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Ryan Gehbauer


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Ryan is an experienced employment law attorney who serves as a trusted advisor and effective litigator for employers of all sizes.

Ryan provides responsive and strategic day-to-day counseling to his clients' leadership, HR, and in-house legal teams on a wide variety of issues that arise during hiring, firing, and every phase of employment. He regularly offers guidance on the enforcement of restrictive covenants; wage and hour issues; background checks; workforce reductions; terminations; complaints of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment; leaves of absence, workplace safety, and workplace investigations and policies.

Ryan also routinely drafts and negotiates employment and severance agreements. In recent years, he has developed a special emphasis on employment and related agreements in the health care industry. He also frequently counsels health care entities and other clients on the myriad employment issues tied to mergers and acquisitions.

When employers face lawsuits, Ryan passionately and tactfully protects their interests in federal and state courts across the country, arbitration, mediation, and before government agencies. Ryan has jury trial and federal and state appellate experience, including multiple appeals before the 7th Circuit. Ryan has helped employers successfully navigate a multitude of employment-related claims, including improper competition and trade secret actions; discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims; wage and hour claims; and OSHA claims at the federal and state level. In recent years, Ryan has also developed extensive experience defending employers against claims under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and counseling them on BIPA to avoid or minimize liability under the act.

Ryan is passionate about collaborating with clients to pursue efficient and practical employment law solutions that align with their values and ultimate business goals.

Representative Experience

Achieved dismissal of a failure to hire discrimination case affirmed by the 7th Circuit.

Obtained a partial verdict in a federal court jury trial of an FMLA interference case.

Obtained a completely favorable jury verdict in a sexual harassment lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois.

Secured a favorable summary judgment ruling in a disability discrimination and tortious interference case affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Drafted and negotiated thousands of physician employment agreements.


The End of Non-Competes? A Federal and State Overview on Non-Compete Legislation

Returning to Work During COVID-19: Employment and Privacy Law Considerations

Remote Work Issues & Implications


BIPA litigation update: Cothron’s impact and employer BIPA defense affirmed

BIPA litigation offers no legislative reprieve to employers – yet

Thompson Coburn Publications

Illinois Supreme Court holds that a five-year statute of limitations will apply to all BIPA Claims

Illinois appeals court holds that BIPA Section 15(a) requires retention-and-destruction policies upon possession of any biometric data

Illinois Appellate Panel Upholds Employer Defense Against Employee BIPA Claims: Union Employee BIPA Claims Preempted by Federal Labor Law

Illinois Supreme Court ruling curtails prominent BIPA defense

Coming July 1: What Chicago employers need to know about the new paid sick leave, minimum wage and fair workweek rules

An overview of the Illinois Salary History Ban for employers

Illinois’s newly enacted ‘Workplace Transparency Act’ responds to the #MeToo movement

What’s new with the Illinois Wage Payment Act and four other HR law changes for 2019


Co-author, "BIPA litigation update: Cothron’s impact and employer BIPA defense affirmed",
Labor and Employment Law Section, Illinois State Bar Association Newsletter, July, 2023