Ben Gehrt focuses his practice on traditional labor law and employment litigation. He has experience in grievance and interest arbitration cases, contract negotiations, and unfair labor practice charges. Ben also represents clients in EEO and wage-hour litigation. Prior to practicing law, Ben worked as a Plant Manager for a food manufacturing company in suburban Chicago. His experience as a supervisor and a manager gives him a unique perspective that helps him relate to the day-to-day challenges our clients face while managing people.
Ben has represented public and private sector clients in contract negotiations and interest arbitration. In those settings, he has helped clients obtain significant cost savings through changes in staffing levels, wage schedules, retiree insurance benefits, sick leave buyback benefits, and work rule changes, among other things.
Ben is also an experienced litigator. In addition to representing clients in grievance arbitration proceedings, Ben has also litigated cases in the state and federal trial courts. His litigation experience includes cases involving allegations of discrimination, employment cases alleging deprivation of constitutional rights, wage-hour disputes, and disputes over employee benefits under both ERISA and Illinois state law. In addition to his trial court experience, Ben has successfully represented clients in the state and federal courts of appeal.
Additionally, Ben has developed a niche practice at Clark Baird Smith LLP, counseling the firm’s clients on a wide variety of wage and hour issues under both state and federal law. In addition to handling the traditional wage payment questions that arise with private sector businesses, Ben is skilled at answering questions that are unique to the public sector, such as questions about compensatory time, 7(k) work periods, pay for canine handlers, and duty shift trades, to name a few.
Ben has also authored and contributed to numerous books and articles regarding labor and employment law, including contributions to the NPELRA Legal Corner, The Developing Labor Law (BNA), How To Take A Case Before The NLRB (8th Ed. BNA), and a chapter in Municipal Law, a reference book published by the American Bar Association’s Section on State and Local Government Law.
Ben was selected to the 2016 Illinois Rising Stars list. Only 2.5% of all attorneys in the State of Illinois were selected.