James P. DeNardo is a veteran appellate and employment attorney. He combines the skills and knowledge gained in an extensive career handling appellate cases at the highest levels in state and federal court with litigation experience as a skilled and respected employment law attorney. He provides insightful and cost effective solutions to clients. His knowledge of the trial and appellate courtroom give him a complete perspective on the litigation process for his clients.
Jim graduated from law school and spent a half year as law clerk to Justice Daniel J. McNamara of the Illinois Appellate Court. Jim served in Viet Nam as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate Generals Corps. During his tour in Viet Nam, in addition to his court-martial work and as a foreign claims officer, he was tasked with teaching soldiers about the Geneva Conventions after the My Lai incident. He finished his career in the military stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The focus of Jim’s practice at McKenna Storer is primarily employment law and workplace issues, such as discrimination in the employment setting, equal employment litigation and public accommodations and commercial facilities litigation. He has represented clients in litigation in state and federal courts and at the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Jim has also appeared extensively in appellate courts at the state and federal levels including the Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court as well as before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Jim is a devoted father of two and grandfather of two. He is a voracious reader and movie buff. He takes classes for enrichment through Northwestern University.
- DePaul University, BA, 1964
- DePaul University, JD, 1967
- State of Illinois
- USDC – Northern District of Illinois
- USDC – Central District of Illinois
- USDC – District of Colorado
- USCA – 7th Circuit
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Military Appeals
Insurance Agent Litigation — Breach of Agency Contract
Successfully represented insurers in disputes with agents over whether termination of the agencies breached the agency contracts.
Retaliatory Discharge — Employment Litigation
Representation of a municipality in a lawsuit over whether termination of an employee was in retaliation for the employee filing an EEOC charge of gender discrimination.
Trade Secret Litigation — Customer list taken by an Agent
Representation of an insurer in its request for a preliminary injunction in a dispute over whether customer lists taken by agents were trade secrets.
Non-profit Youth Organization – Sexual Misconduct
Liability carrier appointed McKenna to defend the employer in a sexual misconduct case that ultimately resulted in a settlement that was favorable to the defendant.
Measure Of Damages And Burden Of Proof In Breach Of Contract And Warranty Claims For Damages To A Building (IDC Quarterly, Second Quarter 2013, Volume 23, Number 2)
Misappropriation of Customer List Trade Secrets as a Basis for an Injunction Containing a Non-Solicitation Clause (IDC Quarterly, Third Quarter 2011, Volume 21, Number 3.)
Jury Trials in the Circuit Court for Employment Claims Under the Illinois Human Rights act and Federal Statutes, for Retaliation and Punitive Damages (IDC Quarterly, First Quarter 2010, Volume 20, Number 1)
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in the Employment Context (IDC Quarterly, Third Quarter, 2005, Vol. 15, No. 3)
Standard for Granting Summary Judgment in a Retaliation Case Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (IDC Defense Update, April 2004, Vol. 4, No. 2)
Sexual Harassment: A Review of Current Legal and Practical Issues (IDC Quarterly, Third Quarter, 1999, Vol. 9, No. 3)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act: A Seventh Circuit Perspective (IDC Quarterly, Second Quarter, 1998, Vol. 8, No. 2)
Federal Family & Medical Leave Act: Effect on Employees Rights and Employer Responsibilities (The Transportation Lawyer, April, 1996, Vol. 4, No. 7)
The Impact of Federal Legislation on the Employer/Employee Relationship in Illinois: A Summary of Federal Regulation of Illinois Workplace Issues (IDC Quarterly, Second Quarter, 1996, Vol. 6, No. 2)
Editor and Author, McKenna Storer Employment News Letter (1986-2015)
- Lecturer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
- Lecturer on appellate practice.
- Defending Sexual Harassment Claims/ Responding to EEOC Charge – Presentation at Transport Service Company, March 2010
- Continuing Legal Education presentation on the subject of “What are Appealable Orders”, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Continuing Legal Education Program, April, 2009
- Lecturer on the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine; defending sexual harassment claims; the applicability of the Americans With Disabilities Act to commercial facilities, public accommodations, employment and the workers compensation statute; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act; the Family Medical Leave Act; drug and alcohol polices; how to respond to an EEOC charge; and coverage provided by and how to assess risks under an Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy.
Blog Posts and Articles
- Offering Severence Pay In An Agreement Which Would Deter Filing A Complaint With The EEOC Does Not Violate Title VIIIn Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 14-3653, December 17, 2015, 7th Circuit, CVS fired a store manager and offered her a severance agreement which she signed. The agreement included a broad release of waivable claims relating to her employment, including claims under Title VII. The agreement expressly carved out the manager’s […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – October 2015FALSE WORKER’S COMPENSATION CLAIM STOPS TITLE VII ACTION STATEMENT THAT WOULD NOT HIRE A CAUCASIAN IF A QUALIFIED MINORITY WAS AVAILABLE WAS NOT EVIDENCE OF DISCRIMINATION FALSE TIMESHEETS PREVENT A TITLE VII CLAIM AGE-RELATED STATEMENTS SUPPORT AN ADEA CLAIM SEVERE EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS SUPPORT AN FMLA CLAIM EMPLOYER’S FAILURE TO STOP RUDE BEHAVIOR DOES NOT CREATE […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – September 2015THE EEOC DOES NOT HAVE TO NAME A REJECTED JOB APPLICANT TO BRING SUIT COURT CAN LIMIT THE SCOPE OF A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT TAMPERING WITH AN EMPLOYEE’S WORK PRODUCT AND ASSIGNING DIFFICULT WORK SUPPORTS A TITLE VII ACTION RESULTS OF THEFT INVESTIGATION STOPS A TITLE VII SUIT FAILURE TO REQUEST AN ACCOMMODATION AND BEING AN […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – August 2015REQUEST FOR LIGHT DUTY MUST MATCH THE DOCTOR’S RESTRICTIONS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ISSUES GUIDANCE ON CLASSIFYING WORKERS INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC IS NOT PROTECTED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE EMPLOYEE’S PRIOR COMPLAINT STOPS A RETALIATION CLAIM FAILURE TO SHOW INTENT STOPS A RACE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – July 2015PUT THE LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE IN YOUR EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS TO PROTECT FROM BREACH OF CONTRACT ACTIONS A DOCTOR’S SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS COULD NOT BE ACCOMMODATED BY HIS EMPLOYER NO FACTUAL BASIS STOPS CHARGES OF RACE AND RETALIATION VIRGINIA PATIENT AWARDED VERDICT FOR TAPED DEFAMATORY AND OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS RIGHTS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY SHORT TIME […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – June 2015COURT REFUSES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO UNIVERSITY EMPLOYER WHICH WOULD ALLOW NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE “AFFORDABLE CARE ACT” YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COMPLAIN TO THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE EMPLOYER EMPLOYER’S FALSE CLAIM OF POOR JOB PERFORMANCE SUPPORTS A RETALIATION CHARGE THE SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT COURTS HAVE AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE EEOC’S DUTY TO CONCILIATE […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – May 2015SEVEN MONTH GAP AFTER FMLA LEAVE PREVENTS RETALIATION SECLUDING AN EMPLOYEE FROM THE WORKPLACE SUPPORTS A COMPENSATORY DAMAGE AWARD THE PERSON TERMINATING MUST KNOW THE BIAS OF THE PERSON RECOMMENDING THE TERMINATION IN ORDER FOR THE BIAS TO SUPPORT A CAUSE OF ACTION YOUR DISCRETIONARY BONUS PLAN MAY SUPPORT A BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIM YOUR […]
- McKenna Employment Bulletin – April 2015SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO RULE ON BREASTFEEDING IN THE WORKPLACE FEMALE ALLEGED AGE AND SEX DISCRIMINATION WHERE EMPLOYER STATED HE WANTED TO REPLACE HER WITH A YOUNG MALE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS BURDEN-SHIFTING APPLIES IN A PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT CASE YOUR AFFIDAVITS IN SUPPORT OF A TERMINATION MUST BE FACT BASED THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR WAS NOT THE […]
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Based On Sexual Orientation Discrimination Preempted By The Illinois Human Rights ActIn Schroeder v RGIS, Inc., 2013 IL App (1st) 122483 (June 11, 2013), the plaintiff filed a claim alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress against his former employer. The basis of his intentional infliction claim was allegations of discrimination and retaliation based on the plaintiff’s sexual orientation. The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint and ruled […]
- If You Are An Employee Don’t Admit Termination If You Want To Plead Failure To RecallIn Shelton v. OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, 2013 IL App (3d) 120628 (June 19, 2013), the plaintiff alleged in a verified amended complaint that she was terminated from her employment. The Court found this was a judicial admission. The plaintiff’s cause of action was based, however, on the single theory of retaliatory failure to […]