Mary Smigielski is a partner in the Chicago office of Lewis Brisbois, a member of the Labor & Employment Practice, and co-chair of the firm’s Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) practice group. Ms. Smigielski handles class/collective actions and single-plaintiff employment litigation, administrative charges, nationwide counseling, training, and sensitive workplace investigations, including at the C-Suite level. Having spent nearly a decade as in-house employment counsel for a multi-national, Fortune 50 company with responsibility for over 100,000 employees, Ms. Smigielski is in a unique position to recognize the challenges faced by our clients and is committed to achieving creative and cost-effective solutions.
Ms. Smigielski partners with all levels of leadership to achieve complex business objectives, define, assess and control legal risk, and implement workplace policies and best practices. She routinely represents employers in State and Federal Courts, and she has appeared in courts across the United States in individual, class, collective and multi-district litigation as well as mediations and arbitrations. She has extensive experience with administrative agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Chicago Commission on Human Relations and various other agencies nationwide.
Ms. Smigielski has been on the cutting-edge of the defense of class action litigation brought against employers and others under the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA). She works closely with national insurance carriers and private clients for defense, compliance and mitigation of risk related to BIPA.
Ms. Smigielski’s counseling practice involves partnering with clients on all aspects of the employee life cycle, including pre-employment screening, the application process, restrictive covenants, orientation, handbooks, policies, compensation programs, exemption analysis, leaves of absence, accommodations, crisis response/threat management, training, wage/hour audits, reductions-in-force, facility closures, termination counseling, separation agreements and responding to inquires from the media and regulatory officials.
Her practice also involves unfair competition law, business-to-business disputes, gig-economy initiatives, executive agreements, non-disclosure agreements, non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, professional services and independent contractor arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, asset purchase/sale agreements, and intellectual property matters such as the defense of trademarks.