Maria advises employers at every step in the employer-employee relationship, from recruiting and hiring to retention and separation, working with clients to identify and minimize potential risks and exposure. When litigating, Maria provides solution-focused, sophisticated and efficient representation in federal and state courts, in arbitration, and in administrative proceedings before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Division of Civil Rights of the New Jersey and the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Among other areas, Maria handles matters involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, misclassification, failure to accommodate, and wage and hour violations. She routinely advises clients on leaves of absence, paid time off/sick leave, classification issues, and non-competes, and regularly drafts, revises and edits employee handbooks and communications. She has experience helping employers develop effective, enforceable workplace policies, including in evolving areas such as COVID-19 and employee use of recreational cannabis and medical marijuana where legislative, regulatory and judicial positions are in conflict or incomplete.
Maria also has significant experience evaluating pre-litigation demand letters and recommending appropriate employer responses. A strategic thinker, Maria develops and hosts client trainings and speaks before industry and legal groups regarding new developments in employment law.
As a litigator, Maria has also represented businesses and educational institutions in a wide variety of disputes, including commercial claims, trade secret claims, premises liability disputes, automobile/trucking defense and other matters. While in law school, she completed a clerkship under the Honorable Estela M. De La Cruz of the New Jersey Judiciary at the Superior Court of New Jersey, where she helped draft judicial decisions, riders and orders for motions.
Maria is a member of the New Jersey Bar Association, Bergen County Bar Association and New Jersey Defense Association. While in law school, Maria served as articles editor for the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, was a teaching associate of Legal Research and Writing, and a member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board. In addition to being a Dean’s Merit Scholar, she received the award for best brief in the Nathan Baker Mock Trial Competition and the Commencement Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Taxation.
Maria has two young children and is active in the PTA and regularly organizes community events and fundraisers.