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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because of their sex, national origin, race, or skin color. Since this essential piece of legislation, many more laws have been enacted to prevent employment discrimination, and most recently, workplace sexual harassment. Beginning in 2020, Illinois employers will be subject to new laws designed to prevent and address sexual harassment. If you have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment at work, a qualified sexual harassment attorney can help.

Illinois Employers May No Longer Require Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Workplace Transparency Act into law in August 2019 and it will go into effect January 1, 2020. The act prohibits employers from unilaterally requiring arbitration for sexual harassment claims or any other claim concerning laws enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHRA) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers are also prohibited from requiring employees to sign a confidentiality clause that prevents the employees from reporting violations of Equal Employment Opportunity laws including violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Special Protections for Hotel and Casino Workers

Individuals working in hotels and other businesses within the hospitality industry are sometimes victims of unwanted sexual remarks and conduct by guests. Starting July 1, 2020, many casino and hospitality employers will be required to implement new procedures including:

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DuPage County divorce attorneysMoney-related concerns are often one of the most crucial aspects of a divorce. In Illinois, property is distributed according to equitable distribution laws. Instead of the marital estate being divided exactly 50/50, Illinois courts consider a wide variety of factors and then divide marital property fairly based on the spouses’ economic and life circumstances. However, when the court does not have accurate financial information from a spouse, the divorce settlement may not be equitable. There are many warning signs of financial fraud during divorce that could mean your spouse is attempting to manipulate the divorce process to gain an unfair advantage.

What is Financial Fraud?

A spouse commits financial fraud when he or she does not fully and accurately disclose financial information like assets, income, and debts for the purposes of asset division, child support, and/or spousal maintenance during divorce. One of the most common forms of financial fraud occurs when a spouse hides assets or sources of income. For example, a spouse may “forget” to declare a piece of real estate he or she owns or fail to report all revenue streams. He or she may have hidden funds in an offshore account or use his or her business to conceal assets. Some spouses will also try to manipulate the divorce settlement in his or her favor by fraudulently overstating debts and expenses.

Warning Signs that a Spouse is Lying About Financial Information

In many marriages, one spouse manages the couple’s finances and takes care of paying the bills with little input from the other spouse. It can be especially easy for a spouse to commit financial fraud in a situation like this. Indications that your spouse may be lying about finances include but are not limited to:

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysThe rise of cell phones and text messaging has completely revolutionized the way people communicate with each other. If you are like many employees in the United States, you probably text message, call, and email work associates on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the causal nature of text messages can sometimes cause people to make insensitive statements to their coworkers or employees. Increasingly, text messages are being used as evidence in sexual harassment claims. How do you know when a text message constitutes sexual harassment according to the law?

Text Messages Can Create a Hostile Work Environment

The two main types of sexual harassment are quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment. If a boss or supervisor implies or outright says that he or she will give you workplace perks or continued employment if you submit to his or her sexual advances, you may be a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Hostile work environment harassment, on the other hand, can be much more subtle. Often, this type of harassment starts out very subtly. Your colleague may begin by texting you questions or messages regarding work assignments but then slowly bring up more personal topics.

According to the law, hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when offensive communication or conduct is “severe or pervasive” enough to interfere with the victim’s ability to do their job. A single inappropriate text message may not always be enough to warrant filing a sexual harassment claim, but this does not mean that you should simply ignore these types of messages.  

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Western Springs school enrollment vaccination lawyerTo enroll a child in school, there are a variety of requirements that must be met, including receiving medical, dental, and vision examinations. Parents will also be required to submit evidence that children have received the proper immunizations. However, there are cases in which parents may choose not to have their children vaccinated due to religious reasons, and Illinois law allows these parents to request a religious exemption to the immunization requirements. Due to the politically charged nature of the debate surrounding vaccination, parents should be sure to understand how Illinois law applies to them and consult with an attorney experienced in school law when addressing religious exemptions.

Understanding Religious Exemptions

If parents object to some or all of the vaccination requirements for their children, they may submit a Certificate of Religious Exemption when enrolling children in school. This certificate will state the religious grounds for requesting an exemption for each type of vaccination. It must also be signed by a medical doctor who has provided education to the parents about the benefits of immunization and the health risks for the child and the community that may result from foregoing vaccinations.

The Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-8.1) states that a religious objection to immunization does not have to be based on specific tenets of an established religious organization. However, the decision to forego vaccinations cannot be based on general philosophical or moral principles, or for personal reasons. Ultimately, the local school authority will determine whether the reasons stated on a Certificate of Religious Exemption are valid religious objections to vaccination. A school may also prevent a child with a religious exemption from attending school in the event of an outbreak of a disease for which a child has not been immunized.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIf you and your spouse are considering divorce and you have children together, you may have concerns about how you will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse can be extremely difficult—especially if the end of the marriage was wrought with conflict. If you and your child’s other parent cannot communicate without the discussion devolving into arguments, parallel parenting may be an effective strategy for you to consider.

The Basics of Parallel Parenting

Just as every marriage is different, every divorce is different. Some divorced parents can easily communicate with each other about child-related concerns. They may even spend major holidays together or take joint vacations. Other divorced parents feel a great deal of animosity toward each other and would rather not communicate at all. If you are getting divorced and you worry about you and your spouse’s ability to co-parent, parallel parenting may be the right choice for you.

In a parallel parenting scenario, each parent makes their own parenting decisions with little input from the other parent. Any communication between the parents is typically done via email or text messages and the parents only communicate if it is absolutely necessary. A multitude of research has shown that children are deeply damaged by being exposed to parental arguments and fighting. The goal of parallel parenting is to allow both parents to be involved in their child’s life while minimizing the potential for conflict as much as possible.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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