John C. McIlwee

Associate

Chicago
T +1 312.416.6248  |  F +1 312.416.6268

John McIlwee represents and counsels employers in labor and employment matters, using his written and oral advocacy skills to effectively vindicate clients at trial, throughout pretrial litigation, and in all aspects of pre-litigation dispute resolution. In addition, John advises clients on strategies to minimize or eliminate exposure to class action litigation, specifically regarding issues such as payment and wage and hour concerns. John brings a depth of experience to his thoughtful yet assertive representation. 

Select Experience

  • Co-chaired jury trial to $1 million verdict in favor of client in a breach of contract case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Disproved joint employer theory of liability on summary judgment and defeated Title VII hostile work environment and retaliation claims asserted against client, user of temporary labor.
  • Defeated conditional certification of nationwide collective action for a provider of inspection services to the property and casualty insurance industry, where a former field representative alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA purportedly arising out of the employer's piece-rate payment system.
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Experience

  • Co-chaired jury trial to $1 million verdict in favor of client in a breach of contract case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Disproved joint employer theory of liability on summary judgment and defeated Title VII hostile work environment and retaliation claims asserted against client, user of temporary labor.
  • Defeated conditional certification of nationwide collective action for a provider of inspection services to the property and casualty insurance industry, where a former field representative alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA purportedly arising out of the employer's piece-rate payment system.
  • Defeated class certification for a movie rental chain brought by employees who alleged the client failed to pay them for off-the-clock work. A federal judge denied to certify class based on the plaintiffs' failure to establish common claims.
  • Dismissed with prejudice the named plaintiff and class representative in a putative nationwide collective and statewide class action alleging off-the-clock work.
  • Defeated class certification for a movie rental chain brought by employees who alleged the client improperly classified them as exempt from overtime pay under the IMWL. A federal judge denied the employees' bid for certification due to individualized issues predominating over common issues.
  • Counsels employers on compliance with federal, state and local laws relating to equal employment opportunity, leave, wages, benefits, hours of work, employee classification, management training, decisions involving hiring, disciplinary action, termination and other employment policies.
  • Assists clients in pretrial litigation efforts to minimize exposure by decreasing class size or eliminating the class action completely, including moving to strike class action allegations from complaint for a firm client based on recent U.S. Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit precedent.
  • Represents employers in federal and state agency administrative proceedings and in investigations conducted by the attorney general's office.
  • Counsels clients on pre-litigation strategy for enforcing and defending against the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Recognitions

  • Leading Lawyers "Emerging Lawyer" (2015)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2014 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Insurance Law Section Publication, The Policy: Co-Editor (July 2012 to December 2014)
  • Chicago Bar Association

Community

  • Johnny’s IceHouse Adult Hockey League: Team Captain and Manager

Services

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Illinois

Education

  • J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2010, CALI Award recipient in Transnational Dispute Resolution and Evidence; Philip H. Corboy Fellowship recipient in Trial Advocacy
  • B.A., The University of Iowa, 2006