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Barry A. Hartstein has earned a national reputation for a career that includes more than 30 years of counseling and representing employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters. He is a frequent writer, commentator and lecturer on workplace issues. He also has extensive experience as a litigator and has defended employers nationwide in individual and class action claims and wage and hour collective actions. He has particular expertise dealing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on both a local and national level, which included an invitation by the EEOC chair to address the Commission at a recent meeting in Washington D.C. on the legal standards governing employers’ consideration of criminal arrest and conviction records.

His clients include employers in:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Fitness
  • Health care
  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing operations

Barry serves in numerous leadership roles for Cornell University's ILR School. Founded as the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the ILR School today is the world's leading college focused on work, employment and labor issues. In addition to his position on the Dean's Advisory Council and as a board member of the Scheinman Institute, which is the first institute exclusively focused on the study and practice of workplace dispute resolution, he recently completed his term as president of ILR's Alumni Association.

Barry has served for many years in a national leadership role for the American Bar Association in its section devoted to labor and employment law focusing on EEO issues, including serving as a management co-chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. In this role, he has worked closely with various chairs and other members of the EEOC, in addition to serving as a liaison between the Chicago Bar and the EEOC’s Chicago District Office to facilitate communication between the Bar and the EEOC on both a local and national level.

Prior to joining Littler, Barry was the managing partner of the Chicago office of a major AM Law 100 Firm, where he also served as the Chicago practice leader for the firm's labor and employment practice.


  • Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
    • Co-chair, Finance Committee, 2010-present
    • Management co-chair, EEO Committee, 2002-2004
    • Co-chair, EEOC Liaison Committee - Chicago District Office, 1995-present
  • Member, Executive Committee, Cornell ILR Alumni Association, 1995-present
    • President, Cornell ILR Alumni Association, 2007-2009
  • Dean’s Advisory Council, Cornell ILR School, 2007-present 
  • Member, Board of Directors - Scheinman Institute on Conflict  Resolution, Cornell ILR School, 2008-present
  • Member, Trustee Nominating Committee - Cornell University, 2008-present
  • Program chair, American Employment Law Council, 2010-2012
  • Member, American Employment Law Council, 1995-present


  • Named, The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2015
  • Named, Leading Lawyer 500 - InterContinental Finance Magazine, 2013
  • Named, Who's Who in American Law, 2014
  • Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers - Who's Who Legal, 2012-2015
  • Recipient, Judge William B. Groat Alumni Award, Cornell ILR School, 2011
  • Named, Nations' Most Powerful Employment Attorneys - Top 100, Human Resource Executive / Lawdragon Inc., 2010-2014
  • Named, America's Leading Lawyers for Business - Chambers USA, 2003-2014
  • Named, Management Labour and Employment - Who's Who Legal, 2007-2013
  • Named, World's Leading Lawyers, Labor and Employment - Expert Guides: The Legal Media Group Guides, 2009-present
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating