Among our major successes is the nationally recognized Lewis v. City of Chicago race discrimination class action suit, which challenged a discriminatory written test that disproportionately excluded African Americans from working as Chicago firefighters. After more than a decade of litigation, the federal court required the city to hire bypassed black firefighter applicants and awarded over $50 million in damages for pensions and lost hiring opportunities.
Internationally, HSPRD attorneys represented a class of thousands of “braceros” workers who came to the United States from World War II until the 1960s to work in the railroad and agricultural industries pursuant to a series of treaties with Mexico. The settlement of these decades-old claims resulted in the Mexican government providing millions of dollars in wrongfully withheld wages to these hard-working men and women.
HSPRD also championed the rights of five courageous female paramedics who were denied jobs with the Chicago Fire Department due to discriminatory testing practices in place from 2000 to 2014. After HSPRD attorneys convinced an appellate court to reverse a verdict in the City’s favor, the women received millions of dollars in damages, jobs and back pay.
Our attorneys have successfully represented farmworkers, call-center employees, nurses, construction workers, landscapers, and retail workers across the country in unpaid wage claims. We represented hundreds of delivery drivers in the Chicago area who were misclassified as independent contractors and denied overtime wages and commissions.
In 2015, HSPRD obtained a seminal $2.8 million settlement in a class action lawsuit representing agricultural guest workers in Nevada at one of the nation’s largest onion-growing companies. Our attorneys proved that the employer did not properly reimburse workers for travel and immigration-related expenses, which reduced their hourly rate to below federal minimum wage.
In addition, HSPRD has a wealth of experience representing C-suite executives in contract negotiations, separation agreements and non-compete matters. We have navigated complex compensation issues commonly faced by executive-level leadership, such as signing bonuses, stock options, long-term incentive plans (LTIP), short-term incentive plans (STIP), employee equity, predetermined severance packages and restrictive covenants.
We represent clients who believe they were terminated based on discriminatory factors such as age, race, gender and disability or as retaliation for taking maternity or medical leave. Our team has a proven track record of negotiating upgraded severance agreements for our clients to include improved healthcare coverage and more compensation, among other benefits.
HSPRD represents clients in virtually all areas of labor and employment law, including:
- labor-management relations
- disputes and collective bargaining
- class actions and impact litigation
- wage and hour issues
- discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims and investigations
- contract and severance agreements and negotiations
- wrongful discharge claims
- whistleblower claims
- workplace tort and misconduct investigations and claims
- human resources, personnel policies and employee handbooks
- affirmative action plans
- covenants not to compete and non-disclosure agreements
- public employer and constitutional issues
Facts to Know
You may be entitled to lost wages if you were misclassified as an independent contractor.
Illinois requires employers to pay workers for unused vacation pay when they leave their job.
There are strict rules in Illinois preventing employers from making deductions from wages.
The City of Chicago has one of the highest minimum wages in the country – soon to be over $13.00 per hour.
An employer cannot fire you because of your race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. It is illegal, and it has no place at work.