2-300x222Unauthorized deductions from your paycheck may be unlawful. If your employer has deducted the cost of medical or physical exams, overpayment of wages, uniforms costs, or work tool costs, they may be engaging in wage theft. Wage theft is a catch-all term for payroll abuses which cheat workers of the wages they have earned. In California, wage theft can arise from a variety of circumstances, including failing to pay workers the state mandated minimum wage; failing to pay for overtime work performed and/or paying overtime at an incorrect rate of pay; failing to pay for work simply because it was performed “off-the-clock”; failing to pay workers all wages and penalties for late, interrupted, or missed meal and/or rest breaks; misclassifying workers as independent contractors; making unlawful deductions from workers’ paychecks; or by creating or enforcing various other policies which violate State and/or Federal law.

Wage theft is a longstanding problem in California. Although there are no exact figures on the extend of wage theft, authorities say it is rampant in such industries as construction, restaurants, and home health care. Wage theft from unlawful deductions often go unreported because workers may not even realize that they are being paid less than what they have legally earned. Under California labor law, workers are entitled to numerous rights and wage theft protections, and they can recover large penalties if employers violate those rights.

California Labor Code Section 221 and 224, allows employers to make deductions from workers’ wages in limited circumstances, including tax withholdings, garnishments or court orders, contributions to health benefit plans (when authorized). Employers must comply with both federal and state laws when making these deductions, particularly the limits on the amount deducted. California labor law expressly prohibits certain deductions.

1-300x222If your child has been injured and you have agreed to settle a claim on his or her behalf, you are not done yet – even if you have a signed settlement agreement in hand.  You are only able to obtain the settlement funds for your child after jumping through a few hoops.

Minor’s compromise, often referred to as “minor’s comp,” is the procedure by which a parent or guardian (most likely through an attorney) provides details of a child’s settlement to the court for approval.  This court approval is required for every settlement involving a child’s claim, even if no lawsuit has been filed.  (There are some exceptions if the settlement is under $5,000.)  The judge, in a sense, acts as the child’s advocate in examining the settlement terms to ensure it is a fair compromise for the child since, by agreeing to settle, the child is giving up the right to file a lawsuit down the road.  (Children have until they turn 20 years old to file a personal injury lawsuit; the two-year statute of limitations does not start running until they turn 18).

The details of the child’s claim and settlement are examined at a hearing.  Although this procedure sounds relatively straightforward, the paperwork required to support a minor’s compromise can be a bit daunting.

shutterstock_264466154-300x200When you’re thinking of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you want to know what to expect. Obviously, you wish to have the positive result of being compensated for the injuries that you’ve suffered from due to the wrongdoer’s actions. Although all cases are different based on the specific set of circumstances and details, there are certain commonalties and certain phases that will occur for any personal injury suit.

Medical Treatment

The first step to take after any accident or incident is to seek out medical attention. Although you may not feel anything at the time, it’s a good idea to check with a physician just in case because many conditions may develop later. You will want to have a medical record for further documentation to establish your case.

shutterstock_1139941481-300x160Many workers know that employment discrimination is not only unfair, but also illegal. Employees should also be assured that they have certain rights regarding discrimination; this includes the right to take legal action against the perpetrators. What isn’t as clear is what should they file? Should it be a Section 1981 lawsuit or a Title VII claim?

Both section 1981 and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of, protect employees against discrimination at work. However, it depends on what type of discrimination. For instance, if you’ve suffered from racial discrimination, you could possibly use one or the other.

Section 1981 grants individuals the right to make and enforce contracts, regardless of race. Because the employee/employer relationship is regarded as a “contractual” relationship (even considering at-will employment), Section 1981 relates to numerous factors of the employment connection.

shutterstock_1317668966-300x200If your parent or loved one lives in a nursing home, you need to check in with them to make sure that they are being treated well by the staff. Unfortunately, residents can be subject to abuse and neglect by the very caregivers that are hired to help them. Other times, these caregivers aren’t committing the abuse themselves, but aren’t adequately protecting them from other resident abusers. This raises the question of how nursing home caregivers are responsible when other parties abuse the residents.

While much attention is concentrated on the nursing home staff abusing residents, there are also instances of the residents suffering abuse at the hands of other residents. According to a 2014 study at Cornell University, one in every five nursing home residents had been impacted by a form of resident-on-resident mistreatment during a four-week span. The mistreatment mostly consisted of verbal abuse, but there were also instances of physical and sexual abuse as well.

 What Contributes to Resident-on-Resident Abuse?

shutterstock_1814268452-300x200Communication is key to any relationship. It is no different when it’s the relationship between nursing home residents and their caregivers. When you place your parent, spouse, or other loved one into a nursing home, you send them there with the expectation that they are in good hands. It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure that their needs are met. A big part of that has to do with talking to the resident; good communication will help put them at ease. This is true for all nursing home residents, but it’s especially critical for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nursing home staffers who interact with residents who have cognitive impairments should have special training in dealing with patients with these types of medical issues. This includes special knowledge of communication techniques because the residents function better with someone who can comprehend their mental limitations. Read on for helpful communication tips that you can use. You can also use this as a guide to watch nursing home staff and whether they are adequately communicating with your loved one.

Communication Tips for Caregivers in Nursing Homes

shutterstock_190175495-300x200If you’re trying to choose a nursing home for your parent or other loved one, don’t forget to think about security considerations. Even if they are already a nursing home resident, you should keep an eye out for possible safety issues.

What Can Happen with a Lack of Security in Nursing Homes?

Being secure in one’s living environment is important for everyone, but living in a nursing home comes with specific challenges. When security measures aren’t properly addressed, it can have dangerous consequences for nursing home residents.

shutterstock_1724019463-300x155Even with Labor Day in the rear view mirror and children returning back to school, it doesn’t mean that everyone is content to remain at home. Since the pandemic kept much of our wanderlust at bay, there’s still an urge amongst many to hit the road even past the summer months. Combined with more business re-openings, more people will also take to the skies for business travel, which often means renting a car. Although using a rental car is convenient, it does come with its fair share of risks. Read on to learn about tips for protecting yourself if you rent a car and what to do if you are in a rental car accident.

Personal Insurance Policies and Rental Cars

If you’re worried about your rental, look to your personal insurance coverage; make sure that it covers rental car accidents. Many insurance policies often cover the driver and not just the vehicle, so, your personal insurance may protect you in the event of a collision. It is best to verify this prior to your trip.

shutterstock_220158103-300x225Even in the most pleasant working environment, there are things that we don’t like about our workplace. When you’re on the job and your employer does things that don’t seem right, keep in mind that their actions might not only be unfair, but that they may also be against the law. For instance, wage theft occurs when your employer denies you the wages and benefits that they are supposed to give to you. This is a general category of wrongdoing by employers, but there are specific elements that you want to watch out for. You want to be able to recognize when your rights are being violated. Read on to learn about top five wage and hour violations that employers commit against employees.

  1. Work without pay: Everyone should be paid for the work that they do. However, employers don’t always fulfill this obligation. Not being paid at all is the most blatant form of wage theft. This can occur when there is no pay at all or more likely when you’re not being paid for certain wages. For example, if you’re a non-exempt employee, you’re eligible for overtime pay if your employer requests that you work more than 40 hours in a week. If you work these extra hours but aren’t given the extra pay or are asked to work “off the books,” then you would likely be entitled to receive compensation. Other examples are when employers don’t pay employees for travel time from site to site or not paying an employee’s final paycheck.
  1. Failure to make timely payments or not paying the right amount: You’re supposed to receive your pay on the agreed upon time and for the agreed upon amount. If your employer doesn’t deliver your paycheck on time or if the amount is less than your hourly rate for the hours you worked, it is a violation. This includes overtime on commissions and regular wages.

shutterstock_16983095711-300x200Placing a loved one in a nursing home can feel like a great solution. You don’t have to worry about them being home alone where they can’t do things for themselves. However, there are many issues to worry about when they do make the transition to a nursing home. One of the unfortunate things that accompanies these living conditions is the high risk of infection. Read on to learn about why this is such a hazardous environment and what nursing homes should be doing to prevent infections.

Risk Factors for Infections in Nursing Homes

There are various reasons why nursing home residents are likely to get infections, including the following:

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