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  • No Texting for Bicyclists

    While there are a few hardy souls who bike to work all winter long, spring weather brings out many more bicyclists riding along the lake front as well as in designated bike lanes on many of Chicago’s streets.  Cyclists who use these lanes often tell tales of errant car divers who have failed to obey the rules. But bicyclists must also obey the rules and one that you may be unfamiliar with is, just like car drivers, it is against the law for bicyclists to use their cell phones to text or talk unless using a hands free device. The ordinance, which went into effect in this past March, fines violators $20 for their first offense, and $100 for three or more violations. Everyone agrees that automobile drivers endanger everyone around them when they talk or text while driving, but bicyclists also pose a very real threat to road safety when they clutch a cell phone while biking.

  • Don’t Talk, Don’t Tell

    Have you ever been told you are not allowed to discuss your salary with co-workers? Many companies have polices that strictly prohibit it. Often a statement such as this appears in the employee handbook “Confidentiality of Salary and Benefit Information: Employees are prohibited from discussing their salary or wage levels and company benefits with other employees. Such information is confidential and may not be discussed in the workplace. Any employee violating this policy will be considered to have committed a breach of confidentiality and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and possibly including termination of employment.” Colorado just became the fourth state to forbid employers to require that employees refrain from discussions about wages, and does not allow employers to require an employee to sign a waiver of their right to have such discussions. Illinois is among the three other states that have laws in place that protect a worker’s right to discuss their wages, along with California and Michigan. The Illinois Equal Pay Act states that it is unlawful for any employer to discharge or discriminate against any employee for talking about, comparing, or discussing their wages or the wages of any other employee (820 ILCS 112/10(b). Illinois also has a web page titled The Illinois Transparency & Accountability Portal  which allows anyone to view state employees’ and individual consultants’ gross pay. The National Labor Relations Act Section 7 (29 U.S.C. § 157), also states that all employees have the right to “engage in concerted activities”, including the right to discuss their terms and conditions of employment with one another other. Employers do have the right to disallow employees from having those discussions during the times they are supposed to be working but an employer cannot prohibit pay discussions, while allowing other types of conversations unrelated to work. Rather than being concerned that employees will uncover unfair or uneven salaries, it is far better that employers actively promote their practice’s regarding promotion, pay increases, and benefits.

  • Roller Bladers Can Now Legal Skate On Raod

    Under a new law, effective January 1st of this year, inline skaters and roller bladers can now skate in the road, though not within the City of Chicago. According to the statute, written on behalf of Elmhurst attorney and speed skater Ben Neiburger with the assistance of Illinois State Representative Chris Nybo, skaters and pedestrians do not have to try to use sidewalks together. Now, skaters 18 years and older, can skate on the roads in all Illinois cities with populations below 2 million though skaters do have some restrictions. Skating on roadways is restricted to daylight hours, roads must be posted at no more than 45 mph and skaters must not “impede or obstruct other vehicular traffic.” Before this law went into effect, skaters were either required to skate on sidewalks, a danger to themselves and pedestrians with speeds of up to 20 mph, or skate against traffic, similar to pedestrians walking in roadways when sidewalks are unavailable. The law does not stop skaters from using the sidewalks though some areas and towns have their own prohibition against that use. While some people have expressed concern about skaters in roadways, speed skaters feel that they, like bicyclists, understand the risks and will be vigilant about traffic conditions while skating.

  • Mis-labeled or Deceptive Food Labeled Products

    Ankin Law Office LLC is currently looking into a potential case involving the following food products. If you use any of these please email us your name, phone number and the name of the product that you use. CAMPBELL SOUP CO. Campbell’s Healthy Request soups: Chicken with egg noodles (microwaveable tub, 100% Natural)Bean with bacon (condensed)Beef with country vegetables (Chunky) Cheddar cheese (condensed) Chicken with corn chowder (Chunky) Chicken noodle (condensed) Chicken rice (condensed) Chicken with whole grain pasta (100% Natural) Chicken noodle (microwaveable tub, Chunky) Classic chicken noodle (Chunky) Cream of celery (condensed) Cream of chicken (condensed) Cream of mushroom (condensed) Grilled chicken and sausage gumbo (microwaveable tub, Chunky) Grilled chicken and sausage gumbo (Chunky) Hearty Italian-style wedding (Chunky) Homestyle chicken noodle (condensed) Italian-style wedding (microwaveable tub, 100% Natural) Italian-style wedding (100% Natural) Mexican-style chicken tortilla (100% Natural) Mexican-style chicken tortilla (microwaveable tub, 100% Natural) Minestrone (condensed) New England clam chowder (Chunky) Old fashioned vegetable beef (Chunky) Pasta fagioli (100% Natural) Roasted chicken with country vegetables (Chunky) Savory chicken and brown rice (microwaveable bowl, 100% Natural) Sirloin burger with country vegetables (Chunky) Split pea and ham (Chunky) Tomato basil (100% Natural condensed) Tomato (condensed) Vegetable beef (condensed) Vegetable (Chunky) Vegetable (condensed) Pepperidge Farm breads:100% Whole Wheat Hearty Texture Whole Grain Bread100% Whole Wheat Whole Grain Bagels 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins Farmhouse 100% Whole Wheat Bread Farmhouse Whole Grain White Bread Light Style 7 Grain Bread Light Style Extra Fiber Bread Light Style Soft Wheat Bread Soft 7 Grain Sandwich Buns Prego sauces:Heart Smart Mushroom Italian SauceHeart Smart Ricotta Parmesan Italian Sauce Heart Smart Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Italian Sauce Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce V8 juices:Original 100% Vegetable JuiceV.Fusion Acai Mixed Berry V.Fusion Concord Grape Raspberry V.Fusion Cranberry Blackberry V.Fusion Goji Raspberry V.Fusion Peach Mango V.Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry V.Fusion Smoothie Mango V.Fusion Smoothie Strawberry Banana V.Fusion Smoothie Wild Berry V.Fusion Strawberry Banana V.Fusion Tropical Orange   BOAR’S HEAD PROVISIONS CO., INC. Deli meats:All natural roasted turkey breast with lemon and herbAll natural uncured ham Blazing buffalo style oven roasted chicken breast Deluxe 42% lower sodium ham Cracked pepper mill smoked turkey breast EverRoast oven roasted chicken breast Maple glazed honey coat cured turkey breast Mesquite wood smoked skinless roasted breast of turkey Pastrami seasoned turkey breast Rotisserie seasoned oven roasted turkey breast Salsalito roasted turkey breast All American BBQ seasoned oven roasted chicken breast All natural roasted[READ MORE…]

  • New Foreclosure Rules

    The new mandatory regulations regarding foreclosures, recently developed by the Illinois Supreme Court, went into effect on Match 1st. The rules came about due to the deceptive practices that judges observed as well as the fact that homeowners often don’t appear in court, believing that they have little or no chance of fighting mortgage lenders. With more than 77,000 foreclosure cases pending in  Cook County alone, the Court adopted three new rules which require, among other things, foreclosure counseling for homeowners, proof of the homeowner’s debt and proof that a mortgage modification is not possible. Now borrowers have their day in court and, according to Judge Lewis Nixon who headed the Supreme Court Committee on foreclosures which developed the rules, if they are proactive in trying to save their home the judge can now order the lenders to work with them.  

  • Child Support Law Strengthened

    The goal in determining and providing child support is to ensure that every child receives the financial support necessary to enable them to lead a happy and healthy life regardless of the marital status of their parents. There are legal guidelines used to determine the percentage of income owed by the non-custodial parent to the primary or custodial parent but often, due to bitterness or hatred on the part of the parents, child support goes unpaid. Then the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Attorney General’s office may be forced to step in to mediate and enforce child support payments. A new law, (SB 3549/PA 97-1029), went into effect this year that offers an additional tool to assist the Courts in pursuing child support from a non-custodial parent who has been found guilty of failure to comply with an order to pay child support. This law is aimed at parents whose wages cannot be garnished because they are self-employed. The court can now require these individuals provide monthly financial statements, and detailed written reports regarding their job search efforts, as well as require them to report to the Department of Employment Security for job search services so that they can obtain employment in order to pay child support. Illinois wants to insure that parents participate in supporting their children.    

  • Illinois Crime Victims Bill of Rights

    New laws require police officials in many capacities to receive additional education. First, The Illinois Police Training Act has been amended this year to include specific education for police trainees to recognize the signs of possible senior adult abuse and neglect. Second, the Illinois Police Training Act provides training techniques designed to promote effective communication during the officers’ initial contact with crime victims. Training will include methods for explaining the Crime Victims Compensation Act to victims and witnesses. The Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Program provides financial assistance to victims of violent crimes, reimbursing their out-of-pocket expenses. Third, officer trainees will explain the Illinois Crime Victims Bill of Rights, which lays out ten rights including items such as the right to be protected from the accused during the trial and the right to make a statement at sentencing. Fourth, effective January 1st of 2013, the State Police Training has been expanded to include training State police officers to identify the symptoms of PTSD and to respond in an appropriate manner to individuals who exhibit those symptoms. It is hoped that these trainings will help educate police officers and improve their interactions with victims, and witnesses as well as safely respond to potential threats made by individuals suffering from PSTD.  

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    ankin law office llc

    162 West Grand Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60654
    Toll Free: 800-442-6546
    Local: 312-346-8780

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    Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.