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Category Archives: DuPage County Blog

Illinois sexual harassment attorneys Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a major problem throughout the United States. Hostile work environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment are in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as several other state, local, and federal laws. However, many victims of sexual harassment are afraid to report instances of sexual harassment because they have signed a non-disclosure agreement. If you or someone you know has suffered workplace sexual harassment, an experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure these rights are protected.

How Are Non-Disclosure Agreements Used in Sexual Harassment Settlements?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legally binding contract that limits the information that one or more parties is allowed to share. NDAs are often used in business transactions such as business purchases so that a party cannot misuse confidential information it learns about a company. However, NDAs can also influence sexual harassment cases, as they are often used in sexual harassment settlements.

When a victim of sexual harassment suffers financial such as lost income, the victim’s employer may be forced to compensate the victim for this financial harm. Sexual harassment settlements often include non-disclosure agreements that prohibit the victim from disclosing the amount of money he or she gained in the settlement or other details about the case. An NDA can also limit what information the employer may share about a sexual harassment case.

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DuPage County collaborative divorce attorneysMaking the decision to get a divorce is rarely easy but divorcing with children can be especially taxing. If you and your spouse have come to the conclusion that your marriage is beyond saving, you may be researching your options for how to resolve divorce issues with minimal conflict for the sake of your children. Divorces involving parenting issues is often much different from a divorce with no children because divorcing parents typically remain at least somewhat involved in each other’s lives. One way some parents are able reach an agreement about child-related issues is through a collaborative divorce.

Why Choose Collaborative Divorce?

Many divorcing spouses have trouble reaching an agreement about the terms of their divorce. When parents cannot agree on how to share parental responsibilities, formerly called child custody, or parenting time, formerly called visitation, they have several options. They can negotiate an agreement with help from their lawyers, work with a qualified mediator, resolve the issues using collaborative law, or litigate in court. Courtroom litigation is a time-consuming, expensive, and often adversarial process. Being in a courtroom can make parents feel like they are fighting against each other instead of working together for the benefit of their children. Collaborative divorce is an approach that is cooperative and non-hostile in nature. It gives parents an opportunity to work with lawyers and other professionals to reach a resolution to divorce issues that they both agree to. Furthermore, unlike during litigation, the conversations had during a collaborative divorce are confidential.

What is Involved in an Illinois Collaborative Divorce?

During a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains a lawyer qualified to practice collaborative law. The spouses and their lawyers hold a series of meetings in which they discuss solutions to unresolved divorce issues. Child development specialists and other experts may also attend these meetings and offer their professional guidance. Spouses, lawyers, and other participants in the collaborative process sign a “participation agreement.” In the agreement, the participants agree to be honest, remain cooperative, and not go to court. Attorneys offer legal guidance and ideas that the spouses may not have considered and facilitate productive negotiations. Many parents find that collaborative divorce allows them to discuss divorce issues in a way that does not further degrade their already rocky relationship. Parents are typically better suited to be effective co-parents when they make decisions about child-related matters together instead of through the court.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, national religion, race, color, national origin, and religion. In addition to this important piece of federal legislation, many other federal and state laws prohibit employer discrimination against employees. Employees who experience sexual harassment or any other type of workplace discrimination have the right to report the harassment. Employers are legally obligated to take steps to stop sexual harassment and prevent future harassment. Unfortunately, some employers attempt to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment.  

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination that involves sex-based remarks or behavior or the trading of sexual contact for work-related benefits. When an employee is a victim of sexual harassment, he or she may feel humiliated, offended, and demeaned. He or she may find it nearly impossible to do his or her job properly under these stressful conditions. No one should have to suffer through this experience.

Employees who are harassed are encouraged to report the harassment to the individual specified by the company’s sexual harassment policy—typically a supervisor or human resources employee. The company then has an obligation to address the harassment and take steps to prevent the employee from further harassment. Unfortunately, some employers do not adequately address employee sexual harassment and some even retaliate against employees who report harassment.

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DuPage County family law attorneysIn television shows and movies, divorce is often portrayed as a highly-combative legal process involving more accusation and confrontation than actual problem solving. In reality, a successful divorce settlement that both parties can agree to can often be reached without the need for dramatic courtroom litigation – even when the couple disagrees about the terms of their divorce. If you are planning to divorce and you and your spouse do not agree about property distribution, parental responsibilities, or other divorce-related matters, one option that may help you reach an agreement is collaborative divorce.

Finding Creative Solutions to Divorce Disputes

Litigation can be expensive and stressful. Many individuals getting a divorce wish to resolve conflicts without adversarial court proceedings but still want a legal advocate on their side who will look out for their best interests. One way to accomplish this is through collaborative family law. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse and his or her lawyer work together to reach resolutions about family law issues in a professional and cooperative way. The parties and their lawyers will sign a “collaborative agreement” or “participation agreement” that states that all signatories will commit to finding a fair, workable divorce settlement and will abstain from bringing the case to litigation. This agreement may require the spouses and their attorneys to agree to provisions such as:

  • The parties agree to settle disputes in a non-adversarial manner through negotiation and constructive dialogue
  • The parties agree to fully disclose relevant financial information
  • The parties will act in their child’s best interests

In a collaborative divorce, your attorney will protect your rights while simultaneously facilitating productive discussion and negotiation about divorce issues with the other participants. The process may also include collaborating with other professionals such as accountants or child specialists. If an agreement about the disputed divorce issues is reached, the agreement is transcribed into legally enforceable documents which are then filed with the court.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can make a workplace unbearable. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you know just how demeaning this particular type of harassment can be. Sexual harassment can consist of disparaging or offensive remarks about a person’s gender, unwanted sexual advances, and sexually-oriented behavior. Sexual harassment also occurs when a supervisor attempts to exchange sexual favors for employment benefits with a subordinate. One of the most important steps for anyone who has experienced sexual harassment is to keep a detailed record of each instance of harassment. This sexual harassment log will almost certainly be beneficial for recalling the details of the sexual harassment you have suffered for the purposes of filing a Charge or reporting the sexual harassment to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and/or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Proving that Harassment is Severe or Pervasive

There are two types of sexual harassment that are explicitly prohibited under state and federal law: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a worker attempts to trade continued employment, a wage increase, or other work benefits for sexual favors. According to the law, even one instance of quid pro quo harassment is illegal. On the other hand, hostile work environment harassment must be “severe or pervasive” enough that it creates an abusive working environment. A single joke from a colleague about how your outfit flatters your body might be inappropriate but it would not likely be considered illegal sexual harassment. However, if this colleague makes sexual statements like these again and again, the problem may meet the legal criteria for sexual harassment.

What Should I Include in My Log?

In your sexual harassment log, write down every instance that something was said or done to you that made you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. This can include sexual or derogatory jokes, statements, text messages, emails, and behavior. Even if you are not sure whether or not the remark or behavior was technically an instance of sexual harassment, write it down anyway. Note the time and location of each instance. You should also record who witnessed the harassment and what your reaction to the harassment was.

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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