Kelly Smith Haley

Kelly Smith Haley Partner

Kelly Smith Haley


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. (magna cum laude, Law Journal)
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A.



As a partner in Fox, Swibel, Levin & Carroll’s Employment Law Group, Kelly Smith-Haley provides both preventive counseling and litigation services. Kelly offers preventive counseling to employers on a wide range of issues affecting the employment relationship, including EEO issues, employee handbooks and personnel policies, employment agreements, hiring and background checks, and strategies for employee discipline and termination. As part of her preventive counseling, Kelly provides live, interactive training (that is tailored to the employer’s industry) on how to avoid and navigate issues of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Kelly’s goal is to help employers comply with local, state and federal laws, and thereby avoid litigation.

If an internal complaint is received, then Kelly is ready to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations, whether they relate to claims of sexual harassment (including same-sex harassment), racial discrimination, or discrimination based on other protected categories. At the conclusion of the investigation, she works with the employer to implement recommendations and assess client exposure, if any, through advice, counseling, and training.

Kelly regularly handles charges at the administrative level and litigates complaints in state and federal courts. She has successfully argued in state and federal court, including the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kelly is passionate about issues affecting women and girls in Chicago, and is honored to serve as the Chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Board of Directors. Kelly also serves as the Co-Editor of the Illinois Employment Law Letter, a monthly newsletter written to help Illinois employers stay current on local, state and federal employment law developments. Kelly loves writing and presenting on topics relating to employment law and issues of equity for women and girls. You can follow Kelly on Twitter @KellySmithhaley and on LinkedIn at

    • United Airlines, Inc. v. James Mueller and Etihad Airways P.J.S.C., Case No. 14 CH 01646 (Cir. Ct. of Cook County, Illinois). Kelly represented the employer and a former officer of the company in an action brought by United Airlines to enforce the former officer’s post-employment restrictive covenants. United sought a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction which would have prevented its former employee from commencing and continuing employment with Etihad Airways. After briefing and argument, the court denied United’s motion for a temporary restraining order and allowed United’s former employee to begin employment with Etihad. The plaintiff ultimately dismissed its case without receiving any compensation from our clients.
    • Greg Dady v. Cherry Logistics Corp. and Charise Simmers, Case No. 12 cv 1301 (N.D. Ill.). Kelly represented the employer and an officer of the company against another officer’s claims for sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. Cherry Logistics and Ms. Simmers filed a motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the action with prejudice prior to a ruling on the merits of Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
    • Victoria House v. S&C Electric Co., Case No. 13-cv-5664 (N.D. Ill.). Steve and Kelly represented the employer in an action brought by a former employee alleging sex and race discrimination. This case has involved extensive written and oral discovery, including the defense of nine depositions of current and former company employees. At the conclusion of discovery the court granted the company’s motion for summary judgment on all claims.


2018 Publications

2017 Publications

2016 Publications

2015 Publications

2014 Publications

Kelly received her B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she was a member of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

Recent Publications

7th Circuit: Costco Must Account for Customer’s Harassing Conduct

Leave it to Costco to ensure even its litigation comes in bulk. Readers may recall that our March 2016 issue featured an article on an employer’s potential obligation to address nonemployee behavior to ensure an unruly customer or vendor isn’t creating a hostile work environment (see “Costco learns customer may not always be right,” Vol. 26, No. 8).

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