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John C. Hendrickson

John C. Hendrickson

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Regional Attorney, Chicago District Office
Chicago, IL, USA


JOHN C. HENDRICKSON has been the Regional Attorney for the Chicago District of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 1990.  Mr. Hendrickson is EEOC’s chief legal officer in the District which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He is responsible for the management of the District’s litigation and for the supervision of its attorneys. 

Prior to joining EEOC in 1981, Mr. Hendrickson was engaged in the private practice of law, including corporate, securities and acquisitions in a major Chicago firm and, also, solo and small firm practice concentrating in complex civil litigation.  Mr. Hendrickson received his B.A. degree from The University of Chicago and graduated cum laude from the Columbia University School of Law in New York. He was elected a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2005. He has received diplomas from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Federal Executive Institute and from OPM’s Eastern Management Development Center. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Hendrickson served as one of only two Senior Executive Service Regional Attorneys in EEOC history.

 In 2007, Mr. Hendrickson received the Chicago Bar Association’s inaugural “Labor and Employment Law Benchmark Award” in recognition of his “continued commitment to bettering the Chicago Legal Community in the area of Labor and Employment Law.”  The Journal of the American Bar Association designated him as one of the “Newsmakers of the Year 2007-2008.”  In 2005, the editors of HR Magazine, the journal of the Society for Human Resource Management, in observance of its 50th anniversary, identified Mr. Hendrickson as one of its “50 for History”– “people who–intentionally or not–have changed HR.” He has been repeatedly designated an “Illinois Super Lawyer” and has served as field coordinator of EEOC’s National Trial Skills Workshops.  In October 2009, a business columnist for the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The Chicago office of the EEOC is one of the most aggressive federal agencies around . . . Led by regional attorney John Hendrickson, the EEOC’s  office  at 500 W. Madison St. carries a big stick.”

In August 2014, LAW 360 wrote of Mr. Hendrickson’s office, “Some management-side attorneys regard the Chicago office as one of the most aggressive of EEOC’s regional offices, populated by some of the agency’s top litigators, [which has] been at the leading edge of some of the agency’s enforcement efforts.”  In September 2014,  LAW 360 wrote, “Multiple management-side attorneys singled out the EEOC’s Chicago district office, along with regional attorney John Hendrickson, as the outpost that tends to push the hardest . . . ‘At the top of the list, obviously, is Chicago. I don’t think there’s any question,’ said [an attorney].”

During his tenure as Regional Attorney, the EEOC Chicago District has been one of the agency’s leading districts nationwide. Mr. Hendrickson’s litigation program has secured  over $250 million for victims of employment discrimination, forced major, long-term changes in personnel polices and practices, and been a leader in compelling outside monitoring of employers’ performance of consent decree reforms.  A few examples of his noteworthy cases are EEOC v. Mitsubishi ($34 million), EEOC v. Sidley & Austin ($27.5 million), EEOC v. The Dial Corporation ($10 million),  EEOC v. Roadway ($10 million),  EEOC v. Yellow Freight/YRC ($11 million), EEOC v. Sears Roebuck ($6.2 million), EEOC v. Supervalu/Jewel ($3.2 million).  Mr. Hendrickson’s office filed EEOC v. Dollar General, the first nationwide class case brought under EEOC’s April 2012 update of its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions. In EEOC v. Mach Mining, a sex discrimination in hiring case litigated by his office, the Seventh Circuit has held that the EEOC’s conduct of its administrative conciliation process is not subject to judicial review; the EEOC has acquiesced in the grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court in Mach.  His pending noteworthy cases also include EEOC v. United Parcel Service and EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc.

Mr. Hendrickson speaks throughout the country to law school, bar association, continuing legal education, human resource, and other business, professional, and civil rights groups.  He is a member of the bar of Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois.  He is a member of the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar.   His article “Why It Is They and Not We Who Sit on the Woolsack—A Motion to Dismiss in EEOC v. United Parcel Service in the Northern District of Illinois” was published in 2014 in the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality:   Vol. 2, Iss. 1, Article 5; available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijlse/vol2/iss1/5.

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