Former Musical Director Sues Chicago Musicians’ Union Following Termination

union, Naperville business law attorneyA prominent musical conductor has brought a lawsuit against the Chicago Federation of Musicians for violating the Illinois wage payment act, as well as for breach of contract. He claims that the trade union abandoned him in his most critical time of need. It is not yet known if Chicago Federation of Musicians failed to uphold its duties or not. However, the story remains a reminder of the importance of remaining compliant with Illinois employment laws, as well as the value of careful contract drafting and review.

Conductor Claims He Was Not Properly Represented During Investigation for Alleged Misconduct

The Chicago Federation of Musicians (CFM) was the very first permanent trade union established to protect musicians’ rights. The “Hamilton” musical director who is bringing the lawsuit against the union alleges that, although he paid dues in excess of $100,000, the organization failed to uphold its duties. The conductor was facing an investigation into alleged misconduct of an unknown nature before he was fired in May of this year. He claims that the union did not represent him during the investigation as it should have. The lawsuit claims that the conductor asked for union representation prior to a disciplinary meeting with “Hamilton” producers in 2018, but the request was reportedly refused.

Union Claims That It Is Not Required to Act on Conductor’s Behalf

Interestingly, the Chicago Federation of Musicians claims that the conductor was not subject to union representation because his job was a supervisory in nature. However, the lawsuit argues that the conductor was owed representation as a due-paying member of the union. According to the conductor, the union advised him that it was in his best interest to submit to the producer’s disciplinary actions. Although the investigation found that the conductor was not guilty of wrongdoing, he was terminated in late May of this year. He is suing both the union and Eliza Tour LLC and seeking damages for lost wages.

Contact a DuPage County Business Litigation Attorney

Business lawyer Denice Gierach knows what business owners are up against when it comes to breach of contract claims and other business disputes. She has more than 30 years of experience helping small and medium-sized businesses with business litigation, succession planning, drafting and due diligence review of contracts, and more. If you are a business owner and have been accused of violating employment laws, breach of contract, or are facing other employment disputes, schedule a confidential consultation with a practiced Naperville business lawyer from the Gierach Law Firm. Call our office at 630-756-1160 today.


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Illinois Department of Labor

Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act

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