Joseph F. Spitzzeri serves as Johnson & Bell's General Counsel. Previously, he was Chairman of our Construction and Employment groups. His construction practice includes the defense of owners, architects, engineers and contractors in construction defect, construction personal injury and contract disputes. Mr. Spitzzeri also represents contractors and employees before the Inspectors General for the City of Chicago and State of Illinois, defends Fair Labor Standard Act cases and also defends Welfare & Pension Fund Contribution Deficiency and withdrawal liability cases.
Mr. Spitzzeri’s employment practice includes defending employers in EEOC and IDHR administrative proceedings, and proceedings in federal and state courts arising from Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the Equal Pay Act and claims brought under the Illinois Human Rights Act. His employment practice also includes the drafting of employment policies as well as employee training. He represents municipalities in employment and civil rights litigation as well.
Mr. Spitzzeri previously worked as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General, trying numerous cases in several circuit courts throughout Illinois. He has also tried cases in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, including two class actions. Mr. Spitzzeri has argued these same cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
An avid writer and speaker, Mr. Spitzzeri presents at the International Risk Management Institute’s Construction Risk Conference on topics such as Additional Insured Endorsements, Interacting with OSHA and Contractual Risk Transfer. Mr. Spitzzeri also speaks at the American Law Firm Association’s Labor and Employment conferences. His peers have noted his success as a trial attorney by honoring him with an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and he has been voted a “Super Lawyer” on numerous occasions.
Mr. Spitzzeri is a past member of the American, Illinois, Cook County and Kane County Bar Associations, and the Illinois Wind Working Group. He has also been a member of the Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates - Chicago and the Illinois Chapter of the United States Green Building Council. Mr. Spitzzeri has achieved LEED certification.
Mr. Spitzzeri has been appointed to the Construction Management Association of the America Legal Counsel Committee. He has also served as President and Chairman of several societies, including the Kane County Justinian Society of Lawyers.
Mr. Spitzzeri is certified as a Chairperson for the Circuit Court of Cook County Court Annexed Mandatory Arbitration Program.
“Cybersecurity and Ethics for Law Firms,” Johnson & Bell presentation to firm attorneys, June 19, 2017
“Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements - Are They Still Viable?” ALFA International’s Labor and
Employment Practice Group Seminar, January 12, 2017
“ALFA International 2016 Ethics Challenge,” June 8-10, 2016
Moderator, “Litigating Against the EEOC: Conciliation, Discovery Tactics and Limits,” ALFA International 2015 Labor & Employment Practice Group Seminar
“Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Reasonable Accommodation,” training seminar on October 16, 2015
Moderator, "Can You Hear Me Calling?," ALFA International's 2013 Labor and Employment Practice Group Seminar, October 2-4, 2013
"Restrictive Covenants in the Medical Profession" Johnson & Bell, Ltd. Health Seminar, May 12, 2011
“Third-Party Retaliation Claims”, IDC Employment Law Committee Lunch & Learn, Chicago, IL, February 24, 2011
"Illinois' Pre-Judgment Interest Statute -- An Initial Assessment as the Law Takes Effect July 1, 2021." Client Advisory, June 30, 2021.
"WARN" Act Notice Requirements for Workforce Reductions and Plant or Business Closures Caused by COVID-19." Client Advisory, June 16, 2020
"Prior Job Application Admissible in ADA Litigation Along with Evidence that the Employer Hired a Different Member of Plaintiff's Protected Class." Client Advisory, December 17, 2019
"Seventh Circuit Reverses ADA Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff; Obesity Without Physiological Cause Not ADA Covered Impairment." Client Advisory, October 31, 2019
"Employers and Personal Cannabis Use After HB-1438 (Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act)." Client Advisory, August 7, 2019
“Stay In Your Lane: SCOTUS Affirms Third-Party Defendants Can’t Remove Class Action Lawsuits from State to Federal Court." Client Advisory, June 24, 2019
"The Workplace Just Got More Complex to Manage in Illinois." Client Advisory, June 12, 2019
"Amendments to Illinois Human Rights Act and Illinois Wage Payment and Collections Act Could Mean Future Headaches for Employers." Client Advisory, November 2018
"Ruling Raises Questions about OSHA Worksite "Controlling Employer" Policy." Client Advisory, June 2017
“7th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Preliminary Injunction Authorizing Transgender Bathroom Use.” Client Advisory, June, 5, 2017
“Ninth Circuit Opens Divide in Equal Pay Cases.” Client Advisory, May 15, 2017
“Full Seventh Circuit Reverses Course on Sexual Orientation Claims Under Title VII.” Client Advisory, April 6, 2017
“10th Circuit Refuses to Enforce EEOC Pattern and Practice Administrative Subpoena.” Client Advisory, March 1, 2017
“Third Circuit Joins the Fray - Holds That Class Actions Are Not Available Where The Arbitration Agreement Is Silent on the Issue.” Client Advisory, February 14, 2017
“Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Establishes New ‘Joint Employer’ Test Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Client Advisory, February 1, 2017
"New Whistleblower Settlement Guidance Announced by OSHA." Client Advisory, November 17, 2016
"EEOC Issues Final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues." Client Advisory, August 31, 2016
"Mach Mining Conciliation Issue Revisited by District Court." Client Advisory, June 16, 2016
"Non-Compete Agreements Under Attack in Illinois." Client Advisory, June 14, 2016
"U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Weigh In on Transgender Issues." Client Advisory, May 19, 2016
"Drafting a Leave Policy - Easier Said Than Done." Client Advisory, May 12, 2016
"Appellate Court Expands Reach of Illinois Human Rights Act, Impacting Pending and Future Litigation." Client Advisory, May 4, 2016
"District Court Rejects Title IX Restroom Access Claim of Transgender Student." Client Advisory, November 6, 2015
"EEOC Ordered Back to Conciliation." Client Advisory, November 2, 2015
"Motor Carrier's Self-Reporting Policy Violates the ADA." Client Advisory, November 2, 2015
"Federal District Judge Upholds Chicago PD Rule Limiting Tattoos." Client Advisory, November 4, 2015
"EEOC Denied "Roving Depositions" and Onsite Inspection of Employee Functions." Client Advisory, November 2, 2015
"Supreme Court Upholds District Court's Review of the EEOC's Conciliation Efforts." Client Advisory, April 29, 2015
"DOL Whistleblower Investigations: A Summary Overview." Client Advisory, July 25, 2014
"Interacting with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) During Administrative Investigations." Client Advisory, July 2014
"Statutory Amendments Likely to Increase Whistleblower Activity." Client Advisory, January 2013
"Liability Issues in the Defense of Construction Defect Cases in Illinois."
"Best Practices in Wind Energy Options, Easements, & Leases."
"Recent Seventh Circuit Opinion Continues Support of Exemption in FLSA Overtime Pay Complaints."
"Construction Negligence Cases in Illinois, A Look at Sections 414 & 343 of the Restatement (2d) of Torts."
"Coverage for Construction Defects: An Illinois Perspective."
"What to Know if the Whistles Blow."