People: Kyle Petersen, Partner

Photo of Kyle Petersen, Partner

Kyle Petersen

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5950
Fax: (312) 460-7950
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Kyle Petersen is a member of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Labor and Employment Department.  She litigates all manner of employment disputes on behalf of employers throughout the country. As a member of the Firm’s Wage & Hour Litigation practice group, Ms. Petersen devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing employers across the United States in court litigation and administrative matters arising under federal and state wage and hour laws, and is a chapter author of the definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation.   In addition, Ms. Petersen is an author for Practitioner Insights, a Thomson Reuters offering on the WestlawNext legal research platform in which she provides practical, focused analysis of wage and hour issues.  Ms. Petersen also provides preventative counseling and works with employers to minimize their exposure to investigation and litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws.  Ms. Petersen’s experience in this growing area includes second chairing a lengthy bench trial, resulting in the denial of overtime claims asserted by multiple plaintiffs against a Fortune 1000 company.  The trial came after defeating plaintiffs’ attempts to certify a class of over one thousand employees.

In addition, Ms. Petersen has successfully represented management against all types of discrimination and harassment claims, including those asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and other state laws.  Her experience includes litigation of non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants, in addition to the defense of defamation claims under state law. Ms. Petersen also regularly conducts internal investigations, negotiates and drafts employment and separation agreements, and advises employers on implementing personnel policies and mitigating risk in employment decisions. In counseling employers, she focuses not only on instituting legally compliant practices, but also on creating solutions consistent with management’s business objectives.

Ms. Petersen’s work on behalf of employers has been recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers, which has named her an Illinois Rising Star (2008-2013). 

Kyle Petersen is a member of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Labor and Employment Department.  She litigates all manner of employment disputes on behalf of employers throughout the country. As a member of the Firm’s Wage & Hour Litigation practice group, Ms. Petersen devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing employers across the United States in court litigation and administrative matters arising under federal and state wage and hour laws, and is a chapter author of the definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation.   In addition, Ms. Petersen is an author for Practitioner Insights, a Thomson Reuters offering on the WestlawNext legal research platform in which she provides practical, focused analysis of wage and hour issues.  Ms. Petersen also provides preventative counseling and works with employers to minimize their exposure to investigation and litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws.  Ms. Petersen’s experience in this growing area includes second chairing a lengthy bench trial, resulting in the denial of overtime claims asserted by multiple plaintiffs against a Fortune 1000 company.  The trial came after defeating plaintiffs’ attempts to certify a class of over one thousand employees.

In addition, Ms. Petersen has successfully represented management against all types of discrimination and harassment claims, including those asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and other state laws.  Her experience includes litigation of non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants, in addition to the defense of defamation claims under state law. Ms. Petersen also regularly conducts internal investigations, negotiates and drafts employment and separation agreements, and advises employers on implementing personnel policies and mitigating risk in employment decisions. In counseling employers, she focuses not only on instituting legally compliant practices, but also on creating solutions consistent with management’s business objectives.

Ms. Petersen’s work on behalf of employers has been recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers, which has named her an Illinois Rising Star (2008-2013). 

Education

  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (2001)
    Order of the Coif, High Honors
  • Law Review, CALI Award Winner for highest grade in Legal Writing II and Legal
    Drafting Semifinalist, Charles Evans Hughes Moot Court Competition

  • B.A., Indiana University (1995)
    Political Science, Honors Scholar

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. District Court Northern and Central District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Illinois Federal Trial Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Friends of Drummond (Board Member)
  • West Bucktown Neighborhood Association (Former Vice President and Board Member)
  • KAM Isaiah Israel, Personnel Practices (Former Committee Chair)
  • Center on Halsted, Community and Cultural Affairs Committee (Former Member)

Representative Engagements

  • Cramer, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 12-cv-8681 (defense of putative nationwide collective action asserting misclassification of retail sales managers, sales managers, assistant managers, and other mortgage origination employees under federal law, in addition to class action claims under Illinois law)
  • Wilkins, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., U.S.D.C for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 11-cv-00962 (defense of putative nationwide collective action asserting minimum wage and overtime claims on behalf of mortgage loan officers under federal law, in addition to class action claims under Illinois law)
  • Kelly, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., U.S.D.C for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 11-cv-05332 (defense of putative nationwide collective action asserting misclassification of mortgage loan officers, in addition to putative class action claims based on New York and Illinois law)
  • Fosbinder-Bittorf v. SSM Healthcare of Wisconsin, U.S.D.C. for W.D. Wisconsin, Docket No. 11-cv-592 (defense of putative collective action of nurses asserting off-the-clock claims, in addition to putative class action claims based on Wisconsin law)
  • Alvarado, et al. v. Neptun Light, Inc., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 13-cv-3199 (defense of putative collective action asserting misclassification of independent contractors, in addition to putative class action claims based on Illinois law)
  • Shammo, et al. v. Kan Zaman, et al., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 13-cv-2366 (defense of multi-plaintiff action asserting misclassification of manager and off-the-clock overtime claims under Illinois and federal law).
  • Schedel v. Merck & Co., U.S.D.C. for D. New Jersey, Docket No. 07-cv-391 (defense of nationwide collective action asserting misclassification of pharmaceutical representatives under federal law)
  • Smith v. SSM Healthcare St. Louis, U.S.D.C. for E.D. Missouri, Docket No. 4:12-cv-00490 (defense of putative collective action of security officers asserting off-the-clock claims, in addition to putative class action claims based on Missouri law)
  • Rusin v. Chicago Tribune Co., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 12-cv-1135 (defense of putative collective action of reporters asserting off-the-clock claims, in addition to putative class action claims based on Illinois law)
  • Zarra v. Sun-Sentinel Co., U.S.D.C. for S.D. Florida, Docket No. 12-cv-60542 (defense of putative collection action asserting misclassification of district coordinators under federal law)
  • Turner v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 12-cv-3105 (defense of putative collective action asserting misclassification of pharmaceutical representatives under federal law)
  • Finnigan, et al. v. Career Education Corporation, Cook County Circuit Court, Docket No. 03-CH-18335 (second chaired a lengthy bench trial, resulting in the denial of overtime claims asserted by multiple plaintiffs; the trial came after defeating plaintiffs’ attempts to certify a class of over one thousand employees)
  • Skelton, et al. v. American Intercontinental  University Online, U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 03-cv-9009 (defense of multi-plaintiff off-the-clock and retaliatory discharge claims under federal and state law)
  • Vander Vennet v. American Intercontinental University Online, U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 05-cv-4889 (defense of collective action asserting off-the-clock overtime claims under federal law)
  • Pulley v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., U.S.D.C. for E.D. Arkansas, Docket No. 11-cv-634 (defense of discrimination and FLMLA claims)
  • McCracken v. Talbots Inc., Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, Ohio, Docket No. 11-cv-634 (defense of wrongful termination claim under Ohio Civil Rights Act)
  • Dowell v. Germain Motor Company, Court of Common Pleas,  Franklin County, Ohio, Docket No. 12CV-634 (defense of discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation claims under Ohio Civil Rights Act)
  • Tirfe v. Germain Motor Company, Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County, Ohio, Docket No. 12CV-04-4995 (defense of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation claims  under Ohio Civil Rights Act and Ohio common law)
  • Strychalski v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., U.S.D.C. for N.D. Illinois, Docket No. 11-cv-7747 (defense of age discrimination claims under federal law)
  • Represented proprietary trading firm in a AAA arbitration fully defeating former executive’s breach of contract claim under which he alleged he was entitled to a twelve percent equity stake in the firm. The hearing also included extensive expert testimony regarding the former executive’s spoliation of evidence and resulted in an award of attorneys' fees for the client.
  • Represented nationally recognized investment bank in several internal investigations, including allegations of sexual harassment, retaliation, and pregnancy discrimination.
  • Represented national exchange in multi-claimant EEOC investigation regarding allegations of discriminatory promotion policies.
  • Obtained a summary judgment victory on behalf of Midwest manufacturing company in an age and disability discrimination suit in federal court. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed summary judgment.
  • In a case involving the protection of the client’s trade secrets and customers, despite the absence of any restrictive covenant agreement, successfully persuaded federal judge that the executive, with the approval of his prospective employer, breached his fiduciary duties to the company, thereby entitling client to an injunction prohibiting the executive, his new employer, as well as anyone acting on their behalf, from soliciting or doing business with several of our clients during a critical period.

Presentations and Publications

  • “Employment Law Concerns for Employers With Contingent Workforces,” VMS Professionals Conference (May 24, 2013)
  • “Reclassifying Exempt Employees: Navigating Wage and Hour Pitfalls,” C4CM Webinar (April 17, 2013)
  • “How to Avoid Costly Wage & Hour Pitfalls for Construction, Engineering & Landscaping Employees,” Epay Webinar (March 13, 2013)
  • “Dukesing It Out: Tighter Post-Dukes Standard Helps Defeat Request For Class and Collective Action Certification,” Seyfarth Shaw’s Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Co-Author (January 23, 2013).
  • “It’s A Matter of Fact: Sixth Circuit Holds that the Primary Duty Determination is Indeed A Question of Fact Properly Put to Jury and Affirms Employer Verdict in Henry v. Quicken Loans,” Seyfarth Shaw’s Wage & Hour Litigation Blog (October 20, 2012).
  • “Wage & Hour Update: Everything You Need to Know Now and in the Future,” Seyfarth Shaw LLP Breakfast Briefing (September 27, 2012).
  • “Complying With the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act,” Assurance University (July 17, 2012).
  • Co-Author, “The Impact of Fisher v. Right Aid, Part I,” Employment Law 360 (June 8, 2012).
  • “Here, There, and Everywhere A Lawsuit: The Third Circuit Green Lights Parallel FLSA and State Law Wage Suites,”  Seyfarth Shaw’s Wage & Hour Litigation Blog (April 2, 2012).
  • Chapter Co-Author, “Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation (The definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation.),” ALM Law Journal Press (2012)
  • “Pharmaceutical Representatives as Exempt? Contrary to the 3rd and 9th Circuits, a Florida District Court Enters the Fray,” Seyfarth Shaw's Wage & Hour Litigation Blog (July 18, 2011)
  • "Mandatory Vaccination Policies & Hospitals," Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (August 2010)
  • "Legal Issues in the New Workplace," Media Finance Focus 2010 Conference, Nashville, TN (May 2010)
  •  “New Laws, Bad Economy: An Update on the Changing Landscape of Employment Law,” Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Labor and Employment Roundtable, Chicago, Illinois (April 2009)
  •  “FLSA Overtime Issues: Employees Gold Mine vs. Your Bottom Line,” Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Labor and Employment Roundtable, Chicago, Illinois (September 2008)
  •  “Bridge the Gap: Basic Skills for Newly Admitted Attorneys,” Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois (September 2008)