Heyl Royster


Brian Smith

Brian Smith



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Heyl Royster




Employers are faced with more and more challenges in running their businesses due to the vast number of laws and regulations governing the workplace. An incorrect decision today may cost an employer a tremendous amount of time and money in the future. Our Employment & Labor Practice spans our six offices to provide a team approach to advising and defending employers on most areas affecting employment, such as disciplinary actions, terminations, reductions-in-force, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenants, employment agreements, and various leave issues.

Our attorneys defend employers in state and federal court and before administrative agencies with respect to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the WARN Act, and other employment laws. We handle all aspects of your case including investigation, witness preparation, administrative agency proceedings, pre-trial, trial, and appellate work.

In the area of labor law, our attorneys have represented employers in areas including collective bargaining agreement negotiation and preparation, union grievances and arbitrations, and NLRB proceedings.

Training and educating supervisory staff on employment related issues will assist employers in reducing costs by preventing actions that invite claims by employees. We often prepare and review employment policies and procedures as well as provide training to management personnel.

Because of our experience and constant immersion in the laws and regulations impacting employers, we provide clients with the most current legal advice.

Listed below are some of the areas of employment and labor law in which we are most active:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Sections 501 and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN)
  • Illinois Human Rights Act
  • Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA)
  • Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act
  • Minimum Wage Law
  • One Day Rest in Seven Act
  • Prevailing Wage Act
  • Personnel Records Review Act
  • Negotiations of collective bargaining agreements and labor contract administration
  • Union grievances and arbitrations
  • NLRB proceedings
  • Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Issues:
    • Race
    • Age
    • National origin
    • Sex
    • Religion
    • Disability
    • Equal pay
    • Pregnancy
    • Sexual orientation
  • Leave Issues:
    • Family
    • Medical
    • Disability
    • Pregnancy
    • Sick
    • Military
  • Compensation
    • Exempt vs. non-exempt classification
    • Vacation pay
    • Final compensation
    • Bonus and incentive pay
    • Travel pay
    • Call back pay
    • Prevailing wages
    • Overtime
  • Non-compete Agreements and Restrictive Covenants
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Administrative Agency Processes and Procedures:
    • U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    • U. S. Department of Labor
    • National Labor Relations Board
    • Illinois Department of Human Rights
    • Illinois Human Rights Commission
    • Illinois Educational Labor Board
    • Illinois Public Labor Board
    • Illinois Department of Labor

Representative Clients


American Pest Control, Inc.

Apostolic Christian Home

Bloomington Country Club

BNSF Railway Company

Cincinnati Insurance Company

Community Memorial Hospital

Country Club of Peoria

Crawford Memorial Hospital

Eastern Illinois University

Five Star Vending, Inc.

Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois

GROWMARK, Inc. and its Member Companies

Heart of Illinois United Way

Illinois Mutual

Insulation Solutions

Kitchen Cooked, Inc.


Memorial Hospital (Carthage)

Menold Construction, Inc.

M.S. Carver Lumber Company

Paris Community Hospital

Pediatric Cardiology Associates

Peoria Tube Forming

Prairie Gardens, Inc.

Sodhi Medical Services & Danville Dialysis

Star Transport, Inc.

SuperValu, Inc.

University of Illinois

Welch Systems, Inc.

Significant Cases

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for a municipality in litigation brought by a former employee alleging wrongful discharge, violation of his rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Illinois Service Men's Employment Tenure Act, and asserting claims under Section 1983 for deprivation of his property and liberty interests.
  • Olander v. Compass Bank Trial of a non-compete agreement against former executive employee resulting in the return of $224,908 to the bank in the United States District Court, Southern District, Houston Division.
  • Pacer International et al. v. Cornerstone Systems, Inc. Successful mid-trial settlement for plaintiff/client in non-compete and breach of fiduciary duty case in Harris County Texas state court.
  • Ford v. Global Marine Drilling Co. Negotiated a voluntary dismissal, with prejudice, in a gender discrimination case the first day of trial in Harris County Texas state court.
  • City of Belleville v. Doe by Doe 523 U.S. 1001 (1998) Whether same sex harassment is actionable under Title 7.
  • Sun v. Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois Successfully obtained summary judgment for the University of Illinois in litigation brought by unsuccessful tenure applicant; included vacating a default judgment against defendants for failure to comply with discovery while represented by prior counsel.
  • Propst v. Weir 937 F.2d 338 (7th Cir. 1991) Application of qualified immunity for university officials in First Amendment Retaliatory Transfer claim.
  • Tomic v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria 442 F.3d 1036 (7th Cir. 2006) Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in age discrimination claim based on application of the ministerial exception.


  • “Temporary Labor and the Illinois Responsible Job Creation Act,” InterBusiness Issues (2018) - Download Article
  • “A Seventh Circuit Reminder: Consistency is Key,” Illinois Parks Association Risk Services Newsletter (2018) – Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2015) - Download Article; (2017) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2010) - Download Article
  • "Regulating Appearance in the Workplace: An Employer's Guide to Avoid Employment Discrimination Lawsuits," National Law Review (2014)
  • "How to Protect Your Practice When You Have to Let Employees Go," Impact Magazine (2013)
  • "Public Employees," chapter in Employment Termination, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011 and 2013)
  • "Recent Developments in Employment Law and Litigation," Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (2012) - Download Article
  • "Employment Settlement Contracts: Reducing the Incidence of Buyer's Remorse and Laying the Groundwork for Enforcement," IDC Defense Update (2012) - Download Article
  • "Liability for Acceding to a Customer's Racial Intolerance," ACC Docket (2011) - Download Article
  • "Back Away from the 'Like' Button: The Potential for Employers' Liability in the Age of Social Networking," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly Monograph (2011) - Download Article
  • "Physician Disciplinary Records: TMI?!" IDC Defense Update, Vol. 11, No. 8 (2010) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2008) - Download Article
  • "Current Issues in Illinois Law," published by Employment Law Update (2007)
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2007) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2006) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2005) - Download Article
  • "Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law," Southern Illinois University Law Journal (2004) - Download Article
  • "The Age Discrimination in Employment Act: A Seventh Circuit Perspective," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly Monograph (1998) - Download Article
  • "The Impact of Federal Legislation on the Employer/Employee Relationship in Illinois," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly Monograph (1996) - Download Article