Tracy Bradford Farley, Partner


Tracy Bradford Farley practices in all areas of labor and employment law, with a concentration in employment discrimination litigation on behalf of management.

Some of Tracy's litigation experience includes the following:

  • Obtaining verdicts in jury and bench trials as well as administrative hearings in individual plaintiff cases alleging race discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, retaliation, due process violations and breach of contract
  • Obtaining judgment on various types of employment discrimination cases, including Smith v. Union Pacific Railroad, 2018 WL 1293228 (N.D. Ill ) (disability discrimination); DeGannes v. United Airlines, Case No. 16 C 1851 (N.D. Ill. 2018) (unreported) (race discrimination); Burks v. Union Pacific Railroad, 2014 WL 3056529 (N.D. Ill.) (racial harassment and retaliation); Crayton v. U.S. Cellular, Case No. 14 C 5572 (N.D. Ill. 2016) (unreported) (age discrimination); Roberts v. U.S. Cellular, 635 F.Supp.2d 948 (N.D. Iowa) (multi-plaintiff age discrimination); Enriquez v. U.S. Cellular, 2008 WL 4925012 (N.D. Ill.) (multi-plaintiff sexual harassment, retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress); and Purdy v. U.S. Cellular, 2007 WL 595509 (E.D. Tenn.) (FMLA and ERISA retaliation)
  • Defending putative and certified class actions alleging race discrimination, racial harassment, sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation
  • Defending employers in subpoena and other enforcement actions brought by the EEOC alleging race discrimination, disability discrimination and sex discrimination
  • Representing companies in trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation

In addition to her significant litigation experience, Tracy advises employers on a wide range of issues, including grievances, employee discipline and termination, discrimination and harassment, disability and leave issues, wage and hour matters, employment policies, and personnel reorganizations. She also has conducted numerous internal investigations for multiple clients as well as counseled and trained clients on internal investigations, including those involving employee whistleblower matters.

Tracy frequently provides training sessions to employees, management and human resources professionals on various employment-related topics, including discrimination, harassment and retaliation, effective employment documentation, leave and accommodation issues and legislative updates.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracy has been a trusted advisor for clients navigating the impacts of COVID-19 on their business operations and employees. She has provided guidance on remote workforce policies, procedures and training; employee safety; reductions in force, furloughs, layoffs; leave due to coronavirus or childcare interruptions; ADA accommodations; return to work issues, including mandatory vaccines, health screens, salary reductions, social distancing in the workplace, and preventing discrimination and harassment related to COVID-19; among many other challenges.

Tracy recently served as an Adjunct Professor teaching Federal Civil Discovery at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law during the 2021 Spring Semester.

Tracy previously served a two-year term as a law clerk to the Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (J.D., magna cum laude, 1995)
    • Harno Fellow
  • Northwestern University (B.S., 1991)
    • Major: Political Science
    • Concentration: Asian Studies
  • Waseda University, International Division (1990)
    • Focus: Intensive Japanese language training, international relations, political science and economics

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section (1995–2002). (Vice Chair, project officer, Co-chair of the National Mock Trial Competition, and Co-chair of the Federal Trial Bar Training Course)

Professional Recognition

  • Illinois Super Lawyers®, Employment & Labor, 2014-present
  • Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service - United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2017)
  • Quarles & Brady Star Mentor Award (2020)
Payment Portal

You are leaving the Quarles & Brady website and being directed to the bill presentment and paying service offered by a third party provider. If you do not wish to continue to the site, click Close or use the Back button on your web browser to return the Quarles & Brady website.