Employment Law
Stahl Cowen helps clients prepare for and address the challenges of today's employment relationships. We guide public and private companies and governmental entities through overlapping state and federal employment laws and regulations. We respond to day-to-day questions and concerns on hiring and firing, workplace policies and procedures, and ongoing training on a variety of topics. We draft executive and non-compete agreements and develop severance and benefit packages that protect employers.

When employment complaints are raised, our experienced trial attorneys step in to advise and – if needed – aggressively defend employers in disputes related to employment conditions, breaches of contract, theft of trade secrets, accusations of harassment, wage claims, wrongful termination, biometric data policies, and numerous other workplace disputes.

Our employment advice covers the full range of business and legal issues affecting employers, including:

Employment Policies

Our lawyers draft, review, and maintain up-to-date employment policies, including in particular those that address employee leaves, data security and workplace privacy and anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. Our clients regularly ask us to draft and review workplace manuals and conform policies and procedures to their unique and changing needs.

We help employers stay ahead of constantly changing employment law to ensure that their programs and rules offer clear benefits and protection. Our clients appreciate the time we take to listen to their concerns and interests and our attention to detail when drafting policies that achieve their business goals while ensuring appropriate protection from liability.

Sexual Harassment Prevention and Claims

Our employment lawyers help employers prevent workplace sexual harassment and quickly respond when allegations are made. We draft effective anti-harassment policies, provide employers with sexual harassment and sensitivity training for management and employees, and advise on and carry out prompt and thorough investigations of employee complaints.

Wage and Hour Issues

Our attorneys help clients comply with overtime provisions and provide advice and representation regarding employee claims before the Illinois Department of Employment Security. We also help our employer clients navigate the exempt/non-exempt employee classification questions that often arise.

Employee Classification

The rise of the gig economy has given rise to confusion for employers around the classification of workers, employees, and independent contractors. Our employment lawyers help companies ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations to meet the new realities.

Termination and Severance Agreements

Our attorneys work closely with employers to develop strategies for proper documentation of terminations to avoid wrongful discharge claims by employees. In addition, we draft and negotiate severance agreements and post-employment restrictions when necessary both to protect the employer and to avoid future liabilities.

Employment Agreements

Our attorneys draft and negotiate executive employment agreements that protect business interests while clearly defining the role, responsibilities, options, and employment requirements of executives and other senior employees. In addition, we have particular strengths helping employers craft and enforce post-employment restrictions.

HIPPA Compliance

Our attorneys provide legal advice and draft appropriate documents to ensure that employers comply with the complicated requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. We provide high-level HIPPA compliance training to board level officers of healthcare plans.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

We have significant experience helping employers comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including with respect to hiring, firing, and the reasonable accommodation of requirements under the ADA.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Our attorneys draft and regularly update workplace policies and procedures that ensure compliance and protect against litigation under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In addition, we regularly counsel clients on the complicated interplay between issues and conflicts that arise under the FMLA and other federal laws such as the ADA.