Jose Behar

José J. Behar

T. 312.604.2614
F. 312.604.2615
jbehar@hsplegal.com
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José J. Behar is a Partner of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. He concentrates his practice in the areas of complex litigation, civil rights, employment discrimination, wage-and-hour, and labor law.   Mr. Behar represents individuals, non-profit organizations, and corporations, and has successfully tried numerous cases involving claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and unlawful discharge in federal courts, state tribunals, arbitrations, and before administrative agencies.  Mr. Behar has extensive experience conducting labor and employment counseling, and employment discrimination training and investigations, as well as drafting and consulting with clients about employee manuals and human resources policies.  Mr. Behar also represents clients in all aspects of executive agreements and severance negotiations, including non-competition and non-solicitation issues.

Mr. Behar regularly counsels clients concerning union grievances and has served as lead negotiator in collective bargaining.  He has represented both school districts and teachers’ unions regarding issues of collective bargaining, school law, and in areas involving educational equity and access.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Behar was a supervisory trial attorney with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and an associate with Chapman and Cutler LLP.

EDUCATION

  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D. 1990)

    • — Co-Chair, Julius H. Miner Moot Court

  • University of Michigan (A.B. 1987)

    • — with distinction

ADMISSIONS

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Illinois (1990)

COURT ADMISSIONS

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – Trial Bar

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

LANGUAGES

  • Spanish

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

  • Two-time recipient of the Outstanding Performance Award from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • Leading Lawyer — Illinois Leading Lawyers Network

  • Included on the Illinois Super Lawyers® list (2016 and 2017)

MEMBERSHIPS / ASSOCIATIONS

LEGAL

  • Member, Federal Bar Association

  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association

  • Member, Hispanic National Bar Association

  • Member, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

  • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association

  • Board Member, Uptown People’s Law Center

CIVIC / COMMUNITY

  • Board Member, Chicago Access Network Television

  • Escalera Program Mentor, National Council of La Raza

SPEECHES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Multi-Party Representation: Conflicts of Interest, Joint Representation, and Privilege, panel discussion on webcast presented by the ISBA Labor & Employment Law Section (Nov. 2017). 

  • The FMLA and ADA: Similarities and Differences, panelist at in-house training event for EEOC (April 2017).

  • Mr. Behar presented to the group Mastermind HR on the topic “How to Conduct Internal Investigations” (Nov. 2016).

  • Employee Verification & Avoiding National Origin and Immigration-Related Discrimination, panel discussion at the Technical Assistance Program Seminars of the EEOC (Aug. 2016).

  • Latinos and Labor Law, panel discussion at the University of Chicago Law School, Latino Law Students Association (May 2016).

  • National Origin Discrimination: What You Need To Know, panel discussion at the Technical Assistance Program Seminars of the EEOC (Aug. 2015).

  • Strategies for Using Section 1983 Litigation in a Poverty Law Housing Practice: Perspectives from the Private Bar, panel discussion to LAF Chicago (May 2015).

  • 2014 Racial Justice Training Institute faculty member, presented by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (June 2014).

  • Trial Practice Series: The Trial of A Retaliation Case, presented by the ISBA Labor & Employment Section (Sept. 12, 2013).

  • Working with Immigrant and Migrant Populations, presentation at an in-house training event for the EEOC in Chicago (Mar. 19, 2012).

  • The EEO Laws: Proving a Case of Discrimination and Filing a Charge with EEOC, IDHR, the Cook County Commission on Human Relations and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, presentation at a private client training event (Jan. 10, 2011).

  • Preventing Sexual Harassment, presentation at a private client training event (Apr. 2008).

  • What Do You Do If You Get A Complaint of Sexual Harassment?, presentation at a private client training event (Apr. 2008).

  • Documentation, Discipline and Discharge: Ignoring Problem Employees Affects Morale and Productivity, panel discussion at the Technical Assistance Program Seminars of the EEOC (Aug. 2004).

  • Race, Religion, and National Origin: Ridding the Workplace of Cultural Stereotypes, presentation at the Technical Assistance Program Seminars of the EEOC (May 2003).

  • Investigation of Complex Employment Discrimination Cases, presentation at an in-house training event for the EEOC (Apr. 2000).

  • Investigative Techniques for Complex Employment Discrimination Cases, presentation at an in-house training event for the EEOC (Aug. 1999).

  • Preventing Workplace Discrimination, presentation at the Technical Assistance Program Seminars of the EEOC (Oct. 1998).

  • Same Sex Harassment: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, presentation at a meeting of the Young Lawyers Division of the Chicago Bar Association (1998).

  • Mr. Behar has appeared on both television and radio to discuss developments in employment discrimination law.


  • Jones v. Walgreen Co. Represented a nationwide class of women retail store management employees in a Title VII class action lawsuit against the nation’s largest drugstore chain. The settlement provided for monetary relief of $17 million, as well as an injunction requiring both objective criteria for pay and promotions decisions involving female managerial employees and outside review of gender equity compliance efforts.

  • Lynch v. Huberman. Obtained a preliminary injunction order on behalf of several Chicago Public Schools teachers after a district court judge held that the Chicago Board of Education had violated their First Amendment rights to political speech. Read case details.

  • Successfully litigated claims including labor trafficking, race discrimination, and wage and hour violations for a group of migrant farmworkers, resulting in a favorable resolution for our clients.

  • Successfully litigated constitutional claims on behalf of wrongful death beneficiaries of a federal inmate who received inadequate medical care and died in solitary confinement in private prison. The case was favorably resolved for our clients.

  • Represented a successful sales representative in litigation against a computer software firm for sex and age discrimination that led to her disparate treatment and termination, which resulted in a favorable resolution for our client.

  • Represented a teachers’ union in four appeals regarding an issue of reassignment of tenured teachers under the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, which resulted in favorable resolutions.

  • Represented a large restaurant chain in a class sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which resulted in a favorable resolution.

  • Lead negotiator on behalf of non-profit organizations during labor negotiations concerning collective bargaining agreements.

  • Represented a school district during a two-year investigation by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights of allegations of national origin discrimination in transitional bilingual education programs, which resulted in a finding of no discrimination and dismissal of the charges.

  • Represented plaintiff in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest clothing retailers, which resulted in a favorable resolution.

  • Represented multiple plaintiffs in a wage and hour and retaliation case against one of the nation’s largest discount retail stores, which resulted in a favorable resolution.

  • Successfully represented two students against charges of plagiarism brought against them by a university, resulting in a dismissal of the charges.