Steven J. Pearlman

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Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage-and-hour laws; breach of employment contract; and restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). Steven is also at the forefront of defending whistleblower retaliation claims, and routinely conducts investigations arising from whistleblower reports. He has successfully tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has also testified in defense of his investigations in federal court.

Latest Articles

On April 11, 2019, the Illinois state Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 1829, also known as the Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”).  If passed by the House of Representatives, the Act would impose new requirements and limitations on Illinois employers with respect to harassment and discrimination claims.  The following are the Act’s key features. Limitations on Nondisclosure, Non-disparagement and Arbitration clauses The Act would prevent employers from including in employment contracts nondisclosure and…
On February 28, 2019, a Los Angeles jury issued a verdict of $1.5 million in damages to a former employee who alleged his employer retaliated against him for reporting misconduct in violation of the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h), the Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act (“DCWPA”), 10 U.S.C. § 2409, and California’s whistleblower statute, California Labor Code section 1102.5.  Lillie v. ManTech Int’l Corp, No. 17-cv-02538 (C.D. Cal.).  The verdict form can…
On February 26, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed much of a jury’s approximately $11M verdict finding that a former general counsel was discharged in retaliation for reporting alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) violations.  Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., No. 17-cv-16193. Background Sanford Wadler, then the former General Counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (the “Company”) filed whistleblower retaliation claims against the Company and its CEO under SOX and Dodd-Frank, along with a wrongful termination…
On February 15, 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Andeavor Corporation f/k/a Tesoro Corporation on a SOX whistleblower claim, concluding that the plaintiff lacked an objectively reasonable belief that the company was misreporting its revenue to the SEC.  Wallace v. Andeavor Corp., No. 17-cv-50927. Background Plaintiff, a Vice President of Pricing and Commercial Analysis, was a sub-certifier of the company’s financial statements.  He was tasked with investigating…
On January 15, 2019, the First Circuit ruled that a plaintiff adequately alleges protected activity under the FCA whistleblower protection provision where he asserts that he reported concerns about his employer’s conduct that could reasonably lead to a viable FCA action.  Guilfoile v. Shields, Sr., No. 17-1610. Background Plaintiff, a former executive of pharmacy chain Shields Health Solutions who reported directly to owner John Shields, alleged that during the course of his employment he…
On January 23, 2019, the Seventh Circuit held that the ADEA’s prohibition of disparate impact discrimination do not extend to job applicants. Kleber v. CareFusion Corp., No. 17-cv-1206. In Kleber, a 58-year-old attorney unsuccessfully applied for a General Counsel position within the Company’s law department. The job posting required applicants to have fewer than seven years of experience. Kleber had more than seven years of relevant experience. The position was received by a 29-year-old applicant.…
On January 25, 2019, in a closely watched case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff need not allege or demonstrate actual harm to have standing to pursue a claim under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”).  Rosenbach v. Six Flags Ent. Corp., No. 123186.[1] The Court concluded that technical non-compliance with BIPA is sufficient to confer standing for the following reasons: Through the Act, our General Assembly has codified that individuals…
On December 21, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stayed a plaintiff’s whistleblower retaliation claim under SOX (which was not subject to mandatory arbitration) while granting a motion compelling arbitration of the plaintiff’s remaining employment discrimination and retaliation claims. Anderson v. Salesforce.com, Inc., No. 18-cv-06712-PJH. Background Plaintiff alleged that he was terminated after he raised concerns about his employer’s accounting practices. He subsequently filed suit in the Northern District…
As 2018 draws to a close, state and local lawmakers in Illinois have been passing legislation that will further regulate a variety of employers’ practices. Here is a look at what Illinois employers can expect in 2019. New Laws Effective January 1, 2019 Employee Reimbursement for Business Expenses – An amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act (“IWPCA”) will require employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee…
On November 20, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument on whether a company’s technical violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) is sufficient to confer standing or whether a plaintiff must allege actual harm resulted from the violation. Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. et al., No. 123186. The Court’s forthcoming decision will have significant implications for Illinois employers given the enormous wave of BIPA class actions that have already been…