Alan S. King



Alan King combines extensive employment litigation experience and powerful mediation and arbitration skills to help employers successfully resolve discrimination, harassment, confidentiality and other employment conflicts in and outside the courtroom. For more than three decades, public and private employers have turned to Alan for litigation and counseling on state and federal statutory and common-law employment issues. He has a passion for resolving disputes and has advocated for clients in more than 100 arbitrations, mediations and settlement conferences.

Employment Litigation

Alan litigates individual and class action cases in federal and state courts around the country and has deep experience representing employers before federal, state and local administrative agencies. He regularly advises and advocates for clients on employment law issues, including matters of:

  • Employee discipline and termination
  • Discrimination and retaliation claims
  • Harassment issues
  • Reductions in force
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Wage and hour
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Defamation
  • Noncompetition
  • Workplace investigations

Arbitration and Mediation

A certified mediator, Alan has a unique ability to help parties reach voluntary negotiated resolution of employment-related disputes. Alan regularly guides clients in arbitrations and private mediations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mediations and court-sponsored settlement conferences. He has extensive experience working with employment-related matters in the retail, airlines, healthcare, telecommunications, education and financial services industries, as well as with municipalities and minority-owned businesses. Alan also serves as an arbitrator and is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) National Panel of Employment Arbitrators.

Representative Experience

  • Lead counsel on behalf of Fortune 500 national retailer in two cases brought by four former employees alleging national origin discrimination, hostile work environment harassment, retaliation and constructive discharge. Obtained summary judgment on all claims in both cases. (N.D. Ill. March 2017).
  • Lead counsel on behalf of major international airline in case brought by former long-term employee alleging race discrimination and retaliation in his discharge. Obtained summary judgment on both claims. (N.D. Ill. January 2017).
  • Zayas v. Rockford Memorial Hospital, 2014 WL 325260 (7th Cir. Jan. 30, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in action brought by former employee alleging age and national origin discrimination and hostile work environment. After obtaining summary judgment in the district court on all counts, 2013 WL 3224600 (N.D. Ill. June 25, 2013), the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its Opinion on January 30, 2014, affirming the district court in all respects.
  • Sheedy v. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, 2014 WL 240331 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in age discrimination action brought by former employee. On January 22, 2014, U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • Fredericks v. Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, 2014 WL 64332 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of hospital in age discrimination action brought by former employee. On January 8, 2014, U.S. District Judge James Holderman granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • Brooks v. City of Chicago, et al., 2012 WL 13570 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2012), and Case No. 2012 L 1895 (Circuit Court of Cook County Jan. 24, 2014). Lead counsel on behalf of the City of Chicago and former Mayor Richard M. Daley in federal and state court actions arising from plaintiff’s separation from employment as the City’s Fire Commissioner. On January 4, 2012, U.S. District Judge Dow granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the action, including dismissal with prejudice of plaintiff’s federal constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. On January 24, 2014, after plaintiff re-filed certain tort claims in state court, Circuit Judge James O’Hara granted defendants’ motion to dismiss and dismissed all pending claims with prejudice.
  • Lead counsel on behalf of a Fortune 500 national retailer in a nationwide class action alleging pay discrimination based on race, national origin and ethnicity. Obtained dismissal of all class claims alleging both disparate treatment and disparate impact on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, with no amended complaint being filed. (N.D. Ill. 2011).
  • Jaffer v. City Colleges of Chicago, et al., No 09 C 5710 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2011). Lead counsel on behalf of City Colleges of Chicago and one of its college presidents in an employment discrimination suit filed by a tenured professor alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her race, national origin and Muslim religion and was retaliated against for making internal complaints of discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. Sections 1981 and Section 1983. On September 29, 2011, on cross-motions for summary judgment filed by all parties including the plaintiff, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer denied plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to City Colleges and the college president.
  • EEOC v. Scrub, Inc., No. 09 C 4228 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 9, 2010). Served as court-appointed Consent Decree Monitor in connection with a four-year Consent Decree resolving race and national origin hiring discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
  • Lewis v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 04 C 6050 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 2007). Lead counsel on behalf of the City of Chicago in employment discrimination action filed by a female police officer alleging gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and Section 1983. After a two-week jury trial in December 2007, the jury returned verdicts in favor of the City on all counts. Seventh Circuit affirmed on December 21, 2009 (No. 08-2877).
  • Armainsson v. Rockford Health System, et al., No. 07 C 50081 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 2, 2010). Lead counsel on behalf of Rockford Health System (RHS), a 3,000-employee health system, in a lawsuit filed by a terminated physician and former RHS department chair alleging violations of the FMLA and state law claims for retaliatory discharge and civil conspiracy. On April 2, 2010, U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on the FMLA and conspiracy claims, and also dismissed the state law retaliatory discharge claim.
  • Wilkins v. Riveredge Hospital, 2004 WL 906010 (N.D. Ill. April 26, 2004), aff’d, No. 04-2356 (7th Cir. May 10, 2005) (Unpublished Order). Lead counsel in Title VII reverse discrimination suit filed by former mental health counselor who alleged that he was terminated and then not rehired by Riveredge Hospital due to his gender. On April 26, 2004, Judge Shadur granted the Hospital’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed in an Unpublished Order on May 10, 2005.
  • Dziki v. Duron, Inc., Case No. 98 L 9141 (Circuit Court of Cook County 2001). Sole trial counsel on behalf of national paint and wall covering manufacturer in defense of retaliatory discharge claim. The case was tried over 4 days in March 2001. At the close of Plaintiff’s case, court granted Defendant’s motion for directed verdict on Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. Jury then reached a verdict in favor of Defendant on all remaining claims.
  • Cusack v. INX International Ink Co. (AAA Atlanta, Georgia 2000). Sole counsel on behalf of INX in arbitration case brought by former sales rep alleging that she was sexually harassed and subjected to discrimination in her compensation at INX. After a two-day arbitration hearing the arbitrator ruled in favor of INX on all claims.

Personal Interests

In addition to spending family time with his wife and two daughters, Alan is an internationally acclaimed house music DJ in his spare time.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Mediator — Alan holds a mediation certificate from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.

University of Illinois
J.D. (1988)

Augustana College
B.A. (1985)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Arbitration Association — National Panel of Employment Arbitrators
  • Resolution Systems Institute — Board Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter — Former Board Member
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms — Former Board Member

Civic Activities

  • Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation — Board Chairman
  • Ounce of Prevention Fund — Board Member
  • Mayor Daley’s 21st Century Leadership Council — Former Member
  • Chicago Public Schools — Interim Director of Labor Relations, October 2001-June 2002
  • Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities — Former Board Chair

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Former Vice-Chair, Labor and Employment Group


  • Best Lawyers®— Employment Law - Management, 2012-20
  • Lawyers of Color — Nation’s Best, 2019
  • Crain’s Chicago Business — Chicago’s Notable Minority Lawyers, 2018
  • Law Bulletin Publishing Company — 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch, 2003
  • Leading Lawyers Network — Leading Lawyer, 2004-19

Awards Methodology

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