|Advisory Board Member|
| Litigator: Yes|
| Practice Description: |
Darlene A. Vorachek a partner with Abrahamson Vorachek & Rdzanek in Chicago, counsels and represents employees in a wide variety of employment-related legal matters.
She was elected to the prestigious College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, a professional organization honoring the leading employment lawyers nationwide. Darlene was voted Lawyer of the Year in the 2018 Best Lawyers rankings (awarded annually to one lawyer per practice area and region). She was featured in Leading Lawyers Magazine's "Top Women Lawyers in Illinois" in 2015 and as one of the "Top Ten Women Employment Employee Lawyers."
Based on peer surveys, she has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer review rating (AV) and was selected for its Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. She has also been named as among the Best Lawyers in America (2010-present), Leading Lawyers (2005-present), and Illinois Super Lawyers (2008-present).
She is the former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law's 1,000-plus member Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee. She is a former chair, vice chair, and seminal chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Labor & Employment Committee.
Chambers USA has called Abrahamson Vorachek & Rdzanek the leading plaintiffs employment firm in Chicago, and Super Lawyers has ranked it as one of the top small law firms in Illinois.
Ms. Vorachek is a nationally known speaker and writer on various employment-related topics. In addition to her labor and employment law practice, she is engaged for neutral workplace investigations.
Notable Cases and Results:
Eichler v. Riddell Inc.; jury verdict for plaintiff on age discrimination claim; award of compensatory damages, more than $400,000 in front pay and attorneys fees. 1997
Stone v. National Interchem ; commission claim under an employment agreement. 1993
U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1982
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1984
U.S. Supreme Court, 1986
Hourly Rate: $640/hour
Retainer: Varies by case.
Year of Birth: 1956
Law School: George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1982
Law School Honors/Involvement:
Editor, Journal of International Law & Economics; Student Bar Association representative; with high honors
Undergraduate School: University of Michigan, B.A.
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement: Magna cum laude, Dean's List 1974-78; college honors program
Sidley & Austin (now Sidley Austin LLP), 1984-1992
The Honorable James R. Miller, Jr.
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 1982-1984
Baker & McKenzie, Washington, D.C., 1981-1982
Reed McClure, Moceri & Thonn, Seattle, Washington (summer program)
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Chicago Bar Association
Chair, Labor and Employment Section, 2001-02
Chair, IDHR/HRC Subcommittee, 1996-99
American Bar Association
Labor and Employment Section
Past plaintiff's co-chair, Health Issues Subcommittee, Committee on Employee Rights & Responsibilities
Co-chair, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2001-04
Plaintiff membership chair, 2004
Employee co-chair, Recruitment & Retention Subcommittee, Labor and Employment Section
National Employment Lawyers Association
College of Labor & Employment Lawyers
Published Legal Writing:
"Effective Depositions in Employment and Other Cases," The Practical Litigator, July 2005.
Contributing editor, chapter on gender discrimination, Jury Instructions, (James Publishing, Inc.), 1999
Contributing author, Bureau of National Affairs, Employment Termination: Rights and Remedies, 2nd Ed., 2001 Supplement, chapter on retaliatory discharge, February 1999
Contributing editor, Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Reporter, (James Publishing, Inc.) and the Disability & Leave Reporter, (James Publishing, Inc.)
Ms. Vorachek is a frequent speaker and the author of numerous articles in the area of employment law, including:
Speaker and panelist, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, "Mental Health & the ADA: Potentially Violent Employees," January 2019
Speaker and panelist, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law 10th Annual CLE Conference, "Mergers, Integrations and RIFs: Strategies from Employer, Unions, and Employee Representatives," November 2016
Speaker and panelist, IICLE, Employment Law Institute, "Employment Case Law Update," May 2016
Speaker and panelist, Workplace Strategies Conference, "My Favorite Mistake — Perspectives from the Plaintiff's Bar," May 2016
Speaker and panelist, Practicing Law Institute, "Selected Developments in Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims: Understanding Employment Law," January 2015
Speaker and panelist, American Bar Association, 7th Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference, "Emerging Work/Career Balance and Stereotyping Issues in the Workplace: Flexible Working Arrangements," November 2013
Northern Illinois Society for Human Resources Management, 2012 Legal Update, "Conducting Employee Disciplinary Investigations, Workplace Investigations: Observations on Conducting Workplace Investigations When Engaging an Outside, Non-regular Investigator," September 13, 2012
College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 7th Circuit Regional Committee, "Developing and Maintaining Civility and Professionalism in Your Workplace, Bullying in the Workplace," June 5, 2012
ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law 5th Annual CLE Conference, "From the Cradle to the Grave: Drafting and Communicating Employment Agreements, Exiting Agreements," November 2-5, 2011
Northern Illinois Society for Human Resources Management, September Legal Update, "Bullying in the Workplace," September 8, 2011
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 4th Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, "Workplace Investigations: Observations on Conducting Workplace Investigations When Engaging an Outside, Non-regular Investigator," April 7, 2011
Northern Illinois Society for Human Resources Management, September Legal Update, "FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), September 16, 2010
42nd Annual Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference, "FMLA ('Family Medical Leave Act'): What's New and the Continuing Saga of Intermittent Leave," June 2009
ABA Employment Rights & Responsibilities Midwinter Meeting, "Legal Issues for Executive Employment Agreements in Pre- and Post-Acquisition Settings," March 27, 2009
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 12th Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, "Employment Law and Legislative Update 2008-2009," March 20, 2009
Defense Research Institute Employment Law Seminar, "The Inside Scoop: Insights on Things Defense Lawyers Do That Plaintiff's Lawyers Love," May 14-16, 2008
ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference, "The Interplay Between the ADA, the FMLA, Workers Compensation, and Health Care Reforms," November 7-10, 2007
Practicing Law Institute, 35th Annual Institute on Employment Law, "Compensation Claims," October 16-17, 2005
Practicing Law Institute, 34th Annual Institute on Employment Law, "Compensation Claims," October 17-18, 2005
20th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Bars, Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights Acts in Federal and State Courts, "Selected Discovery and Expert Issues in Employment Cases," September 15-17, 2005
The Practical Litigator, "Effective Depositions in Employment and Other Cases," July 2005
Speaker and contributor, Law Education Institute, "All in the Family: An FMLA Update," Jan. 4-8, 2005
Speaker and contributor, Practising Law Institute 33rd Annual Institute on Employment Law, "Litigation Strategy: Summary Judgment, Including Views From the Bench," October 2004
Speaker and contributor, Law Education Institute, "The Family and Medical Leave Act: A Wrongful Termination Statute," Jan/ 3-8, 2004
Council on Education in Management, Personnel Law Seminar 2004, "Employment Law Claims From the Plaintiff's Perspective, Top Ten Facts That Affect Cases Taken and Cases Won," January 2004
Speaker and contributor, ABA Young Lawyers Division Midwest Regional Conference, Employment Law Basics, "What Every Lawyer Should Know," September 2003
Speaker, ABA Regional Institute, Employment Litigation Skills Training Program, March 2003
Speaker and contributor, Law Education Institute, "Harassment Law Update," January 2003
Speaker and contributor, National Alliance Mediation Training Program, "The Family and Medical Leave Act - What if the Claimant Needs Time Off? General Theories of Discrimination and Thumbnail Guide to Types of Evidence Used to Prove Them, December 2002
Speaker, ABA 2002 Annual Meeting, "Cross Examination: Conquering Your Fear and Doing Your Best," August 2002
Panelist, ABA Connection Teleconference, Current Issues in Labor and Employment Law, May 2002
Speaker and panelist, ABA Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, "The Interplay Between the ADA, the FMLA, and Workers' Compensation Statutes," March 2002
Speaker and contributor, Law Education Institute, "Tips for Arguing the Motion in Limine," January 2002
Speaker and panelist, ABA Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, "Limitation on Action Clauses in Employment Contracts: Considerations from a Plaintiff's Perspective," March 2001
Speaker and panelist, Chicago Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Committee, "Beyond Traditional Civil Rights Laws - Topics of Concern to All Labor and Employment Lawyers: The Fair Credit Reporting Act," April 27, 2000
Speaker and panelist, Employee Rights & Responsibilities Committee Basic Skills Course, ABA Midwinter Meeting, "Depositions That Win Cases: The Plaintiff's Perspective," March 14, 2000
The law firm of Abrahamson Vorachek & Rdzanek concentrates in employment cases, representing mostly plaintiffs. The firm's clients include individuals who have disputes involving employment contracts, have been "downsized," terminated, or denied promotion, or who are in the process of negotiating a job with a new employer. The firm includes five attorneys and a full-time paralegal. The firm handles claims for sex, age, race and disability discrimination, claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), wage and hour matters, suits for commissions, claims for money due under employment agreements, and the negotiation of employment contracts. The firm practices in federal and state courts as well as at the EEOC and state and local agencies.
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