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Nancy Sasamoto advises management in all aspects of employment law, as well as represents business interests in complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution. A trusted advisor, Nancy is dedicated to understanding client priorities within the framework of each organization’s specific goals and tolerance for risk. She has also advised on employment law and commercial litigation matters where hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars are at stake.


Nancy’s employment law expertise includes defending employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies in matters that involve claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, violations of wage and hour statutes and the enforcement of covenants not to compete. She has extensive experience with executive employment contracts, severance agreements and personnel policies, as well as with issues related to leaves of absence, harassment investigations and employee fraud and embezzlement. She also assists clients in implementing reductions in force and restructurings. Moreover, Nancy is an experienced trainer and frequently presents programs on harassment prevention, legal compliance and business ethics.

In addition, Nancy represents business clients in commercial litigation and in administrative matters before federal agencies that involve such issues as antitrust, licensing and intellectual property. She has successfully litigated large-scale and complex distribution disputes, dealer termination, breach of warranty, trademark infringement and trade secret cases. Her outstanding writing abilities and honed, productive communication skill, together with her personal commitment, help to achieve the right result for the clients she serves.

Nancy is a frequent author and speaker on employment law and commercial litigation topics. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.



  • Washington University, J.D., 1980
  • University of Illinois, B.S., 1977


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: 7th, 10th & Federal Circuit


Achieved complete dismissal of arbitration claims alleging violations of the Federal RICO Statute, common law fraud, and breach of contract, where initial claims requested in excess of $450M in damages stemming from the bankruptcy and liquidation of the Plaintiff company; all claims initially filed in federal district court in the Southern District of New York and arbitration compelled based upon controlling contractual provision in pertinent contract documents (Sep. 2018).

Obtained a summary judgment for a foreign employer in federal case brought by a discharged employee alleging national origin discrimination based on alleged favored treatment of expatriate employees.

Represented, as lead attorney, a former CFO in a 10-day trial under the Whistleblower's Protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Investigated serious allegations of sexual harassment against the President of a corporate client by investigating the allegations, culminating with terminating the President; the result was that no claims were asserted against the company by employees or the former President.

Defended an equipment manufacturer against claims of trademark infringement, including defeating attempts to obtain a preliminary injunctive relief; after the case was dismissed, Ms. Sasamoto argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the dismissal.

In a putative FLSA collective action case filed in Tennessee against a manufacturer and its sister company in Ohio, obtained dismissal of the Ohio company and successfully settled the case before class certification.

Based on extensive experience asserting arguments under the Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty between the U.S. and Japan, brought in to represent a foreign-owned company in New Jersey in an age discrimination case and resolved the case on favorable terms in mediation.

Obtained dismissal of all counts asserted against a logistics company in a suit by a discharged employee alleging pregnancy discrimination and violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Obtained a preliminary injunction for a foreign machine tool manufacturer in a trademark infringement action against a former president of U.S. subsidiary.

Obtained a favorable verdict for a foreign automobile parts manufacturer in a jury trial with discharged employee, who alleged disability discrimination under Michigan state law.

Represented a foreign government before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Illinois Department of Human Rights, obtaining the dismissal of all charges.



American Bar Association
Asian American Bar Association Chicago
Illinois State Bar Association
Litigation Counsel of America
Are Parent-Subsidiary Communications Regarding Legal Matters Protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege? (Part 1)
Under Illinois law, communications between a subsidiary and its parent corporation, or between a subsidiary's counsel and its parent…
Damages For Violations of BIPA Are Discretionary, Not Mandatory
In past Advisories, we have provided an overview of the requirements of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14/1 et seq.)…
Supreme Court's Trademark Decision Puts "Bad Spaniels" Toys in the Doghouse
A squeaky dog toy labelled “Bad Spaniels” and designed to look like a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey is not entitled to First Amendment…
Excluding Pregnant Workers from Light Duty Does Not Necessarily Violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
An employer can lawfully require pregnant employees with lifting and other restrictions to go on leave and deny temporary light duty work…
New Illinois Equal Pay Act Reporting for Large Employers Starts March 24, 2022
Last year, Illinois updated the Illinois Equal Pay Act (“IEPA”) by enhancing reporting and compliance requirements for private businesses…
DOL Modifies Enforcement Policies in Light of Remote Working
Executive Summary In the waning days of the Trump administration, the Department of Labor (DOL) has been busy. Recognizing that the…
Department of Labor Announces Economic Realities Test to Determine Status as Independent Contractor or Employee
Executive Summary On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published, for review and comment, a proposed rule that…
Opening Up Your Workplace Again - Part 2
Executive Summary On Thursday April 16, 2020, President Trump unveiled his "Guidelines for Opening Up America Again" (the…
President Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill
Executive Summary Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus…
COVID-19: Employer Responsibilities and Employees' Rights
As every company confronts the coronavirus, their owners, officers, and human resource professionals are confronting a new landscape…
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Protections for Copyright Owners and Online Service Providers
The advent of the internet and advancement in digital technology has resulted in rampant copyright infringement of copyrighted works, such…
Illinois Employers Can No Longer Seek Salary History as of September 29, 2019
For years, employers have used application forms that solicit the applicant’s salary history and have routinely sought such information as…
Termination of "Startled" Employee After Supervisor Expressed Desire to Strangle Her Was Not Wrongful
Executive Summary Under the Americans With Disability Act (“ADA”), an employer can be liable for failure to accommodate a qualified…
Trimming the Employer's Arguments, the Seventh Circuit Upholds Claim of Male-on-Male Harassment under Title VII
Executive Summary While there have been cases where conduct was found to be “sexual horseplay” that could give rise to tort liability…
Terminated CEO's Complaints to the Board Not Protected "Whistleblowing" As No Requirement Under Federal Law to Report Every "Managerial Hiccup"
Executive Summary The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 forbids publically traded companies from retaliating against an employee for any…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - November 2017
Update on the Overtime Rule By Frank Del Barto On Monday, October 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced plans "to…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - August 2017
SAVE THE DATE: September 28, 2017 - Annual Seminar On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Employment, Labor and Benefits group will hold its…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - February 2017
Annual Seminar Reminder MFEM's Immigration Group will hold its 2017 Annual Immigration Law Update Seminar on Friday, February 24, 2017, at…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - August 2016
The Seventh Circuit Affirms: No Federal Protection from Sexual Orientation Discrimination Without Action by the U.S. Supreme Court or…
Employers Must Provide a Notice of Immunity in Any Contract or Agreement that Governs the Use of Trade Secrets or Confidential Information
Executive Summary: On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") into law. Under the DTSA, trade…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - May 2016
New Act, New Remedies: DTSA To Provide Additional Protection for Trade Secret Owners and Whistleblowers By Nancy Sasamoto With President…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - February 2016
Employment – New Guidance Makes Clear That DOL Will Look For, and Likely Find Joint Employment Under FLSA By Nancy Sasamoto Last July…
The Knowledge Group's webcast entitled "EEOC's Conciliation Efforts: Reviewability – Truth & Consequences for the Employer in 2015 and Beyond"
Employment Virtual Seminar Series: Employment Issues in 2020 & Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic complications have impacted employees and management in numerous ways. In response, the…
2017 Employment, Labor & Benefits Group Complimentary Seminar
EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS GROUP COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Trump Administration's…
Nancy Sasamoto Selected as a Vanguard Award Honoree
Masuda Funai is proud to announce that Nancy Sasamoto has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Vanguard Award. This special…
Masuda Funai Hosted the 2023 Employment Seminar
On September 21, 2023, Masuda Funai held its Annual Employment Seminar at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Arlington Heights, IL. This…
Masuda Funai Hosted the 2022 Employment Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Employment Seminar on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Approximately 96 executives…
Four Masuda Funai Lawyers Named to the 2021 Super Lawyers List
Masuda Funai is proud to announce that three lawyers have been selected to the 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list and one lawyer has been…
Nancy Sasamoto Speaking at NHRC Professional Development Event
On January 9, 2020, Nancy Sasamoto, Principal in Masuda Funai’s Employment, Labor and Benefits Practice Group, will be speaking on the…
Masuda Funai Hosts 2019 Employment Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Employment Seminar on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Approximately 110 executives…
Masuda Funai Showcases Excellence in Obtaining Complete Dismissal Of Arbitration Claims
Masuda Funai demonstrated its ability to resolve complex legal matters involving multiple practice areas and jurisdictions by obtaining the…
Masuda Funai Hosts 2018 Employment Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Employment Seminar on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Approximately 120 executives…
Litigation Snapshot 2017
Highlighting a Few of our Litigation Practice Group Successes Bankruptcy: Equipment Supplier’s Victory Against Bankrupt Debtor, December…
Masuda Funai Showcases Excellence in Litigation Wins March/April 2017
CHICAGO – Masuda Funai's litigators continued their string of recent victories with two wins in employment-related litigation over the last…
"Opening Up Your Workplace Again – Part 2" - BizBuddy, May 2020
"Illinois Employers Can No Longer Seek Salary History as of September 29, 2019" - BizBuddy, September 2019
Chapter: "Practical and Legal Considerations Prior to Conducting the Audit" - Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's (IICLE) award-winning handbook, Conducting the Employment Practices Audit


  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2011, 2020-2023