Employment Law

We offer effective representation by using tailored litigation planning and strategy to obtain the best result at a reasonable cost. We excel at addressing emergent problems with our clients that often have significant financial and long-range implications.

Employment practice cases are often filed by one or more plaintiffs under circumstances of hiring, promotion, quid pro quo harassment, and hostile environmental harassment. They are sometimes brought on behalf of a purported class of employees and can involve the following theories of recovery:

  • Retaliation and interference with rights under the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • Discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy), religion or national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
  • Discrimination on the basis of disability of a "qualified person" in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Violation of the Illinois Jury Act which provides employees with a right to time off from work to serve on a jury.
  • Common law claims, including retaliatory discharge, public policy discharge, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.

We litigate employment matters before a number of tribunals, including state departments of human rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and federal courts.

The Employment Practice Group also defends employers in cases involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, including Department of Labor audits, the Occupational Safety and Labor Act and the Workers' Compensation Act; the Employee Retirement Income Security Act; employee privacy rights; trade secrets protection and covenants not to compete. 

We are aware of the escalating costs of handling and defending employment disputes. Unlike many litigators who spend years engaging in expensive discovery only to recommend settlement on the eve of trial, the department's lawyers pride themselves on practical problem solving by resolving cases early and economically when appropriate, and by aggressively taking them to trial when they need to be tried. As a result of this practical orientation, we also have extensive experience in arbitration, mediation, mini-trials and other alternative dispute resolution procedures.

As part of our litigation management goals, we provide an early assessment of each case to determine the best avenue toward resolution, considering both the nature and potential exposure of the claim and the needs of the client. It is our feeling that the best way to accomplish this assessment is to work as a team with our clients so that informed decisions can be reached regarding case resolution. Cost containment and effective representation can best be served through early and active involvement on the part of the client, which also enhances the chances of obtaining the best possible result.