Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. Steven’s practice covers the full spectrum of employment law. He has successfully tried cases in multiple jurisdictions, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Reporting to boards of directors and their audit committees, he routinely conducts sensitive investigations arising from myriad types of whistleblower complaints and has testified in defense of investigations in federal court.

Chambers describes Steven as an “outstanding lawyer” who is “very sharp and very responsive.” Steven was 1 of 12 individuals selected by Compliance Week as a "Top Mind."  Earlier in his career, he was 1 of 5 U.S. lawyers selected by Law360 as a "Rising Star Under 40" in the area of employment law and 1 of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Steven is a Burton Award Winner (U.S. Library of Congress) for "Distinguished Legal Writing." He was elected as a Fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. 

Steven has served on Law360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board, is a member of Compliance Week’s Advisory Board and is a Contributor to He has appeared on Bloomberg News (television and radio) and Yahoo! Finance, and is regularly quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal.  

Read More >

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has engaged Steven to serve as lead counsel on amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts. He was appointed to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in employment litigation matters. He has presented with the Solicitor of the DOL, the Acting Chair of the EEOC, an EEOC Commissioner and heads of government whistleblower programs (SEC, CFTC and OSHA).

In addition, the RAND Corporation, one of the world’s leading think-tanks, selected Steven to speak at an exclusive symposium comprised of some of the most influential thought leaders and policy makers, including top officials at the SEC, on whistleblower laws and related policy issues on the eve of the issuance of the regulations to the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions.


Top 10 Whistleblowing and Retaliation Events, Law360 [annual review]

Preserving Noncompete Enforcement Rights Amid COVID-19, Law360, July 6, 2020

The Top 10 Changes to Illinois Employment Law from 2019, Law360, January 3, 2020

The Employment Landscape Under the Current Administration,, July 10, 2019

How DOJ Compliance Guide Affects Employer Best Practices, Law360, May 20, 2019

How the Board Can Tackle Sexual Harassment,, May 13, 2019

What the Google Walkout Means for Employers, Corporate Counsel, November 28, 2018

The New Wave of Employee Biometrics Class Actions, Law360, October 13, 2017

Clarifying FCRA Stand-Alone Disclosure Rule at 7th Circ., Law360, August 18, 2017

SEC Re-Enters the Employment Law Arena, Law360, October 11, 2016

Time to Revisit Severance Agreements, Law360, August 12, 2016

Conciliation in the Wake of Mach Mining, Law360, July 14, 2015

Noncompetition Clause Cases In the Land Of Lincoln, Law360, May 23, 2014

A Transformative Year in Whistleblowing & Retaliation, Ethisphere, December 30, 2013

Why Employment Counsel Should Study FCPA Guidance, Law360, November 26, 2012

New Whistleblower Policies and Incentives:  A Paradigm Shift from “Oversight” to “Insight,” RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, 2011