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Police Reform and Labor Relations

Total Credits: 1.25 Illinois

Labor Law |  Labor Relations
Laura Finnegan |  Michael Frisch |  Jill Leka |  Thomas Pleines
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 04, 2020
Product Type:
On Demand
Access for 365 day(s) after purchase.


In Chicago, since the video of the Laquan McDonald shooting was released, there have been several efforts to change the rules and procedures of the Chicago Police Department. Under the Illinois Labor Relations Act, an Employer must provide notice and an opportunity to bargain, and bargain over any changes in policy that impact terms and conditions of employment, absent a waiver of those bargaining obligations. There have been several unfair labor practice cases that have been brought against the City of Chicago because of the City’s decision not to bargain. Illinois legislature like others across the country have proposed legislative changes. The panelists in this session will discuss the legislative responses, the policy changes that have been considered and/or enacted and the union’s responses to those policy changes. 


Laura Finnegan's Profile

Laura Finnegan Related seminars and products

Baum Sigman Auerbach & Neuman Ltd.

Laura Finnegan is a partner at the firm of Baum Sigman Auerbach & Neuman, Ltd. Her practice concentrates on the areas of employee benefits, the collection of employer contributions to Taft-Hartley funds, as well as labor and employment law. In those areas, she defends Taft-Hartley funds in employee benefits claims in Federal Courts in Illinois and Wisconsin; counsels Taft-Hartley funds on various issues of compliance with federal labor and tax laws; assists in the negotiation of service provider agreements for Taft-Hartley clients; litigates numerous fringe benefit contribution collection cases; represents Taft-Hartley clients in bankruptcy proceedings; and she prosecutes and litigates individual as well as class action employment discrimination cases successfully. She also represents labor unions in arbitration cases before the National Labor Relations Board and the Illinois State Labor Relations Board. Ms. Finnegan has been a contributing editor to the Developing Labor Law, 1995 through 1999 supplements, and the Fourth Edition published in 2001. In addition, she enjoys teaching and has taught basic fiduciary duties, welfare claims and appeals, and proposed changes to the labor laws that effect employees in the construction industry. She is the author of Chapter 19 of The Campaign Guide's Organizing the Construction Industry "Legal Basics for Trustees of Health Pension or Skill Funds."Ms. Finnegan is licensed to practice in Illinois and Wisconsin and is a member of federal bars in Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as being admitted to the federal trial bar in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the AFL-CIO Lawyers' Coordinating Committee. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, and her law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.

Michael Frisch's Profile

Michael Frisch Related seminars and products

Senior Advisor & Legal Counsel

City of Chicago

Michael Frisch ("Mike") is Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel to Mayor Lightfoot. After the 2019 election, Mike led the transition related to the City's Law Department and labor-related issues. After arriving at City Hall, Mike became responsible for legal policy, labor issues, and various special projects. Mike began working for now-Mayor Lightfoot during law school while he was a summer associate at Mayer Brown LLP.  Mike clerked for Judge Robert Dow in 2010 and 2011. Mike left Mayer Brown in 2015 to serve as a trial attorney with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he led numerous high-profile matters including the CFTC's litigation against Kraft Foods for market manipulation. 

Jill Leka's Profile

Jill Leka Related seminars and products

Clark Baird Smith LLP

Jill Leka is a strategic business partner helping employers solve their thorniest labor and employment law issues. She focuses on traditional labor matters as well as those involving employment litigation and the public (including educational) sector.  In that role, she also proactively counsels public, not for profit and private sector clients to position them for success. She represents employers in grievance and interest arbitrations, unfair labor practices and Union representation proceedings, disciplinary, pension/PEDA/PSEBA, constitutional and discrimination litigation, as well as conducts complex investigations. Ms. Leka has successfully negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements.  She also advises not for profits and educational institutions, including institutions of higher learning in all legal matters, including serving as General Counsel and all issues associated therewith.  Prior to starting CBS LLP with her colleagues, she practiced at Seyfarth Shaw LLP from 1993 until 2010, where her legal focus closely resembled that at CBS LLP. Ms. Leka currently serves as General Counsel for the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association and as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Human Rights Committee. In addition, she is an author of “Much Smarter Bargaining” (NPELRA 2017), “Freedom of Speech in the Public Workplace” (CABA 1998), “Illinois Statutes Affecting Public Employee Relations” (IPELRA 1995), and “Survey of Employment Law” (1993 Southern Illinois University Law Journal).  She has conducted numerous training programs on a variety of subjects and is a frequent speaker on various labor and employment topics. She earned a B.S. from Southern Illinois University and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Thomas Pleines Related seminars and products

Police Benevolent Labor Committee

Thomas J. Pleines is an attorney at the Law Office of Thomas J. Pleines. He was the Chicago Metro Counsel for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee with the Policemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois until 2018. He has several years of experience dealing with the City of Chicago in administrative hearings, the Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Courts of Illinois. He have negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of Chicago Police Officers with the City of Chicago. Mr. Pleines was General Counsel for the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge #7 from 1993 to 2011 and has over 35 reported decisions of the Illinois Appellate Court, the Supreme Court of Illinois, Federal District Court for Illinois and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Pleines received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Northern Illinois University and his J.D. from John Marshall Law School.

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