Photo of Michael F. Hughes

Michael F. Hughes



Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2003 High Honors

Illinois Institute of Technology, B.S., 1993



As the National Labor Relations Board advocates in favor of unions and makes it more difficult for employers to communicate the potential ill effects of unionization, the climate between employers and union members becomes more treacherous. Mike works with employers in traditional labor relations matters by preparing statements of position, investigating grievances and litigating matters in response to filings of unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board.

Mike counsels employers on labor relations, including compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations regarding Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act. He represents employers facing litigation matters, such as discrimination charges, union organizing drives, collective bargaining, arbitration, and employment contracts and restrictive covenant disputes.

Additionally, Mike provides counsel to clients involved in immigration matters with regard to employment and compliance. He regularly assists employers in obtaining H-1B visas for temporary foreign employees and conducts compliance audits of I-9 forms and employer work authorization obligations.

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: Illinois State Bar Association
  • Board of Directors: Fox Valley Association General Contractors


  • Managed successive campaigns to avert unionization of warehouse employees of food manufacturer, where the union filed representation petitions three times over a five-year period. Each time, the matter was decided by secret-ballot election of the warehouse employees, with the Company’s winning margin increasing each election.
  • Negotiated successor CBA for client, procuring economic increases under client’s budgeted target, all non-economic changes client wanted, and securing the union’s agreement to a 5-year contract, per the client’s pre-negotiation objectives.
  • Secured hard-fought win in union representation election for St. Louis area auto dealership, where union sought to organize service shop mechanics.  
  • Handled negotiations for an initial CBA for industrial manufacturer, where parties were unable to agree to terms for over a year, resulting in disaffected employees presenting the company with a petition for removal of the union, which the company used to successfully withdraw recognition from the union.
  • Successfully filed numerous unfair labor practice charges against unions unlawful picketing activities at construction sites, resulting in the removal of the unlawful picketing and cessation of other unlawful union tactics, in order for work by all contractors on the project to continue unabated.


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.


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