Susan H. Rider

Susan H. Rider

"We are tenacious and creative problem solvers. We take time to understand the issues a client is facing and their business needs, then we work with them to identify possible solutions and determine their path forward."


Susan H. Rider is an accomplished lawyer and executive leader with extensive expertise in all aspects of employment law.  Before joining Scharf Banks Marmor, LLC, Susan led the nationwide team of labor, employment and benefits lawyers at Exelon Corporation, and its then subsidiary Constellation, as Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits.

As an executive leader at Exelon, Susan and her team helped human resources and managers make employment decisions that reduced risk and ensured that the companies were in compliance with applicable labor and employment laws.  They represented Exelon companies in state and federal court, arbitral and agency proceedings in over ten states.  Among her many accomplishments at Exelon was her work with human resources and executive leadership to increase diversity and inclusion in the company’s workforce with innovative strategies that drove significant progress while limiting legal risk.

At Scharf Banks Marmor, Susan leverages her many years of experience in corporate law to assist employers with the myriad labor and employment law challenges they face.  She is actively involved in the firm’s Equity Audit practice as well as employment counseling and pre-dispute resolution practice.

Susan is an experienced director on non-profit boards and public bodies.  She has served on the Board of Directors for Heartland Alliance, a major Chicago-based social services non-profit, since 2012, working with management on the management coordination committee and several employment related committees.  She is a long serving board member and board executive committee member of Family Rescue (1997-2011 and 2019 to present), a local domestic violence agency.  She served as a Board Member of the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter from 2014 through 2021, working actively on the Labor and Employment Committee and chairing the Corporate Counsel Division.  Susan is currently serving as a Village Trustee in her town of Lake Bluff, Illinois, having previously served two terms as a member of the Lake Bluff School Board.  Susan is also actively involved with the North Shore Labor Counsel, American Employment Law Council and Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Susan received her B.S. from Nebraska Wesleyan University with highest distinction and her J.D. from Cornell Law School, cum laude.


Susan is a dynamic and top-performing senior legal executive with demonstrated success in employment law, litigation, dispute resolution, policy development, internal investigations, diversity initiatives, and labor relations.  Susan is a trusted advisor to senior leadership teams, builds collaborative partnerships with attorneys and human resources teams, and effectively manages legal teams. She has an extensive background representing a Fortune 100 company in collective bargaining activities for a heavily unionized workforce. She has a proven ability to mitigate risk exposure, control costs, and consistently achieve favorable resolutions to complex legal issues.

Susan provided executive leadership for all labor, employment, and employee benefits legal issues for a Fortune 100 company and its subsidiaries, leading a respected team of 20 in-house labor, employment, and benefits attorneys and legal professionals in five U.S. offices.  The team provided all pre-dispute counseling, litigation, and dispute resolution employment-related legal support. Susan and her team of lawyers handled much of the litigation work in-house, including all agency, discovery, and motion practice, to control costs and leverage exceptional business expertise.

Susan has led major initiatives designed to manage legal risk, such as:

  • Staffing and selection for corporate restructuring;
  • Racial and gender pay equity legal risk analysis and business disclosures;
  • Covid response including health and safety, wage and hour, state leave laws, and collective bargaining;
  • Internal investigations audit and reorganization; and
  • Drug and alcohol testing and accommodations issues with legalization of cannabis.

Susan collaborated with the General Counsel’s office in managing legal department operations initiatives, including:

  • Designing, building, and implementing first electronic data retention and electronic discovery programs;
  • Designing and implementing legal department professional development job ladders for attorneys and professionals;
  • Drafting and implementing legal department business plan document and related policies; and
  • Implementing standard narrative status reporting for matters.

Susan partnered with labor relations professionals on collective bargaining strategy and implementation for heavily unionized workforce represented by 34 separate CBAs and trade union contractors, and represented company in all labor arbitrations, board charges, and union avoidance campaigns.

Professional Activities


  • Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, Chicago, Illinois, Board Member 2014-2021. Susan served on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, working actively on the Labor and Employment Committee and leading the chapter’s Corporate and Association Counsel Division.
  • North Shore Labor Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, Member, 2004-2022; Member Emeritus, 2022 to the present.
  • American Employment Law Council. In-house Member 2019-2022; Outside Counsel Member 2022 to the present.
  • Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Panelist, Employment Law Institute, May 2022.


  • Heartland Alliance- Board of Directors, 2012-Present
  • Family Rescue- Board Member, 1997-2011; and 2019-Present
  • Federal Bar Association- Board Member, Chair of Corporate Division, Chicago Chapter, 2014-2017
  • Lake Bluff ESD 65 School District- Board Member 2011-2019
  • Village Of Lake Bluff- Trustee, Village Board of Trustees, 2021-Present; and Commissioner, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, 2019-2021

Publishing & Speaking


  • “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:  Best Practices, Implementation & Risk Management,” NAMWOLF 2022 Annual Meeting-Opening Day General Session, September 19, 2022.
  • “.Remote Work Checklist,” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Employment Law Institute, 2022.
  • “Can I Say That?  Employee and Corporate Speech in Polarized Times,” Federal Bar Association, Annual Employment Law Seminar, January 2021.
  • “Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets:  Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants and Your Employees,” Federal Bar Association, January 2021.
  • “A Changing Workforce:  How to Handle the Practical and Legal Considerations of a Transforming and Remote Workforce in this Highly Regulated Era,” Federal Bar Association, Annual Employment Law Seminar, January 2020.
  • “In-House Counsel:  How Do They Evaluate Cases for Settlement?” Federal Bar Association, Annual Employment Law Seminar, January 2019.
  • “#MeToo Take Two:  Liability Beyond Title VII,” Federal Bar Association, August 2018.
  • “What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know About Internal Investigations,” Federal Bar Association, March 2017.
  • New Ways to Sue and Be Sued—Equal Pay Litigation Reignited:  Use of Social Media and Related Protected Concerted Activity Issues,” Federal Bar Association, Annual Employment Law Seminar, January 2017.
  • “Common Mistakes in Employment Litigation:  What They Are and How to Avoid Them,” Federal Bar Association, Annual Employment Law Seminar, January 2016.

Practice Areas

  • Employment Counseling & Litigation
  • Labor Relations
  • Early Dispute Resolution
  • Complex Litigation & Appeals
  • Pay Equity


  • J.D., Cornell Law School, Cum Laude,1990
  • B.S., Nebraska Wesleyan University, With Highest Distinction,1987

Admissions and Qualifications

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Prior Experience

  • Exelon Corporation and subsidiary Constellation Energy, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits (2012-2022)
  • Exelon Corporation, Associate General Counsel, Labor & Employment (2000-2012)
  • Commonwealth Edison Company, a Unicorn Company, Senior Counsel (1998-2000)
  • Dentons (f/k/a Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal), Associate (1995-1998)
  • Murphy Hesse Toomey & Lehane, Associate (1993-1995)
  • Hale & Dorr, Associate (1990-1993)