Small Business Concerns: What You Should Know About the New Anti-Discrimination Bill

DuPage County small business attorneysAlthough small businesses have started to become more optimistic about their future, the state of Illinois can make it difficult for them to keep their doors open. A lot of the issues can be attributed to the growing list of regulations to which small businesses must comply. Now the state wants to add yet another regulation that could open small business owners up to frivolous and expensive lawsuits over purported discrimination. Learn more about this bill and what it could mean for your small business, and discover how our seasoned small business attorneys may be able to help you mitigate the issues that could arise if the bill is passed. 

Lawmaker Pushing for Anti-Discrimination Bill 

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, is pushing for an anti-discrimination bill that would allow the employees of small businesses to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination based on gender, status, religion, or other identifying factors protected by law. If passed, the law would impact all businesses with 15 or more employees. Small businesses have been exempt from such lawsuits up to this point. A single lawsuit could cost the company tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars if the employee wins, and even if the employee loses, the legal fees could still be enough to drive a small business into bankruptcy. 

Those who oppose the bill argue that most small businesses treat their employees more like family than workers – and they are correct. Most small businesses are working hard to increase their pool of quality employees – not fire them. When they do find the employees they are looking for, they tend to become part of a close-knit “family,” and are typically only let go for serious infractions. Firing them based on matters like gender or religion would be counterproductive to their goals and values. 

Protecting Your Small Business from Discrimination Lawsuits 

Whether your small business is just big enough to be covered under the current anti-discrimination laws, or you are at risk of facing them if the bill passes, it is critical that you have a solid and sound process for terminating employees. One should also have a clear and concise employee handbook that outlines what you expect out of your employees. Of course, drafting such a document typically requires a great deal of time and at least some knowledge of the law. Most small business owners lack in at least one of these areas (typically the time).

Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC understands the struggles that small businesses face because we are one. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, we can handle the legal aspects of protecting your business so that you can focus on what matters most. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a consultation with our DuPage County small business lawyers to get started today. 


Growing Access to Data and How It Is Affecting the CRE Market

Wheaton commercial real estate lawyersTechnology has changed how we communicate with family and friends. It has made shopping easier and more convenient. It has even changed how people invest their money. Yet, when it comes to the commercial real estate market, not much has changed. Investors still rely heavily on traditional methods for buying and selling property – but all of that is slowly starting to change. 

New technology-based companies are cropping up. They are giving commercial real estate (CRE) investors that chance to access real-time data, such as neighborhood statistics, buyers and sellers, analytics, and even the asset itself. What does all this mean for the CRE market’s future, and how can you get in on the game? The following information explains, and it details how the aid of a seasoned, competent commercial real estate lawyer can help you stay on the cutting edge. 

A Closer Look at Technology in the CRE Market

Though CRE investors were slow to catch on to the technology trend, they have sunk over $5 billion into CRE-based technology in the past year alone. That a tremendous increase from the $33 million investment back in 2010. The reason for the growth is clear: not only are investors gaining access to real-time data and analytics, they are also finding that technology can take them expand their portfolios in ways they had never imagined. 

The market is still hyper-local, so investors often focus their time and energy into learning all they can about specific neighborhoods. Thanks to technology, many are gaining a better understanding of markets they had never previously considered – places they may not have any prior knowledge about and may not be able to visit in person – and all with far less risk.

Buyers are not the only ones benefiting from the expansion of technology in the CRE market either. With the help of technology, sellers pull in more bidders, which often means a better deal for them. In turn, they are able to increase their profits and invest more into future purchases. 

Looking to the Future – Are More Positive Changes on the Horizon? 

While one can only speculate as to how technology may further improve the CRE market, many experts believe that there are additional positive changes on the horizon. Specifically, they foresee an easier, faster processing of contracts, which could benefit both buyers and sellers and supercharge the already highly profitable industry. 

Industry experts are also expecting to have Alexa-guided 3D tours of properties, which will be viewed through cameras placed throughout the property, which would mean buyers would no longer have to travel to gain a realistic view of what they are planning to purchase. In short, investors will spend less money and less time procuring and selling new business ventures. There will still be a need for careful consideration, especially when it comes to matters like due diligence and negotiating a contract. This is where the aid of an attorney comes in.

Contact Our Wheaton Commercial Real Estate Lawyers 

Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC believes in making commercial real estate transactions easier and seamless so that our clients can focus on what is most important – growing and expanding your portfolio. Dedicated and experienced, our Wheaton commercial real estate lawyers handle al the legal aspects of your deal, including due diligence and contract negotiation. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling our offices at 630-665-2500.


Examining the Most Common Estate Planning Myths

Wheaton will and trust lawyersPeople may put off estate planning for a variety of reasons. Most are born out of estate planning myths – assumptions that simply are not true. Learn why estate planning is an important task for everyone, regardless of their situation, and discover how a seasoned estate planning lawyer can assist you with the process in the following sections. 

“Only the Rich Need an Estate Plan”

Perhaps one of the biggest estate planning misconceptions is that the process is only for the extremely wealthy. While, yes, a comprehensive estate plan is important for reducing the tax load of the wealthy, even those with moderate to small estates can benefit from the process. Often, people do not know their true value. They may have assets that they have forgotten about, or their savings and retirement accounts may have accrued more interest than expected. If the individual has children, this alone facilitates the creation of a will, as it is important that families ensure their children end up with the guardian or guardians they feel to be the most suitable. 

“Estate Plans Are Not Necessary Until Later in Life”

People often put off estate planning because they think it is not necessary until they start reaching retirement. Unfortunately, this can leave a family vulnerable to extreme loss and stress if a tragedy happens. A child may be left without a guardian if their parents pass away, an incapacitated individual may not have anyone to make medical or financial decisions for them, or a deceased individual’s retirement account may go to an ex-spouse instead of their children or current spouse. All these oversights, and more, can be avoided through careful estate planning. 

“I Only Need a Will to Protect My Family and Assets”

While a will can cover a great deal of your assets, it cannot handle all estate planning matters. A will does not cover joint assets, and it cannot override an account with a designated beneficiary. It is also important to note that a will does not necessarily cover you if you become incapacitated and unable to make medical or financial decisions for yourself. Instead, you would need other estate planning documents, such as a living will or power of attorney. 

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

With more than 40 years of experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC knows what it takes to ensure that a party’s assets and heirs are protected once they have passed. We start by carefully examining your situation, and then we explain the estate planning process and documents in a way that help you fully understand your options so that you can create a comprehensive plan that suits your needs. Schedule your personalized consultation with our DuPage County estate planning lawyers by calling 630-665-2500 today.