Legal Knowledge, Practical Advice
At Feldman Law Offices, Ltd., we help our clients to work and live smarter. After more than a decade of working in a “big firm” environment, we decided to create a different kind of law firm. Our firm combines the talent and experience our clients demand with the quality of services and attention they deserve. At Feldman Law Offices, we focus not only on practicing law and solving clients’ problems but also on building real relationships with our clients based on trust and confidence.
We have the legal and business expertise you will want to help you navigate the legal complexities of your business and personal lives. We represent corporate clients and individuals in the broad array of legal matters, such as entity selection and incorporation, preparing operating and partnership agreements, employment and wage & hour matters, mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, and business combinations.
Feldman Law Offices, Ltd. is a Chicago-area corporate and labor and employment law firm, located in the heart of Lake Forest, Illinois. We serve our clients in the Northeast suburbs of Chicago, including Libertyville, Glenview, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Northbrook, Lincolnshire, Grayslake, and Gurnee areas. We also serve our clients in the Southeastern Wisconsin, including Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, and Milwaukee counties. We represent corporate clients ranging from small family businesses to middle market enterprises in the various business matters, such as entity incorporation, partnership agreements, employment agreements, contracts, non-competition and severance agreements, risk management, mergers and business combinations. We also represent employees who have been harassed, discriminated against, wrongfully terminated, or exposed to a hostile work environment. Our clients are primarily located in the Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin.
Let us help you to control your legal challenges and manage your risks so you can concentrate on running your business and enjoy your lives. We are committed to be your best counsel and most trustworthy legal resource. The majority of matters we handle concern the following areas:
Business Law and Risk Management
Our firm represents small business start-ups, as well as established small and mid-size businesses and non-profit organizations. Our lawyers can help business owners and organizations from the initial election of the appropriate corporate form all the way through long term planning, day-to-day operations and crisis intervention. Whether you are an established business owner or a start-up company located in Illinois or Wisconsin, our attorneys can help you decide whether you want to operate as a closely held business, limited liability company, partnership, co-operative, S-corporation, C-corporation, standard stock corporation, or sole proprietorship. We will use our legal knowledge and experience to help guide your business through any challenge so you can focus on your business development.
Our attorneys help our clients draft employee handbooks, set-up personnel policies and procedures, and advise our clients about directors’ and officers’ liability, joint ventures, mergers, dissolutions, start-ups, and shareholders’ rights. Our firm provides assistance with drafting and enforcing contracts, representing with government agencies, relationship with financial institutions, collections, commercial defense, training for members of boards of directors (profit and non-profit), and day-to-day legal matters.
Our firm also offers an in-house outsourcing program where, for a monthly retainer, small business owners can call our lawyers to receive legal advice and answers to questions about their personnel relationships, contracts, vendors, collection of receivables, and regulatory compliance. The program’s main goal is to, at reasonable and predictable costs, offer our clients a proactive approach to managing their legal needs and while avoiding costly mistakes.
Labor and Employment
Overtime and Wage and Hour Claims
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the oldest federal employment laws; a Depression-era law, that establishes certain minimum wage and overtime standards applicable to virtually all U.S. employers and employees. The FLSA also includes provisions applicable to child labor laws. There are two key provisions of the FLSA that impact just about every employee in this country: the minimum wage provision and the overtime provision.
If you suspect your employer is wrongfully denying you overtime pay or improperly withhold your salary, contact Feldman Law Offices and our dedicated lawyers who can recover wages and salaries owed to you. However, you only have a certain amount of time to file your claim. Failing to file a claim within this time period may prevent you from ever collecting unpaid overtime or salary.
Overtime laws are incredibly complex, and some employers, in an attempt to avoid paying overtime wages in this difficult economy, rely on a number of rules and broad exemptions to avoid their obligation to pay overtime wages. Unpaid overtime is one of the most frequent sources of employee complaints and represents the fastest growing type of employment litigation in federal courts.
Feldman Law Offices handles unemployment litigation in the administrative system, including unemployment compensation for wrongful discharge, misconduct, and other employment disputes. Initial unemployment compensation hearings provide an excellent opportunity to obtain information from an employer and understand the employer’s position, which can be used to support the future employment litigation.
Sexual, Racial & All Forms of Harassment
Feldman Law Offices handles sexual and racial harassment cases as well as harassment against employees with disabilities or against the foreign born. If you need a race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, or age discrimination attorney in Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin, contact us. We are often able to terminate harassment by contacting and educating an employer that has no interest in encouraging litigation. We may recommend and pursue litigation when cooperation cannot be achieved.
We handle all types of employment discrimination matters from preliminary advice to federal or state litigation. This includes claims under the Illinois and Wisconsin fair employment statutes; the Americans with Disabilities Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and other employment protections.
Discrimination claims can often be elusive in that it is difficult to discern whether an employer’s decision to fire, not hire, or not to promote is based on the employee’s protected status or class. Protected classes, among others, are generally considered race, gender, national origin, age or disability. We examine all aspects of an employee’s employment to determine whether an employee has a claim for employment discrimination or whether the employer was acting in a non-discriminatory manner. The federal discrimination laws have very short and very strict time limits. Depending on a state, you may need to file your charge of discrimination no later than 180 days after the last act of discrimination against you. In Illinois and Wisconsin you have additional time file your claim because of the work-sharing arrangement between the EEOC and the corresponding state agencies. Missing the deadline may result in you losing your claim. Generally, filing your claim with the EEOC or its state counterpart is deemed as if your claim is filed in both agencies.
Race & Color Discrimination
Because of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race and color as well as national origin, sex, and religion, we handle all types of employment discrimination matters from gender to association with an individual of a different race; membership in or association with ethnic organizations or groups; attendance or participation in schools or places of worship generally associated with certain minority groups; or other cultural practices or characteristics often linked to race or ethnicity, such as cultural dress or manner of speech.
It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race or color in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. Title VII also prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of certain racial groups. If you or someone you know have been the victim of race or color discrimination, you need to take immediate action, as the time limits for filing a discrimination claim are short.
National Origin Discrimination
It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant because of the individual’s national origin. Generally, employees can not be denied equal employment opportunity because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group, or accent. Equal employment opportunity cannot be denied because of marriage or association with persons of a national origin group; membership or association with specific ethnic promotion groups; attendance or participation in schools, churches, or temples generally associated with a national origin group; or a surname associated with a national origin group.
Importantly, employees are protected against national origin discrimination regardless of their citizenship status. However, if an employee is not authorized to live or work in the United States, his or her relief may be limited, and it may be more difficult to establish the necessary elements of discrimination.
Feldman Law Offices will work hard to get the relief you’re entitled to for national origin discrimination. Speak up because no one else will! Our lawyers are experienced in handling national origin discrimination cases, and we will help you fight your case.
Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of his age, and Feldman Law Offices handles those affected by age discrimination pursue legal action.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) only forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states do have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination. Generally, it is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are both over 40. Under the ADEA, you have a relatively short time limit for filing claims. If you fail to meet this deadline, you could lose the right to bring an age discrimination claim. Feldman Law Offices can help you sort out your rights and determine whether you have been discriminated against because of your age.
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability. Feldman Law Offices works to help and protect its clients who have been affected by an employer with disability discrimination. Law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer (i.e. “undue hardship”). Recent amendments to the ADA substantially expanded the applicable scope of the ADA, thereby expanding its protections onto a much greater number of employees.
Whenever you have a disability or serious medical condition, your case may involve many other federal and state laws in addition to the ADA, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, or your rights under a short or long term disability plan. Cases under the ADA can be complicated because of changes in law and because of interrelationships among various employment discrimination laws. If you believe you were discriminated against or your request(s) for accommodation have been denied, you need an experienced attorney on your side. If you have a serious injury limiting your ability to work or affecting your major life functions, and believe you are being discriminated against, contact us immediately.
We work to protect against religious discrimination for our clients which involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination laws have three protections:
- Employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate your religious beliefs and practices in the workplace;
- Co-employees and your employer may not impose its religious views on you; and
- Because of your religious beliefs, your employer may not take adverse action against you which includes harassment.
We help educate our client’s awareness that employers cannot treat employees unfavorably on the basis of gender. It would be beneficial to explore your right to address gender discrimination if you think your employer is singling you out based on your gender and/or your connection with an organization or group that is typically associated with people of a certain gender.
Title VII prohibits discrimination “because of” an employee’s gender which means your employer may not take an adverse action against you because of your gender. To say it plainly your gender cannot play a role in any aspect of your employment, including hiring, transfers, promotions, pay, disciplinary action, suspensions, and discharges. The Equal Pay Act, a related law, requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work. Consider contacting us if you feel that your work environment is offensive or you have been subject to a demotion or termination as a result of reporting harassment because there are laws against gender discrimination.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Pregnancy discrimination comes in many forms which can include all of the following actions by an employer: refusing to hire a pregnant applicant; firing or demoting a pregnant employee; denying the same or a similar job to a pregnant employee when she returns from a pregnancy-related leave; and treating a pregnant employee differently than other temporarily disabled employees.
Pregnant women must be treated equally to non-pregnant individuals although this doesn’t mean that pregnant women are entitled to special treatment. As an example, if your company gives extra leaves of absence to employees with medical conditions, they must extend this practice to pregnant women. Pregnant employees may have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is enforced by the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you feel you have been discriminated against because you are pregnant call Feldman Law Offices today, and we’ll get started on your case.
Family and Medical Leave Act
Balancing work and family is not easy especially if you or someone in your family gets sick or to care for a new baby. The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks annually in the following, among others, circumstances:
- For the birth of a child and to care for the newborn
- Adoption of a child
- To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
- Employee’s own health condition
The attorneys at have years of experience in dealing with FMLA, which is a complicated law with a number of detailed requirements. If you are considering requesting a leave of absence, are getting ready to return to work from your leave, or your company has retaliated against you for requesting or taking leave contact us and we’ll get started on your case.
Non-Competition, Employment and Severance Agreements
How you join or leave an employer can have a major effect on your career. If you are an employee you can protect your interests with a few simple measures. First and foremost, your agreement needs to be carefully reviewed before you sign and discuss it with an attorney.
Feldman Law Offices provides advice and services to employees regarding employment contracts, non-compete agreements and severance agreements. Working to protect our clients’ rights and to enhance and preserve their future earning capacity is what we strive to do. We also provide advice to small employers concerning the same types of contracts and agreements.
Feldman Law Offices drafts, reviews and negotiates employment contracts on behalf of employees and small businesses throughout Northern Illinois & Southeastern Wisconsin. We have years of experience in this field and will apply our skills to protect your interests.
With extensive experience drafting and negotiating severance agreements on behalf of individuals and employers, Feldman Law Offices works to protect an employee’s reputation and ability to obtain employment at another company. In some cases, we can extend the official term of employment to preserve or enable retirement benefits or allow provision for an extension of medical insurance coverage. Often, the circumstances underlying the employment termination play an import role in the negotiation and terms of the severance agreements.
Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements
After many years of working for a company, many employees decide to go off on their own and start their own business venture. As exciting as that can be, many employers make their employees sign a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement, which limits or prevents their former employee from starting their own businesses or working for another employers, often in the industry that does not necessary competing with the former employer.
As with a typical non-compete agreement, your employer can restrict you from engaging in a competing business during your employment, and for a certain period of time after you leave your employment, and in a certain geographical area. Typically these agreements do not last more than two-three years, and prohibit you from working for a competitor in the general area. However, some employers try to obtain a more restrictive agreement.
Non-solicitation agreements are another way for businesses to protect themselves. Non-solicitation agreements are meant to protect a company’s proprietary information about its customers and employees where they seek to restrict you from soliciting current clients or employees of your current company or firm from doing business with you, and to restrict you from soliciting clients of the firm from doing business with you after you leave your company. Often, non-solicitation provisions are included in non-compete agreements. You should be careful when signing a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement as these types of agreements have time and geographical restrictions that may negatively affect your future employment opportunities.
Wrongful Discharge and Retaliation
Title VII and the other discrimination laws prohibit retaliation in the workplace and the right to be free from retaliation is valued by all. Contact Feldman Law Offices if you feel you have been subjected to discrimination and are afraid to pursue your case for fear of retaliation or wrongful termination or if you are afraid that you may suffer or have already suffered retaliation. Retaliation cases are often easier to win than a discrimination or harassment case. To prove retaliation, you don’t have to prove that you were actually discriminated against and then fired for complaining. All you have to show is that you reasonably believed that you were discriminated against and then subjected to an adverse action. Even if you were wrong about the discrimination, if you honestly and reasonably believed you were discriminated against, you can still win the retaliation case.
No matter what kind of employment case you have, the fear of retaliation has a tendency to hover in your mind. You don’t have to suffer in silence; we can help you fight back. Contact Feldman Law Offices today!
The law protects a whistleblower because the public relies on those to ensure public health and safety, keep corporations honest, and to prevent fraud of taxpayer funds. For example if you see someone doing something illegal at your workplace and say nothing someone could get hurt, ripped off or you could get hurt. On the other hand, if you say something your employer might retaliate against you. There are laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against you for blowing the whistle on illegal conduct.
There are a number of federal and state whistleblower laws that protect you when you blow the whistle. However, it’s important to note that some of these laws have extremely short statutes of limitations, so it’s important that you contact a qualified attorney without delay.
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