Laura B. Friedel
Partner in and Leader of Employment & Executive Compensation
Laura Friedel is a partner and leader of the firm's Employment & Executive Compensation Group. She helps businesses maximize their most important and often trickiest asset – their employees. Laura works with companies to develop employment documents, policies and practices that improve employee relations while protecting the company's investment in its people and minimizing legal risk. When disputes arise, Laura works closely with clients to determine their business goals relating to the claim and then targets the litigation, arbitration or settlement discussions to meet those goals. And when a union is involved (or is seeking to insert itself), Laura helps companies understand and meet their obligations under labor laws while still adhering to their larger business goals.
Counseling and other day-to-day representation:
The best way to avoid litigation (or be in the best position should it arise) is to develop and implement strong employment practices. Best practices, however, are not one size fits all. Laura works with companies of all sizes to develop employment policies and practices, prepare employee-related documents and respond to particular questions and situations, all with an eye toward improving employee relations, minimizing risk, and effectively operating the business. Laura assists companies in drafting and negotiating employment and severance agreements, agreements with temporary staffing agencies, confidentiality agreements, and non-solicitation and non-competition agreements.
Sometimes, despite the best practices, employees, former employees and government agencies file claims against employers. Laura represents companies before federal and state courts and agencies in all types of employment litigation - including discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation, wage and hour and wage payment claims, whistleblower complaints, and restrictive covenant disputes. She recognizes that not all cases should be litigated in the same manner and works with her clients to determine how to best reach their goals.
Traditional Labor / Union Relations:
Laura has extensive experience assisting companies in managing their relationships with unions. When a union first presents itself, Laura works with companies to put forth a targeted campaign explaining to employees why they should reject the union. In situations where a union is already involved, Laura helps businesses navigate their legal obligations and represents companies in negotiations, arbitrations and other dealings with the union. Laura also has extensive experience representing companies before the National Labor Relations Board and in union-related appeals to the federal courts.
Laura has extensive experience working with professional services firms, including accounting, wealth management and staffing firms. She frequently authors articles for firm and talent leadership who manage the employees and partners in accounting firms. View our collection of resources here.
+1 312 476 7510
Education & Admissions
- University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
- Washington University in St. Louis, A.B., magna cum laude
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- Member, American Bar Association Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee
- Chair, New Trier School Board Caucus
- Member, ACLU of Illinois Board of Directors
- Past Chair, American Bar Association Equal Pay Act Subcommittee
- Past President, Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation of the North Shore
- Notable Women Lawyers, Crain’s Chicago Business, 2022
- Illinois Super Lawyer - 2012 - 2016
- Named as one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch" by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2011
If you weren’t an attorney what would you be?
I would be a travel agent.
What is your favorite book?
“Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Every phase, whether one you like or one you don’t, comes to an end.
"What most impresses me about Laura and differentiates her from her peers, is her ability to articulate a legal issue succinctly and propose practical, business solutions. In my experience, many outside counsel, while adept at identifying legal issues, are unable to resolve them in a timely, efficient manner.”
September 13, 2023
Invitation: How Non-Traditional Relationships with Outside Lawyers Can Elevate Your TeamRead More
September 06, 2023
Illinois Legislature Passes Mandatory Paid Leave for Any Purpose, to be Effective in 2024Read More
August 30, 2023
Amendments to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act Take Effect – What Temp Agencies and Contracting Companies Need to KnowRead More
August 02, 2023
2023 Compensation Check-Up: Four Questions to Ask About Your Compensation PracticesRead More
March 01, 2023
NLRB Rules that Standard Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions in Severance Agreements Violate Federal LawRead More
January 25, 2023
LP Partner Laura Friedel Offers Tips and Best Practices for Employers in Crain’s Roundtable on Labor & Employment LawRead More
January 18, 2023
Bankruptcy Doesn’t Shield Employers from WARN Act Layoff Notice Requirements—Unless an Exception AppliesRead More
September 02, 2022
Crain’s Chicago Business Recognizes Three LP Partners – Laura Friedel, Elizabeth O’Brien, and Lisa Vandesteeg – Among 2022 Notable Women in the LawRead More
April 20, 2022
3 Reminders for Employers After an Employee Is Awarded $450,000 for His Unwanted Birthday PartyRead More
January 13, 2022
Supreme Court Halts OSHA Vaccine/Testing Mandate, But Permits Healthcare Industry RequirementRead More
December 28, 2021
CDC Updates COVID Isolation & Quarantine Guidance; OSHA Rules Go to Supreme CourtRead More
December 08, 2021
How to Effectively and Compassionately Handle Dismissals and Layoffs in a Remote WorkplaceRead More
October 27, 2021
EEOC Issues New Guidance on Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine MandatesRead More
October 13, 2021
LP Partner Laura Friedel Offers Strategies for Employers in Crain’s Roundtable on Labor & Employment LawRead More
August 25, 2021
Now that the Pfizer Vaccine Has Been Given Full Approval, Can Employers Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?Read More
February 04, 2021
New Law Makes It Easier for Employers to Claim Employee Retention CreditRead More
June 03, 2019