Heather A. Bailey

Partner
Heather Bailey, SmithAmundsen LLC Photo

Overview

Heather credits her experience working full-time in office administration and human resources during law school for her seamless transition into management-side labor and employment law. The skills she developed as a legal secretary and office manager help strengthen her appreciation and understanding of clients’ concerns today and gave her the tools to be efficient, respectful and meticulous in her role as an attorney.

For 21 years, Heather has concentrated her practice in employment and labor counseling and litigation, including discrimination and trade secret / non-compete lawsuits, FLSA class actions, labor negotiations and arbitrations, affirmative action, OFCCP/DOL audits, BIPA and FINRA issues. She counsels on day-to-day operations, human resources, and management decisions regarding employees, practices and policies. Heather also works comfortably with FMLA/ADA, sexual harassment, affirmative action, union avoidance and other types of employee and management training. Her clients operate across the U.S. in industries like vending, health care, transportation, parking, automotive repair, construction, staffing, hospitality (restaurants/taverns), banking, nonprofits, IT, and manufacturing to name a few.

As co-chair of the firm's Labor & Employment & Benefits Service Group and as a thought leader in the labor and employment industry, Heather regularly contributes to the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Update, the vending industry’s National Automatic Merchandising Association, Vending Times and Vending Market Watch quarterly publications, and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s human resources advisory blog. She co-authored the 2019 Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Illinois Employment Law Handbook, and frequently presents at the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Clear Law Institute, Chicago Bar Association, Lorman Education Services and NAMA-related conventions across the U.S.

As a prior co-chair of the firm’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, Heather managed a team charged with not only creating diversity awareness within the firm and its clients, but also executing strategies to recruit, retain and mentor attorneys and staff of all backgrounds. Additionally, Heather provides incomparable leadership to the firm’s younger attorneys; taking the time to mentor them and help them to develop into exceptional attorneys. 

Experience

Membership & Involvement

  • Professional Women’s Club of Chicago: Immediate Past President, 2016-2017; President, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2014-2015; Communications Committee Co-chair, 2012-2014; Communications Committee Co-Chair Board Member, 2012-2014 
  • Executive Committee Member: ProVisors, 2017-Present
  • Advisory Council: Illinois Restaurant Association, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Member: National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) (Employment/Labor Knowledge Source Partner since 2003)
  • Member: Illinois Chamber of Commerce (Employment Legislation Advisor)
  • Member: Former Co-chair; SmithAmundsen Committee for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Member: Defense Research Institute (DRI); American Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association; Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Volunteer/ Co-captain: Special Olympics Chicago, Polar Plunge Fundraiser, 2008-2022
  • Volunteer: The Youth Campus, 2004–2011
  • Volunteer: Children’s Home + Aid, 2012-2014

Honors

  • 2015 Chicago Business Journal Women of Influence Honoree
  • Recognized as a Pro to Know by Automatic Merchandiser and VendingMarketWatch: 2015
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Received Lawyer Monthly Women in Law Award, USA: 2018 

Resources & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Published Works

Blog

Contributing Author, SmithAmundsen's Labor & Employment Law Update, a labor and employment advisory blog.

Contributing Author, Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Chamber Dispatch, an HR advisory blog.

Blog Posts

Education on Demand

Firm News

Education

The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2001  

Bowling Green State University, B.A., 1992

Admissions

  • Illinois
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