Overview

Laura is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office. She has broad experience counseling and advising employers across industries to help them manage and minimize risk. She conducts employment practice audits to identify unknown liabilities and assists in due diligence review during corporate transactions. Laura is also an experienced litigator who zealously represents employers in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Cook County Commission on Human Rights, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and other state and local administrative agencies. She acts as lead trial counsel on litigation in both state and federal courts and has argued appellate cases before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Laura excels at translating complex legal concepts into practical recommendations that are actionable by business owners and executives. Her approach is rooted in a commitment to understanding how legal issues impact the client’s business.

Laura is a sought-after speaker and writer on new legal developments impacting employers. She also regularly conducts seminars and training sessions for client employees, including mandatory sexual harassment prevention training and diversity, equity and inclusion training.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Emerging Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Magazine (2015-2020)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® Rising Star (2010-2020)

Professional & Civic Associations

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • ProVisors - Chicago
  • Illinois Federation of Business and Professional Women (Downtown Chicago Chapter President, 2007-2008)
  • Society of Human Resource Professionals (Chicago Diversity Committee Leadership Team, 2015)

About Me

Laura lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two children. She loves cooking for others and if she wasn’t a lawyer, she would have become a professional chef.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Represented large manufacturing company faced with multi-million dollar liability based on failure to comply with the advanced notice and data protection requirements of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act when switching to fingerprint timeclocks provided by payroll vendor
  • Managed internal pay practices audit of specialty grocery store chain with operations in multiple states, following recommendations to minimize liability after Fair Labor Standards Act class action litigation
  • Negotiated resolution for multi-state trade association dispute with prospective attendees of the annual conference seeking extensive disability accommodations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Represented c-suite executives in a nationally-ranked hospital with a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians on employment practices, compliance and risk management; develop and conduct customized training program for physician employees and contractors to dramatically reduce claims of discrimination and harassment from staff
  • Conducted urgent compliance audit of manufacturing company’s I-9 forms, to respond to subpoena from the Department of Homeland Security; find and correct hundreds of errors, saving the client over $300,000 in fines
  • Represented a national temporary staffing agency in a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act; obtained dismissal of claims from federal judge and then, on remand to state court, convinced the state court judge that the logic and rationale of the federal judge should apply, dismissing the case completely

News & Analysis

Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications

  • “Can Employers Incentivize or Mandate Employee Vaccinations,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 2021
  • “Employment Attorney Q&A: HR Considerations for Keeping Return to Office Compliant,” presented with LaSalle Network, June 2020
  • “Salary Negotiation Seminar,” presented at Modern Capital Concepts, February 2020
  • “Equal Pay and Minimum Wage Wars,” presented with Melissa Josephs of Women Employed at Women Empowering Women In Local Legislation Annual Conference, October 2018
  • "New Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws," presented at Alper Services, May 2018
  • "What You Need to Know About BIPA (Biometric Information Privacy Act)," presented at the Illinois Paralegal Association's Spring Education Conference, April 2018
  • "Independent Contractor vs. Employee: Perspectives from an Employment Attorney," presented at the Illinois State Bar Association Federal Tax Update Conference, February 2015
  • “The Gender Pay Gap and Why It Persists,” interview with Dean Reynolds on the CBS Evening News, April 2014
  • "Social Media in the Workplace," presented at Bates College, June 2012
  • "The Wage Gap: What We Can Do About It," presented at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Training Institute, August 2011
  • “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them."
    Brené Brown

Practice Emphasis

  • Defense of NLRB and EEOC Charges
  • Employment Policy Formulation and Advice
  • Management Training
  • Sexual Harassment Investigations and Defense
  • Compliance Audits

Education

Northwestern University

  • J.D., 2005

Bates College

  • B.A., magna cum laude, Accelerated Three Year Program, 2001

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Illinois, 2007
  • Maine, 2006
  • Massachusetts, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • District of Maine
  • District of Massachusetts

Languages

  • Spanish (conversational)
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