Blog Posts in January, 2013

  • Class Actions for Employment Law

    Class actions can be a very useful tool for plaintiffs because they allow for “negative value” lawsuits, or situations in which high individual litigation costs typically deter lawsuits. By forming a group, class actions can decrease an individual’s expenses. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the use of class actions in cases alleging employment discrimination. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. ...
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  • Is being a "yes man" the only way to get ahead?

    In the post-Enron and Bernie Madoff era, is being a “yes man” really still the way to advance your career? According to “Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know – And What to Do About Them” by Cynthia Shapiro, PHR, it might be. For our office book club one of the attorneys picked “Corporate Confidential.” The book describes an antiquated culture that requires 100% ...
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  • New Year, New Illinois Laws

    The Illinois Legislature was hard at work creating more than 150 new laws for 2013. Fortunately, to make their civil war re-enactments more authentic, people can now own antique weapons that do not meet certain standards. However, the Legislature banned the possession and sale of shark fins. There are several new laws that are important in the employment law context. First, the Legislature amended ...
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  • The Secret to Success: A Sponsor

    America continues to grow more diverse. According to the most recent U.S. Census, minorities now account for more than 30% of the population. Despite this trend, there are still very few minorities in the C-suite. Why does this disconnect exist, and what can we do about it? A recent study by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) explored this very issue. CTI published a research report that found ...
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  • Dangers of Email

    Sometimes employees don’t realize that their conduct is sending mixed signals to their co-workers. Something as simple as an emoticon can be misinterpreted. According to an article in the Huffington Post, a survey found that 71% of women and 90% of men said that receiving a winky face indicates the possibility of romance or a first date. Although there are many benefits to email communication, ...
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  • Women, Ask For What You Want!

    The National Bureau of Economic Research just released a study finding that Women tend to negotiate less than men, particularly when they are not explicitly offered the opportunity to negotiate. Now that you know this, what are you going to do about it? Make sure you ask for what you want, even if “negotiation” is not on the table! Even if you are not interviewing for a new job, take the ...
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  • How To Apply For An Internal Job Position.

    A new position has just opened up in your company, and you would love to apply. But just how do you make the move, without offending or burning any bridges? Here are some tips on how to apply for an internal job position: 1. Find out everything you can about the position. Do you know why the previous employee left? What is the boss like? Has there been a lot of turn over? What is the future of the ...
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  • Has the economy made it harder to get unemployment benefits?

    The economy finally seems to be on the upswing. But, has that made it more difficult for terminated employees to receive the small protection offered by unemployment benefits? Even though things are improving, many people are still out of work. At, at this time of year, it’s not uncommon for companies to make further cuts. Unemployment insurance benefits provide eligible terminated employees some ...
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  • Who is a "Supervisor"?

    This summer, the Supreme Court will issue a decision and define the term “supervisor.” The Court recently heard oral arguments in the case of Vance v. Ball State University, 646. F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011). The key issue is whether the definition of a “supervisor” pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq, is limited to individuals that can hire, fire, demote, ...
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  • Is fear the best motivator?

    I’m not sure if it’s the abundance of lawyer shows on TV or just adolescent regression, but there is an overwhelming impression that threats get us what we want. It is ironic that no one likes to be threatened, but so many people believe that inspiring fear is the fastest route from A to Z. But is fear really the best motivator? It depends. If fear leaves your opponent without a choice, AND you ...
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