Workplaces Where You Can Get Injured

Sustaining an injury or illness because of your job is already bad in itself. But it is even worse if you think about the possible consequences. First, there is the medical costs to treat your injury or illness. Second, there is a possibility that you will not be productive because of your physical limitation. Third, and worst of all, you may even lose your earning capability, temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of your injury or illness.

You can sustain such things in any kind of workplace, but it is obvious that some workplaces are riskier than others, such as the following.

Construction Sites

Construction is a dangerous industry, primarily because construction workers are often exposed to dangerous environments and equipment. The website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD. has enumerated the most common causes of construction site accidents, namely falling accidents from roofs and scaffoldings, entrapments from hydraulic beds and other machines, striking accidents from falling objects and moving machineries, and electrocution from exposed wires and powerlines.

Manufacturing Plants

Manufacturing workers are often exposed to hazardous products. These products are either used in the manufacturing process, such as chemicals and gases, or the direct result of manufacturing techniques, such as fumes from welding and particles from metal cutting.

Workers may also suffer from extreme temperatures and may be prone to machine accidents.

Office Spaces

Offices may not be as dangerous as construction sites and factories, but they do have their own threats. Building facilities like escalators, elevators, and stairs may be defective because of the lack of maintenance. Office equipment, such as desktops, laptops, printers, desk lamps, and appliances, such as coffeemakers, are also prone to defects and can become fire hazards if overused.

Seafaring Vessels

Ships are not exactly the safest workplace, as workers there may be prone to both natural and material threats. Natural threats include dangerous weather conditions and coral reefs and material threats include defective ship equipment and facilities. There is also the threat of slipping from oil and other slippery substances.

According to the website of this Jones Act injury attorney, workers who have been injured while out at sea may have legal options. This is good news, considering that these workers are arguably some of the most vulnerable to workplace accidents and injuries.

Identity Theft: A Threat to Million of Americans

An estimated ten million Americans fall victim to a crime called identity theft every year. This crime is committed by thieves who wipe out their accounts through purchases of many different things. The end result is always damaged credit and a huge debt owed by the real person who owns the account. Identity theft has been committed for so long, but never before have identity thieves had the greatest ease in stealing personal information, than now, due to the Internet, which makes communication and the exchange of information so much faster. This means that your social media page and smartphone are never safe.

Identity theft, which is a major threat to many individuals and businesses, refers to the illegal acquisition and use of someone else’s personal information for economic gain. More than $50 billion in losses from as many as 10 million working Americans are recorded every year; almost the same sum spent by U.S. firms in thwarting attempts of identity thieves from gaining (unauthorized) access to their files and data banks.

Battling identity theft requires companies, especially those possessing information about personal and business accounts, to come up with a serious and solid program that will render them capable of easily and immediately detecting and stopping this crime. To step up the fight against this illegal activity, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) was enacted by the New Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the conduction of an Identity Theft Prevention Course (ITPC) to business firms. The ITPC is designed to train employees assigned in handling consumer information in Red Flags Rule.

The Red Flags Rule is a warning sign intended to help businesses recognize, minimize and prevent damages caused by identity theft. It forms part of the FTC-required Identity Theft Prevention program, which is a set of printed guidelines that creditors (with covered accounts) and financial institutions ought to execute. Covered accounts, on the other hand, refer to consumer accounts that allow payments or transactions; examples of these accounts are checking accounts, savings accounts, credit card account, mortgage loan and automobile loan. Through this red flags rule, companies are expected to see through the patterns and tactics employed by identity thieves in the performance of their crime.

Being charged with identity theft, which is one type of white collar crime, is a serious offense and can result to damaging effects to the individual’s or business’ reputation and future. Thus, as emphasized by Columbia criminal defense lawyers, a very strong representation is necessary to protect oneself from a conviction that can definitely damage his/her future personal, community and professional life.

FLSA Overtime Pay Exemptions: Employee vs. Independent Contractor

The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA ensures that employees working in the United States are able to receive fair and equal compensation. The FLSA is responsible for establishing the federal minimum wage and regulations about overtime pay, among others. Of course, as with most laws governing a certain aspect of social life, the FLSA has certain exemptions regarding those eligible to receive the overtime pay rate.

Among those exempted from the FLSA rules on overtime pay include professionals in executive, supervisory, and outside sales positions. Independent contractors who have full control of their own work hours are also illegible from receiving overtime pay. Unfortunately, as FLSA lawyers from William Kherkher have pointed out, there are some employers that intentionally misclassify their employees in order to bypass FLSA regulations and cut on costs. As such, many employees are misclassified as independent contractors when, in fact, they are subject to fixed work schedules and disciplinary restrictions imposed by their employers.

The following are just some of the misconceptions that around the difference between being an employee and an independent contractor. First, any individual that follows procedure and renders work of an employee may not be misclassified as anything else, even if he or she may have signed a contract agreeing to it. Similarly, as noted by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, signing any type of independent contractor agreement doesn’t automatically classify an employee as an independent contractor following the definitions delineated in the FLSA. It’s also important to remember that being an independent contractor isn’t automatically determined having the ability to work offsite and exercise flexibility over your schedule. In the same light, even individuals registered as independent contractors in their tax forms may still be considered an employee.

All in all, individuals can only be considered an independent contractor if they have full control over how the work they were hired to do will be accomplished. This means that they aren’t subject any schedule, protocol, or disciplinary procedures in performing their tasks. An easy example of an independent contractor is an interior designer. If a homeowner hires an interior designer to decorate their living room, they only give the designer an idea of how they want the space to look and feel. Accomplishing this goal, which could probably include moving around furniture or installing new shelves and curtains, will be up to the designer.

The Issue of Sole Managing Conservatorship in Divorce

Though Texas courts would rather render an order wherein both parents (who are divorcing each other) are appointed as custodians or conservators of their child to make sure that a child will continue to experience the love, care and attention from both parents, these will refrain from doing so if these find out or determine that one parent is actually unfit to care for his/her child or if in the child’s best interest, sole conservatorship or sole custody would be the right decision.

Being an “unfit” parent can be due to a variety of different reasons, including: poor health condition which will render such parent unable to provide the amount of care and attention that the child needs; abusive behavior, wherein he/she is prone to physically and/or verbally abusing the child; dependence on alcohol and/or illegal drugs; committing or lacking action that would result to the child getting exposed to pornographic elements and/or illegal activities; abandonment of the child; and, using excessive or unnecessary means in disciplining the child.

In sole custody or sole managing conservatorship, all the rights, privileges, and duties associated with caring for the child are awarded to just one parent. To other parent or the non-custodial parent, visitation rights may be awarded to him/her continuous communication with his/her child.

According to Kirker & Davis, under Texas law, the parent who is appointed as conservator has, at all times, the right:

– To receive information relating to the child’s health, education, and welfare;
– To confer (or not to confer) with the non-custodial parent before making a decision concerning the child’s health, education, and welfare;
– To consult with the child’s physician, dentist, psychologist and school officials where the educational status and welfare of the child are concerned;
– To be designated as a person to be contacted in case of an emergency;
– To manage the estate of the child.

No parent, obviously, would want lose the chance of being appointed custodian; however, for the sake and well-being of the child, it would indeed be very beneficial if he/she could find ways to come to a amicable agreement with his/her former spouse about the issue of conservatorship. While there are divorce lawyers who will help fight for your custody interests, there are also those who would rather help you and your former spouse find ways that will continue making everything better for your child. Make sure that you choose the right one.

The Protection Offered by Car Liability Insurance Coverage

The average annual rate of fatal car accidents in the U.S. from 2008 to 2015 was 33,000, which is 11,000 less than the average annual rate from 1981 to 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and all those directly concerned about traffic safety are obviously working hard in implementing road safety rules. Other than the passing of new laws aimed at further improving road safety, car manufacturers also do their part by improving car design and equipping new vehicles with modern safety devices that will make cars safer than ever.

Having 33,000 deaths every year is alarming, especially, when more than 90% of car crashes are due to driver error. This simply means that these accidents and deaths can be prevented if only drivers would act responsibly while behind the wheel and not compromise the safety of others on the road.

Bad road behavior is not the only fault that drivers have, though. Many of those who are at-fault in accidents are also guilty of failing to paying compensation to their victims. As a result, besides causing their victims pain and suffering, victims are also made to suffer financially due to the cost of medical treatment and loss of wages.

To help assure accident victims of the compensation they have a legal right to claim, carrying auto liability insurance was made compulsory for drivers. This law was passed in 1925, with the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut being the first to adopt it. Today, this law is known as the Financial Responsibility law and its aim is to help make sure that drivers who cause accidents have the financial capability to compensate victims for the damages and losses these are made to suffer.

The Financial Responsibility law requires that drivers carry auto liability insurance. The type of insurance coverage a driver needs to carry depends on the type or liability system recognized in the state where he or she resides. As many as 38 states recognize the tort or fault insurance system, while in 12 others, the “no-fault” coverage is what is required. Under the tort or fault system, compensation is paid to the victim by the insurance provider of the driver at fault; under the “no-fault” system, on the other hand, drivers involved in an accident are compensated by their respective insurance providers regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Fault or “no-fault” system, one common thing about insurance policies is that these are needlessly expensive. Often, drivers are made to pay much more than what they really should. With help from independent car insurance firms, according to the website of Abel Law Firm, drivers have the chance of getting the type of coverage they need without hurting their budget. These independent car insurance firms offer clients free insurance quotes online to enable them to compare and find the best, yet cheapest, insurance deal.

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