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300 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60606
TEL: 312.786.6152
FAX: 312.986.9192
Practice Areas
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law (1988)
  • B.S., Indiana University, with high distinction, (1983)
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and District of Columbia Circuits
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Christopher A. Johlie


Chris represents public and private sector employers in a wide range of labor and employment matters. Since 1988, Chris has worked with clients on union-related matters, including union organization, collective bargaining, arbitrations, strike planning and strike-related litigation, and state and federal labor relations board proceedings. He regularly counsels employers on employment issues related to discrimination, discipline and discharge, child labor, wage and hour, and personnel policy development and implementation. He has worked with employers in a wide variety of industries including education, hospitality, health care, manufacturing, transportation, food service, construction, and recreation.

Chris has significant experience in public and private sector labor law matters. He worked for the National Labor Relations Board and has represented scores of employers in state and federal labor board proceedings. He also has argued labor law cases in the federal courts of appeal and has extensive experience in strike-related litigation.

Chris devotes a significant amount of his practice to training. He has developed and delivered programs on a wide variety of legal and human resource issues including sexual harassment, developing respectful workplace relationships, equal employment opportunity, effective human resource practices, labor law compliance and union relations. Chris has conducted training sessions for clients (from front-line supervisors to top management) and for several trade associations.

Chris is a member of the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association, the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration. Chris has been recognized repeatedly by the Leading Lawyers Network as a leading employment attorney in Illinois and he serves as the General Counsel to the Hotel Employers Labor Relations Association.

Chris has done pro bono work for the Cook County Public Guardian. For his efforts on behalf of sexually abused children, he is a past recipient of the Public Guardian’s Outstanding Volunteer Attorney Award. Chris also serves on the Board of Trustees for Robert Morris University.

Representative Experience  click to view

  • Currently working with multiple park districts on a variety of matters including FMLA, EEO, wage/hour, labor relations and employee discipline
  • Currently negotiating a union contract for a skilled nursing facility while also representing the facility in multiple NLRB unfair labor practice and decertification proceedings
  • Currently negotiating a first-time collective bargaining agreement for a car dealer
  • Currently negotiating a collective bargaining agreement for a multi-employer association of 115 employers
  • Represented health care system in SEIU campaign to organize RNs; work included management training, witness preparation and campaign strategy—union campaign was unsuccessful and employer remains union free
  • Conducted labor audits at six hospitals to assess vulnerability to CNA/NNOC organizing threat
  • Regularly represent public and private employers in contract negotiations and have negotiated multiple contracts that resulted in substantial cost savings and an increase in operational flexibility with no work stoppage
  • Represented hospitality industry employer in federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act litigation
  • Won ground breaking case on behalf of Overnite Transportation Company before the Tennessee Supreme Court establishing an employer’s right to recover civil contempt damages from a union for strike-related violence, misconduct and property damage
  • Regularly conduct management and employee training sessions on harassment and other related employment topics for park districts and park district associations
  • Represented a manufacturing client in multiple NLRB and state court injunction proceedings, contract negotiations and union organizing activities at multiple locations
  • Conducted training sessions for multiple clients on latest developments under federal labor law