University of Wisconsin Law School,
Member, Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal
University of Michigan,
B.A., Class Honors, 1995; 1998
Illinois USDC, Northern District
Illinois USDC, Southern District
Wisconsin USDC, Western District
US Ct Appeals, 7th Circuit (Covers IL, IN, WI)
American Bar Association
Illinois Bar Association
Wisconsin Bar Association
Recognized as "Illinois Super Lawyer", 2019-2024 (by Thomson Reuters)
Recognized as a "Rising Star", 2010-2016
Selected as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers in 2015 (by Law Bulletin Media)
Thompson Coburn LLP
TechForward Board of Directors, 2017-2020
Board of Advisors, 2023 - Present
Chicago Innovation Foundation Un-Gala Co-Chair, 2020-2022
Mothers Against Violence in Schools (MAVinS), co-founder
Susan is a highly experienced employment law attorney who serves as a seamless extension of her clients' HR and in-house legal teams. Said one HR director and longtime client, "Susan consistently provides insights that have helped our company save money and proactively deal with legal matters. We love working with her and the entire team at Thompson Coburn."
Susan is the Co-Vice Chair of Thompson Coburn's Labor and Employment department and leads the practice group in Chicago. She guides clients through every stage of the employee life cycle, from issues surrounding hiring and firing, workplace investigations and policies, and representation in state and federal courts on employment litigation matters.
For companies with five employees to those with 5,000, Susan provides day-to-day counseling on a wide variety of matters including background checks, discrimination, retaliation, enforcement of covenants not to compete, wage and hours issues, and family and medical leave. Working closely with a company's human resources department, Susan offers responsive, practical guidance that is shaped by an organization's ultimate goals — not the other way around.
Susan's practice spans from the board room to the courtroom. She has negotiated employment and severance agreements and is frequently called upon to handle employment aspects of a merger or acquisition. She is then able to pivot and successfully defended employers in state and federal court, including numerous appeals before the 7th Circuit, in addition to mediations and arbitrations.
In recent years, Susan has developed special experience in employer obligations for background checks and the Fair Credit Report Act, and unique issues surrounding remote work arrangements — both areas of increased enforcement by the EEOC. She has also spoken extensively and counseled employers on sexual harassment prevention and the impact of legalized medical marijuana laws on workplace policies.
Susan is a lifelong learner who loves to be challenged. She was drawn to the employment field because of her passion to engage with people and effectively handle the complex problems and opportunities that arise for employers in all industries and work settings.
Dismissal of failure to hire discrimination case affirmed by 7th Circuit
Obtained a partial verdict in an FMLA inference case in federal court jury trial
Obtained a completely favorable jury verdict in sexual harassment suit in Cook County
Granting of summary judgment in wrongful demotion suit affirmed by 7th Circuit
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
“Recent Developments in Labor & Employment Law”;
TCLE, November 2021
"Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines in Postsecondary Education”;
TCLE, August 2021
“Remote Work Issues & Implications”;
TCLE, October 2020
"Title IX Module 5: Title IX Determinations”;
TCLE, July 2020
“Title IX Module 3: Title IX Investigations & Informal Resolutions”;
TCLE, July 2020
"Preparing for the Climb: Top 5 Employment Policies to Revamp this Year";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, March 2015
"Playing by the Book: Best Practices for Workplace Investigations";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, March 2014
"Looking Forward: Pre-Employment and Hiring Issues and Post-Employment Records";
Illinois State Medical Society webinar, December 2013
"Entrance & Exit: Pre- and Post-Employment Issues";
Kane County Medical Society, September 2013
"Professional Conduct: Harassment and Sensitivity Issues";
Numerous firm clients, 2012-2013
"Putting the Pieces Together: Keeping Current with Changes in Labor, Employment and Benefits Law";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, February 2011
"Emerging Workplace Issues Related to Social Networking";
Marmon Human Resource Conference, November 2010
"Employment Law Update";
Sterling Education Services seminar, February 2008
"Looking Toward the Future: Technology and the Evolution of Human Resources Law";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, January 2008
"Recent Employment Law Issues";
Marmon Human Resources Seminar, November 2007
"Non-Tax Burdens that Hit the Bottom Line";
Insurance Tax Conference, Inc. (Discussed developments and trends involving nontax economic burdens imposed by states on insurers and their policyholders)
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