Joseph S. Brown



Mr. Brown is a seasoned employment and business litigator who helps clients devise strategies to minimize risk and resolve problems in a cost-effective manner.  He represents management in disputes involving harassment, discrimination, wage & hour claims, restrictive covenants, employment contracts, retaliation, whistleblower claims, and other complex business litigation.  He also provides day-to-day advice to employers on a broad array of workplace issues.

Mr. Brown has extensive experience representing municipalities, public officials, and school districts in high-profile matters involving civil rights claims, First Amendment retaliation, NY Education Law, and Article 78 proceedings.  He has tried multiple cases and led numerous hearings before administrative agencies. As an appellate litigator, Mr. Brown has successfully briefed and argued nearly 30 appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and state appellate courts.  A list of Mr. Brown’s notable litigation victories can be accessed here

Mr. Brown is the editor of the firm’s weekly electronic newsletter Employment & Business Litigation Pointers, which aims to provide timely information and practical, business-oriented solutions to the latest employment and business litigation developments.  He regularly speaks and writes about a wide variety of employment law and litigation topics.

As a leader in the community and the legal profession, Mr. Brown has received several honors, including the National Federation for Just Communities Community Leader Award and Buffalo Business First's 40 Under Forty Award.  He currently serves as Vice President of the foundation board for the Summit Center, which serves individuals with autism and other developmental/behavioral challenges.  He has previously served as president of the Minority Bar Foundation and Minority Bar Association of WNY, vice president of the Buffalo Prep and Neighborhood Legal Services boards, and an elected member of the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates.

Prior to joining Hurwitz Fine, Mr. Brown was a partner in the business litigation group at Buffalo’s largest law firm, where he co-chaired the employment litigation practice and served as the firm's diversity partner. He started his legal career as a litigator at a large law firm in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Court Admissions

Courts of the State of New York
United States Supreme Court
United States 2nd Circuit
   Court of Appeals
United States District Court
   Western District of New York
   Southern District of New York
   Northern District of New York
   Eastern District of New York

Admitted to Practice

New York
Washington, D.C.
Virginia (inactive)


University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1999)
University of Rochester (B.A., magna cum laude, 1996)

Professional Recognition

National Federation for Just Communities, Community Leader Award
Buffalo Business First, 40 Under Forty Award

Professional Associations

Bar Association of Erie County
New York State Bar Association
Minority Bar Association of Western New York

Community Associations

Minority Bar Foundation
Summit Foundation

Firm News

05/05/22: Buffalo Business First: Employee monitoring law takes effect this week in New York state

05/04/22: Legal Alert: The Time Has Come: New York Electronic Monitoring Notice Law to Take Effect May 7, 2022

12/22/21: Legal Alert: Update on OSHA's COVID-19 Mandate: What New York Employers Need to Know

11/11/21: Legal Alert: OSHA Unveils COVID-19 Rule for Private-Sector Workers: What your Business Needs to Know

10/26/21: Legal Alert: NYS Department of Labor Issues FAQs on Employment Issues Related to Recreational Cannabis Use

10/08/21: Legal Alert: NY HERO ACT UPDATE: COVID-19 Designation Extended to October 31, 2021, New Guidance and Updated Model Plans

09/28/21: Blog: Joseph Brown Featured in Buffalo Business First Article on Mental Health in the Workplace

09/10/21: Legal Alert: President Biden Proposes New Federal Rule to Rquire Businesses with 100+ Employees to Mandate Vaccinations

09/07/21: Legal Alert: HERO Act Update: What New York Employers Need to Know About Implementing their Workplace Safety Plans

08/06/21: Legal Alert: What Employers Need to Know about Long Covid Disability Claims

07/19/21: Legal Alert: President Biden’s Proposed Regulation of Non-Competes: Three FAQs

06/02/21: Legal Alert: COVID-19 Vaccination Updates from the EEOC and New York State: Five FAQs

04/14/21: Legal Alert: What the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Means For NY Employers

03/26/21: Legal Alert: New York Issues Guidance on Paid Leave for Vaccinations

03/13/21: Legal Alert: New York Employees Now Eligible for Paid Leave When Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

03/10/21: Legal Alert: My Employee is Fully Vaccinated: Now What? (The Remix)

02/25/21: Legal Alert: My Employee is Fully Vaccinated: Now What?

02/24/21: Legal Alert: Six FAQs About Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Policies in New York

01/13/21: Amherst Bee: Hurwitz & Fine to review 2020 employment litigation, advise businesses on future

12/30/20: Legal Alert: COVID-19 Update: New Guidance from NYS on Shortened Quarantine Timeline and Handling Quarantine Leave Following Expiration of the FFCRA

12/02/20: Buffalo Business First: Fines are hefty for businesses that violate New York-mandated restrictions

11/27/20: Legal Alert: New York’s Cluster Action Initiative: How to Determine if Your Business is “Essential” in a Red Zone

11/04/20: Legal Alert: New York Adopts New Guidelines Allowing Out-of-State Travelers to "Test Out" of Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine

10/09/20: Legal Alert: Revised FFCRA Regulations May Require Updates to Employer COVID-19 Leave Policies

09/29/20: Step Out Buffalo Business: How To Manage Negative Social Media When the World is on Fire

07/10/20: Legal Alert: New York’s Travel Advisory: What It Means for Employers

07/09/20: Legal Alert: Has Your Business Updated Its Office Safety Plans Based on the Latest NYS Guidance?

06/10/20: Legal Alert: NY Workers’ Compensation Board Issues Fact Sheet on COVID-19 Claims

06/02/20: Legal Alert: With WNY Poised for Phase 2, Is Your Business Ready to Re-open?

05/19/20: Legal Alert: New York Unveils More Details Regarding Phase 1 of Reopening: Is Your Business Included?

05/14/20: WSHU Public Radio: How Coronavirus Relief May Lead To Tort Reform

05/13/20: Legal Alert: New York Unveils More Details Regarding Phase 1 of Reopening: Is Your Business Included?

05/11/20: Buffalo Business First: Don’t Risk Litigation: Revise Employment Policies Before Reopening

05/07/20: Legal Alert: What Happens to Your PPP Loan Forgiveness Amount if a Laid Off Employee Rejects an Offer to Rehire?

04/28/20: Legal Alert: DOL Clarifies When an Employer Can Require an Employee to Use Paid Time Off Under the FFCRA

04/20/20: Legal Alert: EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Return to Work Considerations under the Americans With Disabilities Act

04/15/20: Legal Alert: New COVID-19 Guidance from the EEOC and OSHA on ADA Issues and Workplace Transmission Reporting

04/12/20: Legal Alert: Empire State Development Issues Updated Guidance on “Essential Business”

04/10/20: Legal Alert: New CDC Guidance for When an Employee is Exposed to Coronavirus and Other Considerations When an Employee Refuses to Come into Work

04/10/20: Legal Alert: DOL Issues Temporary Regulations and Additional Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Cares Act

03/30/20: Legal Alert: DOL Publishes Additional Guidance on the FFCRA and the CARES Act is Signed into Law Providing Additional Relief to Small Businesses

03/25/20: Legal Alert: DOL Publishes Notice Poster of Employee Rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Issues New Guidance

03/24/20: Legal Alert: New York Passes Paid Sick Leave Law and Takes Other Measures in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

03/18/20: Business First: As employers field legal questions, attorneys say communication and flexibility are key

03/16/20: Legal Alert: COVID-19: Employment Law Legislative Update

03/12/20: Legal Alert: COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know About the Coronavirus

03/11/20: Blog: Joseph S. Brown Joins Hurwitz & Fine as an Employment & Business Litigation Member