John A. Klages, Partner


John A. Klages is a partner in the Chicago office of Quarles & Brady LLP. John has over 30 years of experience in the area of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on proactive management and litigation of employee-relations issues before state and federal courts and agencies. John also represents employers in all types of traditional labor matters involving union-related issues. John has spoken on a variety of employment-related topics, including employment handbooks, sexual harassment, employer investigations, and mediation. John has overseen all employment and labor matters on a daily basis for numerous Fortune 500 companies employing thousands of employees. John's experience includes

  • Representing national client in federal and state court class and collective actions.
  • Overseeing dozens of discharge and contract interpretation arbitration hearings for one of the nation's largest employers.
  • Supervising defense of employment discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful discharge litigation in federal and state court for employers of all sizes in a variety of industries.
  • Responding to charges of discrimination for clients before federal, state and local government agencies such as the EEOC, IDHR, and IHRC.
  • Providing daily counseling and advice to employers in nearly every facet of labor and employment law, including employee discipline and discharge, medical accommodations, wage and hour compliance, and collective bargaining agreement matters.
  • Handling prosecution of lawsuits against unions, seeking equitable and legal relief for unlawful strike activity.
  • Assisting clients in labor negotiation strategy as well as drafting company bargaining proposals.
  • Defending federal court ERISA/pension litigation for client.
  • Supervising defense of numerous unfair labor practice charges before NLRB.
  • Providing front-line training for supervisors and managers in a variety of areas such as union avoidance, grievance presentation, and employee discipline.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • American University Washington College of Law (J.D., 1987)
  • University of Illinois (B.A., 1984)
    • Bronze Tablet (1984)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1987
  • Supreme Court of Illinois, 1987

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member, Labor and Employment Section)
  • Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (Member)
  • Illinois Manufacturers Association (Member)
  • Northwest Human Resources Council, an affiliate of Society for Human Resource Management (Member)
  • University of Illinois Alumni Association (Member)
  • St. Paul of the Cross Parish (Active Parishioner)

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, 2017–present (Employment & Labor: Management)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, Employment & Labor, 2005–2009, 2013–present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Leading Lawyers Network Member
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