Joseph P. Harkins is a litigator who defends employers in individual and class action cases in all areas of employment law in judicial, administrative, and arbitral settings. Joe also serves as Associate General Counsel to Littler on human resources matters.
Joe frequently defends employers in claims of sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, race, age, disability and leave discrimination, as well as retaliation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state fair employment practices agencies, and in federal and state courts. Joe also litigates wage and hour collective actions and FCRA and COBRA class actions. He has civil jury trial experience in several jurisdictions and has conducted numerous labor arbitrations and arbitration enforcement actions. Additionally, Joe represents employers before the U.S. Department of Justice in citizenship discrimination proceedings.
In addition to litigation, Joe advises private sector employers, nonprofit associations, law firms and background check companies on federal and state laws regulating employee screening. Overall, he counsels employers on:
- Family and Medical Leave Act / Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
- Fair Labor Standards Act compliance
- Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance
- Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
- Disparate impact analyses under various anti-discrimination statutes
Prior to his 31 years as a management labor and employment lawyer, Joe served for six years as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, New York. There he gained extensive jury trial experience, including the prosecution of homicide cases for two years. Based on this experience, Joe often advises employers when they or their employees interact with the criminal justice system.
During law school, Joe served on the staff of the law journal, Law and Policy in International Business.