Law and the Workplace
Photo of Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Partner

Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and Co-Head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group and the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Steven’s practice covers the full spectrum of employment law, with a particular focus on defending companies against claims of employment discrimination, retaliation and harassment; whistleblower retaliation; restrictive covenant violations; theft of trade secrets; and wage-and-hour violations. He has successfully tried cases in multiple jurisdictions, and defended one of the largest Illinois-only class actions in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also secured one of only a few ex parte seizures orders that have been issued under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and obtained a world-wide injunction in federal litigation against a high-level executive who jumped ship to a competitor.

Reporting to boards of directors, their audit committees, CEOs and in-house counsel, Steven conducts sensitive investigations and has testified in federal court. His investigations have involved complaints of sexual harassment involving C-suite officers; systemic violations of employment laws and company policies; and fraud, compliance failures and unethical conduct.

Steven was recognized as Lawyer of the Year for Chicago Labor & Employment Litigation in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  Chambers describes Steven as an “outstanding lawyer” who is “very sharp and very responsive,” a “strong advocate,” and an "expert in his field." Steven was 1 of 12 individuals selected by Compliance Week as a "Top Mind." Earlier in his career, he was 1 of 5 U.S. lawyers selected by Law360 as a "Rising Star Under 40" in the area of employment law and 1 of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Steven is a Burton Award Winner (U.S. Library of Congress) for "Distinguished Legal Writing."

Steven has served on Law360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board and is a Contributor to Forbes.com. He has appeared on Bloomberg News (television and radio) and Yahoo! Finance, and is regularly quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has engaged Steven to serve as lead counsel on amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts of appeal. He was appointed to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in employment litigation matters. He has presented with the Solicitor of the DOL, the Acting Chair of the EEOC, an EEOC Commissioner, Legal Counsel to the EEOC and heads of the SEC, CFTC and OSHA whistleblower programs. He is also a member of the Sedona Conference, focusing on trade secret matters.

Subscribe to all posts by Steven J. Pearlman

Delaware Supreme Court Validates Forfeiture-For-Competition Provision in Unanimous Reversal of Chancery Court

In a win for businesses that rely on restrictive covenants to protect their assets and investments, on January 29, 2024, the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously reversed a Chancery Court decision that invalidated a “forfeiture-for-competition” provision in Cantor Fitzgerald’s limited partnership agreement. As we previously reported on this blog, last January the Chancery Court invalidated the … Continue Reading

Governor Hochul Vetoes New York Non-Compete Ban

After months of speculation and intense lobbying, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill that would have imposed a near-total ban on employee non-competition agreements in New York State. Governor Hochul has long expressed her support for legislation banning non-compete agreements for “low and middle-income” employees, but generally balked at the idea of a … Continue Reading

New York’s Non-Compete Bill – Gov. Hochul Weighs In

In what we believe are her first public statements on the New York Legislature’s proposal to ban ostensibly all non-compete agreements in New York, Governor Hochul on Thursday, November 30 reportedly told a group of reporters: “What I’m looking at right now is striking the right balance between protecting low and middle-income workers, giving them … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: In a World Without Non-Competes

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief we are joined by Daryl Leon, one of the leads of Proskauer’s Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Group and Edna Guerrasio, senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Along with partner Steve Pearlman, Daryl and Edna recently published an article in Legal Drive that … Continue Reading

Delaware Court Of Chancery Refuses To Enforce Both Choice of Law Provision And Nationwide Non-Compete

On August 31, 2023, the Delaware Court of Chancery held, with respect to a non-compete provision in an employment agreement, that: (1) the choice of law provision selecting Delaware was “not necessarily binding”; and (2) the non-compete was unenforceable. Centurion Service Group, LLC v. Wilensky, No. 2023-0422-MTZ. This is that court’s second decision in a … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Expands Universe of Title VII Actionable Adverse Employment Actions

On August 18, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit expanded the types of employment actions that may constitute “adverse employment action” under Title VII in Hamilton v. Dallas Cnty., 5th Cir. en banc. No. 21-10133, 8/18/23. Overruling its nearly 30-year precedent that actionable employment actions under Title VII must relate to … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts Law Requiring “Equal Pay” for Temporary Workers

On August 4, 2023, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed HB2862 (the “Bill”) into law.  The Bill requires temporary staffing agencies to provide certain temporary workers with the same pay and benefits as the workers’ directly employed counterparts with “the same level of seniority at the company and performing the same or substantially similar work on jobs … Continue Reading

Implications of and Open Questions Regarding the N.Y. State Legislature’s Passage of Bill Banning Non-Competes

On June 21, 2023, the New York State Assembly passed a sweeping bill (Bill No. S03100/A1278B — An Act to Amend the Labor Law, in Relation to Prohibiting Non-Compete Agreements and Certain Restrictive Covenants) that, if it becomes law, would impose a near-total ban on new non-compete agreements within the state or otherwise governed by … Continue Reading

N.Y. State Senate Passes Ban on Non-Competes

UPDATE: On June 20, 2023, the New York State Assembly also voted in favor of this legislation, and the Bill is now headed to Governor Hochul. If signed by Governor Hochul, New York would become the fifth state to institute a broad ban of non-compete agreements (after California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Minnesota). The Bill … Continue Reading

Minnesota Enacts Omnibus Jobs Bill With Major Changes For Minnesota Employers

On May 24, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law the Omnibus Jobs Bill SF 3035 (the “Bill”). The Bill has significant implications for employers with employees in Minnesota and includes numerous changes to Minnesota state law, including a sweeping ban on non-compete agreements; a ban on mandatory employer-sponsored meetings; newly mandated statewide paid … Continue Reading

SEC Issues Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award Ever To One Individual

As we reported here, on May 5, 2023, the SEC issued an award of $279 million to a whistleblower. This is the largest award the SEC has issued to an individual whistleblower in the history of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower’s program. While substantial portions of the Order granting this award were redacted, it is … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Disclosure of Pay Scales in Job Postings

***UPDATE: Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law on August 11, 2023.*** On May 17, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 3129 (the “Bill”), which amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act (820 ILCS 112, et. seq.) to require Illinois employers to include pay scale and benefits information in job postings and to post or … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Advances Proposed Amendment to Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act

On May 8, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed Senate Bill 1515 (the “Amendment”), which would amend the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS § 55) to mandate a specified process employers would need to follow if they choose to take an adverse employment action against an employee after receiving notice from … Continue Reading

REMINDER: Chicago Employers Must Complete Sexual Harassment Prevention and Bystander Training by June 30, 2023

On April 27,2022, the Chicago City Council passed SO2022-665, which broadened the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) and imposed new requirements on Chicago employers with respect to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.  Pursuant to the Ordinance, all employees working in Chicago must participate in sexual harassment prevention training and bystander training annually. Specifically, … Continue Reading

Illinois Appears Poised to Require Disclosure of Pay Scales in Job Postings

HB3129 (the “Bill”), which was introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives on February 16, 2013, and passed by the Labor & Commerce Committee on February 28, 2023, would require Illinois employers to include pay scale information in job postings—or face financial consequences.  The Bill defines “pay scale” to mean the salary or hourly wage … Continue Reading

Lessons Learned From 2022’s Trade Secret Verdicts

Before closing the book on 2022, we look back at the most significant verdicts issued in trade secret trials this past year.  In 2022, several juries awarded extraordinary verdicts to plaintiffs. These verdicts suggest a growing trend in damages theories and illustrate the importance of expert testimony in both the prosecution and defense of trade … Continue Reading

UPDATED: Seattle City Council Approves First-in-the-U.S. Ban on Caste Discrimination

***UPDATE: Mayor Bruce Harrell signed the amendments into law on February 23, 2023.*** Seattle has become the first U.S. city to approve legislation amending city ordinances to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “caste,” including in the context of employment.  The proposals now go before the mayor for signature. The legislative push was largely driven … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Rules that BIPA Violations Accrue with Each Scan

On February 17, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that claims under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) may accrue with each biometric scan and not just on an individual’s first scan.  Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., 2023 IL 128004. In Cothron, the plaintiff alleged that the employer failed to follow BIPA’s requirements in … Continue Reading

Legislation Seeking to Ban Non-Competes Reintroduced in Congress

On February 1, 2023, a coalition of U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives reintroduced a bill titled the Workforce Mobility Act (the “Act”), seeking to prohibit the use and enforcement of post-employment non-competition agreements. The bill had been previously introduced in 2018, 2019, and 2021, but it was stalled each time and … Continue Reading

Ill. Supreme Court: All BIPA Claims Have a Five-Year Statute of Limitations

On February 2, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part the decision of an Illinois Appellate Court and held that all claims brought pursuant to Section 15 of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS § 14/1, et seq., are subject to a five-year statute of limitations period. Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, … Continue Reading

Delaware Chancery Court Invalidates Forfeiture-for-Competition Provision in Partnership Agreement

On January 4, 2023, in Ainslie, et al. v. Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., the Delaware Court of Chancery invalidated the forfeiture-for-competition provision in the financial services company’s limited partnership agreement, based on the court’s determination that the agreement’s non-competition provision was unenforceable.  (CA. No. 9436-VCZ (Del. Ch. Jan. 4, 2023).  As a result, the court determined … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Paid Leave For All Workers Act

On January 10, 2023, Illinois legislature passed the Paid Leave For All Workers Act (the “Act”), which requires Illinois employers to provide at least 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any reason. Governor Pritzker announced that he will sign the Act into law, making it effective on January 1, 2024. … Continue Reading

FTC Enforcement Action Limits Noncompetition Agreements in “Sale of Business” Transactions

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order, in which he described the nation’s antitrust laws as the “first line of defense against the monopolization of the American economy” and encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to “curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit … Continue Reading

7th Circuit: Actual Denial of Leave Not Necessary for FMLA Interference Claim

On June 1, 2022, the Seventh Circuit reversed the entry of summary judgment on a Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) claim, holding that an actual denial of an employee’s FMLA leave request is not necessary to constitute an FMLA violation. Rather, the FMLA may be violated where an employer discourages an employee from taking … Continue Reading
LexBlog

Proskauer and our platform provider LexBlog each use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze traffic. Each of us also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. If you are happy for us to store these cookies on your device please click ‘Accept Cookies.' For more information, please see here and here.

OK