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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_233823685.jpgEmployees have certain rights, including the right to be free from harassment and discrimination at work. Despite continued efforts to eradicate harassment and discriminatory practices from American workplaces, sexual harassment continues to be a problem. Every worker should be aware of his or her rights and know the signs of sexual harassment. The greater number of people who stand up against unlawful harassment, the closer we get to eliminating this problem.

What Counts as Sexual Harassment?

Many people ask whether certain behaviors constitute sexual harassment. To be clear, employees should speak up about any behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable. That being said, federal law breaks sexual harassment down into two main categories. Using a position or authority to coerce sexual favors from an employee is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Hostile work environment sexual harassment involves severe or pervasive conduct that creates a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment.

What Should I Do About Sexual Harassment?

If you are sexually harassed at work, report the harassment in writing immediately. Follow the reporting procedures listed in your employee handbook. Additionally, keep a sexual harassment log in which you record each instance of harassment, exactly what happened, and who was witness to the harassment. Write down the dates and time of each incident. If your employer does not take corrective action and resolve the problem, you may need to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). If you are issued a “right to sue” letter by the IDHR, you may file a civil claim against your employer.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1649654314.jpgSpousal support refers to payments that one spouse makes to the other after a divorce. In Illinois, alimony or spousal support is called “spousal maintenance.” Not all divorce cases involve an order for maintenance. However, maintenance may be available in certain situations. 

Whether you are interested in seeking maintenance payments from your spouse or you suspect that your spouse will petition the court for maintenance, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities under Illinois law.

Premarital Agreement or Postnuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement is a document that describes each spouses’ financial rights and responsibilities in the event of divorce or death of a spouse. Prenups may be used to differentiate marital property from non-marital property, assign spousal maintenance, and more. If you and your spouse have signed a prenuptial agreement allocating spousal maintenance, the court will uphold the agreement unless there are concerns about the legal enforceability of the agreement.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2074546078.jpgSexual harassment is a type of discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other legislation. Unfortunately, the issue of workplace sexual harassment is present in workplaces throughout the U.S. In recent years, however, more and more victims of sexual harassment and assault have come forward with their stories and started standing up for their rights.

Recently, Congress passed an amendment to the Federal Arbitration Act that ended mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims. President Biden is expected to sign the act into law soon.

New Law Invalidates Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements Between Employees and Employers

Prior to the amendment to the Federal Arbitration Act, some employees who experienced sexual harassment or assault at work were required to arbitrate their claims before bringing a lawsuit through the court. H.R. 4445 prohibits employee agreements obliging workers to mandatory arbitration. Instead, employees have the option to resolve claims through arbitration, or they may choose to proceed with litigation through the court. The new legislation puts the power back in the hands of the employees, not the employers. The amendment applies to employees who have already signed an agreement requiring arbitration.

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wheaton child support lawyerPer Illinois law, unmarried and divorced parents are still expected to contribute to their child’s financial needs. The parent with less parenting time usually fulfills his or her end of the obligation through child support payments. Many parents are confused about how child support is calculated. They know that child support is based on the parents’ respective net incomes; however, they are unsure of what constitutes “net income.” Furthermore, special circumstances can make the process of calculating child support even more complex.  

What Types of Income Are Used to Determine Child Support?

Illinois has adopted the Income Shares Model to calculate child support. This calculation method uses both parents’ net incomes to determine a child support payment amount.

Net income includes any source of income that increases wealth and may include:

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dupage county sexual harassment lawyer Sexual harassment falls into two broad categories: hostile work environment harassment and quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment is created when a co-worker, supervisor, or employer behaves in ways that make the workplace intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves the exchange of job-related benefits for sexual or romantic acts.

Sometimes, sexual harassment is obvious. For example, if a boss suggests to a staff member that he or she will be guaranteed a promotion if the staff member sleeps with him or her, this is a clear example of quid pro quo sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment is not always this blatant. Read on to learn about five subtle forms of sexual harassment and what you should do if you have experienced harassment at your job.  

Sexual Harassment Can Be Insidious

Multiple federal and state laws prohibit discrimination and harassment of employees based on sex or gender. Unfortunately, workplace sexual harassment continues to be a problem. Sexual harassment that is more subtle and insidious in nature may include:

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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

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