Common Overtime Violations

The Fair Labor Standards Act clearly points out that employees who render overtime work should be paid at 1.5 times the regular pay rate based on the following conditions : 1) between 8 – 12 hours per day; 2) over 40 hours a week; or 3) the first 8 hours of work on the 7th consecutive workday in a workweek. Likewise, they should be paid twice the regular pay rate whenever they work 12 hours a day and more than 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in a week.

The website of Williams Kherkher reveals that many businesses routinely deny workers of the overtime pay they are entitled to. They devise a variety of ways to escape from paying overtime wage. In this article, we shall look at the common overtime violations:

Miscalculating the number of overtime hours worked. Employers will tell employees to work in 8-hour shifts. However, they will require workers to be at their place of work 15 minutes before their schedule without paying them for that time. Arriving 15 minutes before their shift should have entitled employees to 15 minutes overtime pay since they will work 8 hours and 15 minutes.

Claiming that the overtime work was not authorized. Under the law, overtime wage should still be paid regardless of whether it was authorized or not or even if it is the written policy of the company that only pre-authorized overtime will be paid.

Miscalculating the overtime pay rate. There are several ways that overtime can be miscalculated. One example is when employers use more than one pay rate but use the lowest pay rate for computing overtime. Likewise, they do not include commissions, non-discretionary bonuses, and other forms of pay in calculating overtime rate.

Misclassifying employees as exempt and paying them salary . Only a small percentage of the workforce is exempt from overtime laws. State and Federal laws have specific requirements for classifying employees as exempt.

Driving in Adverse Rain

When you have no choice but to drive while it is heavily raining, there are some tips that you can use to help you avoid any car accidents that may occur. First, make sure to drive slowly. It may be a simple and obvious tip, but nevertheless a very important one, because driving slowly allows you more reaction time. Tire traction is heavily affected when it is raining because of grease and oil build-up, therefore driving slower would allow your vehicle more traction as well as more time for your brake to adjust. A sudden brake may cause your vehicle to skid and increase the chances of collisions in a busy road. If you do skid on a slippery road, remain calm and try to steer the vehicle straight until you have gained control of the vehicle again.

Next, make sure to keep close attention to the road and other motorists around you. The rain can make visibility difficult, and with other motorists sharing the road with you, you need to have clear visual on their driving as well. Make sure to keep a safe distance from any vehicle around you in order to have enough time to react should an accident occur. Make sure that your windshields are working properly and that your windows are de-fogged to avoid limited visibility. There are many ways that you can defog your windows, so make sure you are familiar with your how your vehicle works for easy defogging.

Lastly, make sure to avoid floodwaters. You can easily do this by staying near the middle of the road where it is built higher than the sides to avoid rainwater build-up. Even if the floodwater seems shallow, the current may be strong enough to push the vehicle out of the road and into other motorists. It may be ideal to altogether stay out of roads and not drive when it is raining, but it is not always the case. There may be nothing that can make up for a loved-ones loss after a car accident, but the website of the car accident lawyers of Williams Kherkher suggests yielding to safety to avoid being in a car accident and stay safe while on the road.

But Why Contact A Car Crash Lawyer?

Wouldn’t any other kind lawyer do? It’s all the same, right?

Those might be the sentiments of a person who doesn’t, exactly, know any better. Think of law as the trunk of a giant tree and from there, it branches out. From those branches, even more branches spread out. Would you really rather trust a person who has only the basic generalized knowledge of your situation rather than a person who has specific experience in the kind of situation you find yourself in?

A car crash can be difficult to go through, yes, and it may be tempting to just go for the easiest route but the easiest route may sometimes lead you to a road that you didn’t know was more difficult in the longer run. This can happen because insurance companies are quick to advise survivors of car crashes to not get legal representation and just take a lump sum that can seemingly take care of everything and just be done with it.

However, what insurance companies don’t tell you about car crash lawyers is that this actually benefits the insurance company more than it does the survivor. A car crash lawyer can know that you are owed much better than what you are being initially offered. The initial lump sum may be enough to cover repairs and any necessary, immediate medical expenses—but it’s the long run of the situation that often gets neglected in the heat of the moment. There are the losses of wages to consider as well as the recompense for treatment for any trauma that may have been suffered.

Getting legal representation from a specific professional only means that they are far more experienced in the situation and can help you navigate through the options better than someone who only knows the circumstances in theory. Ultimately, however, the decision is up to you.

Understanding Gun Recoil

You may not remember it well today, but during your younger years, your science teacher sure had taught you about Newton’s third law of motion. This principle simply dictates that forces always come in pairs. As you comfortably sit in your couch, for instance, your body exerts a downward push on the couch while the couch pushes your body upwards.

Because this principle holds true for any objects interacting with each other, you can just imagine how powerful the opposing forces are when a bullet flies out of the gun. As the hammer strikes the bullet’s primer, it creates a massive chemical reaction which propels the bullet out of the barrel. But as Newton’s third law of motion dictates, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, which means the amount of force that projected the bullet forward also pushed the gun backwards. This is commonly known as recoil.

But if the force that sends the bullet out of the barrel is so powerful that its speed ranges between 550 m/s and 1,250 m/s, why do people still manage to hold the gun after each shot without having it getting ripped from their hands? This is simply because guns are way more massive than bullets, which means its recoil is small. In fact, you will only feel a minimum amount of recoil force, called the felt recoil, when you fire a weapon.

Most enthusiasts believe recoil should never be a problem if you hold the gun correctly. However, the website of Suppressed Weapons Systems says that recoil can cause handling problems, and may even result in a miss, especially among certain types of ammo. For instance, rifles with traditional thread-on suppressors are less likely to reduce recoil compared with integral suppressed rifles. This could be because some thread-on suppressors are designed in a way that increases back pressure when fired, slightly amplifying the recall.

Forget about the Golden Ticket; Houston has its very own Chocolate Factory!

One fantasy that draws kids and adults alike is the chance to go inside the wonder world of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately, that factory does not really exist. More so, the Golden Ticket to get in. However, Willie Wonka is not the only sweet maker in the world with a factory to delight the sugar-obsessed. Houston has one in the person of Carl Bartuch, owner of Kegg’s Candies, and you don’t need a Golden Ticket to get in, either.

Walking into the huge factory that makes everything from mints to candy corn is like walking into a movie set. Bartuch had redesigned the factory after he acquired it in 2004 to accommodate tours, so it is very much like the factory of Willie Wonka fame. However, Kegg’s Candies actually came before the story by Roald Dahl was published in 1964 or the first movie came out in 1971, as it started production in 1946. One wonders if Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was inspired when the Welsh-born author visited Houston. Probably not, but still…

There are some minor differences between the film and reality, however. There are no little men operating the machines, and no one is flattened, miniaturized, blown up, or sucked down a garbage chute. Bartuch is also not creepy looking like Willie Wonka, so that makes Keeg’s Candies all shades of better than the fictional Chocolate Factory.

Keeg’s Candies is open to group tours of 10 or more people from Mondays to Fridays except December, the first two weeks of February, and 10 days before Easter. You have to book at least one week in advance and pay ahead by credit card. Tour fees include a special treat from Keeg’s Candies and are $8.50 per person; kids 3 years old and younger get in for $5. The chocolate factory is located at 8168 A Westpark Drive.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Oklahoma

It is always devastating when someone close to you dies unexpectedly, such as due to an undetected health condition or an accident. As pointed out on the website of law firm Abel Law Firm, it is doubly tragic when the death was directly caused by a third party’s wrongful act such as driving while intoxicated, neglect of a patient, or a defective product. These types of cases may qualify under Oklahoma law as a wrongful death, and the responsible party or parties may be named in a civil lawsuit for claiming compensation.

Wrongful death suits are essentially personal injury lawsuits except for the fact that the victim, who would have made a claim had he or she lived, had died. In wrongful death cases others may file a claim on behalf of the victim’s estate since the victim is unable to do so. This includes the surviving spouse, parent, child, or sibling, in that order. If there are no survivors in those categories, a person with the closest relationship to the deceased by marriage or blood may still file a claim. In some states two claims may be made: in behalf of the surviving family members and for the estate.

If a wrongful death claim prospers in Oklahoma, meaning that the jury or judge (if there is no jury) finds for the plaintiff, the defendant is liable for monetary damages which includes but not limited to mental anguish (for the death of a spouse or child), lost wages, loss of consortium, and reasonable expenses associated with the funeral and burial of the deceased. The type and amount of award will be determined by the court and the proceeds will be divided equitable among the beneficiaries of the deceased.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma is two years from the death of the victim. Cases filed after two years will be disallowed in court. A civil action for wrongful death may run concurrent with any criminal case for the same death.

If you lost a loved one as a result of the negligent or reckless act of a third party, you may be able to make a wrongful death claim. Consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in that state for help in this matter and to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitles to.

Qsymia and Belviq and the Previously Approved Weight-loss Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research knows that obesity increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart attack and certain types of cancer – the very reason why it is a major cause of public health concern – definitely not good news for the millions of obese and overweight individuals in the United States, who make up about 35.7 percent of the total population of U.S. adults (in the country). The FDA considers an individual obese if he or she has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher; overweight are those with a 27 (or higher) BMI.

Obesity is a worldwide health concern and, around the world, obese people are in constant search for over-the-counter, prescription or supplement drugs that will help them lose lots of unwanted fats and weight.

The last prescription drug that was approved by the FDA was Xenical (Orlistat 120mg), but and this was still in 1999. Previous to this, there were Meridia (marketed under the names Reductil and Sibutrex), Ephedra (which, once upon a time, caused frenzy among dieters), Aminorex (another appetite suppressant over-the-counter drug that Germans, Austrians and the Swiss were so crazy about between 1965 and 1972), Rimonbant or Acomplia (which was so famous in the UK, but never got approved in the US), Fen-Phen (which is fenfluramine used with phentermine, another diet drug), and the over-the-counter supplements like TrimSpa and Metabolife.

These drugs, though, were short-lived, most being pulled out of the US market and banned from being sold, due to their severe side-effects, some even causing death. It is this need for a new and safe dietary pill that those who were obese and overweight needed to consume and which doctors needed to be able to prescribe that made the entry of the two new weight-loss drugs, Qsymia and Belviq, a perfectly good news for many Americans.

Qsymia is manufactured by Vivus, Inc., and was formerly sold under the name of Qnexa. It is the combination of two other FDA-approved drugs, phentermine and Topamax or topiramate (its extended-release formulation). Qsymia makes food less tasty, increases the burning of calorie and the feeling of being full; it is supposed to be an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.

Belviq or lorcaserin hydrochloride, which is produced by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a serotonin 2C receptor agonist and is supposed to be taken in combination with regular exercise and a healthy diet. The FDA suggests, however, that if after 12 weeks of use Belviq is not able to shed off at least 5% of body weight, then its use ought to be stopped as further use may no longer produce good results.

Both Qsymia and Belviq have sadly been linked to a number of different severe side-effects already, despite just being two years in the market. The law firm of Williams Kherkher is definitely one firm totally aware of this, as well as of the increasing lawsuits being filed against the weight-loss drugs’ manufacturers. In fact, to help those who have been harmed by either of the drugs, Williams Kherkher clearly explains on its website the drugs’ uses and reported side-effects. The site also states why victims will need to be represented by lawyers, who are knowledgeable about the issue, and the best legal options the victims can decide on.

Dashboard Cameras

Dashboard cameras (or drive recorders, as I like to call them) are incredible devices. They are capable of capturing a great deal of footage. Dash cams are primarily installed in cars to help people easily resolve any disputes about fault in car accidents, but they also witness countless interesting events! Here’s an example from Russia, where nearly every car has a dashboard camera installed:

There are More Out There: Da Vinci Robot Surgical Injuries

Despite the numerous complaints already being filed against California-based Intuitive Surgical, Inc., maker of the Da Vinci Surgical System, it turns out that surgical injuries are actually being underreported. This was concluded by Johns Hopkins researchers who put together court records and news articles to come up with the true picture of the situation with da Vinci robot lawsuits in particular and the reporting mandate in general.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) routinely requires medical device manufacturers and drug companies to report all adverse occurrences relating to their product in order to ensure public health and safety. However, the study shows that because there are no real repercussions from the FDA when companies fail to faithfully report these adverse events, there is no motivation to do so. This means that in general when a product or device is shown to have serious side effects or defects the FDA only gets to hear about it from the victims themselves when extensive damage has already been done.

Because there are no warnings issued to the public, most people are unaware of the risk they are taking in patronizing these products or devices, which are in large part inadequately tested. Coupled with marketing strategies which entice consumers already primed to favor the newest technology, manufacturers are set up to make huge profits which would be compromised if adequate testing is carried out. This applies to consumer products as well, but medical devices and products have the potential for serious if not fatal harm.

Until the FDA’s reporting mandate acquires a more punitive personality, the only recourse for those who suffer injury or harm from the use of these devices or products is in civil court. And because the da Vinci surgical system is a wholly new category of medical device, litigation is likely to be highly complex. It would be necessary for those suffering from surgical injuries to engage a product liability lawyer well-versed in the arena of robot-assisted surgical devices such as the da Vinci system.

NFL Settles Concussion Lawsuit

The NFL has reached a $765 million settlement over brain injuries among 18,000 retired players. The settlement will fund concussion-related compensation, medical exams, some legal expenses, and a medical research program. More than 4,500 former athletes filed suit, accusing the league of profiting from the sport’s violence while hiding the risk of concussion-related brain injury.

The family of Dave Duerson was among those involved in the lawsuit. Duerson, former Chicago Bears and Notre Dame safety, committed suicide in 2011, leaving a note asking for his brain to be examined for football-related damage. Boston University researchers found that Duerson suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a trauma-induced disease found in dozens of retired and deceased NFL players. The family had originally filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NFL, but it was consolidated with the concussion-related lawsuits in February of 2012 because of its similarity.

Through the settlement, individual awards will be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s, $3 million for dementia, and $4 million for those diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Rather than spending millions of dollars and many years litigating thousands of individual claims, the agreement will provide relief and support where and when it is needed. This is a historic agreement that will help to promote safety for football players at all levels.