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Patrick J. Rocks

Principal
Chicago

P 312-803-2555
F 312-787-4995
Patrick.Rocks@jacksonlewis.com

Biography

Patrick Rocks is a Principal in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Rocks is a founding member of the Higher Education Industry Group. In that capacity, he represents higher education institutions in litigation brought by students and employees, including Title IX claims, whistleblower claims, and claims for breach of implied contract, promissory estoppel and injunctive relief.

Since joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Rocks has devoted his practice to employment litigation and advice and counseling. His clients include colleges and universities, school districts, skilled nursing and hospice care providers, units of local government, manufacturers, and service providers. He advises or represents clients regarding wage and hour and WARN Act issues, reductions-in-force, selection procedures and a range of civil rights issues, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, section 1981 and Title VII claims, common law retaliation claims and whistleblower litigation. He also represents public bodies in Freedom of Information Act litigation.

Mr. Rocks served as the General Counsel to the Chicago Board of Education, the third largest school district in the country, from 2005 to 2012.

During his tenure at the Chicago Board of Education, Mr. Rocks counseled and represented the Board and its senior management in a wide range of matters. He also managed the Board’s Department of Law, which includes 45 attorneys and the Board’s risk management, records retention, internal investigations and insurance programs.

From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Rocks served as the First Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Chicago’s Law Department. As First Assistant, he was the second highest official in the Law Department and assisted in the management of over 250 City attorneys assigned to 12 practice groups.

From 1993 to 2002, Mr. Rocks served as the Chief of Employment Litigation in the City’s Labor Division and later as Deputy of the Employment Litigation Division. In those roles, he managed a team of attorneys engaged in the defense of claims under sections 42 U.S.C. 1981 and 1983, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act and Illinois statutory and common law. Claims under section 1983 his team defended the City against included first amendment retaliation and religious freedom, fourth amendment, and fourteenth amendment equal protection and due process property and liberty.

In particular, Mr. Rocks represented the City in consent decree and class action litigation involving selection procedures in the City’s police and fire departments. Mr. Rocks has counseled clients on the development and validation of numerous selection procedures, including selections for promotional positions in the City’s police and fire departments and for teachers and principals in the Chicago Public Schools.

Mr. Rocks has substantial experience in the development and defense of municipal affirmative action programs, including the successful defense of affirmative action promotions in the Chicago Fire Department and the development of a race-neutral student assignment system following the vacation of the long-standing school desegregation consent decree in United States v. Board of Education.

Honors and Recognitions

Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers Award Badge

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys

See AllPatrick J. Rocks in the News

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August 15, 2019
Jackson Lewis

The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Honors Jackson Lewis Attorneys

August 15, 2019

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2019) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 210 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been recognized in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive... Read More

August 8, 2019
SHRM

Patrick Rocks, Kathryn Montgomery Moran and Julia Wolf Author "Illinois Expands Equal Pay Act and Bans Salary-History Inquiries"

August 8, 2019

Patrick Rocks, Kathryn Montgomery Moran and Julia Wolf author "Illinois Expands Equal Pay Act and Bans Salary-History Inquiries" in SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

August 15, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

August 15, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY (August 15, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce more than 200 attorneys throughout the firm’s locations have been named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a publication that has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal... Read More

Showing 1-3 of 4

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August 22, 2019

Illinois Expands State Human Rights Act to Include Employers with One or More Employees

August 22, 2019

An amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) expands the definition of “employer” from employers with at least 15 employees to those with one or more employees. The legislation, House Bill 252, was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 21, 2019, and enacted as Illinois Public Act 101-0430. The new law will become... Read More

August 12, 2019

Illinois Enacts Workplace Harassment Law, Creating New and Expanded Obligations for Employers

August 12, 2019

Employers in Illinois will have new obligations related to employment contracts, training, and agency oversight under a wide-ranging bill signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 9, 2019, that is intended to combat workplace harassment and provide greater protections for employees. Senate Bill 75 unanimously passed both houses of... Read More

August 1, 2019

Illinois Expands Equal Pay Act and Bans Inquiries about Job Applicants’ Wage Histories

August 1, 2019

An amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act expands the Act’s scope and prohibits employers in Illinois from requesting information about a job applicant’s prior compensation. House Bill 834 passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, and was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on July 31, 2019, as Public Act 101-0177.... Read More

See All Webinars

Archived

Watch Now

Title IX Sexual Misconduct – Comprehensive Webinar Series

November 15, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

Watch Now

Archived

Watch Now

Title IX Sexual Misconduct – Comprehensive Webinar Series

November 2, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

Watch Now

Archived

Watch Now

Title IX Sexual Misconduct – Comprehensive Webinar Series

October 19, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

Watch Now

See AllBlog Posts by Patrick J. Rocks

Illinois Expands Equal Pay Act and Bans Inquiries about Job Applicants’ Wage Histories
August 9, 2019

An amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act expands the Act’s scope and prohibits employers in Illinois from requesting information about a job applicant’s prior compensation. House Bill 834 passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, and was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on July 31, 2019, as Public Act 101-1077. Read More