Patricia Costello Slovak is partner of Schiff Hardin LLP. A good labor and employment attorney ensures that her clients comply with ever-changing laws and regulations. An exceptional one also strives to improve the bottom line and encourage positive advancements in employee relations.
Pat sees the practice of labor and employment law as a dynamic force for change. The kinds of protections afforded employees today are vastly different than they were 25 years ago. Pat’s goal is to help employers move forward in the spirit of these statutes, taking advantage of societal changes to improve workplace interactions, productivity and profitability.
After more than three decades of working with public and privately held companies, Pat has proven herself a shrewd negotiator. She never comes to the table without fully understanding the nature of the business she is representing or the grievances of the people sitting across from her. A measured approach and reasonable resolutions are her hallmarks.
When litigation is necessary, Pat’s approach is a strong defense of her employer clients with the goal of obtaining the best result at the lowest possible cost.
- Pat has served as chief negotiator for manufacturing, retail, assembly and higher education clients, reaching many agreements with the Steelworkers, Teamsters, SEIU and other unions over the years.
- When a client was faced with personal liability in a collective wage and hour action under a joint employer theory, Pat successfully negotiated a settlement that minimized her client’s personal contribution.
- Disciplining tenured faculty members and defending tenure and promotion decisions in the world of higher education is challenging. Pat has accomplished both successfully.
- With many companies facing significant downsizing and restructuring since 2008, Pat has assisted numerous clients with voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions with no resulting litigation. She has defended employers against difficult claims of unlawful discrimination in courts, arbitrations and fair employment agencies, obtaining either defense decisions or favorable settlements.
- One of an employer’s fears is the threat of class actions in employment claims; Pat has helped clients develop arbitration programs with class action waiver provisions to minimize such risks.
- University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
- Saint Louis University, B.A.
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- 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 Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Section Chair (2006-2007); Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2012-2015); Commission on Women in the Profession (2007-2010); Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Editorial Board (2015-2018)
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow
- Chicago Bar Association, Alliance for Women, former co-chair
- National Retail Federation, Employment Law Committee, Litigation Subcommittee, Chair
CIVIC AND CHARITABLE MEMBERSHIPS:
- Chicago Foundation for Women, Board Chair, Executive Committee, Chair
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