Alan M. Kaplan

Principal, Schaumburg
Phone: 847.734.8811

Alan M. Kaplan of the Employment, Labor and Benefits group represents management in employment counseling, drafting, negotiations and litigation. He negotiates and drafts executive employment, confidentiality and non-competition agreements as well as employment policies and represents buyers and sellers in business transactions, conducting labor and employment due diligence. He counsels clients for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, hiring of executives and employees having restrictive covenants, implementation of employment policies, wrongful terminations, wage and hour, union avoidance and occupational safety and health. He 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 defends companies in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases in both federal and state courts. 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.

Mr. Kaplan has been admitted to practice in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Prior to Mr. Kaplan's association with the firm, he 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.

Mr. Kaplan was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2017, marking eight straight years receiving that honor, and he holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell for 15 consecutive years. A former Chair of the Labor and Employment Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), he is currently a member of both the ISBA's Small Business Advice Section Councils and a member of the American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Practice and Procedure before the NLRB. He also serves as a member of the steering committee of the Labor Law Conference, co-sponsored by Chicago Region 13 of the NLRB and Chicago-Kent School of Law.

He 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.

Representative Matters

  • 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.


    • 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


Practice Areas


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


  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuit

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Practice and Procedure Before the NLRB
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Council (former Chair)
  • 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


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2006, 2011-2018
  • Leading Lawyers, 2015-2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent for 15 consecutive years, 2017