What are the Most Common Overtime Pay Violations?

Through the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, majority of people employed in the United Sates are able to receive legal protection from violations against their right to just and equal wages. One of the policies outlined in the FLSA is the regulations on overtime payment. Based on the federal rules outlined in the FLSA, all nonexempt employees working in the U.S. are entitled to receive an overtime rate that is one and one-half or 1.5 times more than their normal wage. These employees are expected to receive overtime payment for every hour they work outside their regular 40-hour work week.

These overtime regulations are supposed to have been set to ensure that employees are properly compensated for all the hard work and effort they exert in their jobs, but there are times when these regulations are violated by employers. What happens when employers fail to follow these laws? What are the most common violations that prevent workers from receiving their overtime pay?
Many employers tend to cut corners in order to bypass the rules on proper overtime wages. The most common tactics employed in these situations is by misclassifying certain workers as either salaried employees or independent contractors exempted by the FLSA from overtime requirements. It’s also common for employers to fail compensating their workers for certain “off-the-clock” tasks like traveling between job sites, wearing and maintaining safety gear, attending trainings and seminars, and accomplishing paperwork at home.

In these situations, majority of workers are able to file a claim for unpaid wages and get compensated for damages incurred. If you are not receiving overtime pay from your current place of employment, you should contact a labor law attorney to learn more about your legal options. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you build a stronger case for your claim.

read more

Marriage and Divorce in Texas

In the state of Texas and in nine other states (Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah; add to this the District of Columbia), two kinds of marriage are recognized: formal and informal. (Except in New Hampshire, where common-law marriage is recognized only through death for probate purposes, all remaining 33 states no longer allow two individuals to contract marriage through common law; these same 33 states, however, recognize common-law marriage contracted by couples in states that still allow it).

A church marriage or a marriage that is presided by a Justice of the peace is what constitutes a formal marriage. An informal marriage, also known as “sui juris marriage” or, more familiarly, “common-law marriage,” is a framework wherein two individuals are legally considered married despite the absence of a formal religious service or despite not having formally registered their marriage in a religious or state registry. For their marriage to be recognized as legal, it simply requires that they: (i) agree to be married or that they consider their togetherness as a valid marriage; (ii) present themselves to others as married; and, (iii) act as they are married.

While entering into marriage in Texas may be easy, as suggested by the state’s recognition of the common-law marriage, ending it is not. As there is no such thing as “common-law divorce,” couples who want to terminate their marriage will have to file a petition for divorce or dissolution of marriage in a Texas court.

Texas recognizes two ways through which a marital union may be terminated: “no-fault” divorce and “fault” divorce. In “no-fault” divorce, a spouse petitioning for divorce simply has to tell the court that he/she and his/her spouse has differences that make their marriage unsupportable or beyond fixing. As explained by an Austin divorce lawyer, insupportability means discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Under Texas law, divorce may be allowed on grounds of insupportability alone, without having the need to cite any other reason.

In “fault” divorce, however, a spouse filing a petition for divorce is required to cite acceptable grounds (which he/she will also have to prove in court) because of which the divorce is being sought. Acceptable grounds of divorce include: adultery; cruelty; conviction of felony with the convicted party having been imprisoned for at least one year; abandonment for at least one year; the spouses having lived apart for three years; confinement in a mental institution for three years with the mental disorder having little or no hope of recovery. While there are spouses who file for “fault” divorce in the hope of being awarded a greater share of community properties (properties and assets), others rather file on “no fault” grounds due to the possibility that a “fault” divorce may take months or a year to settle, resulting to higher court and other legal fees.

read more

Before the close of the nineteenth century, courts awarded custody of a child/children to fathers after divorce. This was due to the Property Law and inheritance issues which were in effect and observed during those times. The way how courts perceived who was more capable of providing children’s needs, however, changed during the start of the twentieth century, resulting to the transfer of custodial right to mothers, naturally the better caretakers of young children. This position of the courts served as the basis for “The Tender Years Doctrine,” which was observed up to the 1970s. Today, however, the courts no longer see father or mother as having the sole right for custodianship. If the court finds both spouses fit to care for their child, then the court will never deny the child the love and care of both parents. This is because courts know and believe that the care and love that can be provided by both parents are essential in the growth and development of their child/children. Thus, many courts now decide on joint legal and physical custody, giving both parents equal time and rights over the care and concern of their child/children. Under the joint custody ruling, a child/children may also decide to reside with one parent or may move from one parent’s residence to another.

Joint custody is usually a court’s decision unless it can be proven that one parent is unfit or is not responsible enough to care for his or her child/children. Being an unfit parent can be due to a variety of different reasons, like: a medical condition that would render a parent incapable of providing the amount of care and attention the child/children need/s; abusive parental behavior (physical and/or verbal abuse); a parent being an alcohol and/or drug dependent; a parent exposing his or her child/children to pornographic elements and/or illegal activities; abandonment of the child/children; or, use of excessive, unnecessary forms of discipline.

If both parents are guilty of any of those listed above, then the court can choose to award child custody to grandparents or a court-appointed care taker. If only one parent is considered unfit, then the court may choose to decide on sole custody, awarding custodianship to the parent who has the capability to provide the child’s needs.

States usually consider different factors when resolving the issue of child custody. One underlying factor, however, which remains the same no matter in which state one resides is the “the child’s best interest.” States include the following as falling within the scope of “in the best interest of the child”:

  • The child’s gender and age;
  • The amount of involvement each parent has in activities participated in by the child;
  • The parents’ level of relationship with the child;
  • The health risks and safety of the environment where each parent lives; and,
  • The lifestyle, stability, and health of each parent as these can affect a child’s academic performance.

According to the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, the importance a child custody agreement in the lives of the children and the parents makes this issue one of the most contentious issues during a divorce proceeding. Thus, it is important that parents know what type of custody they intend to have for them to successfully complete their divorce process. If sole custody is the most viable option, then the custodial parent should see to it that the non-custodial parent is given enough time to spend and enjoy with his or her child/children through visitation rights.

read more

A big part of a car accident claim is evidence. Aside from the medical records and police reports, a process of collecting evidence called discovery is utilized, where both parties involved use a variety of particular legal procedures in order to get useful information relevant to the case. Many opposing attorneys, as told by the Hankey Law Office, use the discovery method of “interrogatories” where they will write a letter to the other drivers, pedestrians, the driver’s employers, and many others, will have to answer under oat on a given period of time.

Interrogatories are a very common procedure in lawsuits. It is made to consciously acquire relevant information that would lead to a successful claim. You and your lawyers should draft the interrogatory letter immediately after you have filed your lawsuit and after collecting the defendant’s response. Your interrogatories should include important questions that you would like to ask from the defendant, although the law will give the defendant the right not to answer all some questions and their attorneys can object to some questions that they may consider irrelevant or advantageous and would only answer them if the court instructs them to.

Likewise, interrogatories will also be sent to you by the defendant as covered by the discovery process. You and your lawyer will be answering the question that you deem are significant and consistent to your claim. These questions are often used to imply that you were at-fault (or at least have a part in the cause of the accident) or that the injuries you claim are not as severe are you alleged them to be. Although many questions may appear unrelated or unreasonable, providing an answer or an objection within the time state-allowed time period is necessary because failing to do so may lead to court sanctions and could greatly impact the case.

read more

Workers regularly face a large selection of potential hazards to their own health and personal security as a result of the working conditions. However, among the most potentially serious issues related to workplace security is the possibility of employees growing a severe or long-term sickness as an outcome of these conditions that are occupational. Occupational diseases could require employees to spend a significant amount of time away from their jobs while they cure their conditions and are sometimes a critical difficulty for those impacted.

This might have a devastating impact on the finances of their household as well as the workers. For this reason, many workers are ensured employees compensation rewards to help them support themselves while they recover from an occupational disease. A personal injury lawyer would probably tell you that these benefits can reduce the majority of health-related expenses which might arise due to the medical condition, along with help to make up for wages that might be misplaced as a consequence of period spent away from work, producing workers payment crucial for employees who suffer sickness as a result of the work.

Common work-related Diseases

Work diseases may differ significantly in severity and kind, with some presenting just small difficulties and others signifying severe troubles for a workers well-being, in both the short and long term. A number of the occupational illnesses that are very most common include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Occupational pneumonia
  • Injury disorders that are repeated
  • Epidermis diseases

All these are only some of medical conditions and the various different work-related diseases a worker may get. The ramifications of those illnesses can differ extensively, but they might render the individual suitable for workers compensation benefits when they can be the result of employees operating conditions. However, obtaining these gains may require legal help.

read more

Depending on its severity, a burn injury can be a very serious condition. Those who suffer from a serious burn injury due to any catastrophic accident are likely to face grave consequences as they navigate through treatment and recovery. As such, it’s extremely important that these types of injuries are immediately treated by medical professionals. In case of an emergency, taking first aid measures to address the injury can make a huge difference for victims while waiting for first responders to arrive.

While first degree burns are superficial and affects only the top layer of the skin, it can still cause a lot of pain and swelling that could easily become uncomfortable. To remedy this type of burn, run the injured area under cool water or use a cold compress for 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure not to use or water that’s too cold, because the stark contrast in temperature might cause more damage to the skin. Next, apply an ample amount of aloe cream or burn ointment to the injured area. It can also help to cover it with a clean bandage or gauze pad.

The more serious second and third degree burns require careful attention during first aid scenarios. Second degree burns can be extremely painful; causing blisters to appear that might break open and make the injury to look raw and wet. Meanwhile, third degree burns are considered the most severe, causing the injured area to look white, brown, charred, leathery, dry, or waxy. Oftentimes, such injuries also cause nerve damage and will lead to the victim feeling numb or little to no pain. For both occasions, discomfort can be eased by removing the clothes and jewelry surrounding the area of the burn, running cool water to the site for about 3-5 minutes, and then keeping the injury sterilized with a clean bandage or piece of cloth.

Based on the 2013 fact sheet released by the American Burn Association, about 60 percent of medical hospitalization cases are related to some type of burn injury. Most of these injuries are caused by accidents that happen at home, in the workplace, and on the road during a vehicular crash. The personal injury lawyers at Sampson Law Firm also point that plenty of such accidents causing burn injuries happen due to reckless or negligent actions by another party. In this scenario, victims can seek out compensation that can help them pay for medical and treatment costs. Click here to learn more about what you can do if you’ve been burned in such a situation.

read more

Dogs are beloved pets in millions of households all over America. They are considered “man’s best friend,” well-loved for their playful and friendly dispositions. However, some dogs end up attacking when they feel provoked or threatened. Unfortunately, such instances usually end with serious injuries.

The non-profit organization Dogs Bite estimates that about 1,000 people become victims of dog bites and will require medical attention ever year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the usual victims in these scenarios are children.

It’s not surprising that children are the typical victims of dog attacks. Children are curious about the world around them, and cute pets will often encourage this curiosity. Sometimes, a child’s attempt to play could be misconstrued by the dog as a threat. Keeping children supervised during such interactions is one of the most effective ways that dog bites can be prevented.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, parents, guardians, and dog-owners can take the following suggestions to keep children safe from dog bite injuries:

  • Never allow a child to approach a dog that is in the middle of eating, sleeping, or nursing her puppies. Similarly, prevent children from approaching a dog that’s already provoked or scared.
  • Prevent children from petting or approaching a dog that is off its leash, behind a fence, or inside a car. If they want to pet another person’s dog, tell them to ask the owner first.
  • Teach children about a dog’s body language. When a dog is scared, it will flatten its ears, hunch its back, and tuck its tail between the hind legs. When threatened, a dog will pull its ears back, wrinkle its muzzle, show its teeth, and growl.

Parents can keep their children safe from dog bites through proper supervision and education. However, such efforts won’t be enough to significantly reduce the number of reported dog bite injuries all over the country. As emphasized by the website of N. Craig Richardson, negligent pet owners can put the people around them at risk. Dog owners should be responsible for keeping their pets trained and well-behaved.

read more