Photo of Dionne R. Hayden

Dionne R. Hayden





Emory University School of Law, J.D., 2005

University of Pittsburgh, B.S.B.A. 2002

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court

  • Central District of Illinois
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Southern District of Illinois

Dionne Hayden represents employers in federal and state courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Commission on Human Rights, and arbitration proceedings.

She has counseled clients on and defended actions brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Fair Credit and Reporting Act, the WARN Act and numerous other state and federal laws.

Dionne also has experience in commercial litigation, real estate litigation and representing higher education institutions in litigation matters.

Representative Matters

Dionne's experience includes defending individual and class actions, including cases involving allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, and disability, as well as, retaliation, wrongful discharge, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, breach of contract, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a number of other torts and employment related matters.

She also counsels employers on employment decision making, policy formulation, including the drafting of employee handbooks, diversity sensitivity and training, and on-site internal investigations.

In addition to her employment litigation practice, she is experienced in a variety of other areas including school law, general litigation, complex commercial litigation and complex constitutional litigation. 

She also has experience in legal issues relating to document retention and destruction policies, evidence preservation and litigation hold directives, and electronic discovery, including organizing large-scale document production and review. 


American Israel Education Foundation's "20 Midwest African American Leaders"

American Society of Legal Advocates Top 40 Labor & Employment Lawyer Under 40 in Illinois, 2013, 2014

Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2015-present

Leading Lawyers “Emerging Lawyer”, 2015

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

Cook County Bar Association, Corporate and In-House Counsel Committee, Chair

Chicago Bar Association

National Employment Law Counsel

National Association of College and University Attorneys

The Women of Miller Canfield

Miller Canfield Mentoring Committee

Miller Canfield Hiring Committee

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Jack and Jill of America, Chicago Chapter


"Medical Marijuana in the Workplace," Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Business and Employment Law Institute, 2014

"What You Need to Know About Illinois' New Cannabis Laws," Chicago Cannabis Conference, 2014

"Practical Guide to Employee Layoffs & Terminations," Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 2013