Frank J. Del Barto

Principal, Schaumburg
Phone: 847.734.8811

Frank Del Barto, Chair of the Firm's Employment, Labor & Benefits Group and former Chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Employee Benefits Committee, counsels company executives, senior and local human resource managers on a broad range of employment, health & welfare, and retirement plan matters.

Mr. Del Barto counsels management on employment discrimination, family and medical leave, wage and hour compliance, employee classification concerns, and a variety of litigation risk reduction strategies. He has negotiated and drafted numerous employment, severance, and independent contractor agreements and employment policies and handbooks. He has successfully represented clients in administrative matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Labor. Additionally, he has successfully represented clients in employment and wage matters in various state and federal courts.

Mr. Del Barto also counsels management on the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, COBRA, and myriad plan reporting, disclosure and compliance issues. He has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Labor on compliance audits and Form 5500 penalty assessments. Additionally, as retirement plan compliance has become increasingly more difficult to maintain, he has guided company management teams through complex 401(k) plan corrections with the Internal Revenue Service and has counseled clients on the formation and operation of plan committees to improve plan governance and reduce the risks and potential liabilities of plan sponsorship.

Mr. Del Barto's pro-bono practice concentrates on assisting military veterans and their dependents appeal their disability compensation claim denials with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. As an Army veteran, he is driven to assist veterans in obtaining compensation for their injuries that are connected to or aggravated by their military service. In 2017, he was awarded excellence in pro-bono service from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In May 2013, The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Service Award for his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans. In 2009, he received a similar award from the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Del Barto spent fourteen years in the insurance industry working with Fortune 500 companies and prominent universities. As a result of this real-world experience, he brings a unique business-oriented perspective to the legal challenges faced by his clients. He searches for solutions within management's acceptable risk tolerance.

Representative Matters

  • Tennessee manufacturing company representation in a federal wage and hour lawsuit wherein a former employee alleged that joint employer liability existed between the Tennessee company and its sister company in Ohio; obtained dismissal of the Ohio company; successfully settled the Tennessee portion of the case before any collective action certification.

  • Represented an Ohio manufacturing company by spearheading its response to a U.S. Department of Labor audit of its benefit plans.

  • Prepared and filed multiple 401(k) plan corrections under the IRS's Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System due to compensation, eligibility, deferral, and loan operational errors.

  • Based on extensive experience asserting arguments under the Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty between the United States and Japan, obtained dismissal of a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit filed in Illinois; assisted in the favorable resolution of an age discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey relying on the same FCN Treaty.

  • Manufacturing company representation in a disability discrimination matter, negotiating a settlement resulting in a voluntary withdrawal of the Illinois Department of Human Rights charge.

  • Assisted in representing a manufacturing company in a former employee's breach of contract claim, resulting in the federal District Court dismissing the four-count complaint with prejudice.

  • Successfully represented clients in unemployment claim hearings before the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

  • Successfully represented several different clients in pregnancy, race, age and disability discrimination claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


    • IRS Publishes Substantiation Guidance for 401(k) Hardship Distributions, March 2017
    • Wage and Hour – All of Our Employees Are Paid a Salary, January 2017
    • Apparently, 403(b) Plans Are Not Install and Forget Plans Either, September 2016
    • Illinois Prohibits Non-Compete Agreements with Low-Wage Employees, September 2016
    • Employers Must Provide Notice of Immunity in Any Contract of Agreement that Governs the Use of Trade Secrets or Confidential Information, July 2016
    • Final Rule: Salary Level Increased, June 2016
    • Health & Welfare: My Insurance Company Keeps Me Compliant, Right? June 2016
    • 401(k) Plan: Correcting for Plan Loan Failures, March 2016
    • Health Care Reform: Reducing Employee Hours to Avoid the ACA is No Game, March 2016
    • Health Care Reform: Cadillac Tax Delayed Until 2020, January 2016
    • Health Care Reform: IRS Extends Due Dates for Information Reporting, January 2016


    • Illinois CPA Society Employee Benefits Conference, "401(k) Plan Fee and Expense Litigation," May 2017
    • 14th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium, "Overview of USERRA," May 2017
    • "Fiduciary Training 101 and Correcting with the IRS and DOL," December 2016
    • Japanese Mutual Aid Society, "Navigating the Veterans Benefits System," November 2016
    • SHRM Chapter: "Joint Employer Relationships, October 2016
    • SHRM Chapter: "The Salary Level Change, Planning and Implementing," September 2016
    • HRoundtable: "2016 Employment and Benefit Challenges," January 2016 

Practice Areas


  • The Virginia Military Institute, B.A., 1987
  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. and LL.M. Employee Benefits Law, with honors, 2007


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association - Chair, Employee Benefits Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


  • Illinois Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2011-2017
  • Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer, 2017
  • Awarded Excellence in Pro Bono Service by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017
  • Recipient of The John Marshall Law School Alumni Associations' Distinguished Service Award for Efforts on Behalf of Veterans, 2013
  • Recipient of the Supreme Court of Illinois' Distinguished Service Award, 2009