Labor & Employment

Terms of labor lawOur experience in labor and employment law is extensive. We represent workers in every forum – arbitration, trial court, appeals court – and provide substantial counsel to employees to achieve positive results without resorting to litigation. We have strong ties with community organizations and worker centers that allow us to take a comprehensive approach to solving our clients’ problems.

We have successfully represented individual clients in claims involving:

  • employment discrimination (Title VII, Section 1981, Age Discrimination in Employment Act , etc.)
  • wage theft (Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act)
  • retaliatory discharge
  • violations of other statutory rights (Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Illinois Minimum Wage Law)

We also pursue class actions on behalf of groups of workers, including claims of employee misclassification, violations of minimum wage and overtime laws, breaches of the duty of fair representation, and constitutional due process violations. We have had great success protecting workers’ rights in the face of plant closings by filing class actions under the WARN Act, which requires employers to give workers 60 days’ notice before a closing. We have also partnered with an immigration attorney to assist with cases involving the exploitation of undocumented workers.

Finally, we represent unions. We currently represent the Central Conference and the Western Lines & Pacific Harbor Lines Conference of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). In 2009, we secured a unanimous opinion protecting the rights of BLET against management in the United States Supreme Court. We have also recently represented the Chicago Teachers Union and its members in litigation to protect teachers against unlawful layoffs.

If you are a union leader, union member, or are interested in organizing or joining a union, the attorneys of Despres, Schwartz, and Geoghegan can serve as valuable counsel. If you are interested in speaking with an attorney, please contact us.