Term: 2020 - 2022
Patricia Lynn Hayes (D)
338 South Douglas Avenue
Springfield, Illinois 62704
Cell: (217) 717-5635
Fax: (217) 744-1712
Patricia Lynn Hayes is currently an attorney in private practice with Hayes Law Office. She was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1986 after graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, NC. She obtained her under-graduate degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida with Honors in a combined major of Political Science and Business Administration.
She began her legal career at the Knox County State’s Attorneys Office in Galesburg, Illinois in 1986 where she gained invaluable trial experience. Being the only female attorney in a small office, she was primarily responsible for the prosecution of child abuse/neglect cases and Juvenile Court delinquency prosecutions. In addition, she successfully tried several felony jury trial prosecutions. From the Knox County States Attorney’s Office, she went to work for Neil Hartigan at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in Springfield, Illinois where she worked in the Opinions Division and then in the General Law Division concentrating in civil rights litigation against State agencies and State officials. She left the Attorney General’s office to work in a personal injury law firm where she exclusively handled all aspects of worker’s compensation cases from intake to the appellate court.
In 1992 she started her own practice concentrating in litigation handling worker’s compensation claims, personal injury, employment related matters, and civil rights cases. She handles several high profile sexual harassment and sex discrimination cases against the City of Springfield in the 90s. One case resulted in the City of Springfield changing its hiring procedures for police officers culminating in more female officers being hired. She has also tried several high profile employment discrimination jury trials in the Central District of Illinois to verdict and has successfully argued several cases at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in settlements and/or verdicts for clients.
In addition, she was instrumental in changing Illinois Courts interpretation of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act to the benefit of injured workers. She is responsible for prosecuting several notable cases interpretating the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. The first is the City of Springfield v Industrial Comm’n, 685 N.E.2d 12, 291 Ill.App.3d 734, 226 Ill.Dec. 198 (4th Dist. 1997). The case involved a City of Springfield police department Captain who was sexually harassed by the Chief of Police. The Court found the mental injuries she sustained after the physical assault compensable under the act and further, established the legal criteria necessary to establish a “physical-mental” compensable injury under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. Her most notable case is the Illinois Supreme Court decision in McMahan v. Industrial Commission, 183 Ill.2d 499, 702 N.E.2d 545, 234 Ill.Dec. 205 (1998). Here the Court reversed the long-standing Illinois Supreme Court Decision of Childress v. Industrial Commission, 93 Ill.2d 144 (1982) and held that an award for penalties under Section 19(k) and Section 16 of the Act could be based upon the non-payment of medical bills. After this case, employers and insurance companies could no longer refuse to pay medical bills to coerce an injured worker to accept a lower settlement of their claim. She has successfully prosecuted/settled hundreds of cases before the Illinois Industrial Commission.
She is also an elected public servant. She was recently elected to serve as a Sangamon County Board member in District 28. She previously served as an elected board member on the SMEAA Board. She also serves as an elected Democrat precinct committee person in Capital 34. In addition, she is an active member of several civic groups: Action Illinois, Sierra Club, and ACLU.