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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.

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. Jill 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. Jill has successfully negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements.  Jill 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. 

From 1988 to 1993, Jill served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Springfield, Illinois.  As Assistant Corporation Counsel, Jill represented and advised City of Springfield officials on all aspects of municipal, labor, employment, law enforcement, discipline, discrimination and benefit issues.  She also represented the City in grievance arbitration, interest arbitration, labor board and disciplinary proceedings and state and federal court litigation.  In addition, Jill negotiated all the City’s collective bargaining agreements (29) covering over a thousand employees, including agreements for police, fire, clerical, professional, and maintenance and craft employees.

In 1987 and 1988, Jill was Labor Relations Counsel for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services.  In that capacity, she participated in collective bargaining negotiations for contracts covering 40,000 employees on behalf of the State of Illinois, represented state agencies in arbitration and labor board proceedings and advised state agencies on disciplinary matters, contract administration and other employment-related issues.

Jill 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 and Civil Rights and ADR Committees. She is a past chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and previously served on the ISBA Employee Benefits Council, the Professional Women’s Council, and as President of the Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association.  Jill also served as the Chairperson of the City of Springfield Liquor Commission. In addition, Jill 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.

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.