LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

With unemployment numbers still high following the recession, more laid off and disgruntled workers are resorting to the legal system to air their grievances. With a litany of relevant municipal, state, and federal statutes and regulations, navigating labor and employment law issues is more confusing than ever. In employment matters, our attorneys have the expertise and experience to represent individual plaintiffs and Fortune 500 companies. On the labor side, we pride ourselves in exclusively representing management in the resolution of labor disputes. Not only will we vigorously prosecute or defend your claim, but we try to settle disputes before they escalate, and identify areas of concern before they turn into costly litigation. Our attorneys can provide you or your company with informed and thoughtful advice and counsel in the following areas:

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

If an employee is terminated, demoted, forced to resign, or suffers any adverse employment action because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, sexual orientation, or parental status, they may have a claim against their employer. The same is true if an employee has been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Our attorneys have successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants and can quickly and effectively evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of an employee’s claim.

Wage and Hour

Employers who regularly employ hourly workers are often unaware of their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other state and federal laws regarding employee wages. Even if an employer unknowingly violates such laws, it could be subject to hefty fines and damages if found not in compliance. Our attorneys have represented classes of plaintiffs bringing claims as well as employers defending lawsuits and audits brought by the Department of Labor.

Employment Contracts

Although most employees are “at will”—meaning they can be fired at any time for any reason without consequence—some employees and high-level executives operate under an employment contract, and are often subject to non-compete agreements. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with sensitive and confidential business information that is often at issue when relationships with executives and key employees go sour.

Labor Arbitrations

If your company is bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union, chances are you are subject to mandatory arbitration before a board of individuals who do not have your best interests in mind. If a dispute arises between you and the Union or a Union employee files a grievance against you, obtaining qualified counsel is an absolute must. Our attorneys have represented management before arbitration boards and know what it takes to be successful, even if the deck is already stacked against your company.

Unfair Labor Practice Charges

If your company is facing an unwanted Union organizing campaign, chances are that it has or will shortly experience labor proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Unions often try to frame legitimate business activities as unfair labor practices in an attempt to force companies into submission and force them to collectively bargain. Conversely, if a Union is engaging in unlawful conduct, harassing your employees and interfering with your business, you may be able to bring a charge against it. In this area, sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and our attorneys are skilled in formulating strategies to ensure your interests are protected throughout the Union organizing campaign.

Counseling for Employers

Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and burdensome. What most employers do not realize is that effective counseling before a questionable employment action is taken can help stop lawsuits before they begin. While we are experienced litigators in this area, we always strive to avoid the courtroom when it is in the best interests of our clients. Whether multiple employees are causing significant workplace issues or you just want to revise some of your company policies, our attorneys can provide valuable counseling on a wide range of labor and employment law topics and issues that can prevent future litigation.

Representative Cases

Jackson v. Health Care Service Corp.
Case No. 11 CV 2886 – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Represented terminated employee in age and disability discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, a large health insurance company.

Int’l Marble & Granite, Inc. v. United Order of Am. Bricklayers & Stone Masons, Local 21
Case No. 10-cv-2852 – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Represented multiple companies in an action to vacate a labor arbitration award finding non-signatories liable for violations of a collective bargaining agreement.

Canady v. 1031 Rush, Inc.
Case No. 11-cv-05643 – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Represented several servers at a high-end restaurant in action to recover unpaid overtime wages and gratuities shared with management in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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