• Bio
  • Credentials

Michelle Caiola


Michelle Caiola is an accomplished employment discrimination attorney at Phillips & Associates. She skillfully handles all facets of litigation, from inception through successful resolution, and is dedicated to a client-focused practice.

As a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Michelle expertly handled individual and class-action lawsuits pertaining to sexual harassment, race, national origin, age, and disability discrimination in the workplace. Among the many notable cases from her years at EEOC, she led a high-profile glass-ceiling sex discrimination lawsuit against Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley, which settled for $54 million. She also played a key role in litigating a large precedent-setting sexual harassment suit against Mitsubishi, a car manufacturing plant in Illinois, which settled for $34 million, and an important class-wide age discrimination suit against a major retailer, which settled for $3.5 million. Michelle was awarded EEOC’s highest honor, the EEOC Chair’s Organizational Award, three times.

While overseeing legal departments at Legal Momentum and then Equal Rights Advocates, two women’s rights non-profit organizations, Michelle focused on winning pregnancy and sex discrimination lawsuits on behalf of women law professors and service workers, as well as women working in non-traditional jobs, such as police officers, firefighters, shipyard workers, and tradeswomen. Michelle has been a strong advocate for women receiving workplace pregnancy accommodations and job protections related to domestic violence.

Michelle also has a wealth of experience litigating on behalf of people with disabilities. While serving as Managing Director of Disability Rights Advocates in New York City, she achieved numerous court victories and negotiated impactful settlements. In 2020, she was personally awarded the Law360 MVP based on highly significant legal rulings she obtained while litigating five separate class-action cases brought against the Metropolitan Transit Authority to achieve subway access for individuals that cannot use stairs due to a disability.

As a long-standing workplace advocate, Michelle has testified at government hearings and presented at employment discrimination conferences. She has co-authored several employment discrimination Amicus Briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court: Women’s Rights Organizations in Support of Respondent, Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (regarding a woman applicant for a coal mining position), November 2014; Law Professors and Women’s Rights Organizations in Support of Petitioner, Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (supporting pregnancy accommodations at work), May 2013.

Michelle attended Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and received her Juris Doctor with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at Kent State University in Ohio. Michelle is a member of the bar in New York and Missouri. She is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, the Northern District of California, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Disability Rights Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the City Bar of New York, and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney at a Respected Employment Discrimination Law Firm

Phillips and Associate's attorneys understand how difficult it is for employees to face discrimination in the workplace. Many workers are afraid to come forward to take legal action against their more powerful employers. It is crucial to retain an experienced New York City employment discrimination lawyer if you believe you were subject to harassment or an adverse employment action because of a disability, pregnancy, race, national origin, or any other legally protected characteristic. At Phillips and Associates, we represent victims of workplace discrimination and harassment in New York City, Westchester, Suffolk, Nassau Counties, and other surrounding areas. Fill out our online form or contact us at (866) 229-9441 for more information.