Jake Rubinstein


Jake, a trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, represents management in all aspects of labor and employment litigation, including employment discrimination, traditional labor, and wage and hour cases. Jake counsels clients on labor and employment law compliance and policy design and also advises human resources professionals on imaginative solutions to difficult workplace problems. Jake's practice also includes negotiating collective bargaining agreements and conducting workplace investigations.

Jake honed his trial skills over the course of 25 jury trials in both state and federal courts, more than 100 bench trials and contested motions, and over 75 labor arbitrations across the United States. Jake has also conducted hearings before administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state agencies.

Before joining Cozen O'Connor in 2017, Jake served as the executive director of Employee and Labor Relations for the University of Chicago, where he led a six-person team responsible for advising university human resources professionals, faculty, and administrators on the full range of labor and employment issues for union and non-union employees. In this role, Jake also served as the university's chief labor strategist and negotiator. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Jake was in private practice at Meckler Bulger Tilson.

Jake began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice John J. Bowman of the Illinois Appellate Court. He also served as a Cook County (Illinois) Assistant State's Attorney for nine years, assigned first to the Civil Labor and Employment Unit and later to the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, where he rotated between investigative and courtroom assignments, focusing on the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes, including homicides and sex offenses.




Labor & Employment Law Update: 2019 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2020

December 05, 2019

Jake Rubinstein, Bethany Salvatore, and Walter Stella presented a webinar about the substantial changes in labor and employment law at the federal, state, and even local levels for 2019.

Cozen O’Connor Continues to Expand National Labor & Employment Department and Denver office, Adding Jake Rubinstein, Formerly of University of Chicago

September 18, 2017

Cozen O’Connor continues to grow its national Labor & Employment Department and adds a new practice area to its Denver office as Jake Rubinstein, former Executive Director of Employee & Labor Relations at the University of Chicago, joins as a member in the firm’s Denver office.


Will Pay Transparency Laws Level the Playing Field? [Alert]

January 10, 2023

The new pay transparency laws across the country may point to a cultural shift underway toward an expectation of transparency and a desire to reduce the pay gap.

Can Pay Transparency Shatter the Glass Ceiling? [Daily Journal]

October 12, 2022

Elena Hillman, Jake Rubinstein, and Janice Agresti authored an article on what pay transparency could mean for states.

A Portrait in Blue: Recent Developments in Colorado Employment Laws (Part 1) [HR Headaches Blog]

March 19, 2021

There is a popular country & western song by Keith Urban entitled, “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” However, as the political landscape in Colorado has changed over the past two decades it’s become increasingly clear that blue is the color of our state, as the Democratic Party now holds the...

States of Flux — What Employers Need to Know About Election 2020 and New State Laws [Alert]

November 23, 2020

David Barron, Joseph Quinn, Jake Rubinstein, Di Addy Tang, Peter Ennis, Adam Gutmann, and Anne discuss various state laws that may impact employers.

It’s Springtime for Wage and Hour Rights: Worker-Friendly Changes to Wage & Overtime Regulations Are Blooming in Colorado [HR Headaches Blog]

April 13, 2020

In the midst of growing alarm over the coronavirus pandemic and an almost all-consuming focus on public health, workplace and legal developments related to the pandemic, many Colorado employers may have missed the significant changes in Colorado wage and hour laws recently ushered in by the...

HR Investigations Pay Dividends: A Healthier Workplace and Protection in Court [HR Headaches Blog]

December 12, 2019

Many HR professionals spend a significant amount of time investigating employee complaints and, depending on the outcome of these investigations, implementing corrective measures to halt and prevent bad behavior in the workplace. Some within an organization (usually not the HR folks!) sometimes...

Court Says Disability-Based Harassment Is Unlawful Under ADA But Finds Plaintiff’s Evidence Lacking

November 25, 2019

Jake Rubinstein discusses workplace harassment under the ADA and what lessons employers should take from Ford v. Marion County Sheriff's Office.

6th Circ. Clarifies Employer Rights Amid Union Discussions [Law360]

August 30, 2019

Jake Rubinstein wrote about the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Hendrickson USA v. National Labor Relations Board.

Is It Illegal To Consider A Foreign Accent When Evaluating Candidates For a Customer-Service Job? [HR Headaches Blog]

August 14, 2019

Yes, unless the candidate’s language skills would clearly interfere with their ability to do the job. Amidst all of the current controversy concerning immigration in the United States, the experience of immigrants in the workplace is also receiving heightened attention. The truth is, immigrants,...

Don’t Say That! … Or Do? New Court Guidance on Employer Statements in Union Organizing Campaigns [HR Headaches Blog]

August 13, 2019

Misconceptions Here, There and Everywhere. I often advise employers large and small on what to do (and what not to do) during union organizing campaigns. I am continually surprised at how many employers have misconceptions about the do’s and don’ts when a campaign is underway. I can’t tell you...

Colorado becomes the 13th State to “Ban the Box” – Prohibiting Employers from Inquiring about Criminal Convictions on Initial Employment Applications [HR Headaches Blog]

June 20, 2019

Colorado employers should review and, if necessary, revise job applications to remove questions about criminal history. Colorado has joined a growing number of states and municipalities to pass "ban the box" laws, which prohibit employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions on...

In Pay, May All Be Created Equal…An Overview Of The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act [HR Headaches Blog]

June 10, 2019

The News On May 22, 2019, Colorado passed a new pay equity law which brings the state to the cutting edge of regulation in this area. The Basics The Act, which will take effect on January 1, 2021, prohibits discrimination because of sex (including gender identity) and provides that...

Can an Airport Skycap’s Complaint About the Poor Tipping Habits of French Soccer Players Really Become a Federal Case? [HR Headaches Blog]

April 01, 2019

Yes! One of the least appreciated federal workplace laws is Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, the 1935 law which gives most private sector employees in the U.S. the right to form and join unions.  Section 7 of the Act, which applies with equal force in non-unionized and unionized...

It’s Time To Be Creative: Historically Low Unemployment Rates Fuel New Approaches To Parental Leave [HR Headaches Blog]

November 12, 2018

In October 2018, NPR reported that the U.S. unemployment rate had dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in 50 years.  In some states, like Colorado, where I live, the rate is even lower (3.1 percent, per Denver Post).  Record low unemployment and a trend towards more progressive and creative...

Lower Court Split Means Supreme Court Could Rule On Rights Of Gay And Transgender Employees [Alert]

November 02, 2018

Jake Rubinstein discusses the split between the Sixth and Tenth Circuits with regard to whether federal law permits discrimination against transgender employees and the DOJ's brief filed with the Supreme Court.


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1994
  • University of Illinois–Chicago, B.A., 1991
  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court -- Colorado
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Honorable John J. Bowman, Illinois Appellate Court