Joseph J. Centeno

Joseph J. Centeno


Philadelphia, PA
New York, NY

How Joe Helps Clients

Joe Centeno, who is the co-chair of Buchanan’s Labor, Employment, Benefits & Immigration section, has a national practice which includes collective and class action litigation, employment litigation, labor relations, policies, leave, termination of employment, joint employment, diversity strategy, Title IX and executive employment agreements. He represents public and private employers in matters relating to labor organizing, negotiations, arbitrations and issues before the National Labor Relations Board.

Joe counsels employers on virtually all employment and labor related laws and regulations. He has extensive jury trial experience and has been lead trial counsel in numerous high stakes trials. He also has broad experience in defending claims before state and federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, where he served as a Commissioner by mayoral appointment.

Joe is also passionate about increasing diversity in the legal profession. He has served as the President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and currently serves on the Comcast NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council and as Outside General Counsel to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

What Clients Can Expect

Clients can expect highly responsive, thoughtful and strategic guidance and advocacy from Joe. Joe is passionately client-focused and brings almost 25 years of legal, human resources, and business experience to every matter.

Deeds, not words.

Outside the Office

Joe enjoys yoga, golf, and his friends and family. He has taken multiple overseas golf trips and he is a member of a baseball fantasy league that began in law school and continues to this day.

Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Diversity In the Bar publication’s “Best of the Best” Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Fellow, Temple Academy of Advocacy
  • Filipino American Association of Philadelphia, Inc. (FAAPI) Centennial Award for Public Interest Law (2012)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, 2019
  • Named as one of Pennsylvania's "Super Lawyers®" (2007, 2009-2018)
  • The Legal Intelligencer, Diverse Attorney of the Year, 2011
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Best Under 40, 2006

Proof Points

  • Represented major employers in FLSA collective and class actions for “misclassification” and “off the clock” claims.
  • Represented major financial institution in collective action alleging retaliation relating to U-5 filings and discriminatory discharge.
  • Represented global manufacturing company in multiple labor arbitrations.
  • Represented global supply company in restrictive covenant litigation.
  • Represented national health care company in multi-jurisdictional labor and employment matters.
  • Represented global manufacturing company in litigation brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Special Labor Counsel to municipalities and townships as lead negotiator for collective bargaining agreements.
  • Represented a major university in handling federal employment discrimination litigation.
  • Represented a national retailer in negotiating and drafting an employment agreement for the CEO.