Joel D'Alba is one of the firm’s three senior managing shareholders and has been in practice since 1971. He has been with the firm for over 40 years and he has devoted his entire professional life to representing working people, both through union representation and as individual clients. Joel is also frequently consulted for his opinions concerning internal and administrative union affairs. While he has represented clients from just about every segment of the private sector, much of his work has centered on the representation of union clients in the public sector, where Joel serves as counsel for many firefighter and police unions. He is considerably experienced in handling contract negotiations, grievance arbitrations and interest arbitrations. Further, he is extremely well-versed in all aspects of state labor law. In fact, he played an instrumental role in drafting the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, which is one of two state laws granting collective bargaining rights and labor protection to state and municipal employees throughout Illinois.
When Joel is not representing unions, he represents individual employees in the more traditional settings of employment discrimination, wage and hour litigation, and severance and contract negotiations. That said, Joel has a well-established record of success in pursuing what some may characterize as non-traditional, atypical and even novel claims on behalf of his individual clients. Regardless of the setting, however, Joel works tirelessly to advance the interests of working people.
Joel ranks among the most distinguished and respected labor attorneys in the country. That much is best demonstrated by his roles in two very important organizations: (1) the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, and (2) the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Between August 2013 and August 2014, Joel served as the Chair of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law. In doing so, Joel traveled throughout the country and overseas in an effort to promote the Section’s agenda, which, at times, required his authorship concerning the Section’s policy recommendations directed to high-level officials in the U.S. Department of Labor and the White House. His rise to Section Chair represented the culmination of several decades of important volunteer work within the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law and particularly, that Section’s Committee on State and Local Government Bargaining and Employment Law, where he served as the Union Co-chair from 1988 to 1994. Joel has played an active role in that Committee for over 35 years.
Joel’s involvement with the distinguished College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is not to be understated. The College is a non-profit professional association established for the purpose of honoring leading labor and employment lawyers throughout the United States and Canada. Its Fellows are elected by the College’s Board of Governors following an incredibly rigorous screening and peer review process. Fellows are recognized for professional achievements that represent the very highest level of expertise, integrity and leadership in the profession. Joel was elected as a Fellow to the College back in 1997 and in 2011, he served as the President of the College’s Board of Governors.
Joel has been recognized by his fellow attorneys in other capacities as well. He has been listed with Best Lawyers in America, and has been selected as a Super Lawyer from 2005 through 2015.
Joel is frequently called upon to share his expertise and knowledge with other labor and employment attorneys. He has spoken at countless labor and employment conferences at local, state and national levels throughout his more than 40 years as an attorney. In that capacity, he has either co-authored or authored numerous papers.
In his limited free time, Joel is an avid photographer. He has photographed many labor and political events over the years, including the 2008 and 2012 election night victory parties for President Barack Obama.