Category Archives: DuPage County Blog

Illinois sexual harassment attorneysThe now-ubiquitous social media hashtag #MeToo was first conceived by activist Tarana Burke several years ago. She came up with the idea of using the phrase “Me Too” to help young women who had been hurt by sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment have a way of signifying that they were survivors of sexual abuse. The phrase also gave advocates a way of offering support to others affected by sexual violence. The hashtag gained viral status after a popular actress and women’s rights advocate encouraged others to “tweet” #MeToo if they had been victimized by sexual harassment or assault on Twitter.

Since then, the phrase has been associated with several shocking allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Long-time NBC news anchor Matt Lauer and media tycoon Harvey Weinstein are just two of the high-profile men accused of sexual harassment by women. However, sexual harassment does not only affect celebrities. More recently, employees working for the fast food company McDonald’s expressed their outrage over alleged company-wide sexual harassment via a strike and picket signs.

Employees Say Supervisors Retaliated Against Those Who Reported Harassment

Hundreds of McDonald’s employees who say they are sick and tired of unaddressed sexual harassment recently protested in cities across the country. Signs with phrases like “Keep your hands off my thighs” and “MeToo” were carried as organizers chanted slogans and demanded that McDonald’s do more to stop the alleged sexual harassment. Advocates for the protest say that fast food companies often hire young employees who may be unaware of their right to being free from sexual harassment. Employees with less work experience or employees who fear losing their job may be hesitant to report sexual harassment from superiors or co-workers.  So far, ten employees from the fast food chain have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about sexual harassment perpetuated by male supervisors. Some employees even reported that superiors who made unwelcome advances toward subordinates retaliated against anyone who complained about the harassing behavior.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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Illinois sexual harassment lawyersBeing mistreated at work can be isolating and demoralizing. Many people who find themselves on the receiving end of unwanted sexual attention at work are completely unsure of what to do about it. Some assume that if they ignore the sexual harassment that it will go away, but unfortunately this is rarely the case. If you are being sexually harassed by a colleague or supervisor, you should know that you have every right to stand up for yourself. In fact, doing so will not only help you, but also helps prevent future sexual harassment in your workplace. If you have experienced sexual harassment, do not stay silent.

Survey Confirms Sexual Harassment is Sadly Common

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, approximately 17 percent of women and 7 percent of men claimed to have experienced sexual harassment at work. Data shows that younger employees experience harassment at a more frequent rate than other age groups. The majority of sexual harassment victims do not report the mistreatment or even confront their harasser for fear of being labeled a “trouble-maker” or losing their jobs.

What to Do If You Are Being Sexually Harassed

If you have been the victim of inappropriate and harmful harassment at work, first, know that this behavior is unacceptable. You have a legal right to be free from sexual harassment per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The first step in fighting against sexual harassment is to document any and all instances of the inappropriate behavior. Record what was said and done, who was involved, and how the incident has negatively affected your ability to do your job. Next, report the harassment to a superior or your HR department via e-mail so that you have an electronic record of what you reported. If you report the sexual harassment and your employer still refuses to take corrective action, you should immediately meet with a trustworthy employment lawyer.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysIf you are recently divorced or are in the process of ending a marriage that has been effectively dead for years, it is completely normal to experience feelings of loneliness and a need for companionship. A new relationship is exciting and, for someone coming out of a bad marriage, finding a new partner can be extremely cathartic. If, however, your spouse is paying you alimony—formally known as “maintenance” in Illinois law—or you are asking for maintenance in your divorce, you need to understand how a new partner could potentially affect your payments.

The Need for Spousal Support

According to the law in Illinois, maintenance is never presumed to be necessary in a divorce. Instead, it may be awarded by the court if the court determines that such payments are necessary and appropriate for the given situation. The general idea is to help a financially-disadvantaged spouse regain his or independence, if possible. In cases where independence is not possible due to age, health, or other factors, maintenance may be awarded to help a spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living.

When the Recipient Remarries

While most orders for maintenance are intended to last for a fixed amount of time, based on the duration of the marriage, an order will also be terminated if the recipient party gets remarried. This is understandable, considering that a remarriage creates a new household situation for that spouse—one to which the original paying spouse should not be required to support financially.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIt is no secret that the majority of people employed in technology jobs are men. The video game development company Riot Games is no different. The company is responsible for the wildly popular game League of Legends and also for organizing eSports tournaments. Recently, the tech company has been accused of significant sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex.

Video Game Developer in Hot Water Over Alleged Gender Bias

Kotaku, a video game website and blog that is part of the Gawker Media network, spoke with 28 former Riot Games employees who had a few very disconcerting things to say about the development company. Several female employees claimed that they had experienced discrimination at the company because they were women. They say that Riot Games regularly overlooked ideas coming from female employees while applauding the same ideas from men. The former employees also spoke of times that a senior female employee would be passed up for a promotion in favor of a male new hire. The women interviewed by Kotaku described the work environment at Riot games as a “bro culture.”

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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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