Prinz Law Firm Blog: 2015

  • Unpaid Wages? Be Sure To Explore Your Options

    The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is a state agency which, among other things, investigates wage claims. An employee who failed to receive proper pay for the hours they worked may make a report to the IDOL, who will then investigate the claim and issue a finding. Unfortunately, IDOL has been having trouble keeping up with the complaints that are coming in. According to an investigation by ...
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  • Internet Trolls Beware: Before You Hit "Post" On That Anonymous Internet Commentary.

    In late 2011, the Freeport Standard Journal in Freeport, Illinois published an article online concerning a local politician’s (Bill Hadley) decision to seek election to the Stephenson County, Illinois board. As with much online content, the article contained a section allowing users to post comments. One such user, who identified himself as “Fuboy,” posted a series of negative (non sequitur) ...
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  • The Dangers of the Unenforceable Non-Compete

    Let’s be honest here . . . non-competes are great for attorneys. We get paid to draft them, but we can’t really be held responsible if the agreement we draft is unenforceable. The law as to whether a non-compete is enforceable is ever evolving, fact specific and never clear cut. Regardless of enforceability, when a non-compete is violated, we get paid to pursue the violation, defend the former ...
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  • How To Network When You Hate Networking

    Need a new job? Looking to grow your business? Most people will give you the same advice to achieving these goals – Network. But what if you have tried networking and you hate it? It just doesn’t work for you. Personally, networking did not come naturally to me. I had always been taught that if I do well in my work, that’s all that matters. I followed that mantra for most of my life, until I ...
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  • Why Work-Life Integration Is A Bad Idea

    I love reading about leadership and business strategy and I am constantly amazed by how the same ideas can be re-branded hundreds of times over. Work-life balance is now passé. Integration is the latest aspiration. Work and personal lives are expected to be fluid and intertwined. And nothing will ever get 100% attention. As a working mother, I understand the desire for flexibility in the ...
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  • Should You Incorporate Your Consulting Business?

    If you are a consultant or independent contractor, you may have wondered whether or not you should incorporate. There are many advantages to incorporating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right thing to do for everyone. Here are some of the pros of incorporating: 1. Liability Protection. The most important legal reason for incorporating is to protect your personal assets from potential ...
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  • How Can Professionals Learn from Bill Simmons's Separation from ESPN?

    Bill Simmons is a sports personality that had his own podcasts (the “BS Report” and “Bill Don’t Lie”), was the former Editor-in-Chief of Grantland.com (a sports and pop culture website), is one of the creators of the Emmy winning “30 for 30” series, is a New York Times bestselling author, and has more Twitter followers than the NHL, Hilary Clinton, the Daily Show, Martha Stewart, or Coca Cola. ...
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  • Why do Work and Life have to Compete?

    There’s so much buzz recently about work-life balance from “ leaning in ” to commentaries on how there is no such thing as work-life balance. What does this all mean? At the core of all this sensationalism is one basic premise, we all want to have quality meaningful time with our loved ones while at the same time being able to achieve success in our chosen profession. In years past, being able to ...
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  • Horrible Bosses: How to Deal with Difficulties in the Workplace

    Is your boss a micro-manager? A narcissist? Maybe you are dealing with someone who’s extremely moody, hot one minute and cold the next? How do you handle a difficult boss? My suggestion would be run and never look back! But in all seriousness, a bad boss is a situation you want to try to get out of as soon as possible. A bad boss not only hurts your morale, which can hinder your performance, but ...
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  • LOL: Bad Email Habits to Avoid

    We’ve all been victims to bad email habits. From receiving a late night angry rant without a single capitalized letter, to receiving an email that is impossible to read because a lengthy message is in the subject line. And we all have our own bad habits. Maybe our emails are too long, or we use too many emoji and not enough words that can be found in a dictionary. These habits waste time, hurt ...
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  • What We Can Learn from ESPN Reporter Britt McHenry's After Hours Conduct

    With the advent of social media, employees are no longer truly “off the clock.” This is highlighted by what recently occurred to Britt McHenry, a reporter for ESPN, who was suspended after she made some pretty awful comments to an employee who worked at a towing company. Britt McHenry McHenry left her car parked overnight at a restaurant even though a sign near the restaurant’s front door said, ...
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  • What We Can Learn from the $70 Million Dollar Pay Package for Google's New CFO

    Google recently hired Ruth Porat as its Chief Financial Officer. Porat will earn a whopping $650,000 in base salary, but that’s not all she will take home. In actuality, her total compensation package is worth $70 Million . Here are some of the aspects of her package that you should look into before accepting an offer: 1. Signing Bonus . Porat will be receiving a signing bonus of $5 Million ...
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  • Are Mistakes in Your Office Being Hidden?

    Are you confident your direct reports would bring a major mistake to your attention? A client of ours recently had to let an employee go because it was discovered that the employee had plugged in the wrong numbers on a contract and the mistake had the potential to cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the employee wasn’t fired because he made the mistake. He was fired because he ...
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  • Here's How Women (and Men) Might Someday Address the Pay Gap

    Last week we celebrated Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day that illustrates how far into the year a woman must work to earn the same amount made by a man in the previous year. Last month, an article published on the Bloomberg Business blog cited research showing that the gap at the most senior levels in business is even wider. The article attributed the chasm to differences in incentive compensation. ...
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  • IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY, IT'S HOW YOU SAY IT By: Bill Moller

    In order to better serve our readers, The Prinz Law Firm has invited experts in sales, business and leadership development, immigration, tax and accounting services, healthcare, and many other areas, to act as guest contributors on our blogs providing our readers with a broader range of content to help further your success. Our first guest contributor is Bill Moller, an award winning broadcast ...
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  • Wage Madness: Can and Should the NCAA Pay Student-Athletes?

    Congratulations to the Duke NCAA basketball team and Coach K for their recent NCAA Tournament victory. Also, congratulations to the NCAA for receiving billions of dollars from television companies for airing the games through 2024. NCAA coaches also receive a significant amount of money. While Duke does not have to say how much it pays Coach K, according to his tax records, he earned $9.7 million ...
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  • How the Ellen Pao Case Can Advance Women

    Ellen Pao lost her gender discrimination suit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, but her case brought gender discrimination and implicit bias into the spotlight and the forefront of business conversations. It has also brought to light how much colleagues play a role in an individual’s success. During the trial, Harvard Business School Professor Paul A. Gompers testified ...
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  • An Illinois Appellate Court Confirms The Two-Year Rule For Non-Compete Agreements

    A recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling – Prairie Rheumatology Associates, S.C. v. Francis – will benefit employees, while also providing some clarity regarding the law of non-compete clauses. During the summer of 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court in the First District made an important decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Serv., 2013 IL App (1st) 120327 . The Appellate Court ruled that a ...
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  • How to Plan Out Your Career Path

    A career path provides the necessary direction to achieve success. When I’m traveling somewhere new, I search for directions on my phone. There are several different paths I could take, but my goal is to find the most effective. Similar to traveling, there are several different paths we can take to achieve our goals throughout our careers. Creating a map – or a plan – is critical to ensuring that ...
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  • How to Advocate for Your Own Growth at a Large Company

    Prior to becoming a lawyer, I spent a few years working in a large corporation. I noticed right away that there were certain employees who quickly rose to the top and were known throughout the company, while countless others, many who had been with the company for over a decade, were stagnant. Why was this? I quickly learned that in large organizations, it’s easy to become a small fish in a vast ...
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  • Sit Down and Shut Up: My Experience with Meditation, Mindfulness, and a Radically Different Way to Work With Stress

    I have been practicing labor and employment litigation for ten years and have experienced more than my fair share of stress. All professions have their ups and downs. Legal work, however, can have its own stressors. Every day, we have to bring the energy to empathize with clients undergoing major upheavals in their lives. We also have to function while under the pull of constant, ever-conflicting ...
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  • How to Make the Most of Salary Negotiations

    Salary negotiations are notoriously difficult. In fact, many employees forgo negotiating all together and simply accept what’s offered to them. The difficulty often occurs because employees generally don’t know what they should ask for or how to go about asking for it. Whether you are accepting a new position or simply seeking a raise in your current role, here are some ways to help you make the ...
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  • Get What You Want in Writing Before You Sign the Contract

    Your company or your boss makes a verbal promise about payment terms, severance agreements, and other important factors related to your employment. However, time can change everyone’s memory, and intent. A promise that means one thing could be remembered completely differently years later as a lucrative severance package turns into no severance package. Thus, it is always critical to put key terms ...
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  • Making HR Work for You

    If you’re an executive and have direct reports, you should make sure you have your company’s HR department on speed dial. As much as you may be tempted to handle complicated employee problems on your own, HR is there to help. Not only can HR help make sure your employment practices comply with existing law, but HR can also help you navigate various employment issues with ease. When should you ...
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  • Five Ways to Re-Energize Your Job Search

    Even though the economy has been steadily improving, looking for a job can still be very disheartening. Especially for executives, a job search may last weeks or even longer. Above all, it is important to stay positive and think strategically about how you can accelerate your job search. This post describes five ways that you can re-energize your job search in the new year. Revamp Your Resume ...
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  • 3 Reasons You're Not Getting Hired and What to Do About It

    Job searches suck. There is nothing worse than sending a document that attempts to meticulously describe the professional you out into the abyss and never hearing back. And, even when you pivot, stop sending out cold resumes, and start working your network, sitting with strangers and trying to sell them on your skills is not much more fun. Why No Offer? There are tons of reasons why some people ...
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  • Getting Hired at a New Organization

    To begin the new year, we want to focus on job transition strategies. As the economy begins to improve, many executives find that it is worth the risk to see what other opportunities may await them in other organizations. You have probably made several resolutions for the upcoming year, and if one of those resolutions involves finding greater job satisfaction and security, it may be the perfect ...
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  • Ready For a Change?

    Time and time again, studies show that the old adage that it’s easier to find a job while employed than unemployed is true. If you’ve decided it’s time for a change, the best time to search for a job is while you are still employed by your current employer. This begs the question, how does one go about searching for a new job while employed? After all, searching for a new job is time consuming and ...
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  • Here's What You Should Know About Age Discrimination

    Age discrimination is prohibited by both the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”). Both Acts affect employers with fifteen (15) or more employees. To receive protection under the Act, an employee must be forty (40) years of age or older. It is not unlawful under the Act for an employer to favor an older worker over a younger one. It is ...
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