Joanna R. (Jodi) Varon practices in the areas of employment law, labor relations and litigation. Ms. Varon advises employers on a variety of employment laws governing the workplace, including in the areas of employment discrimination (Title VII, ADA, ADEA), wage and hour (FLSA), family, medical and military leave (FMLA, USERRA), background checks (FCRA), plant closings/reductions in force (WARN) and in connection with recruitment, performance management and termination. Ms. Varon regularly reviews and prepares personnel policies, employee handbooks, employment contracts and separation agreements. She also develops non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements and analyzes enforcement under various state laws. Ms. Varon represents clients in federal and state court litigation and before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York Division of Human Rights, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Board and the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. She trains both executives and employees on preventing workplace harassment.
Ms. Varon is a 2003 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she was senior articles editor of the Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal, and a graduate, with high honors, of Rutgers University.
Areas of Practice
- Employment Counseling and Advice
- Labor Law and Relations
- Employment Litigation
- Restrictive Covenants
- Obtained dismissal of discrimination and retaliation claims filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Obtained temporary restraining order against former employee, prohibiting him from soliciting customers and competing in violation of his restrictive covenants.
- Continuing representation of over 150 clients assessed by the New York Workers' Compensation Board following the demise of various self-insured workers’ compensation trusts.
- Supervised and conducted internal investigations for management.
- Counseled clients regarding family and medical leaves and accommodations of qualified employees with disabilities, including legal obligations and risk assessment, and drafted correspondence.
- Negotiated separation agreements to successfully resolve disputes and avoid litigation.
- Conducted training of executives and employees in the areas of workplace harassment prevention and wage and hour pitfalls.
- Counseled clients in connection with reductions in force, including risk assessment and preparation of separation agreements.
- Defended employment discrimination, breach of contract and wage and hour cases in federal and state courts.
- Counseled clients on wage and hour compliance and proper classification of employees under the FLSA and state law.
- Counseled clients on labor and employment issues in connection with acquisitions and other corporate deals.
- Prevailed in union election campaign for national parking service provider.
- Represented employers in unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB.
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, J.D., 2003
- Senior Articles Editor, Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal
- Rutgers College, B.A., with high honors, 1998
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2013-present
- Associate, 2007-2012
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Associate, 2003-2007
- New York State Bar Association
- Cardozo Women's Committee
Honors and Awards
- Named as a Rising Star in Employment & Labor by New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine, 2013
- Co-author, "Severance Payments Are Taxable Wages Under FICA," Duane Morris Alert, March 27, 2014
- Co-author, "Deadline Approaching: New York Employers Have Until February 1, 2012, to Provide All Employees with Annual Wage Notice," Duane Morris Alert, January 24, 2012
- Co-author, "New York City's Recently Enacted "Workplace Religious Freedom Act" Expands Employers' Obligations to Accommodate Employees' and Applicants' Religious Practices Under NYC Human Rights Law," Duane Morris Alert, September 19, 2011
- Co-author, "New Labor Law Establishes Additional Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements for New York Employers," Duane Morris Alert, March 15, 2011
- Co-author, "New York's High Court Holds U.S. Supreme Court's Faragher-Ellerth Defense for Employers in Harassment Claims Is Inapplicable Under New York City Human Rights Law," Duane Morris Alert, May 19, 2010
- Co-author, "Navigating the Murky Waters of Employment Waivers and Releases," NYSBA Journal, February 2010
- Co-author, "The Employee Free Choice Act - What's an Employer to Do?" New York State Bar Association Journal, September 2009
- Co-author, "An Eye On Workplace Harassment Liability In NYC," Law 360, May 21, 2009
- "Recent Laws and Events Challenge New York Employers in the Areas of Plant Closings, Overtime and Workers' Compensation," Duane Morris Alert, October 7, 2008
- Co-author, "N.Y. Ruling: Scope of Protection for Execs, Wages," Employment Law 360, June 25, 2008
- Co-author, "N.Y.'s High Court Rules Executives Are Covered Employees Under Certain Labor Law Provisions," Duane Morris Alert, June 23, 2008
- "Second Circuit Construes Title VII to Include Discrimination on the Basis of Association," Duane Morris Alert, April 10, 2008
- "New York Requires Written Agreements for Commissioned Salespersons," Duane Morris Alert, November 2007
- "New York Recognizes Cause of Action for Misappropriation of Electronic Data," Duane Morris Alert, November 2007
- "Employment Discrimination Class Actions: Issues Linger," New York Law Journal, April 2, 2007
- "The PSLRA Automatic Stay of Discovery," New York Law Journal, September 27, 2004
- "PSLRA's Automatic Stay of Discovery in the Post-Enron World," Business & Securities Litigator, May 2004
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Lecturer, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Seminar, May 2014
- Speaker, "Interrelationship Between Federal, State and Local Employment Statutes and Agency Regulations and Guidance," HR/NY Managers' Forum (SHRM Affiliate), 2013
- Speaker, "Helping the Pro Se Litigant Mediate Employment Disputes," New York State Bar Association, New York City, January 18, 2013
- Speaker, "New York Employment Law For The Construction, Real Estate and Building Services Industries," Duane Morris Labor and Employment Law Breakfast Briefing, February 14, 2013
- Speaker, "Wage and Hour Tsunamis," Duane Morris Institute, November 2, 2011
- Lecturer, "The What, Where, When and Why of the NLRB's Proposed Rules Reforming R-Case Procedures," New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section Annual Meeting, Saratoga, New York, September 2011
- Lecturer, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Seminar, May 2010
- Lecturer, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Seminar, May 2009