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Category Archives: DuPage County Blog

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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DuPage County sexual harassment attorneysMost working adults spend a great deal of time around co-workers. Understandably, sometimes sparks fly and an employee develops romantic feelings toward someone he or she works with. If you have found yourself in this situation you may wonder, “Should I ask my co-worker out on a date?” Dating in the workplace is a controversial subject. While there may be some situations in which dating your co-worker results in no negative consequences, beginning a romantic relationship with a colleague at work can sometimes lead to accusations of sexual harassment.

Dating a Subordinate Can Result in Allegations of Quid Pro Quo Harassment

The two types of sexual harassment addressed in the law are quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a person of authority such as a boss, supervisor, or manager implies or outright suggests that he or she will provide work-related benefits if a subordinate employee submits to his or her sexual requests. What many people do not understand is that a boss can be accused of quid pro quo sexual harassment even if he or she never actually explicitly states that he or she will offer employment, continued employment, or work perks in exchange for sexual contact. You can be accused of quid pro quo sexual harassment even if a subordinate that you are dating assumes that sexual favors are being traded for work benefits.

Hostile work environment sexual harassment refers to a situation in which offensive or sexual remarks and behavior make a work environment so intolerable that the harassed individual cannot perform work duties. In order to meet the legal definition of sexual harassment, hostile work environment harassment must be “severe” or “pervasive.” Asking a co-worker out on a date once will not meet the definition of harassment. However, if you repeatedly ask a co-worker out, it could trigger a sexual harassment claim.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen you got married, did you and your new spouse move into a home that one of you already owned or did you find a new house? Have you purchased a new home since your marriage?  The answers to those two questions could directly impact the division of property process should you and your spouse ever divorce.

Prior Ownership

According to the law in Illinois, all assets that were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage and which were not subsequently placed into some form of joint ownership, are generally considered an individual’s non-marital property, not subject to division upon divorce. Determining ownership is fairly easy for smaller items. For example, you bought a washing machine before the marriage, it is non-marital. Larger purchases and investments can be a bit more complicated. If you and your spouse moved into a home that you had already paid off at the time of the marriage, the house, in all likelihood, would be considered non-marital property. If, however, you were still paying the house off for the first several years of the marriage and made some major improvements, the funds used to pay off the mortgage and make the improvements were marital funds. Thus, these marital funds used to improve and pay off the mortgage on a non-marital asset should be accounted for during the division of property.

Name on the Deed

Assume that five years into your marriage, you and your spouse purchase a new home. For credit or business reasons, your spouse—with your permission—puts only his or her name on the deed. The mortgage is in his or her name, along with all other legal documentation. Do you stand to lose out in the event of divorce?  No, you do not. Under Illinois law, it makes little difference whose name is on a particular note or title. If the purchase was made with marital funds—as in, you and your spouse’s biweekly paychecks being used to make mortgage payments—the house is part of the marital estate.

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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