September 2018

2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Month: September 2018

Nursing Mothers Just Got More Rights

On August 21, 2018, the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act was amended, effectively immediately, to require employers to provide breastfeeding employees reasonable paid breaks to express milk or nurse their infants for up to a year after birth. As long as the accommodations do not result in 'undue hardship' to the employers, employers must comply. Previously, the law only required employers to provide unpaid breaks.

This amendment is important given that it is more common for women to be the breadwinners for their families. According to the US Census Bureau (2013), 38% of women in the workforce gave birth in the previous 12 months. Further, women cite unsupportive workplace policies as one reason for weaning their babies earlier than they wanted to. The hope is that by creating supportive workplace policies and allowing women to express milk at work, mothers can breastfeed their babies longer.

If are an employee who is currently breastfeeding with a year of birth, do not hesitate to be clear about your expectations to pump or nurse at work. If you are an employer, be aware of this law so you can be compliant.

In addition to the new amendment, Illinois law requires that employers not discriminate against women due to pregnancy and must provide reasonable accommodations. Further, if you have at least one employee, employers must hang this Pregnancy Rights Notice Poster in a visible area (we recommend the breakroom). ...

How Often Should I Update My Contracts?

You see this typewriter? It looks old. It may not even function correctly causing you to make mistakes that cost you time and money. Contracts are the same. If you are someone who frequently deals with contracts, such as a business, and you do not review or update your contracts regularly, you run the risk of your contracts also being old and obsolete.

I am constantly updating my own contracts within my practice too. Contracts are essentially living documents that are subject to change based on the growth and changes of your business (if applicable), the nature of your relationships, the changes related to those relationships, and just overall experiences with people. Like anything that remains stagnant, it runs the risk of being outdated and obsolete.

For example, if you are a business and there is a recurring problem you are having with vendors or customers, you can change your future contracts to reflect a potential solution. Another example, if you thought one incentive (say, for productivity) would work for your employees but it turns out it is not helpful at all, then again, update your contract to reflect a new system of incentives.

Another reason to update your contracts is to address any changes in the law. From time-to-time, courts strike down or uphold certain contract terms or there are changes in the law, such as employment law, that your contract should reflect.

I recommend that clients review their contracts annually (assuming no measure hitches have occurred that ...
When we think of lawsuits, we think of attorneys, courts, judges and. But how often do we think of settlements? In the eyes of many, the settlement is underrated. Personally, I am a huge proponent of settlement, even before going to court. Court is expensive for both parties and litigation can lead to sour feelings between parties to an already sour situation. Additionally, it is common that even after winning a lawsuit, the winning party is so marred by the litigation process that winning no longer feels satisfying.

So what is the best way to settle? Start with a demand letter to begin the negotiation process. Demand letters contain little risk in that they cost relatively little for a potentially large payout. Here are some tips that I am sharing from my experience over my years of practice:

  • Analyze and research your position, goals, strengths, and weaknesses.
Any good negotiator will tell you that a good negotiation largely consists of the work you put in before coming to the table. Accordingly, know the strength of your claims, both from a legal and factual perspective, and really ask your self what your goals are. Would you be satisfied with a 50% settlement? It's also equally important to get a good understanding of your best alternative scenario if a settlement does not materialize. If your best alternative is the status quo and your situation is likely to be improved by rejecting a settlement offer or counteroffer, then litigation may ...