Joseph H. Harris
Joseph Harris is a Partner at A.Y. Strauss and the Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.
Joe represents employers in state and federal court and before government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York State Division on Human Rights. His litigation practice focuses primarily on defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and the violation of wage-and-hour laws. He also represents employers in disputes involving the breach of post-employment restrictive covenants, such as non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements.
Additionally, Joe, who holds a certificate from the Association of Workplace Investigators, regularly works with employers to proactively reduce their risk of employment lawsuits and government investigations. He does this by conducting internal workplace investigations as well as by counseling employers on how to respond to and resolve internal employee complaints before they develop into employment litigations or government inquiries. Also, he audits employers’ employment practices for compliance with local, state, and federal laws, advises employers on the development and implementation of legally compliant workplace policies and procedures, and conducts anti-discrimination and harassment training.
Another way that Joe protects employers is by drafting various employment-related agreements. Some of these include executive employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, commission agreements, arbitration agreements, and separation agreements.
Joe has presented numerous lectures on a variety of employment law topics, including at the Strategic Steps for Growth program at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Emory University School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, the Community Business Program of Columbia University, the Human Resources Association of New York, the New York State Society of CPAs, and the National Academy of Continuing Legal Education.
Prior to joining A.Y. Strauss, Joe was a founding partner in a boutique employment law firm that focused exclusively on representing employers. Before that, he practiced employment law at one of New York City’s oldest law firms.
Honors, Awards & Recognitions
- New York Metro Super Lawyers – Labor and Employment Law, Thomson Reuters, 2020–2022
- New York Metro Rising Stars – Labor and Employment Law, Thomson Reuters, 2013–2019
- AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015–2022
- Top 40 Under 40 – Labor and Employment, State of New York, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2019
- Attorney of the Year Award – Finalist, SmartCEO Magazine, 2014
- Quoted in “McDonald’s Franchisee to Pay $1.6 Million in Sexual-Harassment Case,” Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), July 2022.
- Quoted in “DOL Overtime Claims Are on the Rise,” SHRM, April 2022.
- Quoted in “Business community decries worker-safety bill,” Crain’s New York Business, April 2021.
- Quoted in “CDC Recommends Employer Steps to Increase Vaccine Acceptance,” SHRM, April 2021.
- Quoted in “Is It OK to Drink Alcohol, Smoke or Eat During a Virtual Work Meeting?” SHRM, February 2021.
- Association of Workplace Investigators – Certificate Holder (AWI-CH)
- New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- New York City Bar Association
- “Overtime and #MeToo: The Two Greatest Employment Law Risks for Growing Companies,” 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.
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University (J.D., 2007)
Haverford College (B.A., 2004)
Oxford University, Pembroke College (2000-2001)
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
New York State