Daniel O. Canales advises, litigates and negotiates on behalf of companies in labor, employment, commercial and other civil-related matters in state and federal courts and agencies throughout the United States, and in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution venues. He regularly first-chairs the defense of companies in a variety of employment litigation matters involving, for example: Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, NLRA, OSHA, SOX, OWBPA, WARN, USERRA, FCRA, DTSA, and related state statutes and common laws. He also routinely advises companies on day-to-day and complex labor and employment issues, conducts HR training, investigations and audits, and handles contract, non-compete and due diligence matters.
Mr. Canales’ clients range from small businesses to large multinational conglomerates, primarily in the manufacturing, distribution, construction, healthcare, and retail industries. He was previously a senior consultant in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte, where he advised and negotiated on behalf of companies on HR issues.
Mr. Canales is a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 2008) and Northwestern University (B.A., 2001).
Areas of Practice
Employment and Labor Law
- Non-Compete and Trade Secrets
- Wage and Hour
- First-chaired defense of bank and securities company against employee before a three-member FINRA panel in Florida seeking over $10 million. Handled all phases of discovery, motion practice, and arbitration with over 20 witnesses and competing experts. Received defense verdicts on wrongful termination and breach of contract claims, and a verdict on defamation claim wherein the Panel rejected claimant’s request for attorney’s fees and awarded him less than 1% of his monetary demand.
- First-chaired defense of manufacturer against wage garnishment claims in Winnebago County, Illinois seeking over $1.4 million. Handled all phases of discovery, motion practice, bench trial, and appeal, leading to a settlement which the client found favorable.
- Defended municipal association against employee’s age and gender discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Received a directed verdict on gender claim, a complete defense verdict from jury on age claim, and defeated motion for new trial.
- Defended retailer against employee’s pregnancy discrimination claims in the Eastern District of Michigan. Prepared successful pre-trial motions and related pleadings leading to a complete defense verdict from jury.
- Defended bakery against distributor’s breach of contract claims in the District of New Mexico. After conducting extensive discovery, prepared successful pretrial motions and related pleadings resulting in a settlement which the client found favorable in the week before trial.
- Defended oil company and manager against employees’ Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and state law discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Prepared successful pretrial motions and related pleadings leading to a settlement which the client found favorable on the eve of trial.
- In case of first impression under Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act, first-chaired defense of real estate company against wage garnishments claims. After receiving defense verdict at bench trial in Cook County, Illinois, won on appeal.
- Defended manufacturer in case of first impression under Illinois Employee Classification Act before Illinois Appellate Court, which affirmed dismissal of state-wide class action.
- First-chaired defense of pest control company against applicant’s race, retaliation, and arrest records discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois and Seventh Circuit. Successfully dismissed complaint and compelled arbitration, which the Seventh Circuit affirmed.
- Defended bakery against distributor’s breach of contract claims in Colorado state court and Court of Appeals. Successfully dismissed distributor and its owner, opposed plaintiffs’ post-judgment motions, won on appeal, and received attorney’s fees and costs at both trial and appellate levels.
- In a case of first impression under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, defended chemical company’s human resources manager against former employee’s discrimination and retaliation claims in the Northern District of Illinois and Seventh Circuit. After extensive discovery, won summary judgment and on appeal.
- First-chaired the defense of distributor against former employee’s FMLA, ADEA, and defamation claims in the District of Nevada, leading to a dismissal of all claims and judgment against plaintiff.
- Defended chemical company against former employee’s discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims under the FMLA, ADA, and related state law claims in the Eastern District of Tennessee. After successful discovery motion practice, dismissed all claims against the company on summary judgment.
- Defended food company against former employee’s disability discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed complaint resulting in judgment against plaintiff.
- Defended transportation company against former employee’s disability discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed complaint resulting in judgment against plaintiff.
- Defended food company against employee’s age discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed complaint resulting in a non-monetary stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.
- Defended pharmaceutical company against employee’s Title VII discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Conducted internal investigation and identified dispositive evidence resulting in a dismissal of complaint after plaintiff’s counsel withdrew.
- Defended bank against employee’s Title VII claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed complaint in part and conducted discovery on remaining claims, resulting in a non-monetary stipulated dismissal with prejudice.
- First-chaired enforcement of medical practice’s restrictive covenants and breach of fiduciary duty claims against former doctor, leading to a TRO in the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County and subsequent settlement.
- First-chaired defense of dairy industry consultant against former employer’s non-compete claims in the Southern District of Iowa. Successfully handled all phases of opposition to motion for TRO and motion for permanent injunction, which were denied in their entirety by the Chief Judge.
- First-chaired enforcement of chemical company’s restrictive covenants against former sales representative and subsequent employer in the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County, resulting in a settlement which the client found favorable prior to preliminary injunction hearing.
- Successfully enforced healthcare company’s restrictive covenants against former executive in the Circuit Court in Lake County, Illinois, obtaining a TRO and subsequent stipulated injunction order against executive.
- Defended healthcare sales executive against former employer’s non-compete claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Moved to dismiss claims, resulting in a settlement which the client found favorable prior to the court’s ruling.
- Advised U.S. manufacturer on enterprise-wide OFCCP audit, assessing federal contractor and subcontractor status, application of intracompany single entity test, and scope of affirmative action plans.
- Led publishing company’s post-accident investigation of warehouse employee’s death, including fact investigation, witness interviews, preservation of evidence, and facilitating investigations by OSHA and deceased employee’s family attorneys.
- Conducted wage and hour audit for U.S. employer on hundreds of positions, policies, and practices for compliance with FLSA and state law.
- Advised global employer on corporate reorganization, including multiple RIFs, plant moves, and plant closures impacting thousands of employees’ rights under the WARN Act, OWBPA, NLRA, and state laws.
- Advised U.S. distributor on acquisition, addressing labor and employment related due diligence, APA revisions and negotiations, and employee onboarding strategy and execution.
- Defended retailer against VESSA claim before the Cook County Commission on Human Rights, including motion to dismiss and subsequent negotiations leading to a settlement which the client found favorable prior to hearing.
Trial and Arbitration
Advice and Counsel
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2008
- Recipient, Certificate in Labor and Employment Law
- Northwestern University, B.A., 2001
- Recipient, Evans Scholarship, Evans Scholars Foundation
Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2019-present
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC
- Shareholder, 2017-2019
- Associate, 2008-2016
- Clerk, 2007
- Senior Consultant/Consultant, 2001-2005
American Bar Association
Hispanic National Bar Association
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
Honors and Awards
Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-present
"City of Chicago Increases Minimum Wage," Ogletree Deakins Insights, 2015
Selected Speaking Engagements
- "Ethics in Settlement Discussions, Collective Bargaining, and Other Negotiations," Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies, Las Vegas, 2019
"Making the Tough Call: Real World Ethical Dilemmas for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, 2017
"2016 Employment Law Update: What Illinois Employers Need to Know," Ogletree Deakins Briefing, Chicago, 2016