Friday, May 25, 2012

Sharon Stone Sued for Employment Discrimination and Wrongful Termination by Former Nanny

The “Casino” actress, Sharon Stone, is now facing employment discrimination complaints and wrongful termination filed by the former nanny of her three children.

Allegedly, the actress made disparaging remarks about her nanny, Erlinda T. Elemen’s race and religious belief and later on fired Elemen, accusing the latter of stealing her rightfully obtained overtime pay.

In her statement, Elemen said the she began working for Stone in 2006 until she was promoted as the head nanny of the actress’ three children in 2008.

During her employment under Stone, Elemen claims that Stone often mock her Filipino background, telling her not to speak with Stone’s children because she didn’t want her children to speak like the way her nanny speaks. Eleman further said that Stone often make scornful comments about Filipino foods, and disparaging statements that blatantly equated being Filipino with being stupid.

Oftentimes, Stone criticized Elemen for frequently attending church and there was one time that the actress prevented her from reading bible inside her room in Stone’s residence. In February, 2011, the actress eventually fired Elemens for refusing to return the overtime payment that the nanny had earned while traveling with Stone’s children in several occasions.

Elemen finally decided to file a complaint after Stone fired her for allegedly stealing her overtime pay. Elemen states that Stone told her that it is illegal for the nanny to receive the overtime pay.

In her lawsuit, Elemen is seeking for unspecified damages for employment harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination she suffered under Stone’s employment.

Harassment, underpayment and having no overtime pay and benefits are common problems for employees in household occupations.

According to Elemen’s employment lawyer, Solomon Gresen, if a celebrity underpays a household help, then it only points out that there are thousands of other people who do the same harassment and misconduct with their household employees. Gresen also said that he and Elemen hope that this case will benefit other household employees and will make some changes in their lives.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles employment lawyers who are keeping an eye on the case agreed with Elemen and her lawyer when they said that household employees have only a little power to avoid such employment harassment. That is indeed true, which is why such class of employees should be given more comprehensive protection by both state and federal government.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Estranged Wife of Robert F. Kennedy Commits Suicide

Robert F. Kennedy’s estranged wife, Mary Kennedy, was found dead on Wednesday in its Bedford home.

The Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the cause of death of the 52-year-old architect is asphyxiation by hanging. In other words, it was a self inflicted death or suicide.

Robert F. Kennedy and the late Mary R. Kennedy were married in 1994; the later filed a divorce in 2010. Robert Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy.

Rumors say that the separation brought a devastating effect to Mrs. Kennedy. In fact, three days after their separation, Mrs. Kennedy was reported arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) when authorities found a blood alcohol content level of 0.11 percent in Mrs. Kennedy’s test. She was then required to pay a $500 monetary relief and police later confiscated her driver’s license for 90 days due to the said incident.

Months after the incident, Mrs. Kennedy was again arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Fortunately, a jury from Pleasant Valley Town later dismissed the charges set against her, believing that Mrs. Kennedy was not really aware that her prescription drugs would impair her driving ability.

In New York, the impact of driving under the influence is severely catastrophic and in fact, one-third of drivers and pedestrians involved in all vehicle accident fatalities in New York are impaired or intoxicated.

The lawful blood alcohol content limit in each country varies. Usually, in most states in U.S. like in New York, the blood alcohol content limit is being measured trough a breath device, urinalysis or a blood test. Any percentage that goes beyond the 0.08% maximum level of blood alcohol content is considered enough to considerably impair a driver.  

Although, Mrs. Kennedy was once a public figure, it would not definitely become a factor to exclude her from traffic violation charges. She would still be held liable in an instance that her drunk driving caused injuries or damages to others.

In other states such as California, lawyers like a Los Angeles auto accident attorney also reminded the same statutes to most people under their jurisdiction to avoid such incidents of drunk driving.

Friday, May 11, 2012

California Unemployment Drop in March, the Lowest Cut Down in 2 Years

The State of California had more than 2 million jobless people in March.

However, the number of unemployment claims received by the State has dropped by 17% compared to March of last year, said the Employment Development Department.

Last March, the State handled some 509,235 unemployment claims compared to the 616,884 claims filed in March of last year. The March figures also show a major cut down since two years ago when the month of March claims reach a staggering 718,396 claims.

The number of people filing for unemployment claim is meaningfully lower than the total jobless since thousands of self employed and others are not qualified for the benefits.

Factors eyed as a major reason behind the cutoff in claims is the approximately 242,000 fewer Californians jobless in March. This is compared to the figures recorded during the peak of economic recession way back in September, 2010 when some 2,272,900 residents were officially declared unemployed. 

Some experts believed that the following factors contributed a lot to the drop in claims in the Golden State:

•    March, 2012 has approximately 242,000 fewer jobless people than during the peak of economic recession way back in September 2012 when 2,272,900 unemployed residents were officially declared.

•    More unemployed Californians have drained their 99 weeks of jobless benefit. EDD figures as of May 1 reveal that some 673,000 people had turned into unemployment rolls after maxing out their unemployment benefits. It is not even clear how many of them recently found a job.

This current month, the number of claims is expected to drop significantly. Approximately 90,000 residents will be out of unemployment lists after May 12, since the State is no longer accepting applications for the so-called Fed-Ed federal emergency aid.

It means that the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits will be reduced to a maximum of 79 weeks of aid. Furthermore, said benefits will again be reduced to 73 weeks in September in line with the unemployment extension phase-out approved by the Congress. By December, all federal unemployment benefits will eventually end, leaving the upcoming unemployed with a maximum of just 26 weeks of State aid.

Due to the unemployment drop, the State’s payouts for unemployment benefits likewise dropped. In an average, California pays $107 million in a day in March 2010, while in March this year, the State only pays $59 million daily, a decrease almost double from the previous amount.

However, the drop in payouts had done nothing to help California’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to get out from being dipped in hot water. The State had been in fact, borrowing from the federal government to pay the unemployment benefits because the unemployment tax revenues do not meet the required amount for the payouts since January of 2009. As of March this year, California owed a total of $10.8 billion from the U.S. government for the money the State has borrowed to pay unemployment benefits.

Nevertheless, it is still a great achievement for the State of California since it is apparently doing well in attempting to reduce the federal government’s burden when it comes to unemployment claims. A Los Angeles employment lawyer is quite impressed with the State’s giant step in moving forward. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

“Grey’s Anatomy” Star – Patrick Dempsey Rescues a Teen from a Vehicle Accident

Patrick Dempsey, who portrays the role of a neurosurgeon saving lives of patients on the medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy” turned into a real-life hero after saving a teen driver from a vehicle accident.

Dempsey reportedly saved the life of a teen driver who got involved in a vehicle accident that occurred last April 24 in front of Dempsey’s home in Malibu, California. 

According to reports, Dempsey used a crow bar and a fire extinguisher to free the 17-year-old driver, Weston Masset, from his rolled over vehicle. Masset reportedly lost control of his Mustang, which caused it to roll over trice and to land on Dempsey’s front yard.

Masset was barely conscious while he was being rescued by Dempsey. Reports said that Masset, however, still managed to ask Dempsey, upon seeing the actor standing in front of him, if Dempsey was famous. After rescuing Masset, Dempsey called the paramedics and the teen’s mother to inform the latter about the accident.

Dempsey and his wife, together with a few neighbors, stayed beside the teen until paramedics arrived and airlifted Masset to the nearest hospital to receive treatment for his personal injuries. Masset sustained an eye and brain injury but is expected to recover soon, reports said.

Dempsey’s spokesperson refused to give any comment regarding the incident. Meanwhile, Masset and his mother were very grateful with Dempsey for saving the teen’s life.

Until present, no further detail aside from the above-said information regarding the incident was released.

The State of California has been a witness to many different vehicle accidents each year. Good thing the Golden State has a lot of highly skilled personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Such lawyers have in fact established a remarkable record of representing victims of car accidents, whether of legal age or minors, over the past years.