Common Overtime Pay Violations Experienced by Nurses

Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees working in America are able to receive protection from any unfair labor practices. Among the many things that the FLSA assures employees is their right to receive proper wages for work rendered outside their regular 40-hour weekly schedule. Overtime pay should be no less than 1.5 times more than an employee’s regular rate of pay. For employees earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, overtime pay should mean getting an additional $3.63. This should mean that minimum wage employees should be paid $10.88 for every hour worked over their typical schedule.

While the FLSA identifies certain professions as exempted from overtime pay, a lot of employers insist on short-changing even those employees that do qualify for the additional 1.5 hourly rate. Among the many workers that experience overtime pay violations are nurses and other healthcare employees in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Common violations experienced by these individuals include being required to work off the clock and having time deducted from their meal period. It’s also common for these employees to have to start preparing for work before the official start of their shift and continue working long after their shift ends. Sometimes, nurses are also required to go to meetings, seminars, and training programs without being properly paid for their time. According to Leichter Law, many nurses are misclassified by their employers, identifying them as exempt employees simply because they are salaried employees. This is especially true for LVNs and LPNs. They do not qualify as exempt professionals and are entitled to the same overtime pay regulations charted in the FLSA.

Aside from nurses, many other individuals experience overtime pay violations and aren’t able to receive proper compensation for all their hard work. Whether you are a salaried employee, independent contractor, or hourly employee, unless your profession is explicitly exempted by the FLSA, you are entitled to receive overtime wages at the government-mandated rate.

Read More

How To Make Wellness Programs Succeed In Your Small Business

Many large businesses have started to realize the benefits of implementing wellness programs in their workplace. While employers make sure that they provide employees with a safe and conducive working environment, workplace injuries can still happen. When such accidents happen, this could mean huge costs on workers’ compensation claims and health insurance payouts. To remedy the situation, wellness programs have found their place in many businesses.

If you are a small business owner, perhaps the first thing that will come to your mind is that wellness program is not applicable to your case. In reality, however, your small business can also benefit from the corporate wellness bandwagon. Your employees also get sick and may become absent due to sickness. A study by Health Affairs revealed a $3.27 drop in medical expenses for every dollar spent. With a wellness program, you can ease your coffers of these expenses and also ensure the satisfaction of your employees.

According to the website of WorkSTEPS, regardless of the size of your business, you can benefit from a wellness program. They can be tailored to suit the needs and budget of your company. Traditional programs like stress management, weight loss, and others are worth considering. You can partner them with non-traditional programs such as self-help books, group programs, and coaching to make the program more robust. By allowing your employees to choose the best program for them, you can get them involved and ensure the success of your program.

Consider the benefits of wellness programs to your small business. Many employers report increased attendance from healthier employees. They also reported increased productivity and less doctor visits. To you as an employer, this would mean reduced insurance costs. So if other businesses can do it, why can’t you? Of course this would mean a lifestyle change but you can still keep them motivated by offering various benefits such as flexible schedules, paid leaves, and others.

Read More

Holding business establishments liable in drunken driving accident

Car accidents that are caused by drunken drivers often fatal and many families are left suffering from great financial loss. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in the year 2012.

When a drunken driving accident happen, it is way too common for victims to blame and pursue damages from the intoxicated driver who is responsible to the crash. Families who have been victims of drunken driving accidents file lawsuits against negligent drivers for them to possibly get financial assistance they need for hospitalizations. However, the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group says that the insurance or assets of intoxicated drivers are often insufficient to cover the losses of accident victims. At some point, families may possibly held other parties liable if business establishments that serve alcohol contribute to the intoxication of the driver involved in the crash.

Almost all states in the U.S. including South Carolina have “Dram Shop” laws where drunken driving accident victims may possibly pursue damages from bars, clubs, party organizers, and other alcohol-serving establishments. Alcohol-serving establishments are prohibited to serve too much alcohol beverage to a customer who is expected later to drive a vehicle. Dram Shop laws were created for drunken driving accident victims to recover their financial losses by filing lawsuits against establishments that are responsible for the impairment of the driver involved in the crash. Victims and families of drunken driving accidents who have suspected that other parties are liable for their injuries may find it difficult to prove that an alcohol-serving business has liability.

Drunken driving accident victims might consider working with a skilled lawyer to possibly help them strengthen their claim.

Read More

Keeping your workers safe from construction hazards

In this day and age where speed is the new currency, we want to streamline everything and make every process as seamless as possible. In fact, according to the website of FollowUp Power, many CRM software packages are helping contractors in the building and construction industry streamline each of their business processes, from bidding to sales. But apart from speed, one most important thing that you should look after is safety. Unfortunately, many contractors tend to forget this, which results in injurious, sometimes even fatal work-related incidents.

Efficiency and safety are never at the opposite side of the spectrum. In fact, efficiency means safety as it is to another. To keep your workers safe and your bottom line healthy, keeping your workers away from safety hazards is a must. Below are some of the most common workplace incidents:

Slip and fall

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 291 of the 828 fatalities in the construction industry in 2013 were slip and fall-related. As such, employers are asked to plan ahead to see potential slip and fall hazards in the workplace. Employers should also provide fall safety equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems, to keep workers safe. Finally, workers should be trained on how to use these safety tools in the right way.

Electric hazards

Electrical hazards may harm workers directly (electrocution) or indirectly (fall). Whatever it is, its damage could be fatal. As an employer, it is your duty to provide your employers power tools and equipment with no structural and electrical defect. Local electric codes and regulations should also be implemented to avoid incidents.

Asbestos exposure

This can be especially true for demolition projects involving structures built before the 1989 asbestos ban. By conducting trainings on how to manage asbestos and to mitigate its risk of exposure, you are keeping your employees safe from this harmful fiber that could pose risk of chronic and deadly illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Read More

The Amazing Tetralogy of Fallot and Depakote

You will sometimes come across a medical condition that does not sound like one at all. The Tetralogy of Fallot is one example, which sounds more like a play than a congenital (at birth) defect. The term “tetralogy” actually does have its origins in theater, and it refers to a type of marathon production of four works by the same author in Greek theater.

In this instance, however, the term refers to a quadruple whammy of congenital heart problems, specifically: pulmonary infundibular stenosis, overriding aorta, ventricular septal defect, and right ventricular hypertrophy. Add in foramen ovale or atrial septal defect and you have a pentalogy. That is one baby with many problems. However, all these medical conditions have one thing in common: it causes the oxygen levels in the blood to drop. When the body is deprived of the oxygen it needs, bad things happen. An easily recognizable symptom of Tetralogy of Fallot is a bluish cast on a baby’s skin, leading to the familiar term “blue baby.”

There are many factors that may lead to Tetralogy of Fallot, including a genetic predisposition, poor prenatal care, and alcoholism. According to the Williams Kherkher website, it is possible that Depakote may also be a possible cause of this condition. This could be mostly because it is a confirmed teratogenic (causes a disruption in fetal development) agent. Another reason is that millions of women have been prescribed it during their pregnancy to manage migraine headaches and epileptic seizures, believing that it was safe to do so.

While there are no studies specifically looking into the link between Tetralogy of Fallot and Depakote, it would be fairly reasonable to suggest that there may be one. If you believe that your child’s congenital heart condition may be due to Depakote, you may be right. Consult with an experience dangerous drugs law firm in your area to find out more.

Read More

Healthy Habits to Avoid Side Effects of Blood Thinners

Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are a common drug type for treating certain cardiac medical conditions that can prevent clogging and other blood flow obstructions. While blood thinners are common, medications like Xarelto are known to cause severe bleeding incidents, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhaging, and serious blood loss.

Bleeding is a known risk of all anticoagulants. However, there are methods to preventing serious bleeding incidents. It is important to be aware of habits that can increase the risk of excessive bleeding and simple ways of decreasing risk.

All medications come with safety warnings to help prevent the patient from putting themselves in dangerous situations. While some blood thinners may not specifically warn against consumption of alcohol, excessive drinking while on blood thinners can interfere with the ability of blood to clot. Similarly, vitamin K is responsible for the clotting of blood and eating vitamin K-rich foods may obstruct the ability of blood thinners to work correctly.

Since blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding from sustained injuries, contact sports are ill-advised while prescribed an anticoagulant. Open wounds from sports related injuries can cause severe blood loss since the blood thinner stops blood from clotting. This warning also coincides with bleeding risks on the job. Some professions like construction work lead to a higher risk of uncontrollable bleeding incidents due to the dangerous nature of the work performed.

Consistent monitoring and communication with a physician is the best form of protecting yourself against the side effects of blood thinners. However, according to the website of the Williams Kherkher Law Firm, some risks are unforeseen, and negligent drug manufacturers may fail to warn their patients of serious side effects medication may cause.

Read More

The Delicate Nature Between Alzheimer’s and the Law

It can be quite a tricky legal situation when the main person involved in the circumstances is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the website of Peck Ritchey, complications often arise in legal proceedings if an individual is deemed as no longer capable of making important decisions for their own person.

Seeing as Alzheimer’s is a disease that has been classified as the most common form of dementia, it can be looked upon as one that is due reason for legal claims made in this state to have been influenced by the illness. The disease involves severe memory loss, as well as the loss of certain cognitive abilities that allow for a person to make daily decisions, requiring for them to be assisted with every aspect of their lives.

That is why it is then of the utmost importance to acquire legal assistance that has a specialization in this branch of the law, due to the complications that a medical condition presents to the case. It can be a trying time for the family as well as the victim due to the living conditions that are indubitably changed in order to better adapt with the circumstances. There are many very little intricate details that need to be taken care of and taken into account when arranging legal documents whilst a condition of this nature exists with the individual concerned.

If you or someone you know has to go through an ordeal similar to this, it is recommended that action is taken immediately as this disease can be fast acting and entirely unpredictable. In order to ensure that the worldly belongings and legal documentation of the individual in question is taken care of and properly distributed, come the time of their passing, this should be handled by professionals who have sufficient knowledge of this medical case as well as an indomitable handle of this branch of the law.

It could save you and your family a lot of stress and heartache, and further grant you peace as soon as possible.

Read More

Dealing with Wrongful Death

There is nothing quite as horrible as having to deal with the loss of someone who was important in your life. Nothing can ever replace or even compare to the lost life that was taken. But in the cases of wrongful death, the main point isn’t the payment received or any of the semantics – it is, primarily, the goal of achieving justice for the deceased who was taken well before their time in this life.

Cases of wrongful death are those of which the death of someone is caused directly due to the actions of another party, whether it was intentional or unintentional. These cases have the potential to be some of the most complicated procedures due to the nature of the crime. Some factors of the crime could indubitably change the outcome such as motive or intent or circumstance that led to the death. These are sometimes taken advantage of, in order for the accused to escape righteous justice as mandated by the law.

There is intent to be investigated as well as the evidence that must support the claim against the offending party. Cases of wrongful death are also considered separate from criminal charges such as homicide, assisted suicide, or manslaughter; though the surviving family or beneficiaries of the deceased could press for these charges against the accused all the same.

According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm, if you have lost someone important to you due to wrongful death, there are legal options available to you that you may pursue in order to receive financial compensation that might help with handling such an unfortunate tragedy. It is true enough that there can never be anything that could replace the life so unjustly taken from you but justice must be pursued all the same and you, as the surviving beneficiary or other family member left behind by the deceased, have every right to demand recompense in order to better transition into now living a life without your loved one.

Read More

“No Zone” Area: One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

Driving for 11 hours straight or with very short rest periods is normal for many truck drivers; thus, due to this very challenging task, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 strictly requires that truck drivers undergo training, possess the necessary skills in operating a truck, and pass the test set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), before being issued a commercial vehicle license.

The law firm Ritter & Associates explains on its website the substantial role trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, play in a nation’s economy. These enormous vehicles transport important cargos that keep businesses operational and profitable. Due to their size, however, they also pose a great threat to smaller motor road vehicles, which they can easily crush in the event of an accident.

Many different laws, therefore, have been passed, all aimed at helping make sure that drivers are qualified and kept from feeling fatigued or drowsy behind the wheel and that trucks are always in good condition and free from manufacturing defects. Besides the licensing requirement enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are also laws on the allowed number of hours of service (HOS) and maximum number of driving hours, quality standards on truck tires and brakes, prohibition on the use of handheld phones while driving and law on the use of a bluetooth headset, and so forth.

Besides these laws, there are other concerns truck drivers and other motorists are cautioned about as these have also been major causes of many truck accidents in the past. One of these concerns is a truck driver’s blind spot, otherwise known as a “no zone” area. This specifically includes the truck’s front, back and driver’s side. This “no zone” area is that spot where truck drivers usually fail to notice smaller vehicles. Thus, when changing lanes or making a (left) turn, a vehicle in this area is at risk of being crushed.

In its website, the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C., explains that many of those who get involved in truck accidents are just innocent victims and that the accident is actually a result of the truck driver’s negligence or carelessness. Due to this, the law allows victims to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.

Hiring the services of a highly-competent and experienced lawyer, such as an Atlanta truck accident lawyer will definitely be in the best interest of an injured victim. Through a lawyer’s help, the victim is quite assured of a strong defense that can make the court decide on his/her favor and grant him/her the full amount of compensation allowed under the law.

Read More

What Makes the Philippines the Best Country for Outsourcing

Outsourcing means contracting out a business process by one business organization to a third party organization, which may be located either nationally or internationally (known as offshoring). This business movement is usually resorted to by the host firm as an alternative due to a lack in the number of skilled individuals needed to fit a certain job description.

Outsourcing, more so offshoring, has become a vital business tactic among many big and developing foreign companies due to the much more favorable economic advantages this move offers both the host and third party organizations. Its greatest advantage is the opportunity of the third party organization to earn profits through the creation of new jobs, while for the host company, much lower cost in overhead or operating expenses since employment in the chosen country is much cheaper than in theirs. Furthermore, host firms are offered various incentives by the third-party’s country, like income-tax holidays, vital off-site facilities, foreign investors and their immediate family members are granted permanent resident status, choice of paying a special 5% gross income tax instead of the local and national taxes, and so forth.

One country that has been among the top choices of many giant foreign firms around the globe, including a substantial number of Fortune 500 companies, as the ideal place where to outsource/offshore their services and other projects is the Philippines.

Though outsourcing in the Philippines began only in the 1990s, its worth already to ballooned to $1.5 billion in 2004 and to $9 billion in 2009. That’s a growth of $1.5 billion per year over a span of only 5  years. In 2013 the country was also able to edge New Delhi at the third spot in the 2013 top 100 global outsourcing destinations.

The trend only continues to lead towards the further growth of outsourcing in the Philippines as top companies in Australia have also began to outsource in the country. This is obviously due to the fact that outsourced projects and services are manned by English speaking individuals with a high literacy level. Outsourced jobs include call centers, customer relationship management, HR solutions, back office/chat support, creative processes, content writing, blogging, research, application maintenance, IT services, web design, software development, medical transcription, healthcare information management, legal services, and so forth.

Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center Inc. (PPOC Inc.) is one company in the Philippines that has grown tremendously over just a period of two years. In 2013 one US-based company made a bold prediction about outsourcing in the Philippines; it said that by 2030 the industry will push the Philippines to becoming a trillion-dollar economy.

Read More