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Yvette Heintzelman is a dynamic, tenacious, and effective management advocate who works collaboratively to deliver practical solutions to her clients in all aspects of both labor and employment matters.

Workplace Counseling

Yvette regularly advises employers on a wide range of workplace and legal issues including workplace misconduct, reasonable accommodations, FMLA leave, hiring, disciplining, terminating, severance agreements, employee training, personnel policies, labor agreement administration, wage and hour issues and other duties and liabilities of employers.  She has also assisted clients in responding to government investigations.

Employment Litigation

Yvette has litigated a broad spectrum of single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action cases including the following:

  • Title VII
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • 42 U.S.C § 1981 and §1983
  • Overtime and other wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Various state-law claims, including wrongful termination, whistleblower claims, and other general employment matters

Traditional Labor Relations

Yvette’s  traditional labor practice focuses on all aspects of traditional labor law.  She regularly represents clients in collective-bargaining negotiations, organizing campaigns, labor arbitrations, unfair labor practice hearings and labor agreement administration.

Workplace Investigations

She has extensive experience investigating employee misconduct and working with public safety departments and  interpreting the Peace Officers Disciplinary Act, Safe T Act, and the Firefighters Disciplinary Act and associated agreements, laws, and regulations.

Pension/Post-Employment Benefits

Yvette’s  experience includes investigation and analysis of injury claims, particularly public safety injury claims and their intersection with disability and privacy issues, pension applications, PEDA and PSEBA benefits.

Additionally, Yvette has extensive experience representing employers in the public sector, real estate, manufacturing, retail/sales, and staffing industries. She creates and leads comprehensive management and human resources training on diversity issues, complex FMLA issues, discrimination and harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and conducts internal investigations.

Education

J.D., cum laude, Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska, 1989
B.A., Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, 1986

Recognitions

Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating (1989-Present)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois by Leading Lawyers℠ (2015-2022)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Labor Law-Management by Best Lawyers (2023)

Memberships

American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)

Illinois State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)

California Bar Association

Minnesota Bar Association

Wisconsin Bar Association

International Association of Chiefs of Police

Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police

State Bar Licenses

Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois Trial Bar
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of Illinois
U.S. District Ct., C.D. of Illinois
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of California

EXPERIENCE:

Employment Litigation:

  • Routinely acting as first-chair counsel on federal and state court employment litigation matters, federal and state administrative agency charges and employment arbitrations.
  • Obtained summary judgment on gender discrimination action filed against a public employer.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a pension liability claims filed against a pension board.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a disability claim alleging failure to offer light duty.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a race discrimination claim against a public employer.
  • Obtained summary judgment on several breach of contract claim.
  • Obtained verdicts in wrongful termination and racial discrimination cases.

Traditional Labor:

  • Extensive experience representing unionized clients in arbitration hearings on matters involving contract interpretation issues and employee discipline and terminations.
  • Represent unionized clients in unfair labor practice charges and hearings.
  • Drafting and revising employee handbooks and policies to comply with the labor board, IDHR and EEOC decisions and guidance.

Practical and Strategic Advice and Counseling:

  • Conducting sensitive and complex investigations arising from employee misconduct, employee complaints regarding discrimination, harassment and hostile work environments, FMLA, ADA and  workers compensation fraud and pension fraud.
  • Assisting employers with the administration of various leave statutes, FMLA, ADA and workers compensation with an emphasis on requests for accommodations and disability benefits.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: