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For more than 15 years, Christy Phanthavong has been providing employment counseling and employment litigation defense to management clients. She is one of the Firm’s "go to" experts for matters relating to all aspects of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), providing advice on such topics as managing intermittent leaves, responding to suspected fraud, and ensuring compliance with regulations. She regularly contributes FMLA-related posts to the Firm’s benefits blog, publishes FMLA-related articles, and provides training to HR professionals and managers on the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other employment law topics. She also advises clients regarding employee relations matters (including hiring, discipline and termination), drafts employee handbooks, and prepares employment and separation agreements.

Ms. Phanthavong is an experienced litigator before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She has been involved in the defense of management in single and multiple-plaintiff actions involving federal and state statutory discrimination, retaliation and wage and hour claims, including claims under Title VII, ADA, FMLA, ADEA, FLSA, ERISA, and the IHRA. She also has represented employers in class and collective actions under the ADEA and federal and state wage and hour statutes, as well as with respect to state law retaliatory discharge, breach of contract and tort claims.

Ms. Phanthavong has briefed and argued cases before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Seventh Circuits and the Michigan Court of Appeals, and has handled both federal and state jury trials.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • University of Illinois – Law Review; National Moot Court Team
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Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Section
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Representative Experience

  • In a multiple-plaintiff case alleging race discrimination against a food products manufacturer, obtained summary judgment on two plaintiffs’ claims and obtained a full defense verdict following jury trial on two plaintiffs’ claims.
  • Obtained dismissal of age and race discrimination claims against a retail pharmacy following public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
  • Obtained reversal at the appellate level of a judgment against a food products manufacturer in a breach of contract action.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of corporate clients and dismissal of complaints at the pleading stage in numerous cases.
  • Represented and counseled clients in various industries, including food companies, communications companies, non-profits, hospitals, lending and banking companies, pharmacies, and educational institutions.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "How to Avoid Liability When Hiring and Firing," ADP Institute for Educational Excellence, March 31, 2000 (co-speaker)