Jane M. McFetridge is the Office Managing Shareholder of the Chicago, Illinois office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She has been based in Chicago her entire career and has extensive experience litigating all forms of labor and employment matters throughout the Midwest.
Her practice covers the spectrum of employment litigation, including both state and federal claims, and individual and class action suits. Her class action, collective action, and multi-plaintiff experience includes both suits by private parties and by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She has handled cases involving claims of race, age, disability, and sex discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, wage and hour, and non-compete/ restrictive covenant issues. She has broad experience dealing with the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as state and local labor and employment agencies throughout the United States. She has an extensive appellate practice, including oral arguments before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Courts, and the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Ms. McFetridge also routinely counsels clients on a variety of employment practices including employment contracts and employee handbooks and policies. She conducts employee training seminars, harassment investigations, and frequently speaks on employment-related topics.
Ms. McFetridge testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding the pending Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182). In her testimony, she stressed that our existing laws, including the EPA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provide robust protection against gender-based pay discrimination. She also emphasized that the employer community is already committed to ensuring gender pay parity.
Ms. McFetridge is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and has been consistently identified as an Illinois Super Lawyer and AV-Rated by Martindale Hubbell. Corporate counsel clients named her to the highly selective BTI Client Service All-Stars in 2011 and again in 2014. Ms. McFetridge has also been named a “Leader in her Field” in the Chambers USA Legal Guide since 2008. She was the 2004 Program Chair for the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) Annual Employment Law Seminar, and is a frequent speaker at DRI conferences and seminars. She has also served as faculty for the American Bar Association's National Institute on Sexual Harassment.
She is frequently published, including, Employment Law Implications of Mental Health Issues in Law Firms and Legal Departments The Practical Lawyer (April 2010); “Pending Pay Equity Legislation Would Do More Harm than Good,” The Job Description (DRI, November 15, 2010); “Jury Instructions for Employment Defense Litigators,” Editor, Defense Library Series (DRI, May, 2007); “Federal Court Rejects Overtime Claims of Table Games Supervisors,” Gaming Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 2 (International Masters of Gaming Law, April, 2007); “When are Superiors Personally Liable for Employment Law Violations?” Illinois Bar Journal (Illinois State Bar Association, 2004); “After September 11th: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace,” For the Defense, (DRI, October 2002); “Avoiding and Attacking 'Junk Science' in Employment Litigation,” in the treatise, Mental and Emotion Injuries in Employment Litigation, Second Edition, published by the Bureau of National Affairs in 2001; and “Employment Litigation: Psychological 'Junk Science,'” For the Defense, (DRI, October 2001). She has also given frequent presentations for a variety of other organizations, including the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
Ms. McFetridge is admitted to practice in Illinois, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois; the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. McFetridge attended the Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1989) and graduated in the top 20% of her class. Her undergraduate degree in accounting is from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois (B.S. 1980), where she graduated with honors. Ms. McFetridge is also a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to attending law school, she worked for six years as an accountant and financial analyst with a major accounting firm and with a multinational pharmaceutical corporation.
Selected Trial Experience
Romano v. Grand Victoria Casino (Illinois Circuit Court of the 16th Judicial Circuit (Kane County)). This case involved defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims brought by a former employee against a casino and its Director of Human Resources. A verdict was rendered for both defendants.
Morgan v. Insight Communications (Urbana Human Relations Commission). This case involved race discrimination claims brought by a former employee against a cable and internet service provider. After a three week trial, the complainant settled for a nominal sum, significantly less than the amount demanded throughout the litigation to that point.
Atkins v. Grand Victoria Casino (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). This case involved failure to hire on the basis of race claims brought by an unsuccessful applicant for a dealer position at a casino. Judgment was rendered for the defendant.
Fortier v. AT&T (Illinois Circuit Court of the 1st Judicial Circuit (Cook County)). This case involved breach of employment contract claims brought by a former Director of Human Resources, who was also an attorney responsible for corporate diversity issues. Directed verdict was entered for the defendant at the close of the plaintiff's case.
Kirkpatrick v. Pfizer, Inc. (U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma). This case involved age discrimination claims brought by a former sales representative. After a week of trial, a directed verdict was entered for the defendant.
Schuster v. Shepard Motors (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). This case involved age discrimination claims brought by the former general manager of a large automobile dealership. The case settled for a nominal sum during the course of the trial.
Scalera v. Village of Oak Park (Illinois Human Relations Commission). This case involved claims of national origin and age discrimination brought by a former Public Works employee against a municipality. Judgment was rendered for the respondent employer.
Selected Class and Collective Action Experience
Driver, et al. v. AppleIllinois, LLC, et al. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Jackson Lewis represented a franchisee which owned and operated over 30 Applebee's restaurants in Illinois, as well as the individual members of the LLC who were also named in the suit. Current and former servers, hosts and bartenders of AppleIllinois comprised the over 20,000 class members who alleged, among other things, that they were improperly paid the tip credit rate of pay (less than minimum wage) because they claimed to have performed duties outside of the their tipped occupations. As the result of Jackson Lewis successfully persuading the court to dismiss several of Plaintiffs' novel claims as well as to adopt a very limited and narrow standard of damages (which significantly decreased the potential damages to the class which could have approached the tens of millions of dollars under Plaintiffs' theory, assuming liability), the parties were able to reach a settlement of this matter on very favorable terms for AppleIllinois in stark comparison to Plaintiffs' initial demand.
Clark, et al. v. Honey-Jam, LLC (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Jackson Lewis represented the Honey-Jam breakfast restaurants in Illinois. Plaintiffs, current and former servers and hosts of Honey-Jam, brought identical claims to those brought in the Driver v. AppleIllinois case and were represented by the same plaintiffs' attorneys as the Driver plaintiffs. Leveraging the favorable court decisions obtained in the AppleIllinois case (as well as our experience with plaintiffs' counsel), Jackson Lewis was able negotiate a very favorable settlement. At the beginning of the lawsuit we also performed a “blitz” obtaining numerous declarations from current Honey-Jam employee who testified about their actual duties and responsibilities which contradicted the Named Plaintiffs' claims. We also utilized this extensive collection of factual evidence in settlement negotiations to Honey-Jam's favor.
Miller, et al. v. Equinox (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). This action was brought against a chain of health clubs by a former membership advisor who asserted, on behalf of herself and others, that membership advisors did not receive commission as that term is defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act and that, accordingly, they were non-exempt employees entitled to overtime. After plaintiffs filed their motion for class certification, Defendant pursued an aggressive defensive strategy. Plaintiff was forced to voluntarily dismiss the case, with no money paid by Defendant.
Allen, et al. v. Harrah's (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana). This action was brought against a casino by approximately 60 table game supervisors who claimed they were not exempt employees and thus entitled to overtime and that they had been inappropriately subjected to and denied banked vacation and overtime. Defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.
Ellis, et al. v. Grand Victoria Casino (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). This action was brought by African American dealer applicants who claimed they were subject to racially discriminatory hiring practices. Defendant's motion to de-certify the class was granted. Almost all resultant individual claims concluded in summary judgment being granted to defendant. One individual claim was settled for a nominal sum and another was tied to a verdict for the defendant.
EEOC v. Village of Oak Park (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). This age discrimination claim was brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of firefighters who had been denied promotions. The case settled for a very nominal amount on the eve of trial.
Betts, et al. v. Sundstrand (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Western Division). This case was brought by African American applicants and employees alleging failure to hire and to promote on the basis of race. Plaintiffs' motion for class certification was defeated.
Roman, Yepez, et al. v. Allegis, et al. (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago District Office). This case was brought by a group of temporary workers alleging national origin discrimination resulting from an English only mandate at a manufacturing facility. Protracted settlement discussions resulted in a favorable settlement for the temporary service provider before suit was filed in federal court.
Honors, Awards and Pro Bono Activity
•Faculty Member at the American Bar Association's National Institute on Sexual Harassment
•Active in the Defense Research Institute's Employment Law Committee
•Certified Public Accountant
•Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers
Mental and Emotional Injuries in Employment Litigation . 2 ed.
VA: Bureau of National Affairs, 2001. [Contributing Author]
“Employment Law Implications of Mental Health Issues in Law Firms and Legal Departments” The Practical Lawyer (April 2010) [Author] “Pending Pay Equity Legislation Would Do More Harm than Good”
The Job Description (DRI, November 15, 2010) [Author] Jury Instructions for Employment Defense Litigators
Defense Library Series (DRI, May, 2007) [Editor] “Avoiding and Attacking 'Junk Science' in Employment Litigation”
Mental and Emotion Injuries in Employment Litigation, Second Edition, published by the Bureau of National Affairs in 2001 [Author] Federal Court Rejects Overtime Claims of Table Games Supervisors
Gaming Law Review 11.2 (4/2007) [Author] When are Superiors Personally Liable for Employment Law Violations?
Illinois Bar Journal (1/2004) [Author] “Employment Litigation: Psychological 'Junk Science,'”
For the Defense (DRI, October 2001) [Author] After September 11th: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
For the Defense (10/2002) [Author]