Ray Ripple is a seasoned attorney with over twenty years of experience litigating in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and throughout the United States. He represents employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters, including discrimination, harassment, termination, retaliation, whistleblower actions, and wage claims brought under various state and federal laws. Outside of the courtroom, Ray also has experience counseling employers on a broad range of employment-related matters.
In addition to his employment law practice, Ray also represents businesses in a wide range of commercial litigation matters including complex business disputes, breach of contract actions, consumer protection and financial services litigation.
Prior to joining Bowditch, Ray worked at a national labor and employment firm, where he defended national and regional corporations in federal and state courts and in arbitration. Additionally, Ray previously was an associate, counsel, and partner at an Am Law 100 firm where he practiced in the areas of employment law and commercial litigation with a focus on the insurance, health care, and financial services industries. At the beginning of his legal career, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. William E. Smith, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. While in law school, Ray was Managing Editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
Outside of work, Ray enjoys the outdoors and is an avid runner.
- Board Member and New England Representative, Notre Dame Law Association
- Member, Boston Bar Association
- Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
- Member, Local Rules Committee, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, 2009-2015
- Co-Chair, U.S. District Court Conference Committee, District of Rhode Island, 2013
- Director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Providence, Inc., 2010-2015
- Named to Rhode Island Super Lawyers Rising Star list, 2010-2015
- Graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, 2011
- Best Lawyers in America, selected by his peers for inclusion in the field of Litigation – Labor and Employment since 2021
Articles + Talks
- “Rhode Island Employers Take Note – New Penalties for Wage & Hour Violations Begin January 1, 2024,” Bowditch, October 3, 2023
- “NLRB Adopts New Standard for Evaluating Lawfulness of Work Rules,” Bowditch, August 8, 2023
- “Federal Court Partially Blocks Florida from Enforcing ‘Stop WOKE Act’ – What This Means for Employers,” Bowditch, September 1, 2022
- “CDC Relaxes COVID-19 Safety Recommendations in Updated Guidance,” Bowditch, August 16, 2022
- “Massachusetts Employers Are Strictly Liable for Treble Damages for Late Wage Payments,” Bowditch, April 7, 2022
- “Department of Homeland Security Announces End to COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Expired List B Identity Documents,” Bowditch, March 28, 2022
- “U.S. Department of Labor Releases Guidance on Protecting Workers From Retaliation,” Bowditch, March 28, 2022
- “Navigating a Reduction in Force,” Bowditch, May 9, 2023
- Rhode Island
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island
- U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School
- B.A., Providence College
Summary judgment in hostile work environment case
Ray represented a national retail bank that had been sued in federal court by a former employee who asserted claims for sexual harassment and retaliation. After extensive discovery, including more than ten depositions, the court awarded the bank complete summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claims.
Dismissal of gender discrimination claims
Ray defended a regional bank against gender discrimination claims brought by a former district manager. The plaintiff had alleged that the bank terminated his employment because of his gender, and not because of his ongoing performance issues.
Arbitration award in pregnancy discrimination and FMLA retaliation case
A former employee of a national healthcare company filed suit alleging that Ray’s client interfered with her rights under the FMLA, retaliated against her for exercising those rights, and engaged in pregnancy discrimination. After a week-long arbitration hearing, Ray obtained an arbitration award dismissing the former employee’s claims in their entirety. In the award, the arbitrator complimented Ray for his thorough preparation and defense of the claims.
- Represented a healthcare organization in a AAA arbitration where the claimant, a former call-center employee, alleged that the employer had terminated her employment in retaliation for her requesting FMLA leave; obtained complete summary judgment on behalf of the client
- Defense counsel for a national bank whose branch manager alleged that the district manager discriminated against her because of an alleged disability; case dismissed on summary judgment
- Awarded complete summary judgment on behalf of a Fortune 200 bank where the retail bank branch manager alleged age and reverse gender discrimination claims
- Defended a bank in a federal court action where the applicant alleged that his employment offer was rescinded in violation of state criminal records laws
- AAA arbitration awarded in favor of a long-term care pharmacy where former pharmacist alleged that she had been discriminated against because of her pregnancy and FMLA leave
- Obtained a summary judgment ruling in a AAA arbitration on behalf of a national retailer involving claims of race and gender discrimination
- FINRA arbitration awarded in favor of broker-dealer where terminated financial services representative alleged that company had engaged in defamation by reporting his termination on Form U5 disclosure form
- Successfully defended a broker-dealer against termination and defamation claims at a FINRA arbitration hearing that resulted in a de minimis award against the company despite multi-million-dollar damages sought by the claimant
- Preliminary injunction issued on behalf of a manufacturing company against former sales employees for violation of confidentiality agreements and misuse of trade secrets
- Handled the defense of numerous sexual harassment and discrimination claims asserted in both state and federal courts, and in arbitration
Commercial and Financial Services Litigation
- Secured the dismissal of a federal court action against a national airline where the customer alleged disability discrimination and violations of the Air Carrier Access Act; the decision was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Defended an insurance underwriter against an administrative enforcement action brought by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that alleged underwriting practices were racially discriminatory
- Dismissal of breach of contract and bad faith claims brought against a property and casualty insurer
- Negotiated a favorable settlement for a Fortune 100 bank in a federal court action that alleged claims of predatory residential lending practices
- Preliminary injunction granted in a federal court action on behalf of a family-owned home services company based on a national competitor’s unfair and deceptive business practices