Joseph J. Centeno
Chair, Labor Relations & Employment Law
Partner Print This Page

Phone: 215-665-3107


Joseph J. Centeno chairs Obermayer's Labor Relations & Employment Law Department. His national practice includes complex commercial litigation, labor relations, executive employment agreements and employment litigation. He has extensive jury trial experience and has been lead counsel in litigation relating to contracts, torts, non-compete agreements and employment and labor disputes. He also has broad experience in defending claims before state and federal courts and agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mr. Centeno also has strong capabilities in labor contract negotiations, campaigns, arbitrations and charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Centeno represents public and private employers in matters relating to labor negotiations and arbitrations, and he counsels employers on virtually all employment and labor related laws and regulations.

Recent representative engagements include the following:

  • Lead attorney representing major financial institution in collective action alleging retaliation relating to U-5 filings and discriminatory discharge.
  • Lead attorney for multiple labor arbitrations for global manufacturing company.
  • Lead attorney representing global supply company in restrictive covenant litigation.
  • Lead attorney representing national health care company in multi-jurisdictional labor and employment matters.
  • Lead attorney representing national 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.
  • Lead attorney representing major university in handling federal employment discrimination litigation.

Mr. Centeno has been successful in appeals before the United States Supreme Court on an employer's obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. Mr. Centeno also has been successful before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on issues relating to trade secret protections in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Centeno is active in Obermayer’s management. He is the chair of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Department. Mr. Centeno is the firm's Pro Bono Partner, a member of the Long Range Planning Committee, the Chairman and Founder of the firm's Diversity Committee and Co-Chair of the Education Law Practice Group.

Honors & Awards

    • Filipino American Association of Philadelphia, Inc. (FAAPI) Centennial Award for Public Interest Law (2012)
    • Named as one of Pennsylvania's "Super Lawyers®" as listed in both Philadelphia magazine and Thomson Reuters, Legal magazine, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2013)

Professional & Civic Activities

    • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, President
    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, President
    • Philadelphia Bar Association, Judicial Selection and Retention Committee
    • Philadelphia Bar Association, Board of Governors (2005-2006)
    • American Bar Association, Chairperson to Young Lawyer's Subcommittee to the Employment and Labor Relations Committee (Litigation Section)
    • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
    • Amherst College Alumni Association
    • Homeless Advocacy Project