B.A., Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1976

J.D., Antioch University School of Law, Washington D.C., 1980


Supreme Court of Illinois

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Central District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana 


Member, Legal Advisory Board, Arise Chicago

Member, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Member, Illinois–National Employment Lawyers Association

Active participant in raising funds for the Project for Middle Class Renewal 


Co-Author, “Post-Judgment Collection Challenges” NELA, The Illinois Advocate, Vol.6, No. 3, August 2017

 “Pursing Mechanic’s Liens & Bond Claims on behalf of Multiemployer Funds” Benefits Magazine, Vol. 50, No.4 (Web Ed.), April 2013

 “Collecting ERISA Contributions: Enforcement of Judgments” Employee Benefits Digest , Vol. 40, No.7, July 2003      


Since 1980, Karen Engelhardt has been involved in promoting justice and fairness for her clients.  Karen’s career began representing low income individuals as a staff attorney at Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation.  Since 1986, Karen has concentrated her work litigating on behalf of Taft-Hartley employee benefit funds and as a general employment law practitioner.  Karen joined Allison, Slutsky & Kennedy, P.C., in 1998 and became a shareholder on January 1, 2005 and continued her work under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which included a noted precedent setting decision before the U.S. Court of Appeals finding a successor corporation liable for the known delinquent employee benefit fund contributions owed by the predecessor corporation.  Karen has used the successorship doctrine and other veil piercing claims against employers who fail to properly pay minimum or overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, under ERISA, and other Illinois wage laws. 

Karen has years of experience representing employees seeking fair treatment when negotiating severance or separation agreements from their employers, providing professional experience to clients at the end of their employment. Karen has also represented employees in grievance arbitrations and before neutrals in various types of administrative hearings. Karen has represented employees seeking fair wages under the under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

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