Jose M. Jara is a Partner in MKCI’s New York City and Florham Park, NJ offices and Director of the firm’s ERISA Department. His practice focuses on ERISA and employment litigation and counseling and includes representing clients under investigation by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), and defending clients from lawsuits filed by the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor regarding civil and/or criminal violations of ERISA. Jose has defended plan fiduciaries and boards of directors against ERISA litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with imprudent investments, excessive fees, and delinquent employee contributions. In addition, he provides guidance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries on meeting their fiduciary responsibilities, plan fees and expenses, and ERISA’s prohibited transaction provisions.
Jose’s experience extends to advising his clients in a myriad of labor and employment issues such as: sexual harassment and discrimination charges, retaliation, wrongful termination, restrictive covenants, and traditional labor (grievances, arbitrations, and collective bargaining). Jose also defends companies against DOL wage and hour investigations. Lastly, he provides interactive harassment training, conducts internal investigations, and drafts employment and severance agreements.
Notably, Jose began his career as a Federal Investigator with the DOL and was a former complex claims director at a major insurance company.
In addition to his litigation experience, Jose is a member of MKCI’s Marketing Committee and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Fiduciary Responsibility, Administration, and Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association – Real Property, Trust and Estate Section.
Jose is an avid speaker and writer on ERISA and employment law topics. Recent seminars and webinars include: “DOL and IRS Health and Welfare Plan Audits”; “Disability Claims & Procedures”; “Protecting Fiduciaries: Insurance, ERISA Bonding, and More”; “Changes to Valuation of Stock Cases: ESOP Challenges & Enforcement Activity”; “#MeToo in the Workplace and Beyond”; and “Meet the Enforcers from the EEOC, NYS Division of Human Rights, and NYC Commission on Human Rights – A Sexual Harassment Seminar”.
Recent articles include: “Benefits Guide: EBSA Investigations,” Bloomberg Law; “What You Don’t Know, [Can Really Still] Hurt You – ERISA’s Statute of Limitations Conundrum,” Bloomberg Tax; “Form 5500 Employee Benefit Plan Audits,” Practice Note, LexisNexis; “ERISA Fiduciary Insurance,” Practice Note, LexisNexis; and “ERISA: Thou Shall Not Pay Excessive Fees!,” eReport, American Bar Association.
On a personal level, Jose is actively giving back to the community by serving as Chairman of Board of The Center for Family Support and as a Board member of Rising Ground, two not-for-profits helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Other personal interests include playing sports and, in particular, golfing.
Jose obtained his Master of Laws and Employee Benefits Certificate from
the Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor degree from the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science degree in
Managerial Science from Manhattan College.
OFFICE Florham Park, NJ New York, NY P: 212-509-3456 F: 212-509-4420 Cell: 201-213-1899