. “I always admired what Cohen Milstein was doing in the labor and employment arena from afar and am delighted to now be part of that process. Cohen Milstein’s Civil Rights and Employment practice attorneys and I have a passion for making sure that workers are protected and that their rights are upheld.”
Within the DOL, Hancock also served as Branch Chief, Wage and Hour Division, Division of Interpretations and Regulatory Analysis, and as National Farm Labor Coordinator, Wage and Hour Division. While on detail from the DOL, he served as Senior Labor Advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he provided guidance to the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, Office of Democracy and Governance, on a broad range of labor, civil society, democracy and development programs funded and administrated by USAID.
Prior to joining the DOL in 1995, Hancock was the Executive Director of Farmworker Justice, in Washington D.C., where he helped provide policy support to farmworker organizations, labor unions, migrant legal services programs, administrative and legislative bodies, and other organizations. Before that, he was General Counsel of the National Coalition to Ban Handguns and President of the Foundation for Handgun Education. He also served as Executive Director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project.
Hancock was awarded a fellowship from Howard University — the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, Ozark Legal Services, Fayetteville, Ark. — to practice poverty law in rural Arkansas, and was a law clerk at Ozark Legal Services. He also worked as an administrator and social worker with the Arkansas Department of Human Services in Fayetteville, Ark.
Hancock received his B.S. Degree from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., and his J.D. Degree, with honors, from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., where he was appointed to the Law Review. He is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia (D.C.), U.S. District Court, D.C., and the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C.
Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex cases, including civil rights and employment, consumer protection and product liability issues, Cohen Milstein, with more than 80 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. For more information, visit https://www.cohenmilstein.com or call (202) 408-4600.