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 ADR venues. He also conducts HR training, investigations and audits, and handles contract, restrictive covenant and due diligence matters. Mr. Canales’ clients range from small businesses to large multinational conglomerates in a variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, distribution, banking and private equity. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, where he teaches Employment Law. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Canales was a Senior Consultant in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte, where he advised and negotiated on behalf of Fortune 500 companies on HR issues.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 transportation company against former employee’s disability discrimination claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed complaint resulting in judgment against plaintiff.
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.
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.
Led internal investigations into sexual harassment allegations, prepared advice memoranda, and counseled Board of Directors and in-house legal team.
Advised U.S. distributor on acquisition, addressing labor and employment related due diligence, APA revisions and negotiations, and employee onboarding strategy and execution.
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.
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.
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.
Conducted wage and hour audit for U.S. employer on hundreds of positions, policies, and practices for compliance with FLSA and state law.
Annually prepare nationwide updates to employer handbooks, policies, and guidelines.
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
- Summer Associate, 2007
- Senior Consultant, 2001-2005
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Employment Law
Hispanic National Bar Association
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
Honors and Awards
Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2019
- Co-author, "Illinois Legislature Passes More Employee-Friendly Bills," Illinois State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law, September 2023
- Co-author, "Illinois Legislature Passes More Employee-Friendly Bills," Duane Morris Alert, July 18, 2023
- Co-author, "Illinois Adopts Mandatory Paid Leave; Other New Employer Obligations on the Horizon," Duane Morris Alert, March 14, 2023
- Co-author, "Illinois and Chicago Employers: Preparing for the New Year," Duane Morris Alert, December 15, 2022
- Co-author, "Illinois Employers: Another Wave of Employment Laws Requires Attention," Duane Morris Alert, June 28, 2022
- Co-author, "Illinois Department of Labor Announces Opening of Equal Pay Registration Certificate Application Period for Illinois Employers," Duane Morris Alert, February 3, 2022
- Co-author, "Illinois Employers: 2021 State and Local Employment Laws Require Attention," Duane Morris Alert, August 3, 2021
- Co-author, "Laws and Tax Incentives Fill COVID-19 Paid Leave Void as Vaccinations Increase and More Employers Return to In-Person Work," Duane Morris Alert, April 28, 2021
- Co-author, "Illinois Enacts Law Limiting Use of Criminal Conviction Records, Mandates New Equal Pay Registration Certificate and Employee Composition Data Reports," Duane Morris Alert, March 26, 2021
- Co-author, "Illinois Bill Limits Employers' Use of Criminal Conviction Records, Mandates New Equal Pay Registration Certificate and Employee Composition Data Annual Report," Duane Morris Alert, February 18, 2021; reprinted in Labor & Employment Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Volume 8, Issue 5, March 2021
- Co-author, "Illinois Imposes New Restrictions Following Surge in COVID-19 Cases," Duane Morris Alert, November 20, 2020
- Co-author, "New Guidance for Illinois Employers on Required Annual Harassment and Discrimination Disclosure Reports," Duane Morris Alert, July 23, 2020
- Co-author, "Chicago City Council Passes Two COVID-19 Employee Protection Ordinances," Duane Morris Alert, May 26, 2020
- Co-author, "Illinois Publishes Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Program to Help Employers Meet Deadline," Duane Morris Alert, May 1, 2020
- Co-author, "Illinois Employers: 10 New Employment Laws You Need to Know for 2020 and Beyond," Duane Morris Alert, January 28, 2020
- "Duane Morris Welcomes Employment Partner Daniel O. Canales in Chicago," Duane Morris Announcement, September 17, 2019
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris LLP, May 31, 2023
- Speaker, "HR in the Heartland: Compliance Action Items for Illinois and Ohio Employers," Duane Morris Institute (DMi) Webinar, September 20, 2022
- Speaker, "The New Normal Series: What’s Hot in Employment Law," Association of Legal Administrators, Chicago Chapter, Webinar, January 19, 2022
- Speaker, "State Law Updates, Including COVID-19 Workplace Laws and Regulations," The New Reality of Workplace Law and Practice in the COVID-19 Era, Duane Morris LLP, Webinar, November 12, 2020
- "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