Diane Gianos Walker is the Managing Partner and a founding partner of Walker Morton. Diane has developed broad and deep expertise in complex employment law and general commercial litigation, multi-party actions, healthcare and commercial transactions.
Diane also acts as the principal business and corporate attorney for many of her clients where she counsels her clients on business formations; contract negotiations and review; mergers and acquisitions; governmental audits by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) and other federal, state and local governmental agencies; business disputes and litigation. Diane has extensive experience serving as counsel to management for employers of all sizes, including public companies, closely held businesses, nonprofit organizations and partnerships. Diane's national practice includes litigation in federal and state courts, as well as representation of employers before governmental agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and state human rights commissions.
Diane has extensive employment litigation experience, including lead counsel designation representing employers in pattern and practice lawsuits brought by the EEOC and multi-plaintiff cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Throughout her career, she has successfully defended employers in a variety of employment disputes, including wrongful termination and discrimination claims, retaliatory discharge actions, misclassification of employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, reasonable accommodation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), non-compete/trade secret litigation, wage and hour audits, breach of employment contracts, and tortuous interference claims.
Diane has successfully litigated precedent-setting employment cases and been notably successful in securing summary disposition of employment litigation and dismissal of charges before federal and state agencies.
In addition to traditional litigation matters, Diane regularly counsels employers on statutory compliance with employment statutes, affirmative action compliance programs, union avoidance techniques, collective bargaining and arbitration matters, employee handbooks, plant closings and relocations, employment contracts, and sensitive personnel policies, including drug-testing and sexual harassment, as well as other employment related issues. Diane routinely performs internal human resources audits targeting areas relative to human resources management and organizational development, including wage and hour compliance; time off and leaves; education and training; health and safety; and hiring, performance and termination.
Diane develops and reviews existing employee handbooks and management policies and procedure manuals designed to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations and to build effective employee relations and minimize or eliminate risk exposure. She has presented on a variety of employment issues and develops and conducts individual and group training sessions on topics such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the ADA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), sexual harassment, and hiring and termination issues.
Honors and Awards
- Illinois Super Lawyers – Labor & Employment, 2009, 2011-2018
- Leading Lawyer – Leading Labor & Employment Management, 2014-2018
- Leading Lawyer – Leading Women Lawyer, 2014-2018
- American Institute of Legal Counsel, 10 Best 2016 Client Satisfaction, Labor & Employment Law Division
- U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana
- Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. - 1989
- DePaul University
- B.S. - 1984