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Category Archives: DuPage County Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_stop-retaliation-sexual-harassment-whistleblower.jpgMost people know that sexual harassment is against the law. However, many do not realize that it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting sexual harassment. Retaliation can take many different forms, but most involve the employee receiving some type of negative work-related consequence. If an employer retaliates against an employee for filing a sexual harassment complaint, the employee may be entitled to damages. 

You Have a Right to Oppose Unlawful Practices

Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report EEO violations. It is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against a job applicant or employee who:

  • Complains or threatens to complain about sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Refuses to follow an order that is reasonably thought to be discriminatory
  • Gathers information or evidence from coworkers about a potential EEO claim or
  • Participates in an investigation into alleged sexual harassment or discrimination

When someone is the victim of sexual harassment, including hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment, he or she has a legal right to report the harassment. Whether it is a verbal complaint or a formal report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reporting sexual harassment is a protected act.

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DuPage County family law attorneysAlthough they have long been the subject of misunderstandings, more and more people are choosing to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, are contracts that specify each spouse’s property rights and responsibilities in the event of divorce. If you and your partner are considering drafting a prenuptial agreement, you should know that these documents must meet certain criteria in order to be legally-enforceable. Prenuptial agreements that do not meet these specifications or that contain certain mistakes may be considered invalid. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced family law attorney during the creation of any prenuptial agreement.

Incomplete or Falsified Financial Disclosure

When a couple designs a prenuptial agreement, each spouse must be fully forthcoming about his or her assets, income, and debts. A complete inventory of the spouses’ finances is needed so that each spouse can make informed decisions about the provisions contained in the agreement. Without a full accounting of each spouse’s property and debt, it will be impossible for the couple to form an equitable plan regarding how property and debt should be divided in the event divorce. Furthermore, if the agreement contains incomplete or falsified financial information, it is possible that the document will be considered invalid.

Each Spouse Must Consent to the Agreement

Legal contracts such as prenuptial agreements are only valid if they were entered into voluntarily. If a spouse was coerced or forced to sign a prenuptial agreement, the document is not valid. Each spouse must be of sound mind when he or she agrees to the provisions. Furthermore, spouses must have time to read and consider the agreements contained in the prenup before signing. For example, if a spouse asks the other to sign a prenup mere hours before their marriage ceremony, it is likely that the court would not uphold the provisions contained in the agreement.

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Illinois sexual harassmentThe term sexual harassment often garners a strong response, but it is often misunderstood. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other federal and state legislation, it is unlawful for employees to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Sexual harassment is one type of sex-based discrimination millions of men and women face every year. Sadly, many victims stay silent about harassment simply because they do not understand their rights.

There are a number of common misconceptions that exist regarding sexual harassment including:

Myth 1: Only Women Can Be Victims of Sexual Harassment

Although women experience sexual harassment on a more frequent basis, men can also be sexually harassed. In fact, about one out of every five sexual harassment complaints reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are filed by men. Men may suffer sexual harassment from both female and male harassers. Many men are hesitant about reporting the harassment because they fear they will not be believed, or they do not realize that the law protects both genders from this unacceptable mistreatment.

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Wheaton family law attorneysAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 percent of all American families are remarried or re-coupled, and over 1,000 new stepfamilies are formed every day. Being a stepparent can be a challenging role to fill. The stepparent is an adult authority figure in a child’s life but he or she may not have all of the same responsibilities as a biological parent. The path of a stepparent will undoubtedly be filled with obstacles; however, a happy, healthy stepparent-stepchild relationship is possible. If you are a stepparent hoping to have a strong relationship with your new stepchild, read on to learn tips experts say can help.

Develop Healthy Boundaries

It is important to realize that stepparents typically do not fulfill the same role in a child’s life as the biological parent does. The younger stepchildren were when their biological parent married the stepparent, the more likely the children are to view the stepparent the same as their biological parent. When stepparents enter an older child or teenager’s life, it can be harder for the stepparent to figure out where he or she fits in. Experts say that one of the best ways to avoid conflict and develop a close relationship with your stepchild is to develop healthy boundaries. Do not attempt to take the place of the child’s biological parent or immediately become the main disciplinarian in the child’s life. With time, you may choose to take on more of an authoritative role in the family, but doing so too soon can backfire.

Participate in Your Stepchild’s Interests and Avoid Rushing a Close Relationship

One of the best ways you can develop a close relationship with your stepchild is to take an interest in what he or she is interested in. Spending hours building a complicated Lego set may not be your idea of a fun afternoon, but if your child enjoys it, give it a try. The more experiences you spend with your stepchild, the greater your chances are of developing a loving relationship with him or her. However, it is also important not to set your expectations too high. Your stepchild may not be ready to spend a great deal of one-on-one time with you for months or even years after your marriage to his or her parent. Avoid rushing a relationship and give your new family dynamic time to develop naturally.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIn 1964, congress passed the Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, religion, national origin, or race. In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specified that sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. Although workplace sexual harassment has been against the law for 30 years, many believe that the issue has never been taken as seriously as is has in recent years. Spurred by the social media #MeToo movement and a number of other events, more and more women and men are coming forward and reporting sexual harassment. Now, one of the biggest companies in the world is facing a major lawsuit regarding alleged systemic sexual harassment.

Workers Claim McDonald’s Does Not Take Enough Action to Address Sexual Harassment

Recently, McDonald’s staff in Florida announced that they were filing a $500 million sexual harassment lawsuit against the fast food chain. The two women named in the lawsuit have filed the suit on behalf of the 5,000 women who work at the Florida restaurants. They claim that many staff are subject to sexual and derogatory comments, jokes, and even physical assaults.

One of the women explained that she had been forced to endure rude comments about her body, unwanted sexual contact, and explicit pictures while she was simply trying to do her job. When she reported her coworkers’ unacceptable behavior, she claims that her work hours were reduced and that she was eventually fired.

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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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree