People: Uma Chandrasekaran, Partner

Photo of Uma Chandrasekaran, Partner

Uma Chandrasekaran

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5214
Fax: (312) 460-7214
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Ms. Chandrasekaran is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department and chair of the Chicago office’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Team.  Ms. Chandrasekaran’s practice focuses on representing management in a broad range of employment issues, with a particular emphasis on class and collective actions.  Her litigation experience includes state and federal court cases involving the defense of employment discrimination claims (Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act), wage and hour, wrongful discharge, retaliation, sexual harassment and whistleblower matters. Ms. Chandrasekaran has significant trial and appellate experience.  She has successfully tried several jury and non-jury cases.  In addition, she has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ms. Chandrasekaran regularly represents employers before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Department of Labor and other state and municipal fair employment agencies.

Ms. Chandrasekaran also counsels employers on ways to proactively avoid litigation.  She has extensive experience drafting employer policies and handbooks, training employees and managers on anti-harassment policies, advising on independent contractor issues, reviewing employment contracts and non-competition agreements and conducting internal investigations.

Ms. Chandrasekaran is also an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Legal Writing at Chicago Kent College of Law.

Ms. Chandrasekaran is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department and chair of the Chicago office’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Team.  Ms. Chandrasekaran’s practice focuses on representing management in a broad range of employment issues, with a particular emphasis on class and collective actions.  Her litigation experience includes state and federal court cases involving the defense of employment discrimination claims (Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act), wage and hour, wrongful discharge, retaliation, sexual harassment and whistleblower matters. Ms. Chandrasekaran has significant trial and appellate experience.  She has successfully tried several jury and non-jury cases.  In addition, she has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ms. Chandrasekaran regularly represents employers before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Department of Labor and other state and municipal fair employment agencies.

Ms. Chandrasekaran also counsels employers on ways to proactively avoid litigation.  She has extensive experience drafting employer policies and handbooks, training employees and managers on anti-harassment policies, advising on independent contractor issues, reviewing employment contracts and non-competition agreements and conducting internal investigations.

Ms. Chandrasekaran is also an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Legal Writing at Chicago Kent College of Law.

Education

  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law (2003)
    Honors, Legal Research and Writing
    Best Oralist, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
  • B.A., Smith College (2000)
    Deans List (1996-2000)

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Affiliations

  • South Asian Bar Association of Chicago
  • South Asian Bar Association of North American
  • American Bar Association

Representative Engagements

Representative Class and Collective Actions

  • Nationwide class action for gender discrimination alleging denial of promotions against a national retailer
  • EEOC alleged a pattern and practice of racial harassment and discrimination against an international shipping and logistics company
  • Multi-plaintiff case involving financial executives alleging defamation and violations of the FCRA against an insurance company
  • Multi-state wage-hour class action alleging failure to pay overtime against an oil and gas company
  • EEOC application to enforce an administrate subpoena attempting to convert a single charge into systemic class allegations against a staffing company

Representative Single Plaintiff Litigation and Charges

  • Disability discrimination and FMLA retaliation case filed against a national retailer
  • Age discrimination and retaliation case filed against a beverage manufacturer
  • Age harassment and disability discrimination case filed against a national retailer
  • Sex harassment and retaliation case filed a staffing company

Presentations

  • Panelist, “Social Media and the Workplace: What Every Employer Needs To Consider,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing (March 22, 2016)
  • Panelist, “Employee Training and Education to Avoid Litigation,” South Asian Bar Association of North America National Conference, Orlando, FL (June 2015)
  • Presenter, “Labor & Employment Law Developments: What Happened in 2014 & What Healthcare Employers Need to Watch,” Chicago Area Healthcare Recruiters, Elmhurst, IL (February 2015)
  • Presenter, “Independent Contractors vs. Employees,” Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Legal Clinic, Chicago, IL (February 2014)
  • Co-Author, “Overview of Certain Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws,” prepared for the Practicing Law Institute, Understanding Employment Law 2013 Seminar (May 8, 2013)
  • Co-Author, “Recent Developments in Reasonable Accommodation Issues,” prepared for the American Bar Association, National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law (April 5, 2013)
  • Presenter, “Walmart v. Dukes: A Defense Perspective,” Young Lawyer’s Section, Labor & Employment Committee Meeting, Chicago Bar Association (September 22, 2011)

Publications

  • “Ban the Box: What Illinois Employers Need to Know,” Illinois Business Leader Magazine (April 2015)
  • “Tackling Workplace Bullying: Lessons from the Miami Dolphin’s Locker Room,” Seyfarth Shaw Employment Law Lookout Blog (November 2013)
  • “Social Media and Confidentiality in Workplace Investigations,” Seyfarth Shaw Employment Law Lookout Blog (October 2013)
  • “Taking the Bull by the Horns: Is Workplace Bullying the Next Major Battleground in Employment Law?”  Seyfarth Shaw Employment Law Lookout Blog (September 2013)