Overview

Mikela Sutrina is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Chicago office. Mikela is a member of the firm’s Women’s Law Group National Leadership Council.

Areas of Practice

Trial and Litigation

Mikela defends employers in state and federal court, as well as before federal, state and local administrative agencies in matters of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, whistleblower and whistleblower retaliation actions, and breach of contract, especially as it relates to restrictive covenant agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. Mikela represents employers in both single and multi-plaintiff matters, as well as class and collective actions. Additionally, Mikela both prosecutes and defends actions involving trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition and the enforcement of restrictive covenants across the country.

Her litigation experience includes matters under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and various state and local discrimination and employment laws.

Mikela also has general litigation experience, with a particular focus in consumer fraud and consumer privacy litigation. She has defended both individual and class action litigation brought under various state and federal consumer fraud and privacy statutes.

Counseling, Advice and Trainings

Mikela advises employers on workplace issues such as compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, discrimination and harassment, responding to whistleblower complaints, safety, performance management, leaves of absence, safety, compensation and terminations. She also counsels employers on a multitude of human resources issues, including personnel policies, federal and local leave laws, wage and hour issues, employee handbooks, severance and separation agreements, trade secret protection and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Mikela regularly advises clients on alcohol and drug testing programs, including written policies and testing procedures, across the country.

Mikela analyzes the enforceability of non-competition restrictions and other restrictive covenants on a nationwide basis and has an expertise in structuring enforceable restrictive covenant agreements to best protect her clients’ business interests. She also assists clients in drafting and structuring executive employment, separation and retention agreements.

Further, she conducts interactive trainings on issues such as recruitment, sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and other workplace behavior, discipline and general legal compliance with federal, state and local laws and other regulations.

Mikela also works with clients involved in mergers and acquisitions to assess and evaluate the labor and employment liabilities associated with a specific transaction and to develop business-oriented and creative solutions to issues that may arise in any given transaction.

Internal Investigations

Mikela regularly conducts internal investigations and audits on behalf of her clients regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, whistleblower complaints and wage and hour compliance, among other issues affecting the workplace. She regularly interfaces with various federal, state and local agencies on behalf of her clients in conducting wage and hour audits.  

Insights

Articles

Labor and Employment Law Blog Posts

Trade Secrets Law Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

  • "Drug Testing in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know," Illinois Chamber of Commerce, February 24, 2015

Education

J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, 2012

B.A., University of Denver, 2008

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
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