Friday, May 30, 2008

The Danger in Water Parks

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that emergency room injuries from amusement park rose almost 87 percent in the last five years.

Just a year ago, two boys drowned in a separate water park incidents. The mother of one victim alleged that there was no adequate supervision at the park when her son was drowned.

Due to such event, a lawmaker proposed a new regulation requiring water parks to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance.

This proposal has caused some eyebrows to raise especially owners of water parks themselves. Obviously, getting an insurance policy would mean addition costs on their part.

This cold response of water park owners calls for the approval of this proposal sooner. If no regulations or standards are implemented then we can never be sure of the safety of our children.

California, specifically the southern part is the land of amusement parks. There are probably more water parks here than in other parts of country.

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigates the most serious accidents. Their investigation reveals that most injuries were minor, and most happened on speed slides or in wave pools.

As summer is nearing, children are going back to these parks. Chances are water park accidents such as drowning or contracting diseases due to polluted water may likely happen if no steps are undertaken to regulate the operation these parks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Talking about Wage and Overtime Claims

It is generally accepted that people perform their jobs to earn decent compensation for their hard work. The wage issues can be considered as the main factor that motivates employees on whether to further their employment or to find better paying jobs.

Thus, it is the obligation of the employers to make sure that their employees are being paid properly unless they want to face lawsuits brought about by the violation of the existing wage and overtime laws.

The Federal and California government are aware of the need for law provisions that aim to protect the welfare of the employees, especially those who are earning basic salaries. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, covered workers should be entitled to a minimum wage not lesser than $5.85/hr as of July 24, 2007. This figure, however, is about to increase yearly - $6.55 this year to $7.25 next year.

On the other hand, the same act states that an employee’s overtime pay must not be lesser than one and a half times his regular rate. He may accumulate overtime hours after completing 40 hours of work per week.

There are other law provisions that cover wage and overtime, and such laws can be depended upon by any aggrieved employees. Yet, due to some complexities of these laws, it is advisable to seek expert representation. An employment lawyer who understands these law provisions can guide these employees on what proper steps to pursue to obtain justice.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Statute of Limitations on Discrimination and Harassment Claims

Discrimination and harassment are two of the most common concern in the employment arena. Annually, hundreds of employees are dismissed because of these causes.

Through the years, these suits have been the basis of wrongful termination suits. Millions of dollars are spent on settlements or court proceedings due to these grounds.

While an employee may have the cause of action to sue, he or she must also consider whether its filing is within the statute of limitations or not. Otherwise, the case is useless.

In the Richards case (2001 WL 951286, August 23, 2001), the California Supreme Court found a new criterion for the application of the "continuing violations" doctrine on cases regarding claims of disability discrimination and harassment under the Federal Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

The court opined that, in harassment and discrimination claims, employees might be allowed to introduce evidence of instances of discrimination and harassment. These incidents may be those that are normally time barred pursuant to the 1- year limitation provided under FEHA.

This development has created, at least for majority of cases, an indefinite period when claim for harassment or discrimination commences. The employee must only establish certain facts to be entitled to it.

This court decision, to my mind, is another victory for the employees. This is because incidents that constitute harassment or discrimination that occurred months or even years earlier may still be alleged to establish a claim.

Employees must be given time to assert their claims. This must serve as a warning to employers who blatantly violate the right of the workers to security of tenure or livelihood by their whimsical and capricious reasons of dismissing employees.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slip and Fall Accidents in California’s Setting

Years ago, the residents of San Francisco, California had witnessed the legal battle ensued between a Chief Executive Officer of a company and a famous hotel.

Accidents encompass people, time, and place. This only shows that accidents happen at anytime, at any place and to any one. Slip and fall accident is one of them. Injuries from this type of accident may be less dangerous compared to other injury causing accidents. However, its effects may manifest only in the future when you are caught unaware.

Slip and fall accident is a personal injury that occurs when an owner of a building has been negligent in the care and maintenance of his or her promises.

Structural defects of a building due to age or ordinary wear and tear are the common culprit for a slip and fall injury case. These defects may include:

* Uneven steps
* parking lot potholes
* cracked sidewalks
* broken tiles
* torn carpeting

Building owners are expected to make sure that the building's structure complies with applicable building codes. For instance, handrails must typically be installed at a certain general height. Should injury occur in case of violation of this requisite, the injured party may have a valid claim against the building owner.

Property owners have a certain “duty of care” to ensure that their property is secure. For negligent owners, the law has provided penalties that would make them liable. Make sure, however, that the suit is within the statute of limitations.