Vedder Price

J. Kevin Hennessy

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J. Kevin Hennessy is the immediate past Chair of the Labor and Employment practice area at Vedder Price.

Mr. Hennessy has represented employers for over 25 years, spanning all aspects of labor and employment law. He focuses his practice on employment litigation, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations and providing positive employee relations advice in response to union petitions to organize. Mr. Hennessy provides practical solutions to employment-relations issues in alignment with management’s immediate as well as long-range goals.

Mr. Hennessy has litigated successfully on behalf of companies from single-plaintiff cases to enterprise-wide class actions involving thousands of employees. He has secured landmark decisions in the Courts of Appeals on issues of sexual harassment, NLRB bargaining orders, wrongful discharge and enforcement of employment arbitration agreements.

Mr. Hennessy is ranked in the “Top 100” Labor Attorneys in the United States by the Labor Relations Institute Inc. and has been recognized by his peers as an Illinois Leading Lawyer. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Employment Law—Management from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Hennessy was selected for inclusion from 2007 to 2016 in Illinois Super Lawyers. In addition, Martindale-Hubbell has awarded him the “AV Preeminent” rating, their highest rating, from 1996-2017, as well as their “AV Preeminent Peer and Judiciary Rating” in 2016, their highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. The Legal 500 United States recommended Mr. Hennessy in Labor and Employment – Relations and Labor and Employment – Workplace and Employment Counseling in 2014 and 2015, as well as Labor and Employment – Labor and Employment Litigation in 2014. The Legal 500 United States stated that Mr. Hennessy, “…has provided excellent advice and results. He is very detailed yet he is able to focus in on the critical elements of each situation, devising efficient and practical solutions.” The Legal 500 United States also noted that, “Kevin Hennessy’s team at Vedder Price is well versed in litigation, but also regularly acts with a view to minimizing litigation risk." Mr. Hennessy was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a professional association honoring leading labor and employment lawyers across the country.

J. Kevin Hennessy

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Experience

  • Obtained dismissal of an age discrimination charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights filed by a junior high social studies teacher in a Catholic church. The IDHR agreed with our argument that the church was not an “employer” under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
  • Won a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a forklift driver who claimed that his termination from a beverage distributor for testing positive for alcohol was in violation of the Illinois Right to Privacy Act since he claimed to be using a “lawful product.”
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award securing a large engine manufacturer the right to force mandatory overtime in skilled trades in a plant of over 2,000 workers.
  • Won summary judgment for Chicago hospital where former employee claimed Hospital did not follow employee handbook provision in firing her. Summary judgment was affirmed by Illinois Appellate Court.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a wrongful-discharge claim from the arbitrator in a JAMS-sponsored employment arbitration case in Michigan and in a wage hour case in Tennessee.
  • Created a private employment arbitration agreement program for a food distributor with over 11,000 employees.
  • Obtained a 12-month TRO against an Illinois food manufacturer’s former Product Development Director.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing company in Texas in a race discrimination case in which plaintiff salesperson was terminated for performance reasons within months of being awarded salesperson of the year title. Argued and won appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defeated unfair-labor-practice charges alleging wrongful termination of over 20 employees in organizing campaigns involving logistics companies in California, Massachusetts and Missouri.
  • Obtained summary judgment on age and workers’ compensation retaliation claims filed by a forklift operator who tested positive for drugs but claimed he should have been given a last-chance agreement under a union contract.

J. Kevin Hennessy

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Education

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • University of Illinois, B.A., 1973

J. Kevin Hennessy

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Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1976

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Affiliations

  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Member, American Bar Association (Equal Employment Opportunity Law, ADR and Employment and Labor Relations Law Committees)

J. Kevin Hennessy

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J. Kevin Hennessy

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  • Past Events

    1. January 29, 2017 | Seminar
    2. March 20, 2015 | Seminar
    3. May 09, 2014 | Seminar
    4. April 29, 2014 | Seminar
    5. February 2014 | Seminar
    6. November 2013 | Seminar
    7. October 2013 | Seminar
    8. September, 2013 | Seminar
    9. May 02, 2013 | Seminar
    10. April 25, 2013 | Seminar
    11. February 10, 2013 | Seminar
    12. November 1, 2012 | Seminar
    13. October 03, 2012 | Seminar
    14. May 09, 2012 | Seminar
    15. February 2012 | Seminar
    16. August 2011 | Seminar
    17. May 18, 2011 | Seminar
    18. May 10, 2011 | Seminar
    19. May 2011 | Seminar
    20. June 2010 | Seminar