Alan S. King represents clients in the area of employment litigation and counseling. He has successfully litigated cases and advised clients on a broad range of employment matters, including employment discrimination and workplace harassment issues, restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements, wage and hour, wrongful discharge, defamation and other state and federal statutory and common law employment law issues. Alan is vice chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Group.
Alan has extensive experience on behalf of both private and public employers in virtually all types of employment-related litigation. He litigates individual and class action cases in federal and state courts around the country, and has considerable experience representing employers before various federal, state and local administrative agencies. Alan also regularly advises clients on a wide range of employment law issues, including matters of employee discipline and termination, reductions in force, wage and hour, non-competition, workplace investigations and harassment issues.
Alan has also participated as an advocate in more than one hundred arbitrations and private mediations, EEOC mediations and court-sponsored settlement conferences across many industries, including retail, airlines, healthcare, telecommunications, education, financial services, municipalities and minority-owned businesses. Through this experience, Alan has developed a unique expertise and professional passion for helping litigants resolve employment-related disputes. Alan is a certified mediator who offers his vast employment litigation experience to help parties reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of their employment-related disputes. Alan is also a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) National Panel of Employment Arbitrators.
Alan is an experienced trial lawyer who has represented clients in a broad range of employment matters. His successes include:
- Lead counsel on behalf of Fortune 500 national retailer in two cases brought by four former employees alleging national origin discrimination, hostile work environment harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge. Obtained summary judgment on all claims in both cases. (N.D. Ill. March 2017).
- Lead counsel on behalf of major international airline in case brought by former long-term employee alleging race discrimination and retaliation in his discharge. Obtained summary judgment on both claims. (N.D. Ill. January 2017).
- Zayas v. Rockford Memorial Hospital, 2014 WL 325260 (7th Cir. Jan. 30, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in action brought by former employee alleging age and national origin discrimination and hostile work environment. After obtaining summary judgment in the district court on all counts, 2013 WL 3224600 (N.D. Ill. June 25, 2013), the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its Opinion on January 30, 2014, affirming the district court in all respects.
- Sheedy v. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, 2014 WL 240331 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in age discrimination action brought by former employee. On January 22, 2014, U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case with prejudice.
- Fredericks v. Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, 2014 WL 64332 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in age discrimination action brought by former employee. On January 8, 2014, U.S. District Judge James Holderman granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case with prejudice.
- Brooks v. City of Chicago, et al., 2012 WL 13570 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2012), and Case No. 2012 L 1895 (Circuit Court of Cook County Jan. 24, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of the City of Chicago and former Mayor Richard M. Daley in federal and state court actions arising from plaintiff’s separation from employment as the City’s Fire Commissioner. On January 4, 2012, U.S. District Judge Dow granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the action, including dismissal with prejudice of plaintiff’s federal constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.On January 24, 2014, after plaintiff re-filed certain tort claims in state court, Circuit Judge James O’Hara granted defendants’ motion to dismiss and dismissed all pending claims with prejudice.
- Lead counsel on behalf of a Fortune 500 national retailer in a nationwide class action alleging pay discrimination based on race, national origin and ethnicity. Obtained dismissal of all class claims alleging both disparate treatment and disparate impact on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, with no amended complaint being filed. (N.D. Ill. 2011).
- Jaffer v. City Colleges of Chicago, et al., No 09 C 5710 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2011). Lead counsel on behalf of City Colleges of Chicago and one of its college presidents in an employment discrimination suit filed by a tenured professor alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her race, national origin and Muslim religion and was retaliated against for making internal complaints of discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. Sections 1981 and Section 1983. On September 29, 2011, on cross-motions for summary judgment filed by all parties including the plaintiff, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer denied plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to City Colleges and the college president.
- EEOC v. Scrub, Inc., No. 09 C 4228 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 9, 2010). Served as court-appointed Consent Decree Monitor in connection with a four-year Consent Decree resolving race and national origin hiring discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
- Lewis v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 04 C 6050 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 2007). Lead counsel on behalf of the City of Chicago in employment discrimination action filed by a female police officer alleging gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and Section 1983. After a two-week jury trial in December 2007, the jury returned verdicts in favor of the City on all counts. Seventh Circuit affirmed on December 21, 2009 (No. 08-2877).
- Armainsson v. Rockford Health System, et al., No. 07 C 50081 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 2, 2010). Lead counsel on behalf of Rockford Health System (RHS), a 3,000-employee health system, in a lawsuit filed by a terminated physician and former RHS department chair alleging violations of the FMLA and state law claims for retaliatory discharge and civil conspiracy. On April 2, 2010, U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on the FMLA and conspiracy claims, and also dismissed the state law retaliatory discharge claim.
- Wilkins v. Riveredge Hospital, 2004 WL 906010 (N.D. Ill. April 26, 2004), aff’d, No. 04-2356 (7th Cir. May 10, 2005) (Unpublished Order). Lead counsel in Title VII reverse discrimination suit filed by former mental health counselor who alleged that he was terminated and then not rehired by Riveredge Hospital due to his gender. On April 26, 2004, Judge Shadur granted the Hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed in an Unpublished Order on May 10, 2005.
- Dziki v. Duron, Inc., Case No. 98 L 9141 (Circuit Court of Cook County 2001). Sole trial counsel on behalf of national paint and wall covering manufacturer in defense of retaliatory discharge claim. The case was tried over 4 days in March 2001. At the close of Plaintiff’s case, court granted Defendant’s motion for directed verdict on Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. Jury then reached a verdict in favor of Defendant on all remaining claims.
- Cusack v. INX International Ink Co. (AAA Atlanta, Georgia 2000). Sole counsel on behalf of INX in arbitration case brought by former sales rep alleging that she was sexually harassed and subjected to discrimination in her compensation at INX. After a two-day arbitration hearing the arbitrator ruled in favor of INX on all claims.
With more than 30 years of experience litigating all manner of employment-related disputes in federal and state courts and in arbitration, Alan has developed a unique expertise and professional passion for helping litigants resolve their employment-related disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. Alan is a certified mediator who uses his vast experience and expertise in employment litigation to assist parties as a “neutral” in reaching a voluntary, negotiated resolution of their employment-related matters. Alan is also a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) National Panel of Employment Arbitrators.
Alan’s mediation-related qualifications and experience includes the following:
- 30 years of experience as an advocate litigating, arbitrating, mediating and settling employment-related disputes for clients across many industries, including retail, airlines, healthcare, telecommunications, education, financial services, municipalities, and minority-owned businesses.
- Participated as an advocate in more than one hundred arbitrations, private mediations, EEOC mediations and court-sponsored settlement conferences, with a unique expertise and success rate in resolving employment-related disputes.
- Consent Decree Monitor, EEOC v. Scrub, Inc., No. 09 C 4228 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 9, 2010). Selected jointly by the EEOC and employer, and appointed by federal district court, to serve as court-appointed neutral monitor in connection with four-year Consent Decree resolving a race and national origin hiring discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
- Member, American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) National Panel of Employment Arbitrators
- Certified Mediator, Northwestern University School of Professional Studies’ Mediation Skills Training Course.
- Pro Bono Mediator, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Member, Association of Attorney-Mediators.
- Board of Directors, Resolution Systems Institute, a leading designer and evaluator of court-based ADR programs.
- Member, American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.
Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management (2020)
Nation’s Best, Lawyers of Color (2019)
“Chicago’s Notable Minority Lawyers,” Crain’s Chicago Business (2018)
40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch, Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2003)
Leading Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
- University of Illinois, J.D., 1988
- Augustana College, B.A., 1985
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- American Arbitration Association, Member, National Panel of Employment Arbitrators
- Resolution Systems Institute, Board Member
- Children First Fund: Chicago Public Schools Foundation, Board Chairman
- Ounce of Prevention Fund, Board Member
- Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, former Board Member
- Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, former Board Member
- Mayor Daley’s 21st Century Leadership Council, Member
- Chicago Public Schools, Interim Director of Labor Relations (October 2001-June 2002)
- Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, former Board Chair