Cynthia Pietrucha

Cynthia Pietrucha

Pietrucha Law Firm, LLC
  • Employment Law, Business Law, Arbitration & Mediation...
  • Illinois
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Summary

For all of your employment challenges, contact our firm at (630) 344-6370

My focus: Severance Agreements and Unemployment Benefits for Terminated Employees.

I have successfully collected settlements on behalf of employees who believe they have valid legal disputes. Whether you are in the midst of a dispute or you would like to prevent future litigation, lawyers at Pietrucha Law Firm, LLC, can act as your guide and representative to ensure the protection of your rights and your future.

Practice Areas
  • Employment Law
  • Business Law
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Consumer Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Severance Agreement
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    We accept all major credits and PayPal.
  • Contingent Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    If you would like to get a sense of the type of services our office provides and how we work with clients, feel free to call us at 630-344-6370. We can help you understand if you will need a lawyer. Because employment and business disputes are complex, If you would like a full case evaluation, consultation or document review services, we offer such in-person or via telephone or video conference at a flat fee of $100. If you would like to retain Pietrucha Law for legal representation, we will send you a legal representation and fee agreement detailing the scope of our services and the associated legal costs.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Illinois
7th Circuit
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Managing Attorney
Pietrucha Law Firm, LLC
Current
American Medical Association
Law Offices of Joel Weisman, P.C.
Education
Northern Illinois University
J.D. (2009)
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
B.A. (2006) | Pre-Law, Journalism and Spanish
Honors: President's Leadership Award
Activities: Spanish Tutor
Awards
Selected as Top 40 under 40 Illinois Employment Lawyers
The National Black Lawyers
Professional Associations
National Employment Lawyers Association
Member
Current
American Bar Association
Business Law Section, Employment Law Section
Current
Illinois State Bar # 6315653
Member
Current
Speaking Engagements
ISBA Standing Committee on Women & the Law, ISBA Standing Committee on Women & the Law, Chicago, IL
Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
Illinois Association of Public Procurement Officials Fall 2015 Conference, Illinois Association of Public Procurement Officials Fall 2015 Conference, Lombard, IL
Illinois Associaton of Public Procurement Officials
Websites & Blogs
Website
Firm Website
Blog
Illinois EEOC Help
Legal Answers
12 Questions Answered

Q. hired for position and then the current employee decides not to leave. What recourse does new employee have?
A: Depending on additional details not provided, the incoming new employee general manager may have a breach of contract claim and/or a right to collect unemployment benefits, but otherwise, just because this is unfair does not mean it is illegal. Employers may change their plans for any reason as long as they are not committing an illegal act or breaching a contract.
Q. Is the government required to advertise their work projects someplace that's publicly viewable so everyone qualified can
A: Sometimes. It depends on the unit of government and what funds they are using to pay for work projects. If an Illinois local government agency is required to advertise their work projects, they are likely required by state law or local ordinance to publish each bid in the newspaper and may also post the bid on the city's website. If you are looking for available work and don't know where to start, consider resources such as www.bidnet.com and www.illinoisbids.com . You can find a lot of online bids posted by local, state and federal government units. If you know the specific agency, you can go directly to the agency's website to find information about current and past bids. For example, if you are looking for work projects with the City of Chicago, you can visit: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dps/provdrs/contract/svcs/current_bid_opportunities.html Many government agencies will allow you to subscribe to bid alert emails or text messages so that you are automatically notified when a bid is published and available. Best of luck!
Q. Is there any Illinois law that states that support personnel (admins or exec. asst) must be hourly or non-exempt status?
A: From a legal perspective, "Work from home" policies are typically looked upon as completely discretionary by your employer. The only exceptions might be if you benefit from such arrangement because you have a disability and are in need of a reasonable accommodation. Working from home has generally been reserved for "exempt" workers, since they are not entitled to overtime pay. On the other hand, "non-exempt" workers are eligible for overtime and therefore determining the amount of hours worked for a "non-exempt" employee is critical for properly recording time and paying the employee for actually time worked.
Q. When does the 33 percent fee change to 40 percent in a contingency agreement?
A: I agree with other responses that you should discuss this with your attorney for clarification. Your attorney is in the best position to answer this question. However, from what you shared, it appears like actually going to trial triggers the 40% contingency fee. Trials can take months of preparation and usually a trial begins with choosing a jury, a step you would not do if you weren't going to trial.
Q. I was recently let go from my job due to me being pregnant do I have the right to file a charge on the employer
A: I'm sorry to hear about your recent workplace experiences. In order to prove you have a valid charge of discrimination, you should gather as much evidence as you can (documents, text messages, witnesses, etc.). It isn't enough to just say you were let go for being pregnant. You must also prove it with reasonable certainty. All employment discrimination allegations have a deadline, typically falling between 180 days to 300 days from the bad act, which in your case appears to be termination. You should contact a local attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and also consider contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to discuss your case. More information available at https://www.eeoc.gov/. I wish you the best of luck with your dispute and also with your new baby.
Q. Is there anything else I can do if I was unlawfully terminated in was able to disprove the reasons they claim?
A: I'm sorry to hear about your termination. As many answers to legal questions, the answer here is: It depends. Illinois is an "at will" employment state, which means an employer can get rid of you as long as they are not violating a policy, contract or law.Employment terminations can be complicated, especially when disability accommodations are involved. For starters, to address those alleged write-ups, you have a right to access your personnel records by contact the company and asking that they give you your personnel records within the next 7 business days. After you receive the records, you should see the two alleged write-ups (whether they were written back when they claim, or written only because you requested you personnel file). If you believe you have enough evidence to prove with a 51% or greater chance that you were discriminated against unlawfully, you might proceed in filing a charge of discrimination either with the state (180 days deadline) or the federal agency (300 day deadline). The state and federal agencies have strict deadlines and also minimum employee counts for most types of discrimination charges. Lastly, if you haven't already, apply for unemployment benefits. It's up to the state to determine if you are eligible to collect and just because you were fired does not mean you don't get benefits. You can apply for benefits online by doing an internet search for "Illinois unemployment benefits". If you are not happy with the results on your own, you may benefit from hiring a local employment lawyer who can fine tune a strategy to help you reach your goals.
Q. Do you handle teacher rights cases when they are being subjected to harassment and unfair treatment?
A: In Illinois, terminating a public tenured teacher is a complicated process and usually requires due process via a hearing. This can involve hundreds of pages of paperwork, strict deadlines and appeal rights. If she is in danger of being terminated, she should notify her union (where applicable) to see if a grievance can be filed and/or decisions appealed, and also immediately put her concerns in writing. If she is already on a performance improvement plan (PIP), she should make sure to fully meet the requirements of that plan and take any deadlines within the plan seriously. If her job requires a license, she should also be concerned about losing the right to renew her license based on any decisions made by this employer. From the facts provided, I see no clear legal basis for employment discrimination but she still may have rights in other areas of law. It's highly recommended she speak with a local attorney - or if she wants to pursue the matter on her own, do the requisite research to prepare for termination. This may involve looking at public records of other teacher disciplines, which may be available on the Illinois State Board of Education's website under FOIA archives, or can be requested from her specific school district with a new FOIA request. For the Illinois State Board of Education's FOIA archives, visit: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/FOIA-Archive-Requests.aspx
Q. An employee on FMLA is charged with AWOL with doctor documentation for days charged. Is this a violation of FMLA?
A: This behavior could be perceived as FMLA interference, an attempt to discourage you from using FMLA in the future. The FMLA’s “interference” provision states it is “unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise” any right provided by the FMLA. If you believe your rights have been denied, you should reach out to a local employee rights attorney for assistance.
Q. Is it illegal for an employer to demote and lower pay of an employee because of medical problems or conditions?
A: This is not an easy "yes" or "no" answer. It depends on the nature of the medical problems and the tenure of the employee. The FMLA is a federal law that protects employees who have worked for a minimum of 12 months, whereas the ADA is a federal law that protects all employees with disabilities regardless of their tenure with the company. More protections may exist with the employee's state and local county. Contact an experienced employment lawyer if you have specific questions. Many employment lawyers offer free consultations and would be happy to discuss your question.
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Contact & Map
Pietrucha Law Firm, LLC
2001 Butterfield Road
Suite 105
Downers Grove, IL 60515
USA
Telephone: (630) 344-6370