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Vedder Thinking | News Recent Accomplishments in Labor and Employment Law

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Mike Cleveland and Mark Stolzenburg prevailed in a jury trial in the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff, a former human resources manager, alleged that she was denied the right to return to her job after an FMLA leave. The company’s position was that her job was eliminated due to a corporate restructuring and that the company deferred informing her of the elimination of her position until she returned. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for the company on all of the plaintiff’s claims.

Steven Hamann and Aaron Gelb obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a newspaper publisher in the Northern District of Indiana. The plaintiff alleged race discrimination and retaliation, claiming she had been passed over for an editor position because she is Caucasian and retaliated against for filing an EEOC charge. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned with a defense verdict in less than one hour

Kevin Hennessy assisted in winning four union organizing elections in the past three months. Two were with different national distribution clients involving the Teamsters. One of those was in Massachusetts. The third was a victory over the Engineers Union at a community hospital in Chicago. The fourth was a Teamsters campaign involving a leading U.S. distributor of natural and specialty food products.

Laura Sack and Roy P. Salins prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of a national retailer of women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, and gift items that was sued by a former Store Manager for FMLA retaliation and FMLA interference. The victory resulted in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s Complaint in its entirety.

Neal I. Korval and Jonathan A. Wexler secured final approval by the federal district court of the Southern District of New York of a highly favorable settlement of an FLSA collective action/NYS Labor Law class action involving claims against a catering company for overtime pay and tips.

Kevin Hennessy and Angela Obloy obtained a favorable ruling from the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. The Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing company in a race discrimination case where the plaintiff salesperson was terminated for performance reasons within months of being awarded salesperson of the year. The lower court’s ruling was reported in our March newsletter.

Ed Jepson and Elizabeth Hall obtained a favorable decision from the Seventh Circuit, affirming summary judgment in favor of a large milling company. The plaintiffs were current employees who claimed race discrimination because they were disciplined and denied certain promotions.

Thomas Wilde and Elizabeth Hall obtained a favorable decision from the Seventh Circuit, affirming summary judgment in favor of a retail grocery chain. The plaintiff was a former employee who claimed gender, age and religious discrimination after he was terminated for multiple policy violations.

Bruce Alper, Tom Hancuch and Patrick Spangler obtained summary judgment in the Northern District of Illinois in an ERISA lawsuit alleging that the plan administrator improperly denied benefits under the terms of an ERISA severance plan.

Neal Korval, Jonathan Wexler and Michael Goettig won summary judgment in an age discrimination case in the Southern District of New York for a large cosmetics and direct sale company. The plaintiff challenged the validity of an ADEA release signed in connection with a RIF, and followed that by filing an EEOC charge and then a federal age discrimination lawsuit.

Richard Schnadig and Sara Kagay obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a national printing company in the Southern District of Indiana. The plaintiff was a former employee who alleged racial harassment and retaliation under Title VII and Section 1981. The jury deliberated for just over one hour before returning its verdict in favor of our client.

Alan Koral and Michael Goettig, on behalf of an international airline company based in Europe, defeated a motion to sever, add a new corporate defendant, and continue the litigation against two individual defendants. They obtained an order staying the entire action, in line with the stay imposed by the bankruptcy court with respect to the corporate defendant, effectively ending the litigation against all parties.

Richard Schnadig, Thomas Abram and Joseph Mulherin obtained summary judgment in the Southern District of New York in a consolidated nationwide class action comprised of approximately 10,000 sales representatives of a national pharmaceutical company claiming overtime and other damages under federal, California and New York law.


Elizabeth N. Hall


Jonathan A. Wexler


Patrick W. Spangler


Thomas G. Hancuch


Thomas M. Wilde