Vedder Price

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder

Aaron R. Gelb is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice area.

He represents employers in all aspects of equal employment opportunity, wrongful discharge and labor relations litigation before federal and state courts and federal, state and local fair employment and administrative agencies such as the EEOC, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Cook County Civil Rights Commission, Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board and OSHA.

Mr. Gelb regularly counsels employers regarding a variety of labor and employment issues such as discipline and discharge, handbook and/or policy development/revision, disability accommodations, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other types of leaves of absence, harassment and other workplace investigations and management training. He spent nearly one year as temporary in-house employment counsel for a major client, where he learned the importance of providing prompt, practical advice that factors in not only the associated legal risks but also the practical impact on business operations.

While Mr. Gelb has extensive jury trial experience, he understands that litigation is often something clients hope to avoid whenever possible. Accordingly, he endeavors to tailor his approach to every matter to the specific goals and objectives identified by the client.

In 2017, Mr. Gelb was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Employment Law: Management. He is a member of the firm’s Associate Hiring Committee and served as the past Chair of the firm’s Summer Associate Program. Mr. Gelb is also Editor of Vedder Price’s Labor and Employment group’s quarterly newsletter, a collection of thought leadership articles that help our clients stay current on the topics affecting their businesses.

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder

Experience

  • Convinced a state occupational safety and health agency to reclassify a citation from “willful” to “serious” following an employee fatality. After filing a Notice of Contest, Mr. Gelb successfully negotiated the reclassification of the citation before litigation started and persuaded the agency to withdraw three separate items from a related citation issued to the employer.
  • Obtained the dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed against a bank in the Northern District of Illinois including claims of race and disability discrimination and FMLA retaliation.
  • After filing a Notice of Contest, secured complete withdrawal of an OSHA fall protection citation (and accompanying fines) issued to a client that operates a series of distribution centers and warehouses.
  • Negotiated complete withdrawal of an OSHA Powered Industrial Truck citation (and accompanying fines) issued to a client that operates a series of distribution centers and warehouses.
  • Retained by a large hospital system after a state occupational safety and health agency issued a “serious” citation accompanied by a $10,000 penalty attributed to an allegedly insufficient workplace violence prevention program. Mr. Gelb convinced the agency to reclassify the citation to “other-than-serious” and rescind the entire penalty amount.
  • Successfully tried a sexual harassment and retaliation claim before an Administrative Law Judge brought by a server terminated by a well-known Chicago-area restaurant. The Judge’s Recommended Order and Decision in favor of the restaurant was affirmed by the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
  • Successfully tried age discrimination claim brought by long-term hotel employee before arbitrator as part of employer’s alternative dispute resolution program.
  • Obtained complete defense verdict for newspaper accused of Title VII race discrimination and retaliation after two-week jury trial in Northern District of Indiana.
  • Secured dismissal of an NLRB charge filed against a retailer claiming that the company violated the National Labor Relations Act by terminating the employee after he advocated on behalf of unionization.
  • Obtained post-trial judgment in favor of employer, vacating jury verdict in favor of employee on FMLA retaliation claim, following one-week trial in Washington, D.C.  Employer’s post-trial win was affirmed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of employer after jury failed to render verdict following three-week military status (USERRA) discrimination trial in federal court in Tennessee.
  • Handled more than 250 discrimination charges throughout the United States since 2010, with only three probable cause findings—one of which was settled for a nuisance value, one of which was dismissed without further action and the last of which is currently being litigated before a local fair employment agency.
  • Obtained withdrawal of a General Duty Clause OSHA citation issued to a client with allegedly hazardous conditions in its storage rack system.

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • University of Chicago, B.A., 1992, with honors

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1996

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 2015
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 2010

Affiliations

  • Member, Executive Committee, Texas School of Law Alumni Association
  • Past Co-Chair, Employee Relations Interest Group, Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC)
  • Member, Educational Services Committee, Ada S. McKinley Agency
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder

Aaron R. Gelb

Shareholder