The Family and Medical Act of 1993

Employees of covered employers who meet certain requirements are protected by the Family and Medical Act of 1993 from the loss of their job because of family and medical situations that may occur. This addition to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) is crucial for families that have had major medical events. These regulations allow for specific amounts of time to be taken off for family and medical events, like the birth of a child or the serious illness of a family member. In these situations the employee is allowed a specific amount of unpaid time off with the protection of their position.

Qualified employees are eligible to take a leave for up to 12 weeks unpaid and with job-protection in a 12 month period. This unpaid, job-protected time can be taken for the birth of a newborn child or the adoption or foster care of a child. It can also be taken off for the care of a spouse, parent or child with a serious illness or if the employee him or herself is unable to work because of a serious illness.

All of these situations are dependent on the qualifications of both the employee and the employer. Employees of public agencies, local education providers and private-sector employers who employ at least 50 people for at least 20 weeks each year, may be protected by this Act. The employees of those qualified employers must also meet certain requirements to be considered protected by the Family and Medical Act. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours for the employer in the previous 12 months. Also, the employer must employ at least 50 people within 75 miles of the employee to be covered by these regulations.

One final group of employees that is protected by this Act is those employees who are spouse, parent or child to an injured service member who is in need of care. Also, the spouse, child or parent of a member of the National Guard or Reserves who is soon to be deployed may be protected by this act. Protection for the family of service people extends for up to 26 weeks in a 12 month period and is also subject to the same employee and employer relationships for the family and medical situations.

For more information on the Family and Medical Act of 1993 and the FLSA, please visit the website of the FLSA attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei, LLP. James Witherspoon

Child Labor and Driving Jobs

In the United States, child labor is widely defined as whenever a person under 18 years of age enters the workforce. Considering that this can include circumstances such as running a paper delivery route or helping parents with local farm duties, prohibitions on child labor require very specific outlines in order to avoid becoming unreasonable and unnecessarily strict. As a result, there are several exemptions and special rules governing certain branches of the workforce, making labor permissible for minors in certain situations. Specifically, minors may find jobs that involve driving difficult in certain jurisdictions, as the law can be detailed when dealing with this area of employment.

In various jurisdictions, individuals under a certain age will not be able to secure any job that has driving as a part of that job. Many states recognize that drivers cannot officially obtain a driving license until they are 16-years old, meaning that employment law is adjusted accordingly. Thus, states may require minors to be 17-years old before they can operate a motor vehicle as a part of their job.

In addition to age restrictions, minors are often limited by the kind of work they are legally allowed to do. For teen drivers, this can mean that a job may not actually require them to spend the majority of their time in a car or truck. Some states are very precise, marking schedules in which a teen worker cannot drive more than 20 percent of their workweek. Also, it is rare that a teen driver is permitted to drive for work at night.

Finally, teens are not allowed to engage in jobs that can be dangerous to their health. This means that delivery jobs involving the use of an automobile are not allowed in certain jurisdictions, as these tasks require frequent driving trips, and may encourage drivers to drive quickly to meet delivery times.

For more information concerning your state's child labor laws, contact an employment attorney.

If you have questions concerning the standards of your child's employment, contact a Houston employment attorney from the Ross Law Group today.

COBRA Health Benefits Overview

Who Qualifies for COBRA

COBRA benefits are available to certain individuals who are covered by a group health plan on the day before a qualifying event. Beneficiaries generally include former employees; retirees; and spouses, former spouses, or dependent children of qualified individuals. Directors, agents, and independent contractors may also qualify for COBRA benefits if they participated in a qualifying health plan. A dependent may elect to receive COBRA benefits even if the related employee does not.

Private companies with 20 or more employees, state and local governments, and other employee organizations are generally covered by COBRA.

COBRA "Qualifying Events"

COBRA health insurance is only available under certain specified circumstances, including but not limited to:
  • Employment termination on a voluntary or involuntary basis (except in the case of gross misconduct)
  • Reduced hours of employment
  • Medicare benefits take effect
  • Death, divorce, or legal separation of the covered employee
Length of COBRA Coverage

The time period during which COBRA is available varies with the type of qualifying event. A plan may extend the benefit period, but cannot shorten the required coverage period. COBRA benefits may be available for 18 to 36 months, depending on the circumstances. Eighteen (18) months is an average benefit period.

The Cost of COBRA Benefits

The beneficiary must pay a monthly premium for COBRA insurance coverage. Many employees face sticker shock when they realize that in addition to the typically small portion of the monthly health payment that was deducted from their paycheck, they now must also pay the portion of the premium previously covered by their employer. In many cases this can be a payment 3-4 times larger than their earlier contribution. Overall, eligible COBRA beneficiaries cannot be required to pay more than 102% of the monthly premium cost, with the 2% representing administrative charges.

A common complaint is that COBRA can be too expensive for the unemployed, since the employer is no longer subsidizing the cost. For this reason, a report by the Commonwealth Fund found that less than 10% of employees took advantage of COBRA benefits in 2006. Nevertheless, COBRA is frequently less expensive than the alternate cost of individual health coverage. Because of the cost, participants selecting COBRA are commonly cases of adverse selection, i.e. those with more serious and immediate health coverage needs. Recent federal government COBRA subsidies will expire soon.

COBRA Coverage Disputes

The COBRA plan administrator is required to provide an election notice when a beneficiary is qualified to receive continue coverage. While infrequent, there are times when an administrator's determinations are challenged. According to the Employee Benefits Security Administration, determinations involving group health plan coverage eligibility are not governed by ERISA's claims procedure regulation unless they relate to a specific claim for benefits.

In Summary

COBRA is a useful but costly benefit to employees who find themselves out of work unexpectedly. From an employer's perspective, compliance requirements may be complex. Multiple federal agencies have responsibility for various aspects of COBRA and ERISA, including the Department of Labor, Treasury Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service.

If you are an employer covered by COBRA, work closely with an attorney experienced in COBRA and ERISA matters to insure regulatory compliance and avoid disputes that may lead to litigation.

Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D., a highly experienced ERISA expert, is founder of ERISA Benefits Consulting Inc. As a former ERISA Plan Managing Director and plan fiduciary for a Fortune 500 company, Dr. Johnson has practical knowledge of plan documents as well as an in-depth understanding of ERISA obligations. He works as an expert consultant and witness on 401(k), ESOP and pension fiduciary liability; retiree medical benefit coverage; third party administrator disputes; individual benefit claims; pension benefits in bankruptcy; long term disability benefits; and cash conversion balances. He can be reached at 817-909-0778. ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc by Mark Johnson provides benefit consulting and advisory services and does not engage in the practice of law.

Defense Base Act

In recent years, the use of defense contractors to assist operations has been a widely publicized part of the modern U.S. military. Both as a strategy to minimize the number of actual troops necessary to wage a successful campaign and to complete some tasks that would otherwise require a great deal of vertical development on the Department of Defense's behalf, defense contractors have proven themselves useful in supporting America's military concerns. However, these workers may become injured, and, like other American workers, have the right to pursue compensation if necessary.

To cover worker problems in ports, the government passed the Defense Base Act in 1941 as measure to help contractors working for the war effort of the Second World War. This piece of legislation was specifically designed to streamline the process of workers' compensation claims coming from from mostly foreign ports.

Unlike the standard stateside workers' compensation systems, the military demands more strict paperwork and procedures for claims filed under the DBA. It is necessary to first notify a manager or superior about an injury and then file the appropriate reports and paperwork before any medical treatment is sought. Once the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs receives this paperwork, financial coverage for that medical treatment can be officially provided.

Instead of a compensation schedule program, which is most common among employers today, DBA compensation uses a weekly wage system. Instead of providing a pre-determined amount of money according to the severity of an injury, these systems determine compensation according to the worker's average weekly wage.

The details of DBA law can seem confusing to laborers who are used to the rules established by state compensation systems. If you would like to learn more about compensation as a defense contractor, contact a workers' compensation attorney.

If you have been injured on the job, contact the Des Moines workers' compensation attorneys of LaMarca & Landry, P.C. to learn more about your rights and options.

What Is a Business Legal Professional?

A "business lawyer" or "business attorney" usually refers to a lawyer who represents provider entities of all types. These consist of companies, LLCs, general partnerships, limited partnerships, sole proprietorships, associations, organizations and joint ventures. Commonly, corporation suitable professionals also signify individuals who act inside of a business capacity (owners, proprietors, principals, managers, partners, directors, officers, controlling shareholders, entrepreneurs)! Some business attorneys also represent other individuals in their dealings with business entities (e.g. contractors, subcontractors, consultants, minority shareholders, personnel)! When we use the term "business lawyer" we believe of all three of the above. We represent services, owners, entrepreneurs, individuals in a office capability and other persons who have relationships with corporation entities.

Most businesses need contracts of numerous several kinds, along with a fantastic attorney can draw them up for you simply. Rather than seeking to write your own and hope that they hold up in court, allow a industry legislation service provider to construct or in the the very least edit contracts that you certainly will use at your company. This will guarantee that for those who truly encounter trouble within your supplier, you will probably be protected legally.

Several industries regularly desire a fine organization business venture legal representative, as you might discover a number of restrictions and rules that ought to be adhered to. Will need to you feel too hectic to keep up with new laws that go into impact inside your field, let an attorney to hold you updated. For instance, the building corporation normally has codes that must be adhered to, or you may face fines or even court instances. Steer clear of difficulty by keeping someone near to who will regularly help remind you of any current updates that might possibly it could be that impact your organization.

Sometimes issues go wrong with clients or workers, and companies get sued. Having an attorney might possibly will not prevent individuals nowadays from acquiring frustrated and threatening to sue, however it could decrease the chances of them truly in all likelihood through it considering that they will know that they might not win. If they do go as a result of with it, you will probably could possibly demand a business authorized professional a lot of a lot more than at any time, so it will doubtless be notably good to acquire a single near to. It is just smart to shield yourself from potential lawsuits brought on by angry clients or personnel, primarily provided that companies of any type can face these issues.

Having a will possibly not prevent individuals currently from acquiring frustrated and threatening to sue, but it could decrease the chances of them certainly running through it given that they will know that they might not win.It is just smart to shield your self from possible lawsuits brought on by angry customers or workers, in particular offered that agencies of any variety can face these issues.

Employment Law Is Not Workers' Compensation Law

Since employment law and workers' compensation law both relate to people and their workplace it is common, however incorrect, for the two to be used interchangeably in conversation. Here are the key distinctions between these important areas of the law.

Employment Law is:
  • ADA Violations - The Americans with Disability Act, ADA, prohibits discrimination in the work place based on disability. Employers anywhere in the country, including Washington State, with 15 or more employees must provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment opportunities available to others.
  • Discrimination - Employers cannot treat employees differently due to race, color, religion, sex, age, disabilities, genetic information or national origin.
  • Employment Contract Disputes - These kinds of disputes involve issues arising from formal employment contracts. These issues typically include non-compete clauses, wages, bonuses, benefits, duration of employment, ownership of intellectual property, and confidentiality.
  • FMLA Violations - Employers with over 15 employees must follow the FMLA which entitles individuals to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if the employee is unable to perform his or her job due to a serious medical condition; needs to care for a sick family member (including spouse, child, or parent); or to care for a new family member (by birth or adoption). Following the leave, the employee should be returned to the same or equivalent position.
  • Harassment - This includes any behavior intended to disturb or upset an employee at the work place. This can also include threatening disturbing behavior and unwanted sexual advances.
  • OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations are federal safety violations when an employer knowingly neglects to protect federal employees, military base employees, longshore and offshore employees. (A recent example is the death of the SeaWorld Trainer by the Orca whale. OSHA fined SeaWorld approximately $75,000 in safety violations.)
  • WISHA - Washington Industries Safety and Health Act protects all workers in the State of Washington. Violations of the act are handled through L&I (Labor & Industries).
  • Retaliation - This occurs when an employer seeks revenge upon an employee for something the employee feels is legally right. In order to fall under retaliation the following must be present: (1) employee was involved in a protected activity (2) the employee performed the job according to the employer's expectations (3) the employee suffered a materially adverse employment action (4) the employee was treated less favorably than similarly situated employees.
  • Wage and Hour Disputes - These disputes include unpaid time, illegal distribution of tips and failure to pay during breaks. Issues involving misclassification of employees and independent contractors also falls within this employment category.
  • Wrongful Termination - Being fired from your job illegally!
You can sue your employer for any of the above violations! Awards can include lost wages and monetary awards for pain and suffering. These cases are argued before the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the United States Department of Labor.

Employment Law attorneys handle employment law cases.

Workers' Compensation Law is:

  • On the job injuries or occupational diseases. Workers injured or made sick by their work are eligible for Workers' Compensation. Benefits include medical care, time loss compensation, permanent partial disability, vocational rehab, pensions, and other payments. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) manages state fund cases and presides over self insured cases. Workers' Compensation is a no fault system of social insurance which in theory provides sure and certain relief but takes away your ability to sue your employer for all injuries except intentional injuries.
    Workers' Compensation law is what we do. If you need Washington Workers' Compensation advice click here, if you need a Washington workers' compensation attorney, call and we'll do our best to answer your questions and help you.
Can They Overlap?

  • Yes! Sometimes the issues in employment law cases overlap with the issues in workers' compensation cases. For example, an individual in Seattle, WA could suffer an injury on the job while at the same time experiencing discrimination due to his or her advanced age. This would result in both a workers' compensation claim and an age discrimination suit. This individual would therefore have two different cases and two different sets of remedies.

Regardless of whether you think you have a Washington Workers' Compensation claim or an Employment Law case the Sharpe Law Firm can help you. Attorney Chris Sharpe has been in the Seattle legal community for years and even if his firm cannot take your case, he can put you in touch with an attorney he trusts. Please contact us by computer or call 1-800-919-4636 if we can be of any assistance.

Sharpe Law Firm
4727 44th Ave SW
Seattle, WA. 98116
Phone: (206) 343-1988
Toll Free: 1-800-919-4636

FLSA and Child Employment

The Fair Labor Standards Act is an important Federal document that prescribes the proper treatment of employees by employers in all different types of business settings. This also includes very strict standards for child employment in order to protect both child employees and child employers from harm. It is crucial for both parties to understand the implications of these regulations for a safe work environment.

The federal regulations set out by the FLSA are intended to protect the rights of employees and therefore, in the case of child employment, the highest degree of protection is always applied. This means that in a state with regulations that are less strict in regards to child employment than Federal regulations, Federal regulations must be applied by an employer. If the individual state regulations are equal to or more stringent than Federal regulations require, those regulations will determine laws regarding proper child employment.

There are certain important points within the FLSA that should be accounted for in every work environment. A work permit is not required by the FSLA, though some states may require an age certificate. Youth must be paid at least minimum wage for any type of work. Minimum wage laws must be applied in all situations including tipped wage employment regulations. Also, any overtime work must be compensated at a rate of at least one and a half times the standard rate of pay, even if that rate is above minimum wage. Employers are required to keep proper records of all youth employees just as they would for adult employees. This includes contracts, records of hours worked, and any other appropriate documentation.

There are very specific jobs that can and can not be held at different ages by children. These jobs are clearly set out by the FLSA, but there are a few allowable and restricted jobs of note. At age 13 or younger, a child may deliver newspapers, be a baby-sitter or actor, or work for any business completely owned and operated by their parents. At the age of 14, a child may work in an office, grocery store, retail store, amusement park, or gas station along with other specific places, but a 14 year old child may not work public utilities jobs, construction or door-to-door sales among other jobs. When a child is 16, they may work any job not declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor, which includes many jobs involving powered machinery or vehicle operation.

Once a child turns 18, they may apply to any job as an adult employee. At this age they are no longer regulated as a child employee, even though certain companies may have age and experience requirements that disallow them from holding a position.

For more information on FLSA regulations pertaining to child employment, please visit the website of the wage and overtime lawyers at Tycko & Zavareei, L.L.P..
James Witherspoon

Paying Work Cover Lawyers Need Not to Be Worried by Workers

Have you experienced receiving a small amount of compensation after being injured in your job? Have you signed a contract that offers much less than you deserve because you were forced to do it? It is a must that cover lawyers be present today for there are a lot of employees who are not aware of their rightful compensation and legal rights.

For employees to be legally protected in case they meet accidents or are injured at work, compensation lawyers are present to stand for them. Work cover lawyers basically persuade employers into improving the dangerous workplace conditions and especially help injured workers receive monetary compensation for the injuries they suffered. Worker's compensation attorneys are advocates of the employee's rights and the worker's best interest.

Employees who are injured are not only entitled to monetary compensation but as well as medical benefits and even future employment. The employer should cover all the necessary treatment and therapies as well as the medical bills depending on the severity of the injury. It is a reality that some workrelated injuries sure are deliberating that is why alternative work options should be given either through continuous monetary assistance or in the form of training.

Employees who have experienced work accidents are protected by work cover lawyers so as to receive the rightful compensation from employers. Clients are being informed by legal representatives of employees about making the proper legal decisions. These two reasons prove why employees should hire work cover attorneys.

The best amount of employees' payout settlement can be bargained by workers' compensation lawyers, which give them a reason to be hired. Compensation lawyers know their way in and around labor laws, employer's responsibilities and employee's rights, so they cannot fall victim to unfair insurers who don't want to give away large sums of money to their suffering workers. Workers are assured that they get the right amount that they deserve with work cover lawyers around.

With the help of worker's compensation lawyers, companies or insurers are stopped in performing harmful acts against its employees such as tolerance of a hazardous working environment and giving less importance of worker's compensation rights. Because workers often think they are not worthy of getting anything more than what is offered to them by their unfair employers, they just helplessly and blindly accept. Employer's shameful ways are exposed with the help of compensation lawyers, and the only option these companies have is to improve their ways and improve their dangerous workplace setting.

Even though that a lot of workers experienced serious illnesses because of dangerous work conditions, they still are doubtful if they should hire work cover lawyers for they worry that they might not be able pay these lawyers with the minimum wage that they're receiving. These are valid reasons especially for employees who cannot anymore work because of their current situations and are financially problematic. The ability of workers and their families to pay worker's compensation attorney against paying bills are the choices that these people need to make.

A new policy on the contingency fee structure is now effect so workers who have endured work accidents do not need to worry about the financial aspect of hiring a compensation lawyer. The amount that the work cover lawyer will receive is based on the agreed percentage which will be deducted from the amount that the employee will get upon winning the case, based on the contingency fee contract. No payment of fees would take place if the case is lost or if there is no settlement.

This contingency fee agreement is favorable to workers who have no ability to pay worker's compensation lawyers on their own. Consultations done through phone, letter or personal meeting do not require initial fees or other fees paid by the injured employees. The time that fees can only be settled is once the case against the employer is won.

There is no need for you to feel helpless or powerless if you are a victim of work related injury due to a hazardous working environment. Now, you have the capability to hire the services of work cover lawyers who will guide you to claim your rightful compensation. Empower yourself and fight unjust employers with the help of compensation lawyers!

As a person looking for workers compensation lawyers you should visit that site. If you are looking for more information on car accident compensation claim make sure to visit their website.

Employment Solicitors - What About Employers' Rights?

When most people think of employment law their thoughts are almost always directed towards the rights of employees. There has been so much publicity recently about these rights - whether it is for their right to be paid the minimum wage, get their statutory holiday pay or to work in complete safety - that the rights of employers have been largely ignored.

Now I'm not suggesting that any of the rights that employees now enjoy are a bad thing, far from it. Thanks to these laws the UK is now one of the fairest, safest and secure places in the world to work. There does however seem to be an unnatural shift in favour of employees to the disadvantage of many employers.

Employers also have a number of rights that they should be able to enforce without fear of legal action. For example, an employee should have the right to dismiss one of their workers if they feel that they have a fair reason for doing so.

These days we hear about cases involving employment law crop up more and more. This is largely due to the recession and the large number of people being made redundant. In every case however, there are two sides to the story. In a lot of cases, despite finding themselves in very difficult situations, employers have done nothing wrong. People sometimes do things, or conduct themselves in a certain way, which puts employers well within their rights to terminate employment.

In cases where an employer needs to defend their actions in court, they, like the employee making the accusations, needs to find legal representation. Just like an employee, for an employer, finding specialist legal representation is very important. Though you can choose to use a non specialist solicitor, using specialist employment solicitors is well worth it.

Employment law is very different to most areas of the law. To ensure that you are being represented in the best way possible you need to use employment solicitors who have extensive experience in the particular area of the law that you are involved in. This experience will mean that they are able to put your case forward in the most convincing and beneficial way.

Additionally, their experience will also make them far more able to make the process easier for you. They will be able to explain proceedings to you in a clear and understandable way as well as being able to advise you on what they feel is the best way forward. This ability is something which can only come from experience and will prove to be invaluable.

There are many specialist employment solicitors around. If an employee of yours feels that you have treated them unfairly then you are completely within your rights to fight your case. By far the best way to do this is to use specialist employment solicitors.

A History of the Eight-Hour Work Day

Although many workers do not necessarily realize it, many of the major standards of workers' rights are the result of long battles between labor organizations and employers. Historically, the fight for the eight-hour work day in particular took over a century of organized protest and resistance, eventually ending in a major victory for industrial and commercial goods workers. Now, the eight-hour day is considered a basic right among many blue-collar workers, as it is discussed along the same lines in legislation as overtime pay and child labor laws.

One of the earliest movements in America for the eight-hour work day was actually a push for a ten-hour day. The Industrial Revolution changed the way working conditions affected the average person, putting workers in twelve to sixteen-hour days. Eventually, workers decided that this much work was actually detrimental to employee productivity, and they demanded less intensive schedules. In 1791, carpenters in Philadelphia fought for and won a ten-hour work day. In roughly 40 years, this became a standard demand from workers, and the push for eight-hour days began in earnest.

By the mid-1800, labor movements across major industrial centers in the United States organized strikes and protests for better conditions, including an eight-hour day. These battles continued, winning the occasional fight over a certain industry in a city. Not until 1938, with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, was the eight-hour day established as a right for commercial goods workers.

As a result of this law's passage, an employer is not permitted to ask an employee to work more than eight hours each day without offer overtime pay. However, given the restrictions of the law, certain white-collar careers were not actually covered by the 1938 provisions, meaning that businesspeople may be asked to work over eight hours in some cases. If you would like to learn more about how the eight-hour work day and overtime pay disputes can be legally settled, contact an employment attorney.

If you have not been paid for the hours you have worked, or if you have been forced to work excessive hours without overtime pay, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for those lost wages. Contact the Houston employment lawyer of the Ross Law Group today.
James Witherspoon