Joe represents employers in New York State and federal court litigation, and before governmental agencies, such as the New York State Department of Labor, the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Office of Labor Policy and Standards.  

Previously, Joe practiced employment litigation at one of New York City’s oldest law firms. There, he represented corporate clients in a variety of employment law disputes, including those involving breach of contract, wrongful termination, and wage-hour law. These corporations ranged in size from regional businesses to international financial institutions.

Joe’s professional background also includes government experience. For two years, he served as Special Assistant to United States Senator Charles E. Schumer in Washington, D.C.  

Legal Practice

Joe’s litigation and dispute resolution practice focuses primarily on cases involving:

  • Harassment, including sexual harassment;
  • Discrimination, including on the basis of race and gender;
  • Hostile work environment;
  • Failure to pay overtime, including in cases filed as collective actions;
  • Pregnancy discrimination;
  • Disability discrimination;
  • Breach of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements;
  • Theft of trade secrets;
  • Hostile work environment;
  • Misclassification of employees as “independent contractors” or “freelancers”;
  • Violation of the New York City Earned Sick Time Act or “Paid Sick Leave Law”;

In addition, Joe also works with employers to proactively reduce their risk of employment lawsuits and government investigations. To that end, he:

  • Evaluates hiring and recruitment practices for compliance with local, state, and federal employment laws, including the New York City “Salary History Law,the New York City Earned Sick Time Act or “Paid Sick Leave Law,and the New York State Paid Family Leave Law;
  • Reviews compensation and payroll practices for compliance with New York State and federal wage-hour laws, including prevailing wage laws in the case of government contractors;
  • Counsels employers how to legally engage “independent contractors” or “freelancers,” including how to do so in compliance with the New York City Freelance Isn’t Free Act;
  • Drafts and reviews employee handbooks to ensure that workplace policies and procedures comply with applicable local, state, and federal employment laws, including the New York City “Fair Workweek Laws” laws;
  • Drafts a variety of workplace agreements for employers, including:
    • Employment agreements that provide employers with strategic advantages in the event of an employment dispute;
    • Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements that protect employers’ client relationships;
    • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements that protect trade secrets from employee theft;
    • Arbitration agreements that block employees from suing directly in court and that prevent class action lawsuits;
    • Independent contractor agreements to reduce the risk of unemployment insurance assessments and overtime lawsuits.
  • Advises employers how to accommodate disabled and seriously ill employees, thereby reducing the risk of disability discrimination lawsuits;   
  • Develops social media policies that comply with the National Labor Relations Act;
  • Works with employers to develop and implement criminal background check policies that comply with local, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a criminal record, including the New York City Fair Chance Act;
  • Counsels employers how to accommodate the needs of religious employees, to reduce the risk of religious discrimination claims;
  • Conducts internal investigations in response to employee complaints, including those involving sexual harassment and discrimination, thereby reducing the employer’s risk of a related legal claim.
  • Provides employers with anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.

Honors, Awards & Recognitions

  • Repeatedly selected as a New York Metro “Rising Star” in Labor and Employment Law by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication.
  • Verified by Lead Counsel, a Thomson Reuters service, for Labor and Employment Law.
  • Featured in “New York’s Top-Rated Attorneys,” by Legal Leaders, an ALM publication.
  • Awarded Highest Rating of “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Finalist for “Attorney of the Year Award,” presented by SmartCEO magazine and Citibank.

Speaking Engagements

  • “2018 Employment Law Developments Affecting New York City Businesses,” New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategic Steps for Growth Program, April 2018.
  • “Worker Classification and Wage-Hour Law: Two Deadly Employment Law Traps for Start-Ups,” Fordham University School of Law, February 2018.
  • “3 Employment Law Developments that Every NYC Business Owner Must Know,” NYC Business Solutions, NYC Department of Small Business Services, December 2017.
  • “Key Concepts in Employment Law Compliance,” New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategic Steps for Growth Program, December 2016.
  • “Doing Deals: Contract Drafting,” guest speaker regarding the drafting and negotiation of employment agreements on behalf of employers, Emory University School of Law, November 2016.
  • “Employment Law Essentials for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs,” New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategic Steps for Growth Program, April 2016.
  • “Doing Deals: Contract Drafting,” guest speaker regarding the drafting and negotiation of employment agreements on behalf of employers, Emory University School of Law, November 2015.
  • “Unpaid Interns and Independent Contractors: Recent Legal Developments Affecting Businesses,” Columbia University Community Business Program, September 2015.
  • “Idea to Execution: Make or Break Your Business” (Panelist), the Small Business Expo, June 2015.
  • “Employment Law Tips for Small Business Owners,” New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategic Steps for Growth Program, March 2015.
  • “Preparing Your Small Business for Success: Essential Legal, Accounting, and Strategic Considerations” (Panelist), the Small Business Expo, June 2014.
  • “Unpaid Interns: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You,” Lawline.com, June 2014.
  • “3 Employment Law Tips for Entrepreneurs,” New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Strategic Steps for Growth Program, March 2014.
  • “Preventing Workplace Discrimination and Harassment,” New York State Society of CPAs, April 2013.
  • “Keeping Your Business Legal,” hosted by AXA Financial, February 2013.
  • “Complying with the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance: Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions,” Workplace Training Center, January 2013.
  • “What HR Executives Need to Update in HR Manuals for 2013,” ExecSense, December 2012.
  • “Employment Law for Business Attorneys,” National Academy of Continuing Legal Education, November 2012.
  • “Employment Law Tips for Business Owners,” New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, November 2012.
  • “Legal Dos and Don’ts of Employee Discipline,” Workplace Training Center, October 2012.
  • “Employment Law Essentials,” Lawline.com, July 2012.
  • “Most Common Pitfalls in Wage and Hour Law – and How to Avoid Them,” Management Training Resources, June 2012.
  • “Navigating Wage and Hour Laws: Tips and Tools for Human Resource Professionals,” Human Resources Association of New York, May 2012.
  • “Avoiding Three Employment Law Traps: Unpaid Interns, Independent Contractors, and Overtime,” New York Small Business Expo, May 2012.
  • “Employment Law and the Internet: Understanding and Managing the Risks to Businesses,” hosted by SyNet Solutions, February 2012.
  • “Employment Law Tips For Entrepreneurs,” New York University, Stern School of Business, Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, November 2011.
  • “Discrimination and Harassment In the Workplace: An Internal Audit for Businesses,” National Academy for Continuing Legal Education, October 2011.
  • “New York State Wage and Hour Law Compliance,” Lawline.com, October 2011.
  • “An Introduction to Employment Law for Business Managers,” New York Small Business Expo, October 2011.
  • “Employment Law 101 for Business Managers,” Cathedral Consulting, May 2011.

Press

  • Quoted in “How to have a holly jolly holiday party: A guide for HR,” HR Dive, November 2015.
  • Quoted in “Fired By Emoji? Unorthodox Ways Employees Have Been Terminated,” The Street, October 2015.
  • “Employee Hiring Questions That Will Land You In Court,” Business Breakthrough Podcast, May 2015.
  • Quoted in “4 Pieces of Legal Advice that Sound Good … But Small Business Owners Should Ignore,” National Federation of Independent Businesses, August 8, 2014.
  • Cited in “Latest Worry for Owners: Overtime Pay for Managers,” The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2014.
  • Quoted in “Dangers of Playing Favorites with Staffers,” Medical Office Today, March 13, 2013.
  • Quoted in “How To Make Internships Pay Off,” The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2013.
  • Quoted in “Handling ‘Gross’ Things Tricky for HR Pros,” Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), October 16, 2012.
  • Quoted in “How Legal Is Your Unpaid Internship Program?” American Express Open Forum, June 8, 2012.

Publications

  • “Electronic Overtime: A Hidden Trap,” SmallBiz Bits, March 2013.
  • “10 Benefits of a Professionally-Drafted Employee Handbook,” SmallBiz Bits, February 2013.
  • “3 Employment Law Tips for Surviving Flu Season,” SmallBiz Bits, January 2013.
  • “Time to Update Your Employee Handbook,” Raising the HR Bar, November 2012.
  • “Does Your Hiring Policy Exclude Ex-Cons? Watch Out!” Raising the HR Bar, October 2012.
  • “5 Tips for Dealing with Political Discourse in the Workplace,” Bud to Boss, October 2012.
  • “Popular Employer Misconceptions About Overtime,” SmallBiz Bits, July 2012.
  • “Hiring Unpaid Interns This Summer? Watch Out!” SmallBiz Bits, June 2012.
  • “Three Employment Law Tips for Small Business Owners,” SmallBiz Bits, January 2012.

Professional Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Workplace Rights and Responsibilities Committee
      • Sexual Harassment Subcommittee
      • Paid Family Leave Law and Predictive Scheduling Subcommittee
      • Restrictive Covenants Subcommittee
    • Wage Hour Committee
    • Class Action Committee
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • New York City Bar Association, Small Law Firm Committee
  • LeGaL, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York
  • Business Lawyers’ Forum, Co-Chair