Erin Dougherty Foley

Erin Dougherty Foley is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Chicago office. Ms. Foley’s 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), wrongful discharge, retaliation, sexual harassment and state whistleblower matters. She regularly litigates state and federal court matters through both successful summary judgment motions and favorable jury verdicts. She also has extensive experience in federal and state agency proceedings, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Human Rights Commission and many other state and municipal fair employment agencies. Ms. Foley manages Seyfarth’s employment law counseling blog, the Employment Law Lookout, which publishes articles designed to deliver timely and practical “things to know” to legal and HR professionals.

Ms. Foley’s recent client successes include a di minimis jury verdict following a seven-figure demand in a breach of contract action alleging unpaid sales commissions; a verdict for the defense following a five-day jury trial involving retaliation and sexual harassment claims; the dismissal of a matter involving the denial of a bonus payment under the Illinois Wage Payment & Collections Act (summary judgment affirmed on appeal); a verdict for the defense of an applicant’s “failure to hire” claim, alleging religious discrimination (defense verdict at trial; affirmed on appeal); the dismissal of an FMLA interference and retaliation claim (summary judgment affirmed on appeal); and the dismissal of four companion charges of racial discrimination alleging systematic race discrimination in promotions and disciplinary actions for a national retail client (after the agency investigation and dismissal, the employees declined to pursue federal litigation).

Ms. Foley regularly counsels human resource personnel on compliance with federal and state employment and labor laws regarding terminations, performance counseling, workplace violence concerns; leaves of absence, and accommodations. Ms. Foley takes a practical and preventative approach to client advice with an eye toward avoiding litigation altogether, with an emphasis on issues involving the digital workplace, social media, privacy and data protection. She has extensive experience in conducting workplace harassment and employee complaint investigations. Ms. Foley also conducts training on a wide range of employment matters (including leave administration and workplace investigations) for clients and continuing legal education programs.

Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. Foley spent several years as a divisional human resources manager for an international manufacturing and distribution company. This experience gives her the ability to better understand the challenges faced by today’s employers and to provide a practical perspective and resolution to clients’ workplace problems.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Workplace Counseling & Solutions, 2) Social Media, 3) Labor & Employment and 4) Employment Litigation
Law School Kent Law School - University of Kent ( J.D., 1999)
Admitted Year 2000
Education Loyola University, Chicago (M.S.,1994); Marquette University (B.S.,1987)
Bar Member / Association Illinois State Bar Association
Most recent firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP
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