Posts Tagged Law

How Labor Laws Benefits Employers

A common understanding among employees and some employers is that labor laws are framed exclusively for the benefit of employees without Legal billing softwareconcern for employers. In any business or industry, proper structure and organization is necessary to operate the business smoothly. With no appropriate frame work the work place can become disorganized, less productive and in the long run may even collapse.

Labor laws serve as one of the means to ensure that minimum standards are maintained, thus encouraging an productive and ethical work culture. A work place with good culture, ethics and integrity not only benefits the employees but also positively effects the employers bottom line.

Labor laws are important for employees along with employers. They ensure a safe work place and an impartial relationship between employers and employees. The main goal of labor laws is to bring employees and employers on an equal floor with respect to bargaining power between employee unions and employers.

Labor laws are important because they specify and define employers and employees responsibilities and duties. These laws help employers to stay focused on their business than fixing issues at work place. Labor laws safeguard employees rights and enable the employers to have clarity on their obligations and responsibilities.

Basic labor laws that benefits employers are as follows:

  • Minimum wage law help employers to avoid issues that result from unfair treatment of employees with respect to paying wages.
  • By abiding to the OSH Act and other labor laws, the employer can make the work place free of hazards such as exposure to toxic substances, electric shock and pother unsafe and unhealthful conditions. This also shows the employers concern for their employees that helps them to gain reputation.
  • Employers can avoid consequent citations, non compliance and penalties by adhering to rules under the law.
  • Under the federal and state laws, employers are required to display certain labor law posters in an common area visited by job applicants and employees. This helps the employees to have a complete understanding of their rights .
  • Non compliance by employers whether it’s inadvertent or other wise, places them at risk of a liability such as significant fines and penalties, employee disputes etc.
  • Accurate conformity with these basic labor laws is important that helps to build employer – employee relationship and keeps them focused.

Labor laws for employers helps to maintain a conflict free place and levels the play field.
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How to Ensure Claiming Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?

If you are at the work place and injured while you are working, then you are covered under workers’ compensation act and you can get all the possible benefits under this act, if the injury or accident is claimed to be true. This act covers all the medical costs, protects the employees who can no longer work because of the injury etc. But, unfortunately many false claims are submitted, making the system tough. Though the system is difficult, you can get the best possible benefits. To ensure whether you are getting the possible benefits under this act, you need to follow few steps that are listed below.

Report the injury
If you are injured or ill because of your work, you need to report the same through the correct channels. Not just telling about the incident; but, also make sure that you have the detailed written report of the incident filled and it is mandatory because, if no written report of the incident exists with the employer, they may deny that you never complained them about the incident. Also, ensure that you get the paper work done and a call from the insurance adjuster. If not it is understood, then something is going wrong.

Keep the detailed medical records of the injury
It is better to approach the doctor recommended by the employer and keep all the medical records with you so that they can forward your medical records for workers compensation. But, if you visit the doctor, the one not suggested by the employer, then, you need to take certain measures. Make sure that the doctor is certified for workers compensation claims, file all the copies of the hospital and that everything is included in the medical reports.

Don’t stay drunk at your work place
Sometimes you may be tested with drug test after the injury or accident; and if it is known to be positive, then your claim will be denied. So, make sure that you are not drunk while you are at work place.

Ask the employers about the coverage
It is better to talk to your employer regarding the workers’ compensation act and the benefits that you can receive under this act, in advance. So that, you can take necessary steps accordingly.

Be cautious of employers who refuse the coverage
Some employers may convince their employees saying something on the act or that you will not be covered under this act. But, know the facts – you can be covered under this act even if you have caused the accident.

Apart from this, better go through your state’s workers’ compensation law and know the facts of the law.
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FLSA – What Does It Regulate and What Not?

FLSA is a “Fair Labor Standards Act” and is also known as federal wage and hour law. Its main aim is to protect the rights of the workers. Here, the FLSA exempts some employees and nonexempt’s some employees from various regulations. Previously this is applicable for the employees working in the private sector but, now it is also applicable for the public sector employees. To know what FLSA regulates and what not, see the below information.

FLSA regulates

  • Minimum wage: The minimum wage under FLSA varies based on state and federal laws. It doesn’t replace any state laws that are favorable to the employees.
  • Overtime: The term overtime is defined in FLSA, it is the time over the threshold limit of working and usually it is 40 hours per week and it may differ for some medical or government jobs.
  • Child labor: Under FLSA child labor provisions are designed for protecting the educational opportunities of the youth and this laws will restrict them for the employment in some jobs that are hazardous to their health and safety.
  • Record keeping: Here, the FLSA requires employers that are covered under it to keep all the records on wages, hours and other items. It doesn’t require any kind of form but just some information which is accurate about the employee, worked hours and wages. Under record keeping there are specific records that are to be kept and they vary in various states and countries.

Under FLSA, there are exempt and non exempt employees. The nonexempt employees are covered by FLSA minimum wage and over time provisions whereas, exempt employees of white collar jobs are not covered with minimum wage and overtime, if they meet certain standards.

FLSA doesn’t regulates
FLSA doesn’t regulate various employment practices such as:

  • Payment on vacation, holiday, severance or sick
  • Premium pay for the people working on holidays or weekend
  • Rest period or meal hours, vacations or holidays
  • Fringe benefits or raising the payment
  • Compensation for unemployment
  • Pay stubs or “W-2”s
  • A discharge notice, reason for discharge or providing immediate payment for the employees terminated, etc.

These are some of the things that FLSA regulates and doesn’t regulates. As said the main aim of this act is to give the fair wages to the employees and it also eliminates the labor conditions that are leading to low standards of living. This act is very helpful for the employees. So, every business owner and employee must know the FLSA laws.
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When to Use Weapons During Self-defense?

At times, you may face scary situations, and you have to defend yourself against the attackers. You can use weapons during self-defense, but you should make sure to take into account certain things. There are rules on when to use, where to use and what qualifications are required to use, etc. This article will answer all these queries, so that you will get a clarity regarding the weapon usage in self-defense.

After proper training
Before you use weapons like gun, you should have a good training in handling them carefully and to use it. Without training, it will be difficult for you to handle the weapons and there will be chances of getting hurt due to lack of proper usage. Therefore, we suggest you to get properly trained in using such weapons.

After weapon registration
Some weapons such as guns require registration. Without registration, it’s criminal to use them even for your self-defense or self security. You should register your weapon with the government authority and they will approve the registration only if you are skilled in using the kind of weapon you took for registration. Once your weapon is registered, you can use it only in the emergency situations.

After knowing the rules of the state or country
You can use the weapon only after the registration and once you know the rules of the state or country in using the weapons. These rules will tell you about things you need to do after registration and the how you will be penalized, if you violate those rules. Laws and rules may vary for both men and women as women are more vulnerable. Therefore, be aware of them before you use them for your self-defense.

Use them only when you’re in danger
You should use the weapon only in dangerous situations for self defense or for self protection. Avoid using it when there is strong reason, which may land you in trouble.

When no one is with you
One more suggestion is to use it when you are in an extreme difficulty, and when no one is in the surroundings to help you out.

Therefore, when you are using weapons, bear in mind these facts and advice. This may surely help you out when you need self-defense with your weapons.
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How to Expunge DUI or DWI

Expungement is nothing but a permanent removal of conviction from the records so that it no longer appears on the background history available to employers, lenders and public. Therefore you can get a job and loans easily as you have not charged in any DUI or DWI cases, but it can be seen by law enforcement and court officials. DUI or DWI cases are expunged only by the court order.

If you want to expunge your criminal offense from records, the following should be known:

  • Whether your state allows expungement.
  • Whether the elapsed time between the DUI offense and petition for the expungement of your crime is completed or not. Usually it may be not more than one year.
  • Whether you are eligible for expungement of your convicted crime.

If yes, then determine what are the steps to be followed to expunge your DUI case.

Fill out the required format
If your state allows expungement and you are eligible for expungement, the process stats with filling required application or petition to file with the court. It requires lot of paper work. Courts charge some amount for filing an application. The form filling is confusing so it is better to take help of attorney.

Submit the form to the state court
You should then submit the completed application to the court clerk. Ask them for the next process and how long will it take to expunge your conviction from your record.

Serve the prosecutor office with the copies of application
Then serve the prosecutor with the copies of your application and the crime record. If you are still drunk and driving the vehicle it is waste of your time and money to apply for expungement. Then prosecutor office checks whether it is your first and only offense, then it is worth to apply for expungement.

Attend an expungement hearing
Finally the judge will determine whether to grant expungement or not based on the detailed mentioned on the application your background check list and opinion from the district attorney. If the judge is satisfied with your application and your previous check list, court will issue an order to expunge the DUI from records.

DUI or DWI cases have two sides one is administrative and other is criminal. In most of the cases the offense will be removed from the criminal case but not from administrative it means not removed from driving record.
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OSHA: A Mandatory Law for Businesses

About OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a Federal government agency that ensures that workplace conditions and environments are safe for the employees. The Act furnished guidelines, measures and safeguards that need to be ensured at workplace to protect the employees from hazardous conditions for health and workplace accidents. OSHA is very particular about the health and safety of the employees and demands strict compliance.

OSHA laws mandate the employer to communicate the laws to their employees by displaying posters at places that are commonly visited by employees. These include like notice board, dining hall, etc.

The law is applicable to private and Federal government bodies. OSHA covers only State and local government bodies if the state has an OSHA approved state program. However, OSHA is not applicable to:

  • People who are self employed.
  • Immediate members of family run farm business.
  • Employees regulated by other federal agencies like MSHA and the US Coastguard.

What the law required you to do
The law has immense provisions for the employers and employees to ensure that the employees are safe from workplace hazards and accidents and the workplace environment is safe. OSHA enforces and sets workplace standards for businesses. OSHA provides for norms for safeguards to protect employees’ health and life. In addition to critical industries like construction, maritime and chemical industries, etc, they cover general business bodies as well in the form of sanitation and air quality standards.

Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe and hazard free working environment. They need to keep the posters at workplace to avoid hazard and adopt some color code systems. They need to train their workforce on the safe practices at the work in a language their employee understands.

He is required to keep accurate records of the injuries and illness at work. You need to examine the workplace regularly to ensure safe conditions. He is required to display safety posters and health and illness data at places where employees can see them. In case any accident happens where an employee loses his life or three or more employees go to hospital, employer has to notify the accident to OSHA within eight hours of the accident.

Compliance with the law
OSHA provides enough provisions for the employees to identify and report any accidents, hazardous workplace condition or practice to OSHA, though it is advised to bring them to the attention of employer first. Employees under this act are empowered to bring any aspect of non-compliance to the notice of OSHA thereby raising the concern for compliance for the employer.

The Federal agencies are stringent regarding the law and OSHA compliance officers are known for carrying out spot checking on the workplace cracking down any non-compliance. It comes accompanied with heavy fines and penalties. The whistle blowers are protected by the Federal agencies under the purview of Whistle Blower Protection Act.

Therefore, compliance with the law in the form of posters and regulations and measures becomes very important for the employer. It is advisable for the employer to keep track for the workplace conditions to ensure maximum protection and safety for the employees and compliance with the law.
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Alimony and Lawyers Help in Getting Spousal Support

Spousal support
Spousal support is an agreement stating a series of payments to the separated or ex-spouse. It is also called alimony. This helps the spouse in getting the financial support from the separated spouse. Here, the income or financial support is given by the spouse with more income or assets.

The alimony or spousal support is given to the spouse with the help of a lawyers. The amount of support and the length of the time and the amount to be paid by the spouse will be explained to you by your lawyer that you choose and the rules varies from states to countries.

One of the crucial points you should note here is, alimony or the spousal support is granted only to the couple who are legally married. Usually there are various types of alimony or spousal supports and each one depends on the individual needs and on various circumstances.

These will be clearly explained by your divorce or family lawyer. To get your lawyers help for the alimony, you need to approach him/her at first and they will go through a certain process, which is as follows.

Lawyers support in getting spousal support
Once you approach a lawyer for getting the spousal support, he/she will go through the following common process and it may vary from lawyer to lawyer.

  • At first, the lawyer will help you by explaining to you all issues related to the spousal support.
  • Later, you will have to go through various queries asked by your lawyer, and you need to answer all of them correctly.
  • They also tell you what factors the judge will consider in giving you the approval for the alimony like length of the marriage, roles of each spouse during marriage, taking care of children, etc.
  • Once the lawyer explains to you the factors he/she may ask for you some of the proofs for presenting them in the court. Later, once all set, the lawyer will make a petition in the court regarding the alimony and prepares you for the questions that you may get in the court of law.
  • You should be well prepared for the queries that you may get. Once, the judge considers all those factors trustworthy and based on your needs, they will give the approval for the spousal support for a period of time. This may vary in various states and some courts may give you both the spousal and the child support.
  • If you have selected a reputed and experienced lawyer, he/she may help you all the way as we discussed.

It’s sensible to take the advice of experienced and skilled lawyers, so that they can work for you for optimal benefit.

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Making a Fire Insurance Claim

One of the awful things that can happen to home is fire damage. Fire causes extensive damage to your property. After the damage, it is more horrific, and every homeowner wants their home back as soon as possible. The process of claim is referred to as the time that a policy holder notifies his/her insurer about the occurrence until the problem gets fixed. In this article, we will discuss the basic process to make an insurance claim.

  • Call the insurance company and report the claim: Once the fire is doused by the firefighters, call your insurance company and report the claim. Most of the insurance companies require you to give prompt notice about the claim.
  • Make a list of things that were damaged and destroyed in the fire: Your insurer may require you to submit the list or summary about every that had happened leading to fire. This includes the things that were damaged and destroyed due to fire and also include its value.
  • Protect your home from further damage: Take some steps to protect your home from further damage. For instance, if the fire have destroyed a portion of your roof, ensure to give necessary repairs to make sure that the inside of the home will not incur further damage.
  • Provide additional information: Once you have assigned a claim representative to work with, you will have a central point of contact with the insurance company. Work with the assigned representative to find all the necessary and additional information, if any and get the claim speedily.
  • “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”: When there is an issue of home insurance claim, these words hold especially true. According to the institute of insurance information, there are three important things you should do before filing a claim and they are –
    • Understanding insurance policy thoroughly. If you have questions, talk to the insurance agent and know everything so that you have a better understanding.
    • Knowing what is covered and what is not. If you are unsure about what is covered in your policy, ask your insurance agent.
    • Learning the process of filing an insurance claim in advance and familiarize yourself with the process so that it will be easier for you in future.

Best way to handle such situation is to prepare yourself for it. This will actually help you easing your fears and anxiety.

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Kosher Dietary Laws – Animal Slaughtering

Kashrut is a set of Jewish dietary laws dealing with eating habits of Jewish people such as what food they can eat and what they cannot and on how these food should be prepared and taken.

In an earlier article, we discussed the laws on which all the animals are considered kosher (permitted to be taken as a food) and the animals that are forbidden. These dietary laws not only imply on what animals to eat and but also on the process of slaughtering. In this article, we will discuss the same that is process of slaughtering the kosher animals.

Kosher Slaughter: According to the Jewish dietary laws, kosher animals are to be slaughtered as per the law. Ritual slaughter in this context is known as “Shechitah.” The person who does the slaughter is called “Shochet.”

Slaughter process: Slaughter process should be painless. Hence, they quickly cut the throat deeply with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This causes unconsciousness within two seconds. Generally, slaughter process is done by a well-trained person.

Restrictions on slaughtering:

  • Animals that died in natural causes.
  • Animals that are killed by other animals.
  • Animals that have diseases or flaws in their organs.

However, these restriction are not applicable to fish. Its applicable to the flocks and herds.

Draining of blood: According to the dietary laws, it prohibits on consumption of blood that is blood should be completely removed from the flesh of kosher animals. This is because the law explains that life of animal contains in the blood.

After the slaughtering process, the immediate step is rapidly removing or draining of the blood. The left out blood should be removed by broiling or soaking or salting. This blood removal processes should be done within seventy two hours after the slaughter and before it is sent for freezing.

There is prohibition on:

  • Fats and Nerves: The fat (Chelev) that surrounds the vital organs and the liver and the sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels are forbidden to eat.
  • An egg that contains blood spot should not be eaten. Therefore, it is advisable not to break an egg into a glass bowl to check.

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Kosher Dietary Laws – Usage of Utensils

Kashrut is a set of biblical dietary restrictions that allow only certain foods should be prepared and certain food should be separated. This law prohibits cooking the meat and fish together or serving them together on the same plate and similarly they also prohibit on eating meat and diary together. This is because it is considered unhealthy to the human beings. Therefore, this separation is not only restricted to cooking and serving but also on the usage of cooking utensils, eating plates, cleaning dishwashers, too.

Two sets utensils: In general, a kosher household should have at least two sets of utensils (pots, pans and dishes) – one for meat and the other one for diary. This is because it carries the status of food to the next food that going to be cooked or served. (utensils carries the “status” of food that cooked and also the eaten plates carries the status of food).

Example: If you cook chicken soup in a sauce pan and later if you use the same pan for warming the milk. Then status of flieshik is transmitted to the milk and the milchik status of the milk to pan. But as per the law, this is considered as a forbidden mixture.

Stove Tops and Sinks: Stove tops and sinks becomes non-kosher utensils – when you cook the meat and dairy, stove tops come in contact with them and similarly when cleaning the meat and dairy utensils in the same sink.

Therefore, it is advisable to use the separate spoon rests and trivets when placing them on the stove top and during the process of cleaning the utensils, use dishpans.

Dishwashers: Generally, a kosher household has two separate dishwashers – one for the meat and the other for the diary. This done because the contact of meat and diary might create a kosher problem.

And other restrictions: Use a separate towels and pot holders for the meat and dairy.
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