Marissa A. Mastroianni is a member in the firm’s Employment, Litigation, and Cannabis practice groups.
Known for her expertise in employment law compliance and employment litigation matters, Marissa serves as a trusted advisor to her clients. She not only counsels employers regarding complying with the ever-changing employment law landscape, Marissa’s practical advice also incorporates business operations and risk management considerations.
In addition to participating in day-to-day discussions with clients regarding personnel decisions, employee leave and accommodation requests, and employee complaints, Marissa routinely prepares employee handbooks, policies, hiring protocols and packages, and workplace safety programs. On behalf of employers and, in some cases, high-level professionals and executives, she also regularly drafts and negotiates various types of agreements, including, employment agreements, separation agreements, confidentiality agreements, and restrictive covenant agreements. Marissa additionally conducts interactive discrimination, harassment, and diversity training for employers.
Marissa litigates a broad spectrum of employment litigation matters before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and arbitration tribunals. She zealously defends her clients against claims and charges brought by current and former employees alleging discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, breach of contract, violation of restrictive covenant obligations, and misappropriation of confidential information claims. Marissa is also well-versed in representing clients in connection with investigations launched by various federal and local government entities, including, the U.S. Department of Labor, the N.J. Department of Labor, the N.Y. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the N.J. Division on Civil Rights, the N.Y. Division of Human Rights, the N.Y.C. Commission on Human Rights, and the N.Y.C. Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
Additionally, Marissa is often called upon to conduct independent workplace investigations and audits in response to complaints or claims made by current or former employees involving allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other related issues. When conducting these sensitive investigations and audits, Marissa understands that businesses need an attorney who has the communication skills and tact necessary to effectively interview witnesses to gather information and evidence to serve as the foundation for the investigatory findings.
As the resident employment attorney in the firm’s Cannabis practice group since 2018, Marissa counsels employers regarding the growing anti-discrimination protections and drug testing regulations passed to protect medical and recreational cannabis users across the country. Marissa drafts substance-free workplace policies, drug testing programs, and hiring protocols for employers across industries that not only emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe working environment, but also foster positive company culture that is inclusive for cannabis users. As effective alternatives to impractical anti-cannabis policies, she also works with employers in creating and implementing workplace safety training for employees at all levels.
Prior to joining Cole Schotz, Marissa worked as a labor and employment associate for Proskauer Rose LLP. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephan C. Hansbury, P.J. Ch. (ret.) of the Chancery Division-General Equity Part.
Honors & Awards
Marissa is regularly called upon by publications and media outlets for her comments and insights into changes to employment laws, regulations, and government-issued guidance. Marissa has also received various honors given for exhibiting excellence in the practice area. In 2022, Marissa was named as an “Associate to Watch for Labor & Employment Law” in the prestigious Chambers USA Guide and a “New Leader of the Bar” by the New Jersey Law Journal. Additionally, Marissa was recognized as a “2022 Employment Law Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal. She was also recognized as a 2022 Cannabis Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal. Since 2020, Marissa has been selected annually to the New Jersey Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for her work in labor and employment law. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.