John L. Litchfield



John Litchfield is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. His primary practice includes counseling clients on a wide range of disability and employment-related matters, including disability accommodations under Titles I and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, website and technology accessibility for people with disabilities, public accommodations, sexual harassment and safe workplace compliance, family and medical leave issues, wage and hour compliance, and other state and federal employment laws. John regularly represents employers in federal and state litigation matters relating disability discrimination, FMLA claims, and sexual harassment. John regularly conducts on-site trainings for clients and their employees covering workplace conduct, sexual harassment prevention, diversity and inclusion, and many other topics. John is a member of the firm’s Family Offices, Labor & Employment and Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practices and is a leader in the firm’s ADA & FMLA Compliance Team. He is also a member of the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Team.

John also works with clients and attorneys in the firm’s Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense Practice to respond to government investigations, conduct internal investigations, and litigate disputes. John has also successfully defended clients in False Claims Act and whistleblower litigation.

John also has experience in counseling clients on state and local campaign finance regulations, and has successfully represented clients with disputes before the City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services.

Before joining Foley, John worked as law clerk to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, where he drafted legislation, assisted the treasurer and chief of staff on litigation matters, and wrote a new internal policy for domestic partner benefits. He also served as federal judicial extern in 2008 to the Honorable Judge Ronald Guzman in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Pro Bono

Pro bono work also makes up an important part of John’s practice, including work with victims of persecution and torture seeking asylum in the U.S.

John recently received the National Immigrant Justice Center 2013 Rising Star Award for junior-level attorneys who:

demonstrated extraordinary commitment to ensuring access to justice for immigrants by devoting substantial time to NIJC pro bono work, serving a significant number of NIJC clients, or representing clients with particularly complex cases.


John was a recipient of the 2014 Lynford Lardner Community Service Award in recognition of his volunteer work and civic involvement. He was also awarded the Advocate for Diversity Award by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation in 2014 in Chicago. He has been selected for inclusion in the 2013 - 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® lists. John was also awarded the 2011 National LGBT Bar Association's Best LGBT Lawyer Under 40 Award.*


John currently serves as president for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and is a board member of the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee.


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2009)
    • Comparative law program in Rome, Italy and Oxford, England (2007)
    • Comparative law program in Santiago, Chile (2009)
    • Senior editor, International Law Review
    • Co-president and founder of OUTLAW, gay and lesbian student organization
  • University of Edinburgh (M.Sc., 2005)
  • Miami University, diplomacy and foreign affairs (B.A., dean’s list, 2004)


John is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the United States District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois.

Presentations and Publications

  • Co-author, "Drug Testing Best Practices in the Wake of Cannabis Legalization," HR Daily Advisor (January 9, 2020)
  • Co-author, “Are Baby Boomers the ticket to autonomous vehicle success?” Automotive World (November 18, 2019)
  • Co-author, “LGBTQ Employment Law Practice Guide – 2017 Edition,” published by LexisNexis (2017)
  • Author, “Expanding the Timer: Supreme Court Gives Employees More Time to File Claims,” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (June 2016)
  • Author, “Employer Wellness Programs: Finally (Or At Least Potentially) Some Clarity,” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (April 2015)
  • Co-presenter, “Ebola: Requirements and Recommendations for Employers and Healthcare Providers,” LawLine Webinar (November 2014)
  • Author, “Paycard Use Comes With Convenience, Regulation,“ Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (November 2014)
  • Author, “Ebola Preparedness: Employee Education Is Key,” Health Care Law Today (October 2014)
  • Co-presenter, “Puff, Puff, Pass: A Legal, Business and Political Perspective on the Law of Medical and Recreational Marijuana Use,” Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair (August 2014)
  • Author, “"No Harm, No Foul" and the FMLA Still Means "Be Diligent,"” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (June 2014)
  • Author, “So If I Have to Allow Employees to Revoke a Waiver, How Much Should I Allow Them to Revoke?” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (May 2014)
  • Co-author, “Caught Snooping on Privacy Rights: Illinois Supreme Court Invalidates State Eavesdropping Law,” Foley Legal News: Labor & Employment (April 2014)
  • Author, “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Don't Get Drunk on BYOD,” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (November 2013)
  • Co-author, “The Impact of the Supreme Court's Decision in Windsor (DOMA) on Individuals and Businesses,” Foley Legal News: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (July 2013)
  • Co-author, “Stay Informed on the Changing Legal Definition of Marriage,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April 2013)
  • Author, “Proper Classification of Workers and Good Recordkeeping Will Save You Money,” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (February 2013)
  • Author, “Employers Won’t Do Jail Time for Snooping Around on Employees’ Cell Phones, But They May End Up Paying For It,” Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (December 2012)
  • Co-author, “Whatever Happened to the ENDA?,” ABA’s Labor and Employment Law (Spring 2012)
  • Author, “Proposed Legislation Would Boost WARN Act Penalties And Encompass More Employers,” Foley Legal News: Employment Law Update (July 2012)
  • Co-author, “Building Relationships Becomes Valuable,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April 2012)
  • Co-author, "Injunctive Relief: Recent Developments in Illinois law," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April 2011)
  • Co-presenter, "ADAAA Update - How the New Regulations Impact You and Your Business," Foley Web Conference (April 2011)
  • Author, "The EEOC Releases New ADAAA Regulations: What Employers Should Watch For," Foley Legal News: Employment Law Update (March 2011)
  • Author, "Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege Is Not Automatically Waived Under an ADA Claim," Foley Legal News: Employment Law Update (January 2011)

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.