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Alan Kaplan represents management in labor and employment litigation, counseling, drafting, negotiations, union relations and OSHA matters. His clients include businesses in the machine tool, automotive, construction and service industries, as well as professionals and executives who need counseling and assistance in drafting, negotiating and litigating employment and non-competition agreements. An Illinois “Super Lawyer” with an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, Alan’s creativity is manifest in the practical results he consistently delivers.

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Alan negotiates and drafts executive employment, confidentiality and non-competition agreements and employment policies. He represents buyers and sellers in business transactions and in conducting labor and employment due diligence. Alan advises on compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, the hiring of executives and employees having restrictive covenants, the implementation of employment policies, wrongful terminations, wage and hour, union avoidance and occupational safety and health. In addition, Alan has extensive experience in managing union elections and de-certifications, negotiating union contracts, preventing and stopping illegal picketing, and defending unionized clients during union trust fund audits, union grievances and arbitration hearings. He also aggressively defends companies in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases in both federal and state courts and before federal and state employment law agencies.

Alan safeguards and defends his client’s business passionately, efficiently, ethically and within the spirit and letter of the law. He is dedicated to providing strategic legal counsel and appreciated for his hands-on, collaborative nature and workable solutions that fall within the parameters of each client’s overall operational and financial goals. Alan considers how employment decisions actually effect each company’s bottom line. His straight-talk, business-oriented and zealous approach to problem-solving demonstrates that he takes his client’s business seriously, and his role in their success — personally.

Alan conducts in-house supervisory training sessions on such topics as union avoidance, anti-harassment, employment discrimination, hiring, discipline, safety and how employers should comply with laws relating to ill or injured employees. He was selected to conduct union avoidance training programs for the supplier group of a major Japanese automotive manufacturer and has spoken before the Japan America Society of Kentucky, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago and the Osaka, Japan Chamber of Commerce on labor and employment law issues.

Prior to joining the firm, Alan served as a Hearing Officer and prosecuting attorney in the Chicago Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). His government experience gives him unique insights and contacts when representing companies before federal, state and local agencies that regulate labor and employment laws, including the NLRB, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), state departments of human rights, the Occupational Safety Health and Administration (OSHA), and federal and state departments of labor.

Practice Areas


  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1980
  • Northwestern University, B.S.E., 1973 and M.A. Educational Administration, 1975


  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: 7th, 9th & District of Columbia Circuit


Defended and negotiated a settlement on behalf of a computer graphics company in a wrongful termination and non-competition agreement litigation in the Illinois Cook County Circuit Court.

Obtained a summary judgment against a former employee alleging breach of oral employment agreement, promissory estoppel and wrongful termination in Wyoming Federal District Court.

Strategized and helped implement reductions-in-force for corporations, including those in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.

Negotiated multiple union contracts with Teamsters Union for a unit of warehouse workers in Wood Dale, Illinois as well as negotiated union contracts with Machinists, Auto Workers and other unions in the manufacturing, service and construction industries.

Advised regarding several anti-union/pro-company campaigns, including decertification of Teamsters Union in Chicago, union losing vote unanimously.

Represented a multi-national corporation in Americans With Disabilities Act case at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Represented manufacturing and construction companies during investigations, litigation and negotiation of settlements with OSHA and the U.S. Solicitor of Labor's Office regarding the liability of companies for workplace injuries.

Obtained a partial summary judgment in Family & Medical Leave Act case in the Eastern District of Tennessee Federal Court for a manufacturing company.

Represented a public employer before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a race discrimination case, which was dismissed because of lies on an employment application.



American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Practice and Procedure Before the NLRB
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association - Chair Ex-Officio, Small Business and Financial Planning Section Council
Illinois State Bar Association - Coordinator, Continuing Legal Education, Labor and Employment Section Council
Illinois State Bar Association Small Business Advice Section Council
Kentucky State Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association
Steering Commitee of the Labor Law Conference, co-sponsored by Chicago-Kent School of Law
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
Opening Up Your Workplace Again - Part 6
Executive Summary On Thursday April 16, 2020, President Trump unveiled his "Guidelines for Opening Up America Again" (the…
President Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill
Executive Summary Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus…
COVID-19: Employer Responsibilities and Employees' Rights
As every company confronts the coronavirus, their owners, officers, and human resource professionals are confronting a new landscape…
Union Members Vote Out Union
Executive Summary In an unusual situation, an employer filed a request with the federal government to allow its employees the right to…
Is Your Company Ready for Your Employees Using Marijuana and Other New Illinois and Federal Laws for 2020?
Executive Summary On October 23, 2019, Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Group presented a…
Prepare to Comply with Illinois' New Anti-Harassment Laws
Executive Summary The Illinois Legislature and Governor JB Pritzker have responded to the #MeToo Movement with important new…
Are You Using the Correct Severance Agreements?
Executive Summary Severance agreements are a vital part of every company’s Employment Law Toolkit. Executives should not download…
Drafting Mistakes Sink an Arbitration Agreement
Executive Summary Clients are contacting our Firm to draft arbitration agreements for their employees. Some clients are finding sample…
Make Sure Your Arbitration Agreement is Enforceable
Executive Summary After last year's Supreme Court's ruling approving arbitration agreements, many companies are requiring its…
Keeping the Foreign Parent Corporation Out of Legal Trouble
Executive Summary A subsidiary of a foreign parent corporation should try to protect the parent from liability under America’s…
New Rules for Drafting Employee Handbooks
As one of its first rulings sweeping aside decisions by President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (“Labor Board”), President Trump’s…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - October 2017
Message from the Chair On behalf of the Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Group, I want to thank all clients and friends who attended…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - August 2017
SAVE THE DATE: September 28, 2017 - Annual Seminar On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Employment, Labor and Benefits group will hold its…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - June 2017
Masuda Funai's Attorneys Speak on Employment and Benefits Matters Advertised in Crain's Chicago Business, Alan M. Kaplan and Frank J. Del…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - April 2017
Discrimination: Chicago Appellate Court Rules that Sexual Orientation is Sex Discrimination By Alan M. Kaplan After the United States…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - February 2017
Annual Seminar Reminder MFEM's Immigration Group will hold its 2017 Annual Immigration Law Update Seminar on Friday, February 24, 2017, at…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - December 2016
Upcoming Webinar In January, we will present a complimentary webinar entitled "Post-Election HR Management Outlook." We plan to discuss a…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - August 2016
The Seventh Circuit Affirms: No Federal Protection from Sexual Orientation Discrimination Without Action by the U.S. Supreme Court or…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - June 2016
Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Increasing Salary Level Required for White-Collar Exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act By…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - April 2016
California Supreme Court Delivers Good News for Employers With Respect to Arbitration Agreements By Jiwon Juliana Yhee Plaintiff Maribel…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - February 2016
Employment – New Guidance Makes Clear That DOL Will Look For, and Likely Find Joint Employment Under FLSA By Nancy Sasamoto Last July…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - January 2016
Employment – A Limitation on the Enforceability of Forum-Selection Clauses in California By Jiwon Juliana Yhee Executive Summary: In…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - December 2015
Employment – Overtime Rule to Be Finalized in July 2016 By Frank J. Del Barto In August 2015, we reported that the U.S. Department of Labor…
Do You Need the Ever Ready Anti-Union Campaign?
Does your company employ 2 or more employees? Have there been issues with paychecks? Supervisors? Anger about policy changes? Is there a…
Understanding the Process: A Guide to the National Labor Relations Act
Executive Summary: More and more, the National Labor Relations Board is becoming an important government agency for companies whose…
Have You Implemented the Ever Ready Anti-Union Campaign?™
The National Labor Relations Board has issued final regulations helping unions to organize employees faster and easier. The regulations…
Japanese Parent May Be Jointly Liable with its Subsidiary
Todd Brown worked in the New Business Development Group for Daikin America, Inc. ("DAI"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries…
Site Selection and Union Avoidance
ABC Manufacturing Co. had a choice to build its American factory in either Illinois or Indiana. It selected Columbus, Indiana, believing…
Is the EEOC Confused?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") appears to be giving cross-signals. The EEOC is the agency of the federal government…
How Northwestern University Has Reacted to the NLRB's Decision and What May Happen
[Editor's Note: Alan is both a graduate of Northwestern University and a former hearing officer and prosecuting attorney in Chicago's…
EEOC Attacks Severance Agreements
Every year, employers should audit their employment agreements, especially the separation, settlement and severance agreements they use…
No-Gossip Policy Violates Federal Law
Gossip is a terribly destructive action by employees and hurts morale and productivity. As a result, employers properly want to restrict…
The Top 6 Employment Challenges of 2014
Are companies ready for 2014? Last year, we saw several significant changes and reminders to lessen the risks of suit. Here is our list of…
Mergers & Acquisitions – Union Due Diligence
[Editor's Note: Mr. Kaplan was a prosecuting attorney and hearing officer at the National Labor Relations Board prior to joining Masuda…
California – Substantial Motiving Reasons for Discrimination
On August 21, 2013, California's Second District Appellate Court ruled that the proper standard of causation is whether discrimination or…
Illinois Enacts Concealed Carry Employment Policies
Now that Illinois has enacted a concealed carry law, a number of clients have asked for policies regarding their employees and visitors…
UNIONS: Unlocking the Mystery of Right-to-Work Laws
When companies select a site to locate in the United States, one of the considerations is union avoidance. Many companies want to locate in…
Workplace Investigations – When May a Company Require Confidentiality?
An employee complains about sexual harassment. Another employee is accused of embezzlement. At the end of their conversations with the…
WAGE & HOUR – Compensatory Time Off: Mistakes and Solutions
Some companies do not want to pay overtime to their California employees when they work more than 40 hours in a work week or more than 8…
Illinois: Report from Springfield, Illinois
The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate committees have now approved the following bills, which will impact all employers in…
Report from Springfield and Government Agencies
In Springfield The Illinois State Legislature will be considering several employment laws. The Workplace Violence Prevention Act allows…
UNIONS – A Fundamental Lesson Verified
Back in the 1980's, in a union election at a private mail carrier, the employees petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for an…
UNIONS – Michigan Becomes a Right-to-Work State
Michigan has now joined Indiana and 22 mostly southern states in becoming a right-to-work state. Seen by most as a knife in the heart of…
SEX DISCRIMINATION – Termination for Being Too Attractive Not Sex Discrimination
On December 21, 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court dismissed a case filed by Melissa Nelson, whom the Court described as an "irresistibly…
Speaking Engagements
Recreational Marijuana: Where are we Now, Northwest Human Resource Council Roundtable, February 2020
Effective Succession Planning through Talent Management, iSolved, July 2019
Issues to Recognize and Resolve When Dealing with Clients of Diminished Capacity, program Moderator, Illinois State Bar Association Business Advice and Financial Planning Section, October 2017
Onboarding and Terminating Employees, Illinois workNet, May 2017
2017 Employment Law Challenges, No. S5:E3., April 2017
Managing Risk for Employers -- Terminations, Center for Strategic Solutions, Inc., March 2017
Impact of the 2016 Election on Employment Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Small Business Section, December 2016
The Most Serious Sexual Harassment Issues, sponsored by the DeKalb Area Human Resource Management Association, December 2016
Terminations and Outplacement, presented with Nancy Sasamoto and Patricia Siderius, Managing Director, BPI, Inc., co-sponsored with BPI, Inc., March 2016
Social Media – Employer Actions and Employee Protections, sponsored by the Chicago Chapter, Financial Executives International, February 2016
The Ever-Ready Anti-Union Campaign™ – the Response to the NLRB's Ambush Election Regulations, webinar co-sponsored with EMSI Consulting, Inc., January 2015
Hot Topics in Contemporary Labor Law: Nuts and Bolts of Unfair Labor Cases before the National Labor Relations Board, 2014
Labor Law Conference co-sponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law and Region 13, National Labor Relations Board, July 2014
Protecting Your Intellectual Property," sponsored by the German American Chamber of Commerce, March 2014
What the Experts Say: Termination of EEOC Protected Classes, sponsored by EMSI Consulting, Inc., December 2013
Employment, Labor & Benefits Issues in Mergers & Acquisitions, sponsored by FirstMerit Bank, with Nancy E. Sasamoto and Jennifer Watson, March 2013
Impact of the 2012 Election on American Employment Law, sponsored by the Osaka, Japan Chamber of Commerce, December 2012
Complimentary Webinar: Employment Law Challenges for 2019 - Marijuana, Harassment & Exempt Salary Test
Topics include: How does the Illinois’ Workplace Transparency Act change employers' employment agreements, severance agreements and…
Complimentary Webinar: Updating Employment Procedures and Policies to Comply with 2019 Laws
What are emerging employment law trends and key challenges that businesses will face in 2019? Learn how these new changes may affect your…
Complimentary Webinar: Successful Recruiting for German Subsidiaries in the U.S. Market
During the webinar, the experienced Recruiting Services team at GACC Midwest will address intercultural differences in the recruitment…
Complimentary Webinar: Terminations and Post-Employment Issues
Join us for the final part of The Employment Life of Robert Rightman. Although Robert has been employed at National Industrial Corporation…
Complimentary Webinar: Performance Management, Rights and Responsibilities
Join us for Part 3 of The Employment Life of Robert Rightman. After his hiring and after determining his wages, hours and benefits…
Wages, Hours & Benefits Webinar
Masuda Funai is pleased to announce the second part of our 2018 Webinar Series, entitled “The Employment Life of Robert Rightman.” After…
Recruitment, Hiring & New Employee Orientation Webinar
Recruitment, Hiring & New Employee Orientation Should the company classify the new worker as an employee or independent contractor? What…
2017 Employment, Labor & Benefits Group Complimentary Seminar
EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS GROUP COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Trump Administration's…
Employment Webinar: January 20, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board has issued its "Ambush Election" rules. Has your company implemented the Ever Ready Anti-Union…
Alan Kaplan Authored an Article in the GACC Human Resources in the U.S. Report
The article "Setting Up the New HR Department at Your New U.S. Subsidiary" is featured in the March 2020 German American Chamber of…
Alan Kaplan Authored an Article in BizBuddy
The article "Are You Using the Correct Severance Agreements?" featured on BizBuddy’s website addresses the challenges of creating a…
Alan Kaplan Quoted in Illinois Bar Journal
Alan Kaplan was quoted in an Illinois Bar Journal article “Ready or Not, Cannabis Is Here.” Key Takeaways: Federal contractors are…
Masuda Funai Hosts 2019 Employment Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Employment Seminar on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Approximately 110 executives…
Alan Kaplan Appointed CLE Coordinator for ISBA
Alan Kaplan, Principal of Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. was appointed Coordinator, Continuing Legal Education for the Labor &…
Masuda Funai Hosts 2018 Employment Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Employment Seminar on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Approximately 120 executives…
Masuda Funai Lawyers Named Super Lawyers for 2018
August 2017 Alan M. Kaplan, Employment & Labor Alan Kaplan, a Principal at Masuda Funai, was named an Illinois Super Lawyer for 2018…


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2006, 2011-2020
  • Leading Lawyers, 2015-2020
  • AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell for 15 consecutive years, 2017