John C. Petrella is a Partner in the Firm's Newark, NJ office and Chair of the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group. He is an experienced labor, employment and commercial litigator at both the trial and appellate level. Mr. Petrella concentrates his practice on representing management in all areas of labor and employment-related matters.

He has litigated and tried numerous state and federal high-stakes multi-plaintiff cases involving all categories of discrimination, hostile work environment, restrictive covenants, theft of trade secrets, breach of employment contract, whistleblower, employment related torts, and retaliation claims among others.

Mr. Petrella also represents private and public employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, New York Division of Human Rights and other federal, state and local fair employment practices agencies. He represents leading private employers in a wide range of industries, including technology, healthcare, automotive, construction, banking, insurance and telecommunications.

Mr. Petrella also counsels clients nationally on preventative measures to help avoid litigation, such as reductions in force, trade secrets, post-employment restrictive covenants, complex family leave issues as well as drafting employee guidelines, handbooks and best practices to resolve internal complaints of harassment and retaliation.

Mr. Petrella frequently writes and lectures on employment law matters and is the co-Editor of Business and Legal Resources' (BLR) New Jersey Employment Law Letter which serves as an HR and employment law resource helping employers understand new laws, regulations and court cases.

He is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section serving as the Co-Chair of the Restrictive Covenants Sub-Committee and is a member and lecturer for the Academy of New Jersey Management Attorneys (ANJMA). Since 2008, Mr. Petrella has been listed among the region's leading employment lawyers by New Jersey Super Lawyers and New York Magazine's Best Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law.


Employment Law & Litigation, Trade Secrets & Non-Competes, Human Resources Counseling & Compliance, Construction Law & Litigation, Insurance Law


Auto Dealers & Manufacturers, Construction & Engineering, Financial Services, Media, Telecom & Digital

For a description of the selection process methodology for each of the publications and organizations which have included Genova Burns LLC in their rankings or awards, please click here.

  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2023
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®: New Jersey Employment Litigation: Defense, 2009-2023 
  • Best Lawyers in America® in Management for Employment Law and Labor Law, ranked since 2008
  • New York Magazine® Best Lawyers for Labor and Employment, since 2008

 * No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. See Awards/Honors Methodology.