Blog Posts For Employees

  • Have you asked your employees about harassment? Nike didn't either.

    Earlier this year, at least six top male executives at Nike left or announced their impending departure. The departures came after Nike’s chief executive was presented with an unofficial, anonymous survey of female employees, in which they were asked if they had ever experienced sexual harassment or gender discrimination while at work. The results overwhelmingly described a hostile environment for ...
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  • Employment On-Boarding 101

    Starting a new job is never easy. Perhaps you’re dealing with the sometimes-messy task of resigning from your current employment, or maybe you are up to your neck in actual boxes and bubble wrap in preparation to relocate for the new position. Or perhaps you have been unemployed and this new role is a much-hoped for opportunity. But before you sign the offer letter, contract, or any other ...
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  • The Department of Labor's New PAID Program: Is it a Win for Employers & Employees?

    On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) shared a press release informing employers, employees, and taxpayers of its new Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) pilot program. The pilot will be launched by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL in an effort to resolve potential overtime and wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) more quickly and less ...
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  • Starbucks' Racial Blunder: How to Make Sure Your Employees Don't Make the Same Mistake

    By now, most everyone has heard about the wrongful arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks. To recap: the manager on duty at the time decided to call the police to have the two men arrested since they were not making a purchase, only waiting inside the store for their friend. In the aftermath, countless individuals—mostly white— attested to waiting at a Starbucks to meet a friend, use ...
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  • Four Simple Ways to Reduce the Pay Gap

    A few weeks ago, we recognized Equal Pay Day, the day of the year many women have to work until to earn the same amount their male counterparts earned the prior year. This year, it still took until April 10 for women to earn equal pay (keep in mind that date moves even further into the year when you compare what women of color earn when compared to white, non-hispanic men). While the fact that ...
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  • Work-Life Balance - What Are Your Rights?

    Many of us struggle with managing a family and a career. School days, educational opportunities, and extracurricular activities aren’t in sync with typical business hours. As a result, parents often have to make difficult decisions or come up with creative solutions in an attempt to “do it all,” which can be very stressful. I recently met a woman who was struggling with this work-life juggle. Her ...
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  • Does your New Company's Culture Fit?

    Starting a new position at a new company brings many exciting opportunities and challenges, including finding how your interests and identity align with the workplace culture. Employers may frequently espouse key terms like “diversity and inclusion” or “company culture” at interviews and on their website in an effort to better inform future employees about their commitment to creating a desirable ...
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  • Why Executives Need Their Own Personal Dream Team

    Change happens fast. And often when we least expect it. That’s one of the reasons we see so much job turnover. Companies typically forecast and plan ahead. Executives do so for their departments, but what about their careers? Too many individuals think they are just along for the ride. I remember listening to an economist on the radio discussing why any individual with a high income potential ...
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  • 3 Rules of Communication for Every Leader

    I have a good friend who is a strong and effective communicator in person. When it comes to email, however, she is downright rude. Sometimes her emails cross well into nasty territory. We have worked together on charitable boards and I have seen first-hand how alienating her email correspondence can be. It was through working with her that I learned my number one communication rule: Tough ...
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  • Can Using an Emoji Land You in Court?

    Take a minute and glance at your text messages, peruse social media, review your emails (both professional and personal). It’s almost certain that you’ll find little emojis littered throughout an otherwise dry or short communique. Emojis, or those little digital images formerly known as “emoticons,” were born in order to help provide more meaning and tone to the unfeeling landscape that is our ...
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  • How Do We Eliminate Negative Biases From Employment?

    We’ve all seen the results from numerous studies finding that diversity – be it gender, ethnic, racial, and/or cultural diversity – has impressive business benefits. [1] We know from the McKinsey Study that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have returns above national industry medians. At first glance, it seems that companies are recognizing and ...
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  • What laws should I be worried about after I leave my job?

    When you leave a job to start a new position, you are hoping to look forward instead of having to deal with issues with your former employer. To avoid legal problems, it is important to understand some of your post-employment obligations. Many employees sign employment agreements that contain non-compete or non-solicitation clauses. These clauses prohibit soliciting clients and employees from your ...
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  • What Counts as Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

    Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This includes eliminating sexual harassment. Prevention is critical, and employers can offer sexual harassment training and provide effective complaint or grievance filing processes to discourage sexual harassment. But what actually counts as sexual harassment in the workplace? Generally, offhand comments, ...
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  • Attorney Kristen Prinz Recognized as One of the Most Influential Women Lawyers by Crain's Chicago Business

    The Prinz Law Firm is thrilled to announce our very own Attorney Kristen Prinz has been recognized as one of 2017’s Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. This incredible honor highlights Attorney Prinz’s sincere dedication to her clients, colleagues, and community. Recognized amongst 60 women, this award is only distributed to women lawyers who were ...
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  • Illinois Discrimination Laws Protect Transgender Citizens

    Illinois is one of the most socially progressive states in the nation. It has been at the forefront of LGBT human rights for years, including adding protections in its Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) for LGBT individuals. In 2006, Illinois added “sexual orientation” to the state’s non-discrimination statute, which protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination based on their sexual ...
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  • Myths Professional Women Need to Banish!

    Myth # 1: The # 1 myth that STILL persists out there is the one that says "if I just work hard enough" or "if I just do a good enough job" ... Then I'll get noticed, promoted, a raise, a larger team, more responsibilities, the big project, a bigger budget, etc. Working harder doesn't get you ahead. It's working on the right things, cultivating the right relationships and making sure those who can ...
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  • Answers to the Top 5 Questions About the Cook County and Chicago Earned/Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

    1. What are the differences between the Cook County and Chicago Earned/Paid Sick Leave Ordinances? The Ordinances are virtually identical - the largest exception being references to location (City of Chicago versus Cook County) of applicability. If an employer complies with the Cook County Ordinance, it has also complied with the City Ordinance. An employee seeking relief from a local ...
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  • What's Enough?

    One of the most powerful coaching questions I ask executive women is “What’s enough?” It normally stops them in their tracks. These women are used to defining ‘enough’ as EVERYTHING! They are used to getting A+s all through school and now expect the same of themselves throughout their career. So what happens when “everything” becomes impossible to accomplish? Guilt, depression, stress, anxiety and ...
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  • How Do I Prove That My Employer Retaliated Against Me?

    If you were discriminated against in the workplace and took action or reported illegal conduct on the part of your employer, the law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you. Despite this protection, many employers still seek to punish employees who stand up for their rights and, surprisingly, more than a third of discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity ...
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  • Pregnancy Discrimination: Do You Know Your Rights?

    Women have experienced a long history of being treated unfairly in the workplace due to pregnancy and, in an effort to combat this unfair practice, federal, state and local laws have been passed. Pregnant and post-natal residents of Illinois are protected by the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IPA). ...
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  • Communication, Communication, Communication!

    As an executive recruiter, the number one complaint about recruiters is that they don’t return emails or phone calls, sometimes at all. It’s a valid frustration and I admittedly have let the ball drop during my career now and again (horrible I know)! I am sure if you are reading this, you probably have too (let’s be honest). I have seen an increase in poor communication in business dealings over ...
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  • Top 3 Reasons Why Women are Great Negotiators

    I’m really sick of reading how women need to change our tone or our style or our language, or anything for that matter, in negotiations. In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this week, I want to call out a bogus stereotype, that women are bad negotiators. Some of the best negotiators I know are women. And, I would bet that almost any man who is married to a woman would agree. Growing up, ...
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  • What Are My Rights as a Pregnant Employee?

    As an expecting woman in the workplace, you are already likely dealing with the challenges associated with the pregnancy process, such as morning sickness, frequent doctor’s visits, and discomfort. Having your rights violated by your employer should not have to be a concern of yours as you prepare to welcome a child into the world. Federal and Illinois laws can help you remain healthy, ensure that ...
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  • Change of Control - What is it and How Does it Work?

    When a company experiences a change in control, employees will likely begin feeling uneasy because of the unknowns. Change is inevitable and any successful company will need to be adequately prepared when a shift does occur. Changes of control often involve one of the following: Mergers Acquisitions Sale of assets Transitional events During these types of changes, the individuals whose hard work ...
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  • Can Transparency Lead to Equal Pay?

    Oracle America, Inc. is being sued by the Department of Labor over allegations that it pays white men more than its equivalent female, African American and Asian employees. The lawsuit also alleges that Oracle discriminates against non-Asian applicants in its hiring practices, and favors hiring Asian employees for technical roles. The lawsuit is related to Oracle’s federal contracts. Federal ...
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