Joseph A. Gawlowicz

Joseph A. Gawlowicz

Rochester, New York

Joseph A. Gawlowicz focuses on workplace law, working on behalf of public and private unions, and individuals, regarding the spectrum of labor & employment issues, employee benefits and related litigation. His diverse background helps him advocate for clients' goals through creative analysis of issues, incisive problem solving, and empathetic and persuasive communication with all stakeholders in a legal issue or dispute. Joseph's wide experience in communication, and personal affinity for working people and union organizations, gives him a broad toolkit of skills which he uses to advocate for the interests of clients efficiently and effectively to help them meet their objectives.

Joseph works with a range of public and private labor unions, and multiemployer benefit and training funds, advising fund trustees, administrators and union leaders regarding benefit and training plan design and interpretation, employer contribution delinquency collection, employer withdrawal liability, member and retiree benefits eligibility, ERISA, NLRA, LMRA, LMRDA, HIPAA/HITECH, Affordable Care Act, and DOL and IRS regulation compliance, and participant communication. He works with plan trustees and advises them on legal issues and trustee fiduciary duties; counsels union leadership on various aspects of union organization, contract interpretation and grievances; reviews, revises and restates plan documents for legal compliance and to achieve union goals; negotiates collective bargaining agreements, individual employment contracts, and severance agreements; and works with union representatives, employees and employers to resolve issues and foster good relations among all involved in the employment relationship.

Joseph litigates a wide variety of wage and hour, discrimination and retaliation, contract, collection, duty of fair representation and ERISA actions for unions, and individuals, in federal and state administrative proceedings and trial and appellate courts. He also has experience with insurance defense, premises liability and personal injury cases, education and school law, administrative agency practice, class and collective actions, and electronic discovery. He also arbitrates disciplinary and contract interpretation grievances under collective bargaining agreements, and works to achieve settlement disputes informally through alternative dispute resolution such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law Focusing on Individual and Civil Rights
  • Commercial Services
  • Personal Services
  • Litigation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Labor & Employment
  • Employment for Business
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Individual Employment

Litigation Percentage

  • 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 2007
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2012


  • University at Buffalo Law School, Buffalo, New York
    • Juris Doctor - 2006
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    • Master of Science - 2003
    • Major: Information Technology
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts - 1997
    • Honors: High Honors
    • Major: Photojournalism

Published Works

  • “New York State Bar Association: Report of the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession,” April 2011


  • NY Paid Family Leave Law, SMACNA, 2017

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star in Employee Benefits/Employment & Labor Law for 2014, Upstate New York Super Lawyers magazine

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The Sedona Conference, Electronic Document Retention and Production Working Group on eDiscovery
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Member
  • Monroe County Bar Association, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • Dept. of Veterans Affairs Accredited Veterans’ Representative
  • MENSA, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Harter Secrest & Emery, LLP, Associate, 2006 - 2009
  • Brown & Hutchinson, Associate, 2009 - 2013


  • English