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Meeting of June 8, 2011 - EEOC to Examine Use of Leave As Reasonable Accommodation

John Hendrickson
Regional Attorney, EEOC

JOHN C. HENDRICKSON has been the Regional Attorney in the Chicago District of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 1990. Mr. Hendrickson is EEOC's chief legal officer in the District which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He is responsible for the management of the District’s litigation and for the supervision of its attorneys.

Prior to joining EEOC in 1981, Mr. Hendrickson was engaged in the private practice of law, including corporate, securities and acquisitions in a major Chicago firm and, also, solo and small firm practice concentrating in complex civil litigation. Mr. Hendrickson received his B.A. degree from The University of Chicago and graduated cum laude from the Columbia University School of Law in New York. He was elected a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2005. He has received diplomas from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Federal Executive Institute and from OPM’s Eastern Management Development Center. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Hendrickson served as one of only two Senior Executive Service Regional Attorney Senior Litigation Project managers in EEOC history. In 2007, Mr. Hendrickson received the Chicago Bar Association “Labor and Employment Law Benchmark Award” in recognition of his “continued commitment to bettering the Chicago Legal Community in the area of Labor and Employment Law.” The Journal of the American Bar Association designated him as one of the "Newsmakers of the Year 2007-2008." In 2005, the editors of HR Magazine, the journal of the Society for Human Resource Management, in observance of its 50th anniversary, identified Mr. Hendrickson as one of its “50 for History”– “people who–intentionally or not–have changed HR.” He has been repeatedly designated an “Illinois Super Lawyer” and has served as field co-ordinator of EEOC National Trial Skills Workshops. In October, 2009, a business columnist for the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The Chicago office of the EEOC is one of the most aggressive federal agencies around...Led by regional attorney John Hendrickson, the EEOC's office at 500 W. Madison St. carries a big stick."

During his tenure as Regional Attorney, the EEOC Chicago District has been one of the agency’s leading districts nationwide. Mr. Hendrickson's litigation program has secured over $150 million for victims of employment discrimination, forced major long-term changes in personnel policies and practices, and been a leader in compelling outside monitoring of employers' performance of consent decree reforms. He was lead counsel in EEOC v. Sidley Austin, an age discrimination case against a Chicago-based international law firm which was resolved by a $27.5 million Consent Decree and captured international attention because of its impact on high-end service organizations. Mr. Hendrickson was lead counsel in EEOC v. Mitsubishi which was resolved by a $34 million Consent Decree, making it the then largest sexual harassment case settlement in Title VII history. He obtained a $10 million Consent Decree in the EEOC v. The Dial Corporation, an $8 million decree in International Profit Associates, a $2 million Consent Decree in Cracker Barrel, all class sexual harassment cases. He secured a $6.2 million Consent Decree in EEOC v. Sears Roebuck in the largest stand-alone/single-case Americans with Disabilities Act resolution in EEOC history. In EEOC v. Supervalu-Jewel, a similar ADA leave case, he secured a $3.2 million dollar Consent Decree. He obtained an $8 million Consent Decree in EEOC v. Allied Signal, a class age case in Arizona, as well as $1.8 million Consent Decrees in EEOC v. Ingersoll and EEOC v. Apollo Colors, both race discrimination class actions. The Chicago District continuously litigates systemic class pattern cases, winning EEOC v. Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, an early retirement incentive/health benefits age case, and obtaining a $10 million Consent Decree in EEOC v. Roadway and a $3 million decree in EEOC v. Scrub, Inc. (both systemic race discrimination cases). He secured a $5 million Consent Decree in EEOC v. Woodward Governor and a $2.5 million Consent Decree in EEOC v. Carl Buddig. He has also focused on stopping retaliatory "counter-strike" lawsuits and obtaining damages for their targets as in EEOC v. Ralphs Grocery Company, EEOC v. Custom Companies, and EEOC v. Chateau del Mar.

Mr. Hendrickson speaks throughout the country to law school, bar association, continuing legal education, human resource, and other business and professional groups. He is a member of the bar of Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. He is a member of the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar.