Stephanie Dodge Gournis is engaged exclusively in the representation of management in all aspects of traditional labor and employment matters.
Stephanie represents employers in defending administrative and federal/state court complaints involving equal employment opportunity discrimination, retaliatory discharge, harassment, whistleblower rights, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), breach of contract and other state/federal claims. She is experienced in conducting EEO, wage and hour compliance, independent contractor/exemption, and union vulnerability audits for clients both big and small. Stephanie also regularly counsels management in all areas of employment law including merger and acquisition, due diligence, workplace safety, employee confidentiality/ privacy rights, restrictive covenants, social media, policy development/enforcement, paid sick leave, employee wellness programs, federal contracting, crisis management, workplace reductions, employee separation and release, wage payment and collection, and exemption status.
Stephanie has significant experience in handling traditional labor matters before the National Labor Relations Board in regions throughout the United States. She advises clients in all areas involving labor relations strategy, union organizing, corporate campaigns, successorship, solicitation and distribution, join employment, protected concerted activity, work stoppages and strikes, persuader reporting obligations, unfair labor practice charges, contract negotiations and grievance arbitration. In the area of collective bargaining, Stephanie has significant experience serving as lead negotiator on first time and successor contracts, as well as serving as “backroom” counsel providing advice to clients negotiating their own collective bargaining agreements.
Stephanie devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing hospital and health care clients, as well as clients in the retail, manufacturing, and financial services industries.
Stephanie formerly served as hiring partner for the Chicago office. She currently serves on the firm's Women's Leadership Committee and is a member of the Healthcare Industry Steering Committee.
She was the co-author of the IICLE, Labor Law Chapter entitled "Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education,” The Labor Law Handbook, Chapter 20: Special Consideration in the Health Care Industry and American Health Lawyers Association’s Health Law Practice Guide Chapter entitled "Labor and Employment." She is a former co-contributor to the Medical Group Management Association, Personnel Postscript. She lectures extensively throughout the country on a variety of labor and employment matters, including sexual harassment, FMLA, ADA, wage and hour, discipline and discharge, volunteer rights and responsibilities, workplace violence, labor relations, corporate campaigns, labor relations strategy and defense, solicitation and distribution and protected concerted activity.
Stephanie is a frequent contributor to the firm's LaborSphere blog, which provides coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of employee benefits and labor issues.
- University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1993
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1990
- Chicago Coalition of Women’s Initiative in Law Firms, Board of Directors
Stephanie's Areas of Focus
- Human Resources
- Labor and Employment
- Counseling and Compliance Training
- Crisis Management
- Due Diligence and Audits
- Employment Litigation
- Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
- Restrictive Covenants and Unfair Competition
- Wage and Hour Class Actions
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Health Care Compliance Counseling and Defense
- Strategic Transactions and Affiliations
- Class Actions
- Health Care Litigation