Michael R. Marra
Michael Marra is co-managing partner of the firm's New York office. His practice focuses on understanding business needs and developing effective strategies and solutions to difficult problems, including litigation when necessary. Michael represents some of the world’s best known luxury brands, advertising and media services companies, and technology and emerging growth companies.
He also works on a broad range of employment matters, counseling management and human resources professionals regarding tricky employee relations matters and legal compliance; designing and implementing training programs; conducting and managing investigations; conducting wage and hour and worker classification audits; developing effective workplace and risk management policies; negotiating executive employment agreements and separation agreements; managing force reductions and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act compliance; and planning strategy with respect to restrictive covenants.
Additionally, he has extensive experience handling and resolving adversarial proceedings, including employment discrimination and worker classification matters; Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower claims; trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes; contractual disputes with executives and third party vendors; and both creating and utilizing highly successful alternative dispute processes.
Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Michael practiced at Ogletree Deakins in New York. Before that he served for nearly a decade as associate general counsel with The Interpublic Group of Companies in New York, where he worked closely with Interpublic's corporate team and its member companies on the full array of employment matters and policy.
- Part of the three lawyer team that successfully limited the expansion of the professional ethical guidelines "implied by law" exception to New York's employment at will doctrine, in litigation before New York State's highest court (Horn v. New York Times, NY. Ct. App. 2003)
- Successfully defended insurance company and its retirement plan in age discrimination and ERISA litigations by two former employees in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, resulting in summary judgment on behalf of defendants in both cases and an award of costs and attorney's fees in favor of defendants based on litigation conduct by plaintiff's counsel in one case. (Hales v. Prudential, et al., D. Minn. 2002; Demarais v. Prudential, et al. D. Minn. 2002)
- Led team that successfully defended bottling company against 70 simultaneously filed discrimination and harassment claims brought through an alternative dispute resolution process, without any resolution exceeding $10,000 and without a single finding of employer liability.
- Responsible for successful defense of an employer severance pay plan against ERISA claims, through litigation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. (Williams v. Interpublic Severance Pay Plan, 7th Cir. 2008).
- Responsible for numerous No Probable Cause before EEOC and New York State Division of Human Rights.
- Has won hundreds of thousands of dollars in eliminated or reduced penalties related to workers compensation and unemployment insurance coverage.
- Prevailed in worker misclassification hearings before New York State agencies.
- Won summary judgment in race discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Figueroa v. MRM Worldwide, S.D.N.Y. 2014).
Honors & Leadership
- Legal Committee, European American Chamber of Commerce in New York
- Labor and Employment Law Committee, New York City Bar Association (2005-2006, 2014-present)
- Trustee, Executive Committee Member and Chair, Audit & Risk Management Committee, The Calhoun School (present)
- Member, ADR Committee, New York City Bar Association (2004-2006, 2014)
- U.S. Army Reserves J.A.G. Corps, 1st Lieutenant (Honorable Discharge, 2003)
- Labor & Employment Law Firm Launches New Office With Four Attorneys; Fifth Attorney Joins Firm’s New Jersey Office7.18.16
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Ultimate Software - HR Workshop - ''Worker Misclassification, Joint Employment, and Other Liabilities Associated with Hiring Third-Party Service Providers'' - Tarrytown
- National Retail Federation - ''Relationship Status: It’s Complicated – The New Joint-Employer Standard Under the NLRA, and Joint-Employer Issues in Retail'' - New York City
- Association of Corporate Counsel - ''Preparing for the Workplace Consequences of New York's Medical Marijuana Law'' - New York City
- "2nd Cir.: No Age Bias Claim Based on Manager's Criticism of Older Employees," SHRM Online
- Ruling In Favor Of Independent Contractor Status Provides Boost To Gig Economy4.13.17
- False Sexting Claims Prove Employer’s Downfall8.30.16
- New York University School of LawJ.D. 1995
- University of IowaB.A. 1992, high honors
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York