Jennifer Long

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Jennifer Long practices management-side employment law with an emphasis on practical and efficient resolution of workplace-related issues. Ms. Long has provided legal counsel on all aspects of employment law to clients ranging from startups to local mid-market companies to major multinationals, in industries including health care, financial services, IT, retail, restaurants, construction and non-profit employers. She has provided day-to-day counsel on matters related to: employee misconduct investigations; wage and hour compliance; independent contractor and employee misclassification issues; leave of absence compliance; workplace investigations; code of conduct and restrictive covenant development and compliance; global restructurings and reductions in force; and employee liabilities related to multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Long also has been primary defense attorney in claims involving discrimination, harassment and employment practices, including those arising under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, WARN and equivalent state laws, including class actions. She has negotiated settlement and conciliation agreements with state and federal agencies on behalf of major corporate clients, as well as employment and separation agreements with senior executives, and has prepared and assisted in the implementation of multi-jurisdictional employee handbooks, policies and procedures. She also has both prosecuted and defended restrictive covenant enforcement actions, as well as defamation, breach of contract and other tort actions on behalf of employers in litigation involving former employees.

Ms. Long served as judicial extern to the Honorable Kenneth J. Ripple of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Long is a summa cum laude graduate of the Valparaiso University School of Law, where she was note editor of the Valparaiso University Law Review, and a magna cum laude graduate of Valparaiso University.

Representative Matters

    Human Resources Counseling

  • Counsel to publicly traded pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer in guiding human resources policies, practices, and procedures to respond to various compliance issues, including leave of absence (FMLA/ADA) management, background check (FCRA) compliance, workplace conduct investigations, and other federal and state law compliance issues.
  • Represent numerous facilities in the health care industry, including skilled nursing, intermediate care for the developmentally disabled, hospitals, and physician practices. Act as outside employment counsel providing day-to-day guidance on employee liability issues; prepare and implement policies, procedures, and training; and conduct investigations. Defend numerous claims in federal and state courts and before various administrative agencies.
  • Counsel to private elementary school on teacher contract termination and related issues arising out of child welfare agency investigation of teacher's on-premises conduct.
  • Counsel to public elementary school's governing body on issues related to non-renewal of principal's contract. Principal's request for review of non-renewal decision resolved successfully in client's favor.
  • Counsel to publicly traded payment processing company in conducting internal audits and guiding overhaul of human resources policies, practices, and procedures regarding wage and hour (FLSA) and leave of absence (FMLA/ADA) compliance. Prepared employee handbook compliant in all 50 states for multiple employee groups. Analyzed restrictive covenant and independent contractor liabilities in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Counsel to major affordable housing employer in conduct of internal investigation of wage and hour compliance under state and federal law. Managed reclassification of numerous positions in manner which avoided all potential litigation.
  • Counsel to numerous mid-market employers in multiple industries for the preparation and implementation of multi-jurisdictional policies and procedures, including comprehensive employee handbooks as well as restrictive covenants and arbitration agreements.
  • Represented numerous major independent franchisors in the restaurant and other service industries. Acted as outside employment counsel providing day-to-day guidance on liability issues, prepared and implemented policies and procedures, and conducted investigations. Defended more than 150 claims in federal and state courts and before various administrative agencies. All matters won, averted or resolved to the employer's satisfaction.
  • Avoided further legal action and the assessment of financial penalties and contracting bars by successfully defending several manufacturing, construction, retail and banking industry clients in wage payment actions brought by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance and Illinois Department of Labor.
  • Represented a fast-food industry client in the resolution of a sexual assault complaint. Avoided the filing of a threatened $1 million claim without payment to claimant.
  • Enabled numerous U.S.-based public companies to protect their competitive positioning by advising them regarding the implementation of restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements in up to 50 different countries concurrently.
  • Assisted numerous U.S.-based public companies in implementing global Sarbanes-Oxley compliance programs and other corporate governance reforms by advising them in the implementation of employee policies, codes of conduct and ethics on a global basis.
  • Litigation

  • Represented numerous health care industry clients (including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care for the developmentally disabled) in the defense of lawsuits and charges raising discrimination, harassment, retaliation and related tort claims brought under Illinois state law. All cases dismissed or resolved favorably to the client.
  • Represented national retail optical chain in nationwide ADA Title III public accommodation class action and other actions regarding access to optical examinations. Provided counsel through multi-year compliance program implemented to the client's satisfaction.
  • Represented major financial services firms in defense of a number of Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower, and employment tort cases. All matters won, averted or resolved to the employer's satisfaction.
  • Defended and prosecuted restrictive covenant and related business tort actions both on behalf of departing employee and new employer, and on behalf of former employer. All matters won, averted or resolved to client's satisfaction.
  • Represented a large affordable-housing employer in defense of an FLSA collective action for unpaid wages and overtime based on misclassification as "exempt." Achieved a global court-approved settlement based only on the amount claimed by the individually named plaintiff after eliminating potential for class certification.
  • Represented a major multinational fast-food franchisor in Title VII, § 1981 and employment tort case. Won dismissal on dispositive motion.
  • Represented a closely held retail bank in administrative trial of customer's public accommodation discrimination claims. Won defense verdict and award of attorneys' fees for plaintiff's discovery abuses.
  • Represented a large shopping-mall-based retail employer in defense of an FLSA collective action for unpaid wages and overtime based on misclassification as "exempt." Achieved a global court-approved settlement based only on the amount claimed by the individually named plaintiff after eliminating potential for class certification.
  • On behalf of an IT industry client, won dismissal of 10 wage-and-hour claims before the Illinois Department of Labor and affirmation by the Office of Chief Legal Counsel, and avoided a potential 30-plus-claimant class action suit with the potential of more than $1 million in claims and criminal charges against company executives.
  • Saved more than $200,000 on behalf of a client and avoided a state and/or federal contracting bar while acting as primary negotiator in the settlement of 100-plus class claims brought by the Illinois Department of Labor under the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.
  • Represented multiple fast-food industry clients in numerous ADA Title III public accommodation actions regarding access to restaurant services, including defense of nationwide class actions.
  • Corporate Counseling

  • Counsel to a test engineering and technical staffing services company on WARN Act issues related to its sale for $39 million.
  • Counsel to a furniture retailer with approximately 40 locations in several states on WARN Act issues related to its sale for $42 million.
  • Advised members and executive leadership of a closely-held electric motor manufacturer for the industrial and mass transit markets, on restrictive covenant, change of control and employee contract issues related to the sale of all their membership interests.
  • Advised owners of a digital learning solutions company on employee contract issues related to the $53 million sale to a private equity fund of its subsidiary, a company that provides educational internet offerings.
  • Advised a multi-state industrial services roll-up on employee transfer issues related to multiple acquisitions with asset value of more than $55 million.
  • Counsel to a nationwide high-end restaurant chain regarding WARN Act and federal, state and local issues related to site closures and layoffs in numerous states.
  • Counsel to major non-profit community center regarding employee transfer and federal and state WARN Act issues related to reorganization, bankruptcy and resulting sale.
  • Advised a U.S. public company regarding employee transfers arising out of a $260 million acquisition involving more than 500 employees located in 36 jurisdictions.
  • Advised a U.S. public company regarding employee transfer issues related to a $225 million acquisition involving employees domiciled in more than 20 countries.
  • Advised a U.S. public company regarding the outsourcing of information technology and business processes in a transaction resulting in employee transfers in 39 countries.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment and Labor Law

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Special Counsel, 2006-present
  • Baker & McKenzie
    - Senior Associate, 2000-2005
  • Lord, Bissell & Brook
    - Associate, 1996-2000

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
    - Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "What's New for Illinois Employers in 2016," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 25, 2016
  • Speaker, "Criminal Background Checks: From Fingerprints to Facebook: Dos and Don'ts," Leading Age Illinois, Schaumburg, Illinois, April 6, 2016
  • Speaker, "What's Hot in Employment Law? Ensure Your Facility Stays Out of the Fire and Complies," Illinois Healthcare Association 65th Annual Convention, Peoria, Illinois, September 17, 2015
  • Speaker, "Illinois Employment Law Update," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, June 4, 2015
  • Co-presenter, "What is new for Employers: Wellness Programs under HIPAA and the Proposed EEOC Regulations," Duane Morris Institute seminar, May 12, 2015
  • Speaker, "What Are Your Employees Up To? Social Media, Criminal Conduct, Computer Use and Cell Phones, Oh My!" Illinois Health Care Association's 64th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Peoria, Illinois, September 9, 2014
  • Speaker, "Illinois Employment Law Update: Medical Marijuana Use, Concealed Carry Of Firearms, Restrictive Covenants and Same Sex Marriage," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "What Are Your Employees Up To? Social Media, Criminal Conduct and Other Policies," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "The Never-Ending Battle Over Employee Absences: Complying with the FMLA and ADAAA," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "Wage-and-Hour Pitfalls: Updates From The U.S. Supreme Court, Department Of Labor And The Obama Administration," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "Federal Contractors: New VEVRAA/Section 503 Requirements," Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, Chicago, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "What Should Your HR Professionals Know Before Googling or Friending Employees or Applicants?", Developments in Workplace Law and Practice, May 24, 2011
  • Panelist, "The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Schedules," Avenues to Advancement: Ms. JD's Third Annual Conference on Women in Law, November 21, 2009
  • Speaker, New FMLA Regulations, 2008
  • "Countdown to Compliance," Final FLSA Overtime Coverage Regulations, 2004
  • New Employment Regulations and Supreme Court Decisions, 2003