Fox Rothschild’s Chicago Office Welcomes Labor & Employment Attorneys Gray Mateo-Harris and Kelsey Schmidt

August 20, 2020 – Press Releases

Fox Rothschild LLP is pleased to welcome Gray I. Mateo-Harris (Partner) and Kelsey J. Schmidt (Associate) to the Labor & Employment Department in the firm’s Chicago office.

“As our Chicago bench continues to grow, we are thrilled to welcome both Gray and Kelsey, who bring a wealth of sophisticated experience representing employers in workplace litigation matters as well as providing compliance training to help employers avoid litigation,”  said Jeffrey L. Widman, Fox’s Chicago Office Managing Partner.

“Gray routinely advises clients on internal investigations, workforce issues and opportunities to elevate workplace culture. She will be a valuable resource for those seeking guidance on leadership, training, and diversity and inclusion,” Widman continued.

Mateo-Harris has more than a decade of experience representing employers in workplace litigation and providing strategic counsel on the full gamut of labor relations matters (including union avoidance) and employment law issues. She advises clients in a broad range of industries, including education, software and technology services, real estate, financial services, retail and manufacturing. She defends employers before state and federal courts, arbitral tribunals and administrative agencies, through all phases of trial and appeal, and has handled cases involving restrictive covenants, contract and tort-based actions, wage and hour issues and equal employment opportunity claims arising out of state and federal statutes. A native Spanish speaker from the Dominican Republic, Mateo-Harris is adept at providing Spanish language representation to clients.

Mateo-Harris has provided pro bono representation to several nonprofit organizations on employment matters and represents indigent clients as part of the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Violence Clinic and the Northern District of Illinois Judicial Settlement Assistance Program. She is actively involved with the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Black Women Lawyer’s Association and the National Employment Law Council. She serves on the boards of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and the Women's Coalition, in which she also serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the National Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section.

In 2019, Mateo-Harris was named to the prestigious list of "40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates" by the National Bar Association and the "40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch" by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. She was also recognized on the list of Illinois Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” from 2016-2018 and Leading Lawyers’ “Emerging Lawyers” from 2017-2019.

She earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law and her B.S., cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Schmidt defends employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wage and hour violations in federal and state court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Department of Labor. She also represents businesses against union grievances and unfair labor practice charges. In addition, Schmidt provides compliance training on topics such as hiring, discipline, terminations, layoffs, leaves of absence and restrictive covenants and advises on workplace best practices, including drafting employee handbooks, policies and procedures.

She earned her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her B.S., magna cum laude, from Creighton University.