Steven H. Adelman has concentrated in labor and employment law for more than 45 years. He has represented clients ranging from small businesses with just a few employees to multibillion-dollar companies with thousands of employees. Steve handles the full spectrum of labor and employment relations matters.
He regularly represents clients with respect to every conceivable issue relating to unions, including union avoidance, union representation (and decertification) elections, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, contract interpretation, grievances and arbitrations, unfair labor practice investigations and hearings, strikes, and secondary boycott charges and litigation.
In addition to his vast experience with respect to union-related matters, Steve has also handled hundreds of discrimination-related charges filed with administrative agencies and dozens of lawsuits filed in the Federal Courts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York.
Steve has substantial experience in handling matters involving the FLSA, WARN and OSHA. As an early practitioner in the handling of OSHA citations, he was responsible for litigating some of the landmark cases in that area.
Currently, most of Steve’s time, for both union-represented and non-union represented clients, is devoted to advising clients on how to minimize the potential for arbitration, litigation or government investigation in employee-related matters.
Steve is a frequent writer and speaker on employment law topics. He is also the former Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Committee and has served on a variety of other employment-related activities of various organizations.
Representative Experience :
- Mr. Adelman has helped clients achieve their goals in a wide range of cases. For example, in just the past few years:
- A national media company was sued in Los Angeles by a former General Sales Manager who alleged that the Company President had promised to give him 2% of the value of one of the Company’s television stations. The potential award was $1.2 million. Although it appeared that the case would hinge on whether the judge believed the promise was made, Mr. Adelman developed a theory that the alleged promise was not definite enough. In light of admissions that he obtained during the deposition, Mr. Adelman obtained summary judgment in a case that appeared to be destined for trial.
- For one of Chicago’s 50 largest companies, Mr. Adelman handled a trial before the Illinois Human Rights Commission involving an African-American employee who claimed that she had been discriminatorily denied a promotion and that both she and all African-American employees in her department were regularly discriminated against on the basis of race. The three other African-American employees in the department all testified on her behalf. Following five days of hearing, the IHRC Administrative Law Judge ruled in favor of the company on all issues.
- For one of the largest hotels in Chicago, Mr. Adelman won an arbitration decision entitling the hotel to retain all increases in banquet service charges. If the Union had been successful in its challenge to the hotel’s practice, the hotel was potentially liable for several million dollars in backpay. As a result of this arbitration victory, the Union was forced to drop grievances against at least three other prestigious hotels.
- A large energy company was being represented by a prominent labor firm in Detroit with respect to claims by the IBEW that the company failed to abide by a collective bargaining agreement. The potential damages were in the $1,000,000 range, and the company was advised that it would have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a settlement. Mr. Adelman was then consulted and developed a theory that the collective bargaining agreement was unlawful. As a result, the union dropped all claims.
- Of Counsel, Locke Lord LLP
- Partner, Lord, Bissell and Brook and Locke Lord LLP
- Partner, Keck, Mahin & Cate
Professional Affiliations :
- Elected, Fellow of College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
- Member, American Bar Association
- Selected, one of the Leading Labor and Employment Law Attorneys in Illinois, Leading Attorney Network, Inc.
Community Leadership :
- Board Member, American Jewish Committee (Co-Chair of Interfaith/Intergroup Commission)
- Board Member, Lake Shore Drive Synagogue
- Former Board Member and President, Council on Jewish Workplace Issues
- J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1970
- B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1967
Admissions : Illinois, 1970
Admitted To Practice :
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, 2002
Rate : $$$