Illinois employment law attorneysState and federal laws require that most employers have anti-sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place. Even when not required by law, it is a good idea to have these policies. They can create the sense of a safe work environment, and they can also help ensure compliance with state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. Learn how to develop an anti-discrimination policy for your small business, and where you can find assistance with help from the following information.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

An anti-discrimination policy is meant to communicate the employer’s obligations to the employee. These policies typically include verbiage that lets employees and potential employees know that decisions regarding employment offers, raises, and promotions are not made based on an employee’s gender, religion, marital status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Keep in mind that each state has its own requirements regarding anti-discrimination language. An experienced business law attorney can help you develop your anti-discrimination policy to ensure proper compliance with both state and federal laws.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies

Anti-harassment laws can also outline an employer’s obligation to employees, but its primary objective is to communicate that certain behaviors are not permitted within the workplace. Such actions typically include any form of harassment that is based on an employee’s race, religion, gender, or other protected status. It may also strictly prohibit certain types of relationships within the workplace (i.e. supervisors may not have relationships with subordinates).

Most anti-harassment policies notify employees of their right to file a complaint without fear of retaliation from their employer or direct supervisor. Some companies define sexual harassment in their policy, and they may outline disciplinary measures for violations (i.e. termination). Mandated training for supervisors could be included in the policy as well.

Protecting Your Company from Litigation

Even with anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place, employers may be at risk for litigation if they fail to meet the terms. Another issue that may result in litigation is when a business fails to handle complaints in a timely and effective manner. Remember that employees who feel they have been victimized need validation. They need to know that their employer is taking the complaint seriously and that everything possible is being done to ensure a safe work environment. Not only can this improve overall job satisfaction for the entire staff, but it can decrease the risk of costly litigation.

Contact Our Seasoned Schaumburg Employment Law Attorney

There are many factors to consider when developing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. The Miller Law Firm, P.C. can help you cover them all. Dedicated to your company’s best interest, we will examine your company’s unique challenges and any existing policies to determine the next step. Call 847-995-1205 and schedule your consultation with our Schaumburg employment law attorney to learn more.

Sources:

https://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-2-16.cfm

https://www.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx

 

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Illinois employment law attorneysSmall businesses – especially the ones that are just starting out – must be mindful of their budget. Unfortunately, many are not quite prepared for the wide range of expenses and legal complexities. Workers’ compensation insurance. Taxes. The list goes on and on. Let one area slip, and the company could face penalties. One example is when companies fail to comply with Illinois’ minimum wage laws. Before you hire an employee, take the time to understand the law and what compliance looks like under it.

Minimum Wage Law Basics

A recently proposed bill may begin a transition to $15 an hour, but right now, employers are only required to meet the current minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. Paying employees any lower than this amount is considered a violation of the minimum wage law. Unfortunately, paying that amount does not necessarily keep your company out of trouble; there are other, more complex laws to account for as well.

For starters, employers are required to pay their employees overtime pay when they meet the requirements. If an employee is terminated, they must be paid any commission, unused vacation pay, bonuses, and wages by the next regularly scheduled payday. If you need to reduce an employee’s wages (only possible if the employee makes more than minimum wage), you must provide them with adequate notice before cutting their wages. All of that is just the beginning; to ensure you are compliant with all the various aspects of the minimum wage laws, be sure to seek help from an experienced attorney.

Consequences of Violating the Law

At first glance, it might not seem like a big deal if you violate the minimum wage laws. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Failing to comply can make your company liable for more than just the unpaid wages of your employee; you also become subject to a damages fee that accrues at two percent per month from the time of the underpayment. Employers who are found in violation are also penalized via an administrative fee, penalty fees, and they may even be required to cover any expenses that the employee experienced while pursuing their claim.

Avoid Non-Compliance and Seek Help with Violations

Whether you need assistance with ensuring that your company is compliant in its pay structure, or have mistakenly violated the law and need representation, Miller Law Firm, P.C. can help. Skilled and experienced, our Schaumburg, IL small business attorney will fight to preserve your company’s best interests, regardless of the situation. Schedule your consultation to learn more. Call 847-995-1205 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/056/056003000C06300R.html

https://www.illinois.gov/idol/FAQs/Pages/wage-payment-faq.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/wpca-penalties.aspx

 

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Illinois business law attorneyStarting a business as a partnership can be highly beneficial for all parties involved. Unfortunately, there are also some potential pitfalls. Some of these negative situations are so detrimental, they could place the business at risk of failure, extreme financial loss, or litigation. Then there are situations that can place partners at risk for bankruptcy and/or criminal penalties. Learn how effective planning can reduce your risk of such negative effects in your business venture.

The Why and How of Partnership Conflicts

Partners often start out as family members, friends, or colleagues who share a passion or idea. Fueled by little more than hopes and dreams, they may fail to consider that it takes more than passion to succeed in the business world. They may not examine aspects like differing work ethics, money management, or leadership styles. This lack of consideration and communication can ultimately lead to anger, frustration, and unmet expectations.

When tempers start to flare, or when one party deceives another or fails to follow through with their duties as a partner, it places the business at risk. Say, for example, one partner is responsible for bookkeeping, but fails to do so effectively. Tax issues may eventually ensue, which can create stress and money issues for all partners. Some cases may be so extreme that it could result in a complete loss for the company.

Protecting Yourself from Failed Business Ventures

Business ventures are, in general, a risk. Economy, the want or need for a service or product, and numerous other factors are all variables that may be difficult to plan for and predict. Yet there are some ways you can protect yourself from failed business ventures – namely, you can vet your decision to start a partnership, and whom you plan to partner with. For example, you may want to consider:

  • If the professional skills of partners complement one another;
  • If you trust your partner’s character and personal motivation;
  • If there are any areas that could lead to contention (i.e. a partner who fails to stay organized or follow through with aspects of their personal life);
  • How you will respond if a partner behaves in a way that is unethical; and
  • What you might do if the partner decides they want to move out of the country or state.

How Our Illinois Business Law Attorney Can Help

Because there are so many aspects to consider, and because failure to do so can have serious consequences, it is critical that you first discuss your business venture and partnership with an experienced Schaumburg, IL business law attorney. Dedicated and experienced, Miller Law Firm, P.C. can help. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling us at 847-995-1205 today.

Source:

http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/starting-a-business/how-to-start-a-business-with-a-partner/

 

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