Rina Grassotti is an attorney in the Denver, New Jersey and New York offices of Fisher Phillips. Rina focuses her practice on employment litigation, and has litigated cases involving race, gender, age, disability and other types of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and employee defection and trade secrets, among others. As a litigator, Rina has obtained favorable outcomes for her clients by way of numerous trials and hearings, dispositive motions and settlements in both federal and state courts.
In addition to her litigation practice, Rina regularly counsels clients in a variety of areas ranging from employee handbooks and policies to termination decisions and severance packages. Rina is also experienced in conducting internal investigations.
While Rina represents clients both large and small across all industries, she has significant experience representing higher education institutions, and her experience includes counseling on student and employee disciplinary issues, disability accommodations, college policies, and compliance issues relating to FERPA, the Clery Act and Title IX. She also has significant experience representing businesses in the health, wellness and fitness industries, advising on employee versus contractor classification, contracts, onboarding and employee performance management.
Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Rina served as Associate General Counsel for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she counseled senior administrators on a wide range of employment issues to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. She also spent nine years as an attorney at a prominent mid-size New Jersey firm, where she focused on employment counseling and litigation, with an emphasis in higher education. After graduating law school, Rina served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.
- Obtained favorable ruling after bench trial in action by student asserting grade grievances and claim for breach of resident assistant contract against public university.
- Obtained favorable ruling after bench trial in action by student seeking reimbursement from public university for an undergraduate course.
- Second-chaired jury trial in defense of due process claims arising from public university’s expulsion of fourth-year dental student on behavioral grounds.
- Conducted internal investigation of allegations of bullying on public university’s athletics team.
- Conducted internal investigation of potential ethics violations against a tenured professor at public university.
- Conducted internal investigation of harassment charges against a tenured professor at private university.
- Obtained dismissal of action brought by former employee against public university seeking reimbursement of attorneys’ fees incurred in appealing an unemployment benefits decision.
- Defended public university in action brought by former employee alleging discrimination.
- Defended and negotiated favorable settlement of negligence action brought against private university arising out of alleged sexual assault
- Successfully opposed application for temporary restraining order on behalf of private university in action by learning-disabled student claiming violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Obtained summary judgment for private university in action by student alleging unfair process and challenging suspension for sending sexually-explicit email
- Successfully opposed application for temporary restraining order and ultimately obtained dismissal of action brought by Engineering student against private university alleging various tort and contract-based claims arising from suspension for plagiarism
- Obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of public university in action brought by medical student alleging First Amendment retaliation and other constitutional claims after student was suspended for unprofessional conduct
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of public university in action brought by student asserting contract-based claims and military discrimination arising from academic dismissal
- Counseled fitness company with regard to employee versus independent contractor classification and independent contractor agreement.
- Counseled fitness company in connection with breach of contract dispute with independent contractor.
- Counseled health food company with regard to employment agreements and termination of employee.
- Advised urban farming start-up with regard to independent contractor agreements and onboarding of employees.
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Seton Hall University School of LawJ.D., 2004
- University of MassachusettsB.A., 2001
- New Jersey
- New York