Overtime and Other Wage and Hour Law for Home Care Workers

Before 2015, home care workers were excluded from the federal minimum wage and overtime protections provided by the Fair Labor and Standards Act. They are now covered by these laws, but the nature of their work and the services they provide are unlike the traditional “9 to 5” hours under which many other employees operate. Read more

Coffman Legal is a Columbus wage and hour lawyer that specializes in unpaid overtime and wages. The employees of Ohio are important to maintaining an economically and socially encouraging environment for Ohio, and Coffman Legal recognizes that importance. The law firm happily welcomes any case to protect the rights of and improve the lives for employees.

Top Driving Under Suspension Penalties in Ohio

Many drivers in Central Ohio are allowed to drive their own vehicles even though their license is under suspension. Judges are allowed to reinstate limited personal driving privileges so people can legally transport themselves to and from work, school, health care appointments, and court appearances. No limited driving privileges are granted for commercial vehicles, however.

Violating the terms of when and where driving one’s own car or motorcycle with a suspended license usually results in automatic penalties that can include jail time and vehicle impoundment. Working with an Ohio driving under suspension attorney to reduce or dismiss charges that could result in losing some or all driving privileges in the first place can remove the risk of further penalties. INFOGRAPHICS: PROBATION SENTENCES YOU CAN EXPECT FOR A DUI CONVICTION

Ohio includes license suspension as a penalty for more than two dozen administrative violations, traffic violations, and crimes. The types of suspensions could be from racking up 12 points on your driving record within 24 months through violations such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, and failing to keep commercial vehicle inspections up to date. Generally, a sentence that includes a license suspension will suspend the offender’s personal driver’s license and commercial driver’s license.

Should you end up having your license restricted or completely revoked, here is what you can expect if you get caught driving under suspension:

  • Getting charged with a first-degree misdemeanor,
  • Paying a fine of up to $1,000,
  • Having your license suspended for an additional term of up to 12 months, and
  • Spending as much as 180 days in jail, on house arrest, or probation.

Depending on what other charges you have on your record from the past three years, you may also be required to surrender your license plates and vehicle. For instance, a conviction for failing to pay child support, which can itself result in a license suspension, can cause the penalties for driving under suspension to include 30 days of vehicle immobilization and license plate impoundment.

As noted, a lot of these penalties get assessed automatically, but a dedicated driving under suspension attorney in Columbus, Ohio can fight to have his or her client retain driving privileges.

Defenses against suspended driving charges include the following:

  • Showing that the driver was complying with the restriction imposed but the police officer refused to accept evidence of this at the time of the arrest.
  • Showing that the period of complete suspension had expired and that the driver had taken the steps necessary to reinstate his or her license.
  • Showing that an emergency that could not be addressed in any other way compelled the driver to get behind the wheel.

Judges will not be inclined to accept the emergency driving defense, but solid evidence for it being true can benefit a driver in terms of minimizing penalties.

A Columbus driving under suspension attorney with The Maher Law Firm understands that spending time without having full driving privileges can make it difficult to hold a job and take care of your family. If you need representation in a case that could cost you your driver’s license, call us at (614) 205-2208 contact us online through this contact form.

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An Accident Attorney in Daytona Beach Explains What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury claims can arise out of any number of situations where someone is negligent, deliberately careless, or acts intentionally, and this action – or in some cases, inaction – results in someone being hurt.

Examples of Types of Personal Injury Claims

Below are some examples of the most common types of personal injury claims.

Car Accidents

Almost every car accident attorney will tell you that car accident are the most common source of personal injury claims.  If someone is a passenger in a car and they are injured, they almost always have a personal injury claim.  Whether the injury is attributable to the driver of the car they were in, the driver of the other vehicle, or the conduct of a third party, if injuries were sustained, there may be a valid claim for compensation based on the injury.

Similarly, if the driver of a car is injured due to someone else’s conduct, whether that person is the driver of another car or a third party, the injured person may have a claim for personal injury.

And if someone is a pedestrian and hit by a car or truck, there may be the basis to file a personal injury claim.  Of course, the facts and circumstances of each specific case dictate whether or not someone has a valid claim.

Other Types of Vehicle Accidents

Personal injury claims aren’t just limited to cars and pedestrians.  If someone is injured in a boating accident, a bicycle accident, or a motorcycle accident, they may also have a claim for personal injury.  Similarly, if someone is injured in a bus or tractor-trailer crash, a personal injury claim may exist.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims are less common, but no less serious a personal injury claim than car accidents. Common medical malpractice cases include:

  • Leaving a sponge or instrument inside a person’s body during surgery
  • Failure to consider how different prescriptions can interact negatively
  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose

Medical malpractice errors are typically accidental, but the consequences of such carelessness can be severe.  An accident attorney in Daytona Beach will be invaluable to your case if you feel you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents, also known as premise liability, involve cases where someone slips, trips, and/or falls on someone else’s property.  If the owner was aware (or should have been aware) of the danger presented, perhaps by a loose rug or uneven pavement, and did nothing to rectify the situation or sufficiently caution people about the danger, they may be liable for the injury.

Personal Injury Claims Hold People Responsible

When someone is injured, a personal injury lawsuit holds the person who caused the injury responsible.  Additionally, a personal injury claim provides compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Time Limits Apply

In the state of Florida, there is a limit on how long an injured party has to file a personal injury claim.  Failure to file the claim within the statutorily prescribed timeframe will result in an inability to pursue it.  Because personal injury law can be complicated, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney.  An accident attorney in Daytona Beach can review the facts and circumstances of your particular case to determine whether you have a personal injury claim.

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A Washington DC Criminal Attorney Explains Stop-and-Frisk

DC police recently came under fire for allegedly staging the search of a man whom residents believed was an undercover officer to justify illegal stop-and-frisks in the neighborhood.  The incident occurred on June 13th, when officers approached and searched a man on the 5200 block of Sheriff Road, NE.  Officers found a gun in the man’s possession, which residents say they then used as an excuse to illegally search other people in the area, without just cause.  Witnesses said they did not recognize the man with the gun, and believe he was a police plant.

The incident sparked community backlash as police and witness reports conflicted.  The conflict came to a head on the evening of June 25th, when police officers and residents clashed on the block, which resulted in the use of pepper spray and four arrests.  One woman claimed that police pepper-sprayed her 3-year-old daughter, who had to be treated at a local hospital.

This incident highlights the ongoing tension between DC police and residents of certain east-of-the-river neighborhoods over what residents believe are illegal searches targeting low-income and minority areas.  DC police claim that these types of searches are justified by a spike in homicides in certain neighborhoods. WJLA reports that the DC Police crime map indicates a 50% decrease in crime in the area since last year, however.

What Is Stop-and-Frisk?

Stop-and-frisk refers to a controversial set of police practices involving “the brief, non-intrusive police stop of a suspect.”  In other words, police officers will temporarily detain, question, and in some cases, even search civilians for weapons and other contraband.

According to the DC Police guidelines that govern the practice, “A ‘stop’ is a temporary detention of a person to determine whether probable cause exists to arrest a person. A ‘frisk’ is a limited protective search on a person to determine the presence of concealed weapons and/or dangerous instruments.”

Controversy Over Stop-and-Frisk

Civil rights activists and Washington DC criminal attorneys challenge stop-and-frisk policies for their alleged violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. And police officers have been accused of racially profiling and unjustly targeting certain minority neighborhoods and demographics.  Data from cities with stop-and-frisk programs around the country have generally demonstrated that a majority of these stops were of suspects later found to be innocent.

The Supreme Court has weighed in several times as to the criteria constituting a ‘reasonable suspicion,’ however, these clarifications have been insufficient to assuage public concern that the police are unjustly targeting certain communities.

In Washington D.C., city policy requires that the police department report the number of stops officers to make. According to a Washington DC criminal attorney, despite this requirement for transparency, the department has been accused of inaccurately and underreporting these encounters.  The department has also been accused of systematically ignoring certain protocols required for stop-and-frisks.

Stop-and-Frisk and Unjustified Arrests

Although police departments claim stop-and-frisk makes communities safer, the practice risks the rights and privacy of citizens when police do not properly follow protocols. Victims of stop-and-frisk may find themselves unjustly arrested based on evidence that police officers had no legal basis to collect.  Those facing charges as the result of a stop-and-frisk search should consult with a Washington D.C. criminal attorney about whether their rights were violated during the arrest.

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Fight Wrongful Termination with Contract Litigation Lawyers in West Palm Beach

Jonathan Evans, the former City Manager of Riviera Beach, recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Riviera Beach and three individual members of the city council.

In his lawsuit, Evans, who was fired by the city council last September, claims that he was denied separation pay and unable to clear his name from allegations of malfeasance. He also claims that the city accused him of malfeasance to avoid paying him a severance package and that three council members conspired to fire him in retaliation for internal investigations he had initiated. Read more

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Contract Litigation Lawyers in West Palm Beach Explain Everything You Need to Know about Employment Contracts

Lauren Hills resigned from her on-air reporting job at WPEC News in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2016. When she left, she still had 11 months remaining on her contract, which included a liquidated damage clause. She was aware of the clause, but since she was leaving the industry entirely, as opposed to taking an offer from a competing station, she didn’t think it applied.

In November of last year, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company that owns WPEC, filed a lawsuit against Hills for breach of contract. They were seeking $17,050 in liquidated damages. The company also filed a similar lawsuit against another former reporter, Jonathan Beaton, for $5,700 in damages. Sinclair has since dropped the suit against Hills, but the lawsuit against Beaton continues. Beaton didn’t expect to be sued because, like Hills, he left the industry altogether.

In addition to the liquidated damages clause in the Sinclair employment contracts, they also include a six-month non-compete clause and forced arbitration. The liquidated damages and non-compete clauses are designed to discourage on-air talent from suddenly leaving.

When you’re starting a new job, there’s usually a staggering amount of paperwork involved, and your employment contract may get lost in the shuffle. Rather than just skimming over it and signing it, it’s important to read through it carefully.

Understanding Employment Contracts

For an employment contract to be valid, it must have four components:

  • An offer, which states what you will be doing
  • Acceptance, which means you agree to the contract
  • Intent, which means everyone involved knows the contract can be legally enforced
  • Consideration, which means that something of value is being provided in return for employment

Employment contracts are usually written, but it isn’t a hard requirement. Having a contract in writing makes it more enforceable, though.

Employment contracts also include provisions. A liquidated damage clause, like the one in the Sinclair Broadcasting Group contract, is relatively unusual unless you work in broadcasting.

Some of the most common provisions in employment contracts include:

  • Dispute resolution, which may require arbitration
  • Non-compete agreements, which means you agree to not work for a direct competitor of the company for a specified period after leaving your employment
  • Confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, which means you agree to keep company information private
  • Exclusive employment agreements, which means you won’t “moonlight” for anyone else doing similar work while you’re employed
  • Termination provisions, which state the terms under which employees can be terminated

Employment contracts can get very detailed. Whether you’re an employer looking to bring a new employee onboard or an employee considering a job offer, having contract litigation attorneys in West Palm Beach review the contract can save time and money. If you’re not happy with the terms of your contract, an experienced attorney can help you develop a counteroffer.

Enforcing Employment Contracts

If an employment contract is breached or broken, the non-breaching party has a few options for enforcing the contract. One option is to request an injunction, which is a court order that requires the breaching party to start or stop doing whatever action is in breach of contract.

Another option is to file a lawsuit for breach of contract, which is the route Sinclair Broadcasting Group took with Hills and Beaton.

Less expensive options for both parties include mediation and arbitration, which are alternative forms of resolving contractual issues. Mediation uses a neutral third party to help all parties agree.

Arbitration is more formal than mediation. An arbitrator listens to both parties involved, reviews the case, and then makes a decision, which is binding for everyone. Some employment contracts require arbitration or mediation.

If you are dealing with a possible breach of contract as an employee or employer, contract litigation lawyers in West Palm Beach can help you chart the best course for resolving your contractual issues.

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Car Accident Attorney Port St. Lucie Shares 8 Things You Can Do to Prevent an Accident

According to the Florida Department of Highways Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 400,000 car crashes in Florida last year.  This number has been steadily increasing year-over-year since at least 2011.  Car accident attorney Port. St. Lucie handles innumerable cases each year involving totally preventable accidents.  Although you cannot account for the behavior of other drivers, you can take steps to protect yourself against their possible negligence. Read more

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Apps Streamline Crime Reporting, But Criminal Defense Attorney Sherman TX Warns of Abuse

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the launch of a new smartphone app aimed at combatting crime earlier this month.  Called “iWatchTexas” (a name notable for its affinity to the iconic “’i” prefix Apple uses), the app allows members of the public to anonymously report suspicious behavior directly to law enforcement. Read more

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