Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. Steven’s practice covers the full spectrum of employment law, with a focus on claims of discrimination, retaliation and harassment, restrictive covenant violations, wage-and-hour violations, whistleblower retaliation and breach of contract.  He has successfully tried cases in multiple jurisdictions, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Reporting to boards of directors and their audit committees, he conducts sensitive investigations and has testified in defense of investigations in federal court.

Chambers describes Steven as an “outstanding lawyer” who is “very sharp and very responsive.” 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." He was elected as a Fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. 

Steven has served on Law360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board and is a Contributor to 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

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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. 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 and heads of government whistleblower programs (SEC, CFTC and OSHA).


Top 10 Whistleblowing and Retaliation Events, Law360 [annual review]

Preserving Noncompete Enforcement Rights Amid COVID-19 

The Top 10 Changes to Illinois Employment Law from 2019

The Employment Landscape Under the Current Administration,

How DOJ Compliance Guide Affects Employer Best Practices, Law360

How the Board Can Tackle Sexual Harassment,

What the Google Walkout Means for Employers, Corporate Counsel

The New Wave of Employee Biometrics Class Actions, Law360

Clarifying FCRA Stand-Alone Disclosure Rule at 7th Circ., Law360

SEC Re-Enters the Employment Law Arena, Law360

Time to Revisit Severance Agreements, Law360

Conciliation in the Wake of Mach Mining, Law360

Noncompetition Clause Cases In the Land Of Lincoln, Law360

A Transformative Year in Whistleblowing & Retaliation, Ethisphere

Why Employment Counsel Should Study FCPA Guidance, Law360

New Whistleblower Policies and Incentives:  A Paradigm Shift from “Oversight” to “Insight,” RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance