A graduate of Harvard and Yale, Joshua R. Goodbaum represents individuals in litigation and negotiation, with particular emphases in employment, civil rights, and appeals. He has represented clients in every level of our justice system, from local trial courts to the Supreme Court of the United States, in matters ranging from constitutional law to contract disputes.
Josh’s experience in Connecticut employment law runs the gamut, from discrimination (on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, pregnancy, or national origin) and sexual harassment, to wrongful termination, retaliation, non-competition agreements, contract disputes, and wage and hour issues, including claims for unpaid overtime and commissions. He has successfully counseled employees and executives in the negotiation of separation agreements of all sizes – from less than $25,000 to more than $25 million.
Beyond his focus on employment law, Josh regularly assists his fellow lawyers with appeals and other complex legal projects, regardless of the subject matter. He honed his writing skills while serving as a law clerk for Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch of the Supreme Court of the United States when Justice Gorsuch was a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Josh’s writing has appeared in a variety of legal publications, including the Harvard Law Review.
In 2018, Josh was elected to serve a three-year term as a Delegate in the Connecticut Bar Association House of Delegates. He is Immediate Past Chair of the Bar Association’s 650-member Labor & Employment Law Section and also serves on the Executive Committee of the Federal Practice Section.
Josh’s preeminent status in the Connecticut legal community is widely recognized. He ranks among The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. The Connecticut Law Tribune named him one of its 2015 “New Leaders of the Law,” and he has been designated as a “Rising Star” by Connecticut SuperLawyers since 2015. Martindale-Hubbell rates him as AV Preeminent, which indicates that his peers and judges rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.
Prior to joining Garrison, Levin-Epstein in 2011, Josh worked at a large corporate firm in Washington, DC, and interned at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Josh earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. He graduated magna cum laude, reflecting a grade point average in the top ten percent of his graduating class. While at Harvard, Josh served as a Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Co-Chair of the Public Interest Auction. Josh went to college at Yale University, graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in history. Between college and law school, he worked for an industrial supply distribution company in Chicago, IL.
Josh is a native of the New Haven area. In his spare time, he enjoys choral singing, playing tennis, and doting on his dog, Mungo.
- Won $1.8 million jury verdict for cardiothoracic surgeon in breach of contract action against his former employer, Hartford Healthcare Medical Group
- Represented gay sexual harassment victim who was repeatedly propositioned by his boss, the CEO of a prominent Connecticut employer. Negotiated confidential settlement worth approximately half a million dollars.
- Co-counseled with Nina Pirrotti and renowned civil rights attorneys Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg in representing five students and alumnae who alleged that their university’s indifferent response to reports of sexual assault and harassment violated Title IX. Case settled for $1.285 million. The university made significant positive changes in its procedures for responding to reports of sexual violence.
- Principally drafted the appellate brief that resulted in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming a jury verdict of nearly $2 million in damages for our client, a scientist who blew the whistle on dangerous practices at Pfizer’s Groton, CT laboratory. See McClain v. Pfizer, 505 F. App’x 59 (2d Cir. 2012).
- Represented senior executive in age discrimination case against large Connecticut employer. Case settled prior to trial for approximately $2 million.
- Principally drafted the appellate brief that resulted in the Connecticut Appellate Court affirming a jury verdict of $307,000 for our client, Jeffrey Nelson, after his former employer, Tradewind Aviation, defamed him by insinuating without any proof that he had been terminated for cause and used illegal drugs. See Nelson v. Tradewind Aviation, 155 Conn. App. 519 (2015). Subsequently drafted successful opposition to defendant’s petition for certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court. See 316 Conn. 918 (2015) (denying petition).
- Represented financial executive in litigation over scope of non-competition agreement. Following litigation, the parties agreed on a minimally restrictive agreement which did not effectively limit our client’s employment opportunities.
- Represented several dozen skilled service providers, including massage therapists and aestheticians, in wage and hour dispute with international spa company. The case was resolved to the parties’ satisfaction.
- Represented insurance agent for national insurance company under Connecticut free speech statute after agent’s contract was not renewed following his complaints about fraudulent insurance practices. Case settled for $350,000.
Representative Speaking Engagements
- Is There a Future for Non-Competes? A Discussion of Recent Trends at the State and Federal Level, Connecticut Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section Virtual Meeting (Jan. 2020)
- Ten Things HR Professionals Can Do to Avoid Getting a Letter from Me, Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management 2019 HR Summit (Sept. 2019)
- Federal Court Discovery: A to Z, Connecticut Bar Association CLE program (Mar. 2019)
- The Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, Connecticut Bar Association Advanced Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Mar. 2019)
- Managing Employee Speech: What’s Free & What’s Not, Connecticut Business & Industry Association Annual Human Resources Conference (Mar. 2019)
- Workplace Absence: How to Avoid Pitfalls Caused by the Interplay of Disability, Medical Leave, and Workers’ Compensation Law, Connecticut Bar Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2018)
- Federal, State & Local Protections for LGBT Workers: The Evolving Legal Landscape, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2018)
- The Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, Connecticut Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference (Mar. 2018)
- Defending LGBT Workers from Discrimination, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2017)
- Transgender Issues in the Workplace, Connecticut Bar Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2017)
- CHRO: How to Bring or Defend an Employment Case, Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (Apr. 2017)
- The Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, Connecticut Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference (Mar. 2017)
- Advocating for LGBTQ Elders, Connecticut Bar Association Elder Law & Human Rights Sections (Feb. 2017)
- Campus Sexual Assault Investigations: A (Very Brief) Introduction, District of Connecticut Bench-Bar Conference (Oct. 2016)
- The Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, Connecticut Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference (Mar. 2016)
- Employment Law Developments in Connecticut’s State & Federal Courts, Connecticut Bar Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2015)
- U.S. and Connecticut Supreme Courts Update, Connecticut Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference (Dec. 2014)
- Introduction to Wage & Hour Law, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) (Nov. 2014)
- Discovery of Comparator Evidence,National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference (Jun. 2014)
- U.S. Supreme Court Update, Connecticut Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference (Dec. 2013)
- SCOUTUS Ruling on Standard of Proof in Certain Race Discrimination Claims Will Have Limited Impact in Connecticut, Connecticut Law Tribune (March 31, 2020)
- Damages in Common-Law Employment Cases (with Joseph D. Garrison), in The Comprehensive Guide to Economic Damages (N. Fannon & J. Dunitz eds., 5th ed. 2018)
- Conn. Court Says Goodbye to Garcetti: Recent Ruling Enhances Protections for Employee Whistleblowers, Connecticut Law Tribune (Oct. 27, 2015)
- The Supreme Court of Stability?: Employment Law in the U.S. Supreme Court, Connecticut Law Tribune (Jul. 27, 2015)
- Handling Suspected Employee Theft, Connecticut Law Tribune (Apr. 27, 2015)
- Workplace Bullying: A Problem for Everyone, Connecticut Law Tribune (Dec. 22, 2014)
- The Minimum Wage: An Ongoing Debate,American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law: FLASH (Jun./Jul. 2014)
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: Court Reaffirms Commitment to Enforcing Agreements, Connecticut Law Tribune (Mar. 3, 2014)
- Recent Case— Right to a Fair Trial, 121 Harv. L. Rev. 2238 (2008).
Fantastic outcome and experience - you need to use Josh Goodbaum! Took my employment separation case to Josh and he really took the time to listen and understand my situation. He not only wanted to know what happened, he was also sympathetic to what I was going through. We discussed the outcome I hoped to receive from my case, and Josh gave me all the options to pursue and the probability of success for each one. We decided on a course of action and he took it from there. Throughout the process Josh kept me informed every step of the way, communication was fantastic and all issues were reviewed and cleared with me before he proceeded. Josh delivered beyond my expectations, he removed the legal blocks on my future employment and negotiated a larger settlement then I expected. I highly recommend Josh Goodbaum for help with your employment issues. — M.W., Shelton, CT
If I could give 10 stars for my experience with Josh Goodbaum I would! He had a wonderful ability to be both sympathetic to my situation, and also pragmatic. And his responsiveness was crazy good! Best interaction with any professional I have ever had! — J.C., Glastonbury, CT
I had an excellent experience with Josh Goodbaum. He is an effective negotiator and extremely knowledgeable about employment law. He was very responsive, responding to my questions and providing me with feedback on the status of negotiations within hours or less. His advice was practical, objective and sound, making it possible to sort out complicated questions and possible scenarios in a clear-eyed way. I highly recommend him as an advocate for employment related issues. — Former Client
I was a client of Josh Goodbaum and was very impressed. He offered sound advice, was very straightforward, honest and fair in his billings. I choose an hourly fee structure, gave an initial deposit and was refunded the amount not used. He gave expert advice and didn't exaggerate his hours. I wouldn't hesitate to use him again. — Former Client
Joshua Goodbaum was a life saver. From our very first meeting, he told us exactly what we needed to hear - the truth. We learned about the state of the law, how it applied to our situation, and our various options. We left Josh's office with a strategy that was fluid enough to adapt to things as they continued to unfold. He was always available and accessible, and kept bringing us back to center. We ultimately achieved an excellent result for reasonable legal fees. Our highest recommendation. — J.G.
I submitted the questionnaire online and was contacted within 2 days. I met with Josh Goodbaum and had a truly enlightening experience. Josh went over my case in detail and explained all of my options. I asked many questions which he patiently answered. When I left, I truly felt that every penny of the fee was well spent. His opinions led me to the proper decision, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a patient and knowledgeable lawyer. On a follow-up call, which he returned the same day, I was again very pleased with his opinion and demeanor. Again, if you need a good lawyer, Josh is the right person. — R.B.
I recently worked with Josh Goodbaum on a sensitive personal matter. He was outstanding. He listened to what I had to say, carefully and thoughtfully, and worked with me to craft a careful response to the “other side.” He was very skilled at finding a way to communicate directly, strongly, but not aggressively. He was committed to successful resolution. I could not recommend Josh more highly. — D.B.
I had a very positive experience working with Josh, he was extremely professional, extremely knowledgeable and really knew about CT employment laws. He kept me informed every step of the way. Josh was very empathetic toward my wife and myself and advised us on the best course of action with what we were dealing with. I would recommend Josh to anyone who needs an employment attorney. — S.P., East Haddam, CT
Josh helped me through a very difficult time in my life. He was kind, sympathetic and encouraging. I would highly recommend attorney Goodbaum. — D.C., Hamden, CT
I chose Josh to take my case after meeting with several different attorneys. Although they all wanted to work with me on a case I filed against a former employer, I chose Josh because he was easy to talk to and sympathetic to the emotional aspects of my situation. He never spoke down to me, and always involved me in decisions on how to proceed or respond. He was also honest with me about strengths and weaknesses of my case. He was responsive to all emails and phone calls and took the time to answer questions and explain things that needed detail. Don't let his friendly demeanor fool you - when it came time to go in front of a judge or interact with the defense counsel, he was amazing. Articulate, intelligent and extraordinarily savvy, I always felt like I was in the best hands. It's not surprising he was able to help settle my case to my satisfaction. Highly recommend Josh and his firm! — R.H., Windham, CT
Josh Goodbaum was the associate attorney on my case. With Josh Goodbaum's extensive research, knowledge and guidance I felt confident during the whole process of my case. Josh is a passionate lawyer who puts everything into every aspect of the case. Josh is honest about all the variables that play into your case and the timeline of the settlement. He kept me informed during the process and calm throughout the whole thing. To be in a situation that requires a lawyer for employment law is difficult enough, the right lawyers are the deciding factors in the result of your case. I felt blessed to have found Josh Goodbaum and have him by my side during the process. I would highly recommend Josh Goodbaum and Garrison law to anyone who is dealing with harassment or unfair labor practices. I'm blessed to have him as a lawyer however when you have Garrisons law firm on your side you are apart of a family. — D.S., Uncasville, CT
When I became unemployed for the first time in my life at 53 years old, I was very apprehensive about my first meeting with Josh Goodbaum, to say the least. As the time passed, I realized what a competent, educated, and genuinely kind man he was. My apprehension soon vanished, and the outcome was better than I ever expected. I would highly recommend Josh Goodbaum to anyone needing assistance with employment cases. — M.O., Seymour, CT
I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT
Josh Goodbaum handled my brother’s employment case. He was very professional and he kept me up to date on everything pertaining to his case. Dealing with Josh was a joy. I never felt nervous at any time. I would not only recommend the law firm of Garrison Levin-Epstin, I would highly recommend having Josh Goodbaum as your lawyer. — L.E., West Haven, CT
Josh Goodbaum is a passionate lawyer who puts everything into every aspect of the case. Josh is honest about all the variables that play into your case and the time line of the settlement. He kept me informed during the process and calm throughout the whole thing. To be in a situation that requires a lawyer for employment law is difficult enough, the right lawyers are the deciding factors in the result of your case. I felt blessed to have found Josh Goodbaum and have him by my side during the process. I would highly recommend Josh Goodbaum and Garrison law to anyone who is dealing with harassment or unfair labor practices. I'm blessed to have him as a lawyer. However when you have Garrison law firm on your side, you are a part of a family. — D.S., Uncasville, CT
Josh Goodbaum is one of the most compassionate attorneys I have ever met. His knowledge and guidance is what got me through one of the most difficult experiences of my life. The legal system can be both intimidating and confusing. At times you tend to question yourself and ask if it’s all worth it. Josh assured me the entire time that I was doing the right thing. I never had to call and ask what was going on. Josh kept me briefed on a regular basis and never gave me inaccurate or unrealistic time frames. I knew what to expect and when. In the end we reached to a mutual resolution to my case. — Former Client
I can’t imagine having anyone else by my side. I would highly recommend Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. (and specifically Josh Goodbaum) to anyone that is facing unfair labor practices or harassment of any kind. — T.M., North Branford, CT
I had lost my job two weeks into my maternity leave. I thought I had a case, but I was exhausted and consumed with fear for the future. After meeting with Josh Goodbaum, I immediately had a sense that he would take care of my family. As much as I was blown away with how personable Josh was, I was also stunned to watch him work. It is clear that this is Josh’s calling. He was by my side every step of the way, taking the time to answer every question and concern and to reassure me. Without him, I am not sure I would have had the courage to stand up and fight. To anyone needing legal help, there are not words to express what a good choice I made. I hope you choose the Garrison firm’s assistance in your journey, and I hope things go as well for you as they did for my family. — N.B., North Windham, CT
Josh Goodbaum’s professional experience was evident in the way he handled my case. I had no idea what to expect, seeing I had never spoken to a lawyer before. But I was immediately put at ease, and each visit to his office was like visiting family. I felt like I had known him forever. I can’t thank him enough. — C.G., Hopkinton, RI
April 7th, 2020 Taking FMLA Leave? What You Need to Disclose to Your Employer
February 11th, 2019 What the Connecticut Legislature Can Do to Prevent Sexual Harassment
September 24th, 2018 10 Common Questions about Employment Contracts
April 12th, 2018 10 (More) Common Questions about Severance Agreements
January 26th, 2018 “Labor” & “Employment” Lawyers – or “Labor Law” versus “Employment Law”
January 24th, 2018 What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment
December 5th, 2017 What to Do If You Are Being Sexually Harassed
July 17th, 2017 10 Common Questions about Severance Agreements