Jeffrey S. Piell, Partner


Jeff is an experienced trial lawyer and business advisor in the area of labor and employment law. He advises clients on wage and hour compliance, reductions in force, enforcement of restrictive covenants, employment contracts and separation agreements, employee selection and discipline, WARN compliance, employment policies, internal investigations, and business transactions. Jeff also helps clients navigate workplace disruptions and downturns related to COVID-19 and related applications of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). He also defends employers in all types of employment litigation before federal and state courts and agencies.

Jeff is a frequent speaker and provides client training sessions on various employment-related topics, including effective employment documentation; joint employer liability; sexual harassment, age and disability discrimination; social media; criminal background checks; and legislative updates.

Jeff's recent significant litigation experience includes:

  • Obtaining a defense verdict in a federal jury trial in a race and age discrimination case for a national real estate company.
  • Defeating a class certification motion on behalf of a Fortune 500 company in a case alleging race discrimination in promotions and compensation.
  • Securing a temporary restraining order against a former sales representative who left a large pharmaceutical company to lead sales of a similar product at a principal competitor.
  • Securing a preliminary injunction against a former engineer who left a parts manufacturer for a direct competitor.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a race discrimination class action for a Fortune 100 automobile manufacturer.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a religious harassment claim for a national drug store chain.
  • Successfully representing a large shipping company in labor arbitrations over employee discharges.
  • Achieving reversal of adverse arbitration result in federal court on behalf of manufacturing client.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1991)
  • University of Michigan (B.A., highest distinction, 1988)
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Certificate of Executive Management)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1991

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, member
  • Chicago Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee, member
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association Club of Greater Chicago, president, 2013–2015
  • Leading Lawyers Network, Employment, Labor Law, member

Professional Recognition

  • Chambers USA® (2013-2021) and noted as "very customer-oriented, responsive, proactive, technically strong and a great business partner"
  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Chicago Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, ADR: Employment; Employment & Labor: Management, 2017–present
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, Employment & Labor, 2014–present
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Arbitration / Mediation, 2009–present
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