Michael R. Marra
Michael Marra is co-managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ New York office. His practice focuses on understanding business needs, developing effective strategies and solutions, and working closely on communication strategies. Michael represents some of the world’s best known luxury brands, advertising and media services companies, and technology and emerging growth companies.
He works on a broad range of employment matters, providing counsel regarding tricky employee relations matters and legal compliance. 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; and contractual disputes with executives and third party vendors. Michael’s practice has developed to provide leadership in support of corporate M&A transactions and transition.
Prior to helping to lead Fisher Phillips’ NYC office, Michael 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. Along the way, Michael also had stints as an employment lawyer at Ogletree Deakins, Cooley LP and Proskauer, after starting his legal career at a white collar defense boutique. Michael earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from University of Iowa, where he was a graduate of the Army ROTC Program and was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
- 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)
- Attorney Comments on Bill Proposed New York City Giving Workers the Right to Ignore After-Hours Emails3.30.18
- 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
- Does the Ban on Salary History Inquiries Violate the First Amendment? Ruling on Philadelphia Bill May Impact New YorkPay Equity Matters: Mind the Gap9.10.17
- Gig Employer Blog6.30.17
- Does the Ban on Salary History Inquiries Violate the First Amendment? Ruling on Philadelphia Bill May Impact New YorkGovernment Relations Blog5.11.17
- Title VII Evolution Continues: Another Appeals Court Finds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Actionable2.26.18
- 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