| Practice Description: |
Mr. Cotiguala is the principal in the Law Offices of Jac A. Cotiguala in Chicago. His practice is concentrated in labor and employment law. He represents clients in claims for unpaid wages, both in individual, class and collective actions. He also represents clients in restrictive covenants, individual employment claims including claims under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) discrimination, Illinois Human Rights, wrongful termination and whistleblower retaliation.
His primary focus over the last decade has been the recovery of minimum wage and overtime pay for employees. He is a recognized expert on the federal wage laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Illinois wage law. He had one of the first FLSA jury trials in the Chicago federal courts in the 1990s on behalf of two short order cooks against Gold Door Restaurant and its owners. Since that case, he has filed and resolved many wage and hour cases in both federal and state courts in Chicago for individual workers, classes and collective action. He has represented employees in private industry and public employees in municipalities, counties, state and federal government. He successfully concluded one of the first FLSA trials for public employees: Pautlitz v. Naperville, 874 F.Supp. 833 (1994).
Mr. Cotiguala is a frequent speaker on employment issues, especially wage and hour matters. He writes at length on employment matters. He has been a co-author of Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey, McGillivary Editor, since its inception. He has also been a contributor to the Fair Labor Standards Act treatise for the past several years.
He graduated from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law with honors in 1979. After graduation, he worked at the Labor Department of Winston & Strawn, representing clients on a wide variety of labor and employment issues including the National Labor Relations Act (NLRB), Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and federal and state departments of labor. After several years, he left to work at a union side firm, Arnold & Kadjan, where he concentrated his practice in federal court ERISA lawsuits. After several years, he left to open his own firm where he has been for more than 25 years.
He is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association, where he was chair of the Labor and Employment Committee in 2000; the National Employee Lawyers Association, where he was chair of the Wage and Hour Committee for several years; and the West Suburban Bar Association, where he was president in 2003.
Year of Birth: 1951
Law School: IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, J.D., 1979
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Chicago Bar Association
Former Chair, Labor and Employment Committee
National Employee Lawyers Association
Former Chair, Wage and Hour Committee
Former President, West Suburban Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee
Illinois Bar Association
Labor and Employment Committee
Justinian Society of Lawyers
Published Legal Writing: Co-author, Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey, McGillivary Editor
Non-Solicitation and Non-Competition Agreements, ICLE Labor & Employment Seminar, 2014