Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD

Warehouses pose dangers for workers

Anecdotal evidence suggests that more workers than ever are employed in Illinois warehouses as the online shopping segment continues to grow. To fulfill those millions of online orders received each day, warehouse workers must package, select and ship out the products on demand. With just one company, Amazon, controlling more than 150 million square footage of warehouse space around the globe and many more competitors following, warehouses are in many cases replacing brick-and-mortar retail stores. This also means that there are more full-time workers in warehouses and even part-time workers looking for supplemental income around the holidays.

As warehouses become even more dominant in the retail industry landscape, warehouse jobs may also become riskier. In 2017, 22 workers were killed in workplace accidents in warehouses, double the number who lost their lives only two years before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that five out of every 100 full-time employees in warehouses are likely to be injured, an equivalent rate to farmworkers. Even the drive toward automation can be dangerous. Autonomous forklifts, robots and other devices may be intended to cut down on human labor, but they can also lead to serious injuries to the workers interacting with them.

These construction site accidents can cause serious injury, death

When working on a construction site, you understand the importance of taking steps to protect yourself from an accident that could cause serious injury or even death.

And while you're successful in doing so most the time, it only takes one mistake by yourself or a co-worker to put your safety at risk.

McDonald's workers sue over dangerous conditions

A lawsuit filed in an Illinois circuit court on Nov. 21 by 17 fast food workers accuses McDonald's Corp. and several of its Chicago area franchisees of placing profits over employee safety. The workers say that a $6 billion project to redesign McDonald's restaurants is making already dangerous working conditions even more perilous. The 'Experience the Future" remodeling program is designed to make McDonald's restaurants more attractive and modern, but the workers say that the lower counters now being installed are making it easier for angry patrons to launch violent attacks.

The lawsuit claims that McDonald's and its franchisees are well aware of the dangerous working conditions in many Chicago restaurants and points out that workers call the city's police department for assistance more than 20 times every day. In recent months, McDonald's workers in Chicago have been violently assaulted, threatened by customers brandishing guns and had food and kitchen equipment thrown at them. One restaurant attack involved a worker who was urinated on by an enraged patron.

Driving tips for winter weather

The holidays are delightful, but the winter weather in Illinois can be frightful. Luckily, there are several things area drivers can do to stay safe on snowy and icy roads, according to traffic safety experts.

First of all, people should avoid driving in winter weather whenever possible. If leaving the house during a storm isn't absolutely necessary, they should stay home and wait it out. However, if they must go out, drivers should remember to slow down and leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. They should also gently accelerate and brake to avoid skidding on slippery roads.

Should you wait to take control of your finances during divorce?

While there are plenty of warnings out there about the consequences you could face if you move money around, hide assets or spend frivolously during your divorce, it is not required that you suspend all efforts to deal with your finances. In fact, if you are getting divorced in Illinois, one of the first things you should do is begin taking the steps to organize and manage your money to prepare for independence again. 

In regards to your finances and the assets you share with your spouse, there are definite dos and don'ts to be aware of. A bit of research can provide you with a reliable list of behaviors to avoid so that you can stay out of legal trouble and effectively strengthen your reputation as someone with integrity. Drawing upon your knowledge of behaviors to avoid, as well as staying honest and respectful throughout your trial may be able to provide your case with evidence that could support a more beneficial outcome for you. 

Continuing coverage with your ex-spouse's insurance

Pending divorce proceedings in Fox Lake offer you the chance to sit and consider those things that will change once your divorce becomes final. One of them may be the association that you have with your ex-spouse’s employer. While that may seem to be a small matter at first, the thought can quickly become alarming once you realize that it may be only through said employer’s group health plan that you are able to afford the cost of healthcare for you and your children. Many in your same situation have come to us here at Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD panicked that they will be with health insurance. Are such concerns valid?

They are in from the perspective that you will need to eventually secure coverage for yourself (either by securing a job with a company that offers such a benefit, purchasing coverage on your own or remarrying one who has coverage). In the immediate, however, protection afforded through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act allows you to remain on your ex-spouse’s plan for up to three years from the date your divorce becomes final.

Defining workers' compensation requirements

If one is injured at work in Waukegan, workers’ compensation should help to cover the costs associated with that injury. At least that is the assumption that most have. Yet should workers’ compensation benefits be a hope or an expectation? Many might fear going to their employer after having sustained an injury while on the job and being told that their companies do not offer workers’ compensation benefits (presumably because they are not required to). Knowing, then, exactly who is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees will go a long way in assuaging these concerns. 

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, nearly everyone who is formally hired to provide a professional service should be extended workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury (indeed, the organization estimates that roughly 91 percent of the state’s workforce qualifies for such benefits). Many might mistakenly think that companies need to employ a certain number of people to be required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Yet in a majority of cases, even those who employ only a single employee are likely required to provide such benefits. 

Workers' compensation coverage scope

If you have a job in Illinois, you should be aware of your rights as an employee and how you can protect yourself in a variety of situations. One of these situations may involve after you may be involved in a work-related accident. Another situation that may require your action could be if you develop an illness that is somehow connected to the environment in which you work or the nature of the work you are required to perform. 

These are just some things that may necessitate you seeking assistance from the state's workers' compensation program. Every state has its own program for these benefits and in Illinois, it is good to know that these benefits are extended to an incredibly broad range of workers. As explained by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, all private and public employers are mandated to carry workers' compensation coverage in some manner. This may be via a third-party insurance policy or via their own method to be self-insured.

DUI defense options in Illinois

Being pulled over and asked to perform a Breathalyzer test can be a surprising thing to happen to you, and you will likely be nervous or upset when you have this experience. It may be difficult to recall the events in detail, because the entire episode may feel like a blur. If your Breathalyzer test measured your blood alcohol percentage (BAC) at 0.08% or higher, you will be facing DUI charges.

However, a Breathalyzer test result is not always definitive proof that you were driving over the legal alcohol limit. This is because these tests are notoriously inaccurate. They can malfunction, give false-positive results or be influenced by medical conditions that you have. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in Illinois, you should understand all of the defense options you have at your disposal.

How does alcohol end up in your breath?

A number that you will hear time and time again associated with alleged DUI offenses in Fox Lake is .08. That is the near-universal blood-alcohol limit assigned to intoxication. That the measurement of the alcohol content of your blood, however, is what determines whether you are driving under the influence might seem confusing, as law enforcement officials do not test your blood after stopping you for suspicion of DUI. Rather, they test your breath. 

This begs the question of how your breath can provide an accurate measurement of the content of your blood. Per the Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, the type of alcohol that you ingest when drinking is ethanol. This is a water-soluble compound that can pass through membrane surfaces in the body through a process known as passive diffusion. Thus, much of the ethanol that you ingest will eventually pass through the lining of the organs of your gastrointestinal tract and into your capillaries, and eventually, your veins. 

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Fox Lake Office
PO Box 86, 74 E. Grand Ave.
Fox Lake, IL 60020

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