Employment Law for Employers

Serving Chicago-Area Small Business Employers

Our firm concentrates in helping small business owners avoid common mistakes in hiring and firing employees to limit the risk of costly litigation or negative press. For more than a quarter century, the employment law practice of Bellas & Wachowski has provided the highest quality legal representation to management in employment law matters. Our practice comprises a broad range of counseling, consulting, and – when necessary – litigation.

We advise and represent clients in the full range of legal matters arising out of the employment relationship. Our attorneys have extensive experience in:

  • Counseling Small Business Owners to help prevent costly and potentially devastating Employment Lawsuits.
  • Counseling on wage and hour compliance, including employers' liability for overtime pay.
  • Defending employers in state and federal courts in all types of employment lawsuits, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and wage and hour violations.
  • Representing employers before enforcement agencies, including the Illinois Department of Labor, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Attorney General and OSHA.
  • Counseling on how to effectively and efficiently resolve labor problems, including assisting with preliminary investigations of harassment claims as well as terminating employees incident-free.
  • Providing complete and thorough investigation services, including internal investigations of discrimination and harassment.
  • Assisting employers in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”).
  • Drafting employee policy manuals and additional employment-related policies, including enforceable arbitration policies.
  • Drafting various employment -related agreements such as employment, consulting and independent contractor agreements; separation and release agreements; and restrictive covenants, non-compete and confidentiality agreements to protect employers’ trade secrets and customer lists.
  • Hiring help as independent contractors or as payrolled employees.
  • Background checks on prospective employees.
  • Helping employers deal with problems such as eavesdropping in the workplace, drug testing or AIDS in the workplace.

See our several information pages on the left for some common employment problems confronting small businesses.

Our experienced employment defense lawyers represent clients from the time a charge of discrimination has been filed through the trial, if necessary. Some of our representative recent pre-trial successes including obtaining dismissal at the EEOC and the Illinois Human Rights Commission in sexual harassment, age, race and disability discrimination claims, obtaining favorable outcomes in federal and state trial courts in cases alleging race, sexual harassment, retaliation, disability, and pregnancy discrimination, as well as wage/hour violations and an array of employment-related tort and contract claims.

Of course, the most successful defense is one that avoids a controversy entirely, and our proactive consulting services are designed to prevent later employee lawsuits. With this goal in mind, we offer clients a full Employment Practices Audit, which encompasses:

  • Reviewing every stage of your company's relationship with your employees, including recruiting and hiring processes, handbooks, employment agreements, and how personnel records are maintained and controlled
  • Assessing how your business responds to harassment and discrimination complaints
  • Determining whether employees and independent contractors are properly classified under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Assessing whether your business has appropriate forms for training, evaluating, disciplining, and rewarding employees
  • Ensuring compliance with complex and ever-changing employment laws
  • Taking proactive measures to minimize the risk of litigation
  • Placing the company in the best possible light if it is sued
  • Maintaining a sense of the company's day to day employment practices
  • Improving business practices and employee morale

Our attorneys have available the considerable resources of Bellas & Wachowski's full complement of practice groups, including our business law and litigation, estate planning, and personal injury groups. Such resources facilitate effective handling of complex employment issues involving multiple legal disciplines such as non-compete and trade secret claims with substantial technological issues, disputes with employees who are also partners or stockholders, preparation of employee benefit plans, and other tax-related matters.

Contact us today with any concerns you might have with employment issues confronting your small business.