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Injured After An Accident Involving Michigan’s New Higher Speed Limits? What Are Your Options?

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Drivers traveling through Michigan may find the flow of traffic quicker than they remember because of recently-approved changes to the speed limit laws, raising the potential speed limit on the state’s freeways to 75 miles per hour and the highway speed limits to a maximum of 65 miles per hour. Unfortunately, although this raised speed limit can allow individual commuters to get from one point to the other more quickly without risking an expensive speeding ticket, speed can kill — in fact, raising the speed limit from 55 to 65 miles per hour has been shown to increase traffic fatalities by nearly 30 percent. Read on to learn more about your legal options if you’re injured in a high-speed accident shortly after the new speed limit laws have taken effect.  How could higher speed limits affect liability in an accident? When you’re injured in an accident that isn’t your fault, the at-fault driver has legal responsibility for your medical expenses, property damage (like damage to your car), and even general “pain and suffering” expenses. These are usually paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but the compensation for damages can also be obtained through a civil lawsuit and personal injury judgment if you’re unhappy with the settlement amount being offered. In most cases, being able to show that the at-fault driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident — whether speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — can go a long way both toward proving negligence in your personal injury case and being awarded a more significant sum if you choose to take the matter to trial. The prospective increase in the speed limit will not only make accidents (including accidents resulting in serious injury or death) more likely, but it will make it harder for injured plaintiffs to demonstrate negligence if the driver — who would have been illegally speeding prior to December 2016 — was traveling at or below the newly-increased speed limit at the time of the accident. The at-fault driver may maintain that he or she was traveling at an appropriate speed and cite the increase in the speed limit as evidence that lawmakers believed drivers to be capable of safely traveling at up to 65 (or 75) miles per hour without incident. What can you do to maintain your rights if you feel the at-fault driver was traveling too quickly at the time of the accident?  Although the increase in the speed limit may make it harder to demonstrate per se negligence based on the speed limit alone, you may still be able to show that the defendant was traveling too fast for the conditions or circumstances. If it’s raining, snowing, foggy, or otherwise inclement outdoors; if a driver is traveling west at sunset or east at sunrise and the glare makes it difficult to see; or if a driver with poor night vision is traveling through a new part of town at night, driving well under the speed limit may still be dangerously fast. An attorney can help you examine the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine whether (and how much) speed was a factor and what your strongest arguments in favor of negligence may be. Pulling cell phone records, viewing surveillance or traffic camera...

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Preparing For A Divorce: 3 Financial Tips To Keep In Mind Pertaining To Your Assets

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It’s unfortunate, but divorce is quite common in the U.S. The partner you once thought you’d be able to spend the rest of your life with might not show their true colors until after the marriage, or both you and your spouse might be splitting amicably due to irreconcilable differences. Almost 50% of all marriages in the U.S. will end with either divorce or separation. Before filing for divorce, you should speak with a divorce attorney to determine whether there is anything you need to keep in mind in regards to your assets. Here are 3 financial tips that can make your life a lot easier and protect your finances. Know What Assets You Actually Want Before filing for a divorce, make a list of all of the assets that you and your spouse owns. Take this opportunity to go down the list, and determine which assets you actually want to keep. For example, you might want to keep certain expensive heirlooms that were passed down from generation to generation in your family. You should also consider which assets you are willing to part with. Often times, disgruntled spouses get so caught up emotionally in the divorce that they waste a lot of time and money fighting over assets that they don’t even want. You’ll want to give this list to your divorce attorney, so they know exactly what to fight for. Knowing what you value can also help a divorce attorney come up with a feasible and practical plan that will allow you to come out of the divorce with everything you want without having to put up a huge fight. Choose the Date for Initiating the Divorce Wisely The list of all of your assets will also come in handy when your divorce attorney tries to come up with a game plan. The date for initiating the divorce needs to be chosen wisely, as it can have profound effects on how assets are valued and distributed during the divorce. Generally speaking, the division of assets is usually determined by the date of the separation or when the divorce proceedings were first initiated. Basically, if you’re expecting some of your assets to gain a huge increase in value, you should initiate the divorce before then. This will help you protect your assets and will look out for your own best interest. Make Purchases or Get Educated Before the Divorce If you know you’re going to need certain tools or assets before the divorce, you should definitely consider purchasing them before filing for divorce. Often times, the court will place a stay on your finances when you are getting a divorce. This means that you will no longer be able to access your finances during these tough times. This type of advice is usually most helpful for when one spouse might need to get their own car during a divorce. If this applies to you, you need to make the purchase before you file for divorce. Your divorce attorney will help you get your finances in order. If you don’t, you will not have an opportunity to purchase a car until after the divorce has been settled. You never know how long that might take. Conclusion One of the most important and difficult aspects of getting a divorce is...

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Motorcycle-Accident Claims: 3 Things You Should Do Before Bringing Your Bike in for Repairs

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The thrill of driving a motorcycle comes with many risks. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die from an accident than those driving a car. Due to the lack of protection offered by the motorcycle, motorcyclists often are more severely injured in accidents—even if the accidents appear to be rather minor. If you intend on filing a motorcycle-accident claim and getting full compensation for your losses, you need to build a strong case. While having your motorcycle handy to use as evidence in court can be beneficial, you might not have the luxury of waiting that long. If you absolutely must bring your motorcycle in for repairs, here are three things you should do first. Getting the Accident Reconstructed Understanding how the accident happened can really give your motorcycle-accident attorney the evidence needed to build a strong case and to negotiate a reasonable settlement. If you don’t have a credible witness to testify on your behalf, let your motorcycle do the job. The damages sustained by the motorcycle can be very telling and will allow a professional to reconstruct the accident as it happened. The accident-reconstruction professional will take a look at the severity of the damage to determine the speed of impact. They can also take a look at the angle of the damages to determine where the vehicles were positioned during the accident. This can be sufficient in determining fault. If your attorney plans on hiring an accident-reconstruction professional to recreate the circumstances surrounding the accident, you must give the other party access to your bike as well, as they have a right to hire their own professionals to examine the damages. Taking Photographs and Videos of the Bike One of the main reasons why most attorneys recommend against repairing the motorcycle is because the motorcycle can give the court insight as to the extent and severity of the accident. This can be beneficial in establishing the extent and severity of the mental trauma and pain you’ve  suffered. Before getting the motorcycle repaired, make sure you take photographs and videos of the bike in different angles and in different lighting. Use a professional camera or even get a professional to take the photographs for you. Videos or photographs in different angles can provide a better picture of the damages your motorcycle has sustained. Keeping Irreparable Parts Depending on the type of damages that your motorcycle has sustained, not all of the damaged parts may be repairable. Some parts may need to be replaced. If possible, avoid discarding irreparable parts until after a reasonable settlement has been reached and the case has been finalized. The damaged parts can be presented as physical evidence in court to show how severe the damages were. For example, if some of the exterior parts are damaged to the point where they are barely recognizable, your attorney can establish the degree of impact. If the internal parts of the motorcycle were damaged, this will show just how severe the accident truly was. This can give your case a better leg to stand on. Conclusion If it’s possible, try to repair your motorcycle only after the claim has been finalized. The damaged motorcycle can prove to be an excellent piece of physical evidence in court should the claim go to trial. It’ll also...

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Effects Of Personal Injury Settlements On Bankruptcy Cases

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you were left with major injuries from a car accident, you might be able to seek a large settlement from the responsible party through a personal injury lawsuit. This is a right that you have; however, if you are also considering filing bankruptcy, there are several things you should know. Bankruptcy can affect a personal injury claim, so it is wise to handle this situation properly before making any decisions. Here are a few things to understand about bankruptcy and personal injury lawsuits. You Must Disclose The Lawsuit Information When You File The first and most important thing you should understand is that you must be honest about the lawsuit when you file for bankruptcy. After the accident occurs, you will have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. This time period is called the statute of limitations, and it can vary from one year to six years depending on the state you live in and the type of accident. When you file for bankruptcy, you must disclose the accident information even if you have not yet filed a lawsuit against the other party. If you have any reason to believe that you will file a lawsuit and receive money from it, you must disclose this information. You must also disclose the details if you have already filed a lawsuit against the person and are waiting for the case to close. If you recently closed on the case and received a large settlement, you must also reveal this to the court. In this situation, you may have a hard time filing for bankruptcy, though, because the court will look at all your assets. If you received a large settlement, you may have too much money in the bank to be able to file for bankruptcy. You should realize that if the accident occurs after you file for bankruptcy, the court would most likely not have the right to touch this money. You should still disclose this information to your attorney though. Why The Court Needs To Know There are two types of bankruptcy options you can choose, but both can be affected if you are expecting a large lawsuit settlement. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one choice you may have. If you file for Chapter 7 and then receive a large settlement, you could lose the entire settlement amount. The bankruptcy court can take this money to use for repaying debts that were discharged in the bankruptcy case. You should realize that the bankruptcy court may have the right to take this settlement amount at any point in time. This means that even if you do not receive your settlement for six years, the court could still take it if you were involved in the case at the time you had filed for bankruptcy. With Chapter 13, the bankruptcy court can view this settlement money as income, and this could result in an increase in your payments. Chapter 13 is used to repay debts, and it requires making weekly or monthly payments to the trustee for a certain length of time. Why Seeking Help Is Vital There are times when bankruptcy is the only option for people. If you are struggling with major debt and are expecting a settlement, you may still need to file for bankruptcy...

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Three Things That Could Cause You To Lose Your Disability Benefits

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have applied for and finally been awarded Social Security disability payments, you are probably counting in this income as a part of your household. You do not want to lose these payments or do anything that will jeopardize them. Unfortunately, many people end up doing so by not realizing what will and will not put the payments at risk. Here are a few of the things that you will want to be aware of. Although you may not be able to do anything about a few of them, you will at least know that your benefit is potentially ending or changing. Being Incarcerated If you are convicted of a criminal activity and you will be incarcerated for longer than 30 continuous days, you may be at risk of having your benefits suspended during the time that you are retained. This is because the things that your benefit is designed to pay for are being met by a government institution. These things include the following: Food Shelter Clothing Medical care, etc.  If your incarceration is only 30 days but spans more than one calendar month, you may not qualify for either month that is affected. This is something that you will want to make sure you discuss with an attorney that is well versed in Social Security disability law, because they may be able to minimize the time that you are without a benefit. It is your responsibility to report this information to Social Security, and failure to do so may result in you becoming ineligible for benefits in the future.  If properly reported, your disability benefits should be reinstated the month following your release. Any dependents that receive a benefit off of your record should continue to get theirs even during the period that yours are suspended.  Getting Better Not everyone who receives Social Security disability will receive it for the rest of their life. If your disabling condition improves, and this improvement is related to your ability to work, Social Security may find that you are no longer disabled, and your payment may stop. Social Security is required to conduct a continuing disability review every three to seven years depending on your status. During this review, your case will go back through a process that will be similar to the journey it took when you initially applied. This may include a review of your medical records, as well as an examination by a Social Security doctor. In order for your disability to stop, the examiner must be able to show that your improvement has resulted in a change or an increase in your residual functional capacity (RFC). Earning Too Much Money This review of your Social Security disability can also be triggered if you earn too much money working. Although you are allowed to earn some income, there is a limit on how much money you are able to earn while receiving disability. If you exceed more than $1,130, Social Security may feel that you have the ability to engage in a substantial gainful activity and your benefits may stop, although there are exceptions to this rule and you may not be able to even earn this much.  This money is not to be confused with any funds that are earned during the “trial work period”...

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Medical Malpractice: Did A Doctor Misdiagnose Your Adult Onset Asthma As The Flu?

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If a doctor misdiagnoses your adult onset asthma, and you experience a severe asthma attack some time later, contact a personal injury lawyer about bringing a medical malpractice case against the doctor. Although the flu virus may be life-threatening for some individuals, such as the elderly or very young, it may take one or two weeks before they succumb to the virus. However, asthma has the potential to be immediately life-threatening or deadly if it advances to an attack that blocks the air passages to your lungs. Here’s what adult onset asthma is, why asthma can be deadly and how an attorney may assist you with your case. What’s Adult Onset Asthma and How Is It Different From the Flu? Although most people develop asthma as children, some individuals experience asthma as adults. Adult onset asthma may show up when you’re exposed to things that give you allergies, such as dust and cats. Exercise, stress and even dry air may be causes of asthma.  While adult onset asthma and the flu virus can cause a number of similar symptoms, such as wheezing and tiredness, the symptoms produced by asthma may occur frequently, or at any time, and aren’t contagious to anyone. The flu tends to be more prevalent between October and May and may be contagious. Additionally, treating the flu virus is much different from treating asthma. Treatments for the flu virus usually include taking antiviral medications and fever reducers to make you feel better, which is usually in one or two weeks after you become sick. To treat asthma, you generally need to take long-term medications that control and prevent your symptoms. Asthma usually causes the tissues of the respiratory system to narrow and flame up. The medications help keep the tissues from completely closing up, which can lead to an asthma attack.  If you do experience an asthma attack, you would need to take quick-relief medications that immediately relax and open up your constricted air passages. A lack of air may cause a number of severe problems, such as difficulty speaking and unresponsiveness. If your doctor didn’t ask you about all of your symptoms or perform the correct tests during your exam, it’s critical that you allow a personal injury attorney to represent you. How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You? A personal injury attorney may want to know if your doctor used the right diagnostic tests during your exam. Many doctors use tests to determine the cause of their patients’ respiratory problems, especially if the patients have symptoms of asthma. The tests are designed to diagnose asthma or rule out other respiratory illnesses by measuring how much air you can inhale and exhale out of your lungs. The tests may also reveal how fast you can empty air out of your lungs. For instance, spirometry tests are used to measure how much air you can exhale before and after using a bronchodilator. A bronchodilator releases medicine that opens up your airways. If you blow more air into the spirometry device after using a bronchodilator, you may have asthma. The doctor should also ask about your past and present medical histories to see if you have problems with your respiratory system. For example, some people who develop asthma experience allergies. The doctor should also ask how long you experienced your symptoms and when they first occurred. If...

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Restaurant Food Burns: 5 Factors That May Impact Your Case

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Enjoying a night out to eat can easily be hampered due to a personal injury. One of the more common injuries you may come across at a restaurant is a food burn injury. Food burns can occur in your mouth and other parts of your body if the food is spilled. If you’re seeking compensation for your injuries and emotional damage, then there are several factors in the case to the consider. By consulting with a personal injury lawyer, you can determine how the burns and specific situation can help build your case. Incident Reports When the burns first occurred, many restaurants may have you fill out an incident report. This is a personal report that restaurants keep on file to help track various injuries. The details in this report are important in your case because they will likely be brought up again and could even be used against you if the restaurant feels like you changed your story. If you have a copy of the incident report or took images of it for your own record, then a lawyer can look through the various details and help you use them for the case. If your burns forced immediate treatment, another person in your dinner party may have filled out the report. If this is the case, then the witness statement could be used to help prove your case and reach a proper settlement. Waitstaff Mistakes In many cases, determining a settlement is about deciding who is at fault. In the case of burn injuries, many times you will be blamed for burning yourself. Sometimes the waitstaff is to blame for the incident and you can work with your attorney to prove this. Negligence on the waitstaff can be proven if the staff member did not warn you about a hot plate or hot food. It can also be shown if the waitstaff tripped and spilled out food onto you and caused the burns. Even without a tripping incident, a waitstaff member may hand you a plate that you grab, drop, and burn yourself with because it was not properly handed over. These small details can all impact a case and change the outcome. Restaurant Cleanliness Sometimes a restaurant’s cleanliness may lead to burn injuries. For example, if there is debris under the table you are sitting at, you can slip on it, step on it, and get distracted by it. This could lead you to knock a hot item over and receive burns in the process. If the restaurant did not properly clean the seating area before you arrived, they could be held liable for the injuries. The conditions of the tables, chairs, or booths could be a factor in the case as well. For example, if a chair is wobbly, the unbalanced legs could cause you to mishandle a bowl of hot soup and spill it on your lap. An attorney can use expert witnesses to examine the restaurant conditions and see how they affected the course of your injury. Dishware Conditions The dishware at the restaurant that you eat with could also impact the way you are injured and burned. For example, you may order coffee in a mug. If the mug handle snaps off and the coffee spills, your burns are to blame on the...

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How To Regain Custody Of Your Children After Spending Time In Prison

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are a parent who was convicted of a crime and spent time in prison, you may be worried about regaining physical custody after you have been released.  Know Whether You Are Eligible to Gain Custody  There are certain felony convictions that automatically revoke your right to physical or legal custody. These convictions vary from state to state but generally include violent crimes, domestic abuse, and child abuse. In some states, a felony conviction for drug possession or a DUI may also negatively impact your ability to gain custody of your children once you have served your prison sentence.  Other non-violent felony convictions may make it easier for the other parent of your children to argue for sole custody but may not have a negative affect on your case for custody if the other parent does not want custody of your children or is not able to care for them.  Knowing your rights and limitations will help you decide whether you want to try for physical custody, legal custody, or simply stronger visitation rights with your children.  Practice Your Legal Rights While Incarcerated  As an incarcerated parent, you often retain several legal rights regarding your children. For example, while you will not have physical custody of your children, you may retain partial legal custody of them, allowing you to participate in important decisions regarding their care and lifestyle.  Also, importantly, you may be allowed to have visitations with your children while you are incarcerated. It is important that you exercise this right if it is available to you. This will show that you want to continue being involved in your children’s lives and help you maintain an emotional bond with them while you are incarcerated. If visitation is not available at your facility or due to your conviction, keeping in contact with your children through letters can help establish a bond as well.  Arrange for Placement With a Responsible Adult While You Are In Prison  In general, if you are in prison, the other parent will automatically receive physical custody of the children during your period of incarceration. If they are unavailable or unsuitable as a guardian, it is in your best interest to arrange for your children to be under the care of a responsible adult during your incarceration. This prevents your child from going into foster care and helps protect your parental rights.  To arrange for temporary custody, you and the responsible adult will have to make a notarized statement detailing your arrangement.  Work With Child Protective Services If Necessary  If your children were removed from your home by child protective services at the time of your incarceration, it can be a long process to regain custody of them. However, it is important that you work with CPS to meet the requirements they set in order to regain custody of your children. This may include a long checklist of items such as maintaining an adequate residence, securing employment, and attending parenting classes. Rather than fight against CPS for your children, it is best to approach the situation with an attitude of working together to create the best environment for your children. If you are unable to meet certain requirements, such as gainful employment due to your felony conviction, ask your casework for help finding assistance to...

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3 Things To Know About Your Income And Filing For Bankruptcy

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you finally reach out for help from a bankruptcy attorney for your financial problems, the attorney is likely to explain the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13. After hearing the differences, you may instantly want to choose Chapter 7, simply because it offers a discharge of most unsecured debts; however, this might not be an option. You will first need to determine if you qualify, and a large part of this decision is based on your income. Why Income Matters In Bankruptcy The money you earn helps bankruptcy attorneys determine which branch of bankruptcy you will qualify for. When people earn a lot of money, the bankruptcy court will make them repay some of their debts through a Chapter 13 case. For people who do not earn a lot, Chapter 7 allows a fresh start by discharging many of the debts they may owe. The way your attorney will determine which you qualify for is through a means test. A means test is used to compare your total income to the median income in the state you live in. The median income represents the average income of people living in your state, and every state has a different median income amount. The median income in each state is also separated by family size. This is because people with more family members need more income to support these additional people, while people with a lower number of family members can often live on less. If your income falls below the state median income, you will qualify for Chapter 7. If your income is above this amount, you will not qualify, which means you will need to use Chapter 13 if you want to file for bankruptcy. How Your Income Is Calculated To calculate your income, your lawyer will need to know exactly how much money you earned and received over the past six months. Once this amount is determined, your attorney will double it to get an annual income amount for you. Your income for the last six months will have to include a lot of different things, including: Wages from your job Any bonuses you received from work Income from self-employment or side jobs Money you received from an inheritance Lottery winnings Child support you received during this time Unemployment income In addition, you will also need to claim income from anyone else living in your house. If you are married, you will have to include your spouse’s income even if he or she will not be filing with you. Your median income must include all income from the household you live in. Why Timing Is Vital If your lawyer determines that your income is too high, he or she may review every type of income included in this figure. If there was some type of extraordinary income, such as lottery winnings, that caused your income to exceed the guidelines, your lawyer might suggest waiting to file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court only looks at your income for the last 180 days. If you struck it big in the lottery 100 days ago, you might be better off waiting to file for bankruptcy for another 80 days. By doing this, you would not have to include the lottery winnings in your income, and this could drop...

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3 Telltale Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It can be scary to turn over the care of your loved one to the strangers that work in a nursing home or similar residential care facility. It’s easy to worry that your elderly relative or friend won’t get the same kind of care they were getting at home. The truth is that most of the professionals that choose to work in elder care are caring, compassionate, and skilled. However, there are definitely worrying cases of abuse and neglect out there, and it’s natural to be concerned about the quality of care your loved one will receive. You can help ensure your loved one’s safety and good health by knowing the signs of neglect and keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. Take a look at a few telltale signs that you should be on the alert for. Understaffing Occasional short-staffing happens in nearly every medical facility, and by itself it isn’t a sure sign that neglect is occurring. However, understaffing does make it more likely that neglect will happen – perhaps unintentionally – and if the issue is chronic, neglect is even more likely. Health officials say that understaffing is linked with problems like malnutrition, dehydration, and infections. You may not be able to count the staff members at the nursing home, but there are ways to tell if the facility is understaffed. When you’re visiting, look for call lights above the doors of the residents’ rooms. Are they answered and turned off in a reasonable amount of time, or do they stay on without a response? Do staff members seem frustrated and rushed? Is it difficult to find a staff member when you want to talk to one? Do you rarely see the same staff members twice, even when you visit around the same days and hours? These are all signs that the nursing home may be understaffed. Bed Sores Bed sores, or pressure sores, occur in bed-ridden or sedentary patients. These are a major red flag for nursing home neglect. This is because in most cases, bed sores are very preventable. Patients who are at risk for bed sores should be repositioned regularly in their beds or chairs and should have the heads of their beds elevated at no more than a 30 degree angle. Their skin should be kept clean and dry, they should be properly fed and hydrated, and the skin under any medical devices should be assessed daily. These are relatively simple tasks that should be part of taking care of any patient. If a patient begins to develop bed sores, it’s a sign that they may not be properly hydrated, that they aren’t being turned or cleaned often or thoroughly enough, and that they aren’t being monitored as they should be. There may be some cases where bedsores are unavoidable, but in many cases, they are a direct result of neglect. Unexplained Health Problems Chances are that your loved one already has some medical issues that caused them to need a nursing facility in the first place. Many elderly people develop multiple medical problems. Because of this, it can be tough to tell if an illness or health issue is the result of their pre-existing condition or the result of sub-par care. However, there are some problems that you should be on...

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Homophobic Harassment In The New York Workplace: When Can You Sue Your Employer?

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Nobody should have to endure hateful slurs and harassment at work, but American gay people must increasingly cope with this kind of conduct. Studies show that between 15 and 43 percent of gay people experience discrimination or harassment at work in the United States. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to know when you can take legal action against a New York City employer. Learn more here. Legal protection State and federal laws protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically outlaws discrimination against anyone on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. While this federal legislation does not specifically call out discrimination against somebody due to their sexuality, most lawyers agree that homophobia is a form of gender discrimination. New York State and City human rights laws also prohibit this type of discrimination. In fact, New York laws extend the federal law to include more employers and to cover harassment due to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As such, any type of homophobic abuse in the workplace is illegal. A hostile working environment If you suffer harassment or abuse at work, you should first raise the matter with your internal human resources team and/or your immediate line manager. Many companies have robust grievance procedures that will tackle these problems, and many gay workers don’t need to take further action. However, some gay people find themselves in a hostile working environment that remains unchanged. In a hostile working environment, the extent or severity of the abuse is so significant that the worker finds it difficult to do his or her job properly. If the situation remains unresolved, you can sue your employer under anti-discrimination laws. Employer responsibilities Under anti-discrimination laws, New York employers must take all necessary action to tackle anything that can lead to a hostile working environment. The actions that an employer may take will vary considerably from one company to another, but courts favor companies that take proactive steps, including diversity training courses, diversity networks, counseling services and written disciplinary policies. Employers must act on specific complaints. As such, if you take a problem to your line manager, and he or she does nothing about it, you may have grounds to take legal action. However, if you don’t report the problem, you may find it harder to sue your company, especially if you decide not to use an established grievance or harassment reporting procedure. The facts that a court will consider New York courts will consider various facts when deciding if the employer has illegally allowed a hostile work environment to develop. A judge will consider how often harassment occurs, the seriousness of any misconduct and the effect the abuse has on the plaintiff’s work. There’s no exact formula or definition. If the circumstances are serious enough, a judge may even uphold a complaint based on one event. Steps you should take If you decide to file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you’ll need to provide evidence to support your allegation. Evidence to consider includes: A personal diary of homophobic events, including dates, times and as much detail as possible. Witness statements and accounts of homophobic events. Copies of any homophobic material, such as emails or notes left on your...

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