At GKWW, our employment practice is singularly diverse: involving civil rights, retaliation and discrimination based on age, race, sex, disability, religion, national origin and sexual harassment. We represent clients in labor and employment matters in federal and state court, at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor and the Department of Employment Security.

Our clients in these matters are no less diverse than the practice itself: employers, employees, corporations, individuals, municipalities, independent contracts, and partnerships.

This extraordinary breadth of practice and perspective allows us to analyze your specific issue from multiple vantage points. Our input in this field is so sought-after that we have been called to speak to both prominent businesspeople and lawyers regarding structured layoff practices, restrictive covenants, and non-compete agreements.

We invite you to review the Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona blog, where we offer a look at our most recent successes. As you see, a GKWW partner in your employment law matters can make a world of difference in outcomes. Contact Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona for a free consultation.

Since our establishment in 1992, Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona has brought a sophisticated, well-knit mosaic of expertise to bear in several practice areas. We are aggressive, ethical advisers who get things done.

To arrange a consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable staff, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


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Explore our focus areas within our employment law practice.

Employee Policies & Counseling

Employment Contract Disputes

Covenants & Non-Compete Agreements

Employment Discrimination Claims

Sexual Harassment Litigation

FMLA Violations

Whistleblower Claims


Wage Claims / Federal Labor Standards Act

Employee Policies & Counseling

Our firm serves as outside general counsel to over 180 companies. In that role, we advise corporate officers and HR Directors regarding employment issues every day. The breadth of problems that we have addressed for these companies means that we don’t have to “recreate the wheel” when considering any issues that a client may have.

Employment Contract Disputes

Matters involving employment contracts–which protect executives and others when a company seeks to change direction (or when an employee discovers that a new position or opportunity is not as promised)–demand a uniquely broad and thorough understanding of employment law, as employment agreements touch nearly all corners of the practice area.

In these matters, the details are of the essence, especially for the high-level executive. They involve their medical benefits, other fringe benefits, stock options, employee benefit plans, 401(k)s, bonus arrangements, executive authority, travel obligations, entertainment budgets, car allowances, tax implications, frequent flier mile attribution, life insurance and so on. These figure heavily into the employment relationship.

In the case of executives and salespersons, negotiation and litigation involving non-competition provisions, restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements can prove crucial. Notably, one of our lawyers–Tom Gardiner–has lectured both prominent businesspeople and fellow lawyers regarding restrictive covenant and non-compete agreements.

Our employment practice encompasses the full diversity of these matters, and our clients are as diverse as our practice. They consist of employers, employees, corporations, limited liability companies, individuals, municipalities, independent contracts and partnerships alike. This wide range of experience and perspectives enables us to analyze our clients’ issues from multiple vantage points.

We we represent clients regarding employment matters in all possible forums: federal and state court, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Department of Employment Security and beyond.

Covenants & non-compete agreements

Over the years, GKWW has handled dozens of restrictive covenant cases. The ability to restrict a former company employee (and fiduciary) from competing against that company may protect its very existence.

Restrictive covenants comprise one of the most active–and complicated–areas of litigation in employment law. These often involve the confidentiality of trade secrets, extending into issues of corporate opportunity and the break of fiduciary duty. Necessarily, most of these cases involve the request for injunctions.

Notably, one of our name partners–Tom Gardiner–has been called on to lectured both businesspeople and fellow lawyers regarding restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements. He has written a number of articles on the topic.

Employment Discrimination Claims

At GKWW, we are well-versed in every aspect of–and perspective on–the delicate, often emotionally-charged sphere of employment discrimination. We have represented both sides, helping to eventuate a fair, respectful, watertight closure of the matter.

Sexual Discrimination

Our firm has handled claims involving harassment by one municipal employee against another. We have also handled cases involving claims that employees were fired or demoted based upon failure to provide sexual favors (or based upon the employee’s sexual orientation). We have represented municipalities and individuals relating to claims of hostile work environments (in which sexual banter or activities were allegedly pervasive). We have represented parties in cases involving claims involving sexual comments, sexual touching, consensual relationships (involving off duty and on-duty conduct) and terminations based upon new marriage or family relationships.

Racial Discrimination

We have represented parties in practically every type of discrimination matter involving race. Sometimes, these cases involve overt racial comments and actions; more commonly, they are alleged to involve subtle discrimination or discrimination.

National Origin Discrimination

While it’s a less frequent claim than race or sex discrimination, national origin discrimination clearly exists. In the post-9/11 world, certain stereotypes have unfortunately led to an increase in this type of discrimination. GKWW’s attorneys have successfully represented parties involving such claims.

Religious Discrimination

While religious discrimination may also be related to national origin or race discrimination, it occupies a distinct space and must be treated as a unique entity. We have successfully litigated these matters on behalf of our clients.

Sexual Harassment Litigation

GKWW’s attorneys have represented both employers and employees in disputes involving sexual harassment and related hostile work environments. We have litigated Title VII and other federal suits–including retaliatory discharge and whistleblower cases–involving sexual harassment, and have represented parties in connection with similar state law claims and other claims (such as battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation).

FMLA Violations

GKWW’s attorneys demonstrate significant experience in handling cases brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act–both from the employer and employee perspective. As such, we can provide vital advice from both perspectives.

We help companies to ensure that their policies are in compliance with the Act. We have represented employers who are accused of violating its provisions. We have also represented employees who believe that their requests for leave under the Act were wrongfully denied, or that their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under the Act.

Whistleblower Claims

Because the tort of retaliatory charge is often restricted to limited statutory or public policy violations, expansive whistleblower claims have become more prevalent, and the damages afforded to whistleblowers can be very substantial. GKWW has substantive knowledge and expertise in this area.


Reductions in force present many pitfalls for unwary employers. Our attorneys are experienced in providing advice to employers regarding compliance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and other state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Wage Claims & Federal labor standards act

Federal law provides that hourly workers must be paid for all hours worked, and must be paid overtime at specified rates. The penalties against the employer and the damages to the employee can be quite substantial when the FSLA is invoked. We have represented parties to litigation where this law has been violated, including class actions.