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About me

My practice involves representing employers exclusively in all aspects of the labor and employment relationship, including single and multi-plaintiff employment discrimination litigtion, client counseling, contract negotiation and employee training. I work with a wide array of clients in several industries, including retail, education, health care, real estate, finance, construction, manufacturing, service, food, utility and transportation.

Although my practice covers the broad spectrum of labor and employment law, I have a particular expertise in helping employers manage employees with medical conditions and disabilities, which requires the careful navigation of such federal laws as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To this end, I regularly counsel employers in these areas and also have created unique, interactive-style training programs for our clients to help supervisors respond to and manage employees with medical conditions.

Aside from litigation and client counseling and training, my practice also involves assisting clients in meeting Affirmative Action requirements established by Executive Order.


Practice areas


  1. Employment & Labor: 100%
    16 years

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Contact info

300 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 3400
Chicago, IL, 60606-6763


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law199911/12/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super Lawyers, Rising StarsSuper Lawyers2010
Elvis J. Stahr AwardIndiana University1995
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AssociateMcDermott Will & Emery1999 - 2003
Association namePosition nameDuration
Chicago Bar AssociationVice Chair, Labor and Employment Committee2009 - Present
Illinois State Bar AssociationAppointed Member, Illinois Labor and Employment Section Council2008 - Present
Society of Human Resource Professionals (Chicago SHRM Chapter)Member, Legislative Committee2008 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Vernon v. University of ChicagoJury verdict for defendants.
Epstein v. Target CorporationSummary judgment in retaliatory discharge case
Ford v. Colson Caster CorporationSummary judgment granted in sexual harassment case
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Daily Labor ReportJeff Nowak featured in Daily Labor Report article on President Obama's Labor and Employment Initiatives2009
FMLA HandbookJeff Nowak quoted in Family and Medical Leave Handbook article regarding Practice of Physicians to Charge for Completion of FMLA Medical Certification Forms2009
American Bar Association: Non Profit Governance and ManagementOutside the Title VII Bubble: Other Theories of Employer Liability2002
Federal Communications Law JournalEmployer Liability for Employee Online Criminal Acts1999
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Indiana University-BloomingtonLawJD - Juris Doctor1999
Indiana University-BloomingtonPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1995
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
2010 Illinois State SHRM Legislative ConferenceEEOC and DOL Priorities in 2010: How Do Employers Avoid Being Placed Under the Microscope?2010
Webinar: Common Problems Under The New FMLA RulesCommon Problems Under The New FMLA Rules2009
Society of Human Resource Professionals Program SeriesLeading Your Organization Through a Recession2009
Society of Human Resource Professionals Program SeriesIdentifying Important Legal Issues When An Employee Requests a Leave of Absence2009
LER Alumni Teleconference SeriesPresident Obama's Labor and Employment Agenda2009
Law Bulletin Annual Labor and Employment Law ConferenceLaw Bulletin 10th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference2009
Illinois State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management's (ISC-SHRM) 10th Annual ConferenceChange: President Obama's Labor & Employment Initiatives2009
Chicago Bar AssociationThe New FMLA Regulations2009
American Bar Association 2009 Annual MeetingLabor and Employment Legislation Impacting Federal Construction under the New Administration2009
Will-Grundy County HR AssociationEmployment Law Update2008
Webinar: The New FMLA RegulationsWebinar: The New FMLA Regulations2008
Chicago Commission on Human Relations Annual ConferenceAre Women Really Welcome in the Workplace?2008
Chicago Bar AssociationFMLA: New Regulations and Best Practices2008
Chicago Bar AssociationHow to Manage a Worker with an Ongoing Medical Condition2007