Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage-and-hour laws; breach of employment contract; and restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). Steven is also at the forefront of defending whistleblower retaliation claims, and routinely conducts investigations arising from whistleblower reports. He has successfully tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Florida and California, 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. He has also testified in defense of his investigations in federal court.
Steven is recognized for his accomplishments and thought leadership in the field of labor and employment law. He was one of five U.S. lawyers selected by Law 360 as a "Rising Star Under 40" in the area of employment law and he was one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company from a field of 1,200 nominees. He has been recognized in Chambers (describing him as an “outstanding lawyer” who is “very sharp and very responsive”), named as an Illinois Super Lawyer and recognized by The U.S. Legal 500. On four occasions, he has been named to the Ethisphere "Attorneys Who Matter" list. Steven is a 2014 Burton Award Winner (U.S. Library of Congress) for "Distinguished Legal Writing." Steven was also named to the Law 360 Employment Editorial Advisory Board (2014 and 2015).
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. And the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board has invited him to serve as a stakeholder in its rule-making and related proceedings and to serve in an amicus capacity. A sought-after commentator, Steven has appeared on Bloomberg News (television and radio), is regularly quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and has presented alongside the Solicitor of the DOL.
In addition, the RAND Corporation (one of the world’s leading think-tanks) selected Steven to present at an exclusive symposium comprised of some of the most influential thought leaders and policy makers, including top officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, on whistleblower laws and related policy issues on the eve of the issuance of the regulations to the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions.
Steven is deeply committed to providing pro bono services to individuals who are unable to afford legal resources.