Who Is Exempt and Non-Exempt From Receiving Overtime Pay?

There is an old adage which goes, “There is always an exception to the rule.” When it comes to overtime wage, not all employees are entitled to receive pay for exceeding the normal 40 hours’ workweek. The rule on exemption from overtime pay is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While most American workers are covered by the FLSA, they are classified as either exempt or nonexempt.

Non-Exempt Employees

Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees are paid the minimum wage and overtime pay for exceeding 40 hours in a given week. The law requires employees who work overtime to be paid 1.5 times their regular rate for every hour of overtime. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, employers mistakenly classify non-exempt employees as exempt to avoid paying overtime wage. If this happens, such employee can file a complaint with the US Department of Labor.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are not covered by the FLSA and hence are not granted overtime pay. Jobs such as outside sales and airline employees are exempt from overtime pay as defined by the law. An exempt employee is one who performs a high-level of duty with respect to the overall operations of the company. These jobs fall into three categories namely executive, professional, and administrative.

In addition, jobs that are governed by other laws such as the Railway Labor Act and Motor Carriers Act are not applicable to FLSA. In general, an exempt employee should satisfy the following conditions:

  • Has a salary of at least $23,600 a year or $445 a week
  • Is paid on a salary basis
  • Performs exempt job duties

These conditions are not applicable to professions that pay on the hour such as physicians and schoolteachers.

President Barack Obama has recently made an amendment on the overtime regulation last May 2016. The new ruling extends overtime pay protections to more than 4 million workers within the first year of its implementation.

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Insurance for Alternative Vehicles

With the increasing risks of road accidents, many people are looking for alternatives to travel. Mopeds and scooters offer a convenient alternative for travel, and it makes traveling faster and easier. However, many people may be confused as to whether these vehicles need motorcycle insurance or they do not qualify. Before using your moped or scooter on the road, it may be important to know the laws in your state and avoid being in a troublesome situation with law enforcement.

Many states regard two-wheeled vehicles that carry engines smaller than 50 cubic centimeters (or a top speed not exceeding 30 mph, or 35 mph in some states) to be mopeds. Motorcycles are defined by states as two-wheeled vehicles with engines larger than those used in mopeds and thus can shave faster speeds. The motorcycle accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® state that motorcycles are required by law to carry insurance coverages. Mopeds, on the other hand, require liability insurance in only 24 states and at DC. The state of Illinois is one of the states that require moped riders to carry liability insurance before being on the road.

Those that are often exempted from having liability insurance are those who are using bicycles and Razr-like scooters that have small motors. These, however, are often not allowed on major roads and highways for safety reasons. It may seem like a small matter, but because of the limited protection that mopeds and scoters offer, the injuries that riders acquire after being involved in an accident can be severe and even life-threatening. The insurance that law enforcement impose to all riders and motorists are not only to protect their vehicles from damages, but also to cover for the injuries that can happen following an accident. Often, it is the person who caused the accident who will have to pay for the damages, but having your own insurance can greatly assist in the financial department, especially if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough to cover for all the damages.

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Should I Get an Automobile Accident Lawyer?

Have you gotten into an automobile accident recently? Were you almost in an automobile accident and, perhaps, you wanted to prepare for the worst just in case the worst comes to show? Do you know someone who had recently suffered from an automobile accident and either want to help them or avoid their fate?

There are many scenarios to which a person might fall victim to an automobile accident. There might be a various ways that you might fall victim to an automobile accident. Maybe there was a person directly involved – a drunk driver, a driver on the influence of recreational drugs, or maybe a reckless driver – or, perhaps, the accident was due to technical failures with defects that can be traced back to the manufacturing stage of the vehicle. It is due to these varying factors as to why seeking the help of an experience professional might be of some use to you.

It is possible, however, that some insurance companies can tempt you into accepting a certain amount that will take care of things quickly. The easy way that they promise can, unfortunately, be difficult to live with in the long run. The amount that you are offered is not always enough to compensate for all the consequences that an automobile accident can cause. The offer may take care of the initial medical expenses as well as the cost of repairing the vehicle, if one is involved as you can still suffer from an automobile accident even if you’re just a walking pedestrian.

However, without the guidance of someone in the know, such as a Tennessee automobile accident lawyer, there is the possibility that you may be unjustly withheld expenses necessary to cover the loss of wages as well as the recompense needed for therapy, as some survivors of automobile accidents do require some method of medication or therapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), clinical depression, or anxiety. These might not be things that you had initially considered when settling with an amount that seemingly took care for everything and you never know if you are owed better in these cases unless you have someone on your team who knows their way around the field.

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Are you an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser?

Almost any Tennessee personal injury attorney would tell you that being seriously harmed in someone else’s property in Tennessee may also require you to deal with long recovery periods, huge hospital bills, lost time at work, and debilitating injuries that might compromise your quality of life. Unfortunately, each year, many injurious, sometimes even fatal incidents happen inside establishments where owners fail to ensure that occupants and visitors are safe.

Premise owners have a duty to keep their premises free from any hazard that may cause injurious accidents. However, if you have been injured in someone else’s property, the degree to which an owner owes duty to you depends largely on your status. Here are the three different classifications of occupiers, and how they are different from each other.

  1. Invitee – An invitee is a person who is allowed to enter the property. In most cases, invitees are people who come to the property to provide the owner with some benefits. For instance, you are probably an invitee if your neighbor asks you to enter her house to teach her a new recipe. You are also an invitee if you enter a store as a shopper, or a restaurant as a diner.
  2. Licensee – A licensee is a person allowed to enter a property, usually for their own purpose. Typically, property owner owes a licensee lesser duty of care than an invitee. Some examples of licensees include salesmen, social guests, or those who have an open invitation to enter the property.
  3. Trespasser – A trespasser is anyone who doesn’t meet any of the criteria above. Usually, an owner doesn’t owe duty of reasonable care to trespassers. However, in cases wherein a trespasser is a child who have been attracted to an accessible condition of danger, such as swimming pools, the property owner could be held liable in failing to secure his/her property.
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Divorce and Domestic Violence: Temporary Restraining Orders

Going through a divorce can be extremely difficult, especially if the reason behind such a decision involves emotional and physical abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average number of about 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. Even if a person manages to escape from a harmful situation, the legal process involved in severing ties with an abusive spouse can be arduous and lengthy. A solution to such a threatening scenario is obtaining a temporary restraining order while waiting for the divorce and all related legal issues to be settled in court.

A temporary restraining order or TRO is an order issued by a court preventing a person from being contacted, harassed, or stalked by their abuser. This order can be easily obtained by any individual facing some sort of threat or violence caused by another. While it is mostly applicable in domestic violence cases, a TRO can be granted even without a case pending in court. In some states, a TRO may also be called a temporary protective order or order of protection.

TROs become effective as soon as a judge signs it. The abuser is notified of the existence of the order and will then be restrained and prevented from attempting any sort of contact with the petitioner, as well as any of their children or family members. A TRO also extends to places that the petitioner frequents. Aside from their home, the abusive spouse will not be allowed to come near the petitioner’s workplace and their children’s educational facilities. Violations of these clauses could lead to imprisonment, as well as tighter regulations and requirements against the abuser.

Domestic violence victims going through a difficult divorce can turn to the law and seek out protection through a temporary restraining order. Because dealing with this additional legal conundrum can complicate the divorce process even more, it would be better to consult with a qualified family law attorney for more information. As it says on the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, divorce and domestic violence involve many complexities that are best resolved with appropriate legal counsel. Without a highly skilled lawyer, this cases can take longer and go into further complications.

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Important Facts about Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals hold a large degree of trust in their hands. They are responsible for the lives of patients seeking their service, and are expected to provide the best possible care they can offer. As such, they have very little room to commit errors. Even the slightest mistake could prove to be harmful and lead to devastating results.

Unfortunately, there are instances when people in medical profession fail to meet the high standards imposed on them. According to data compiled by the Civil Justice Resource Group, an estimated number of 25,000 to 120,000 medical malpractice cases lead to a patient’s death every year. What happens when this trust and responsibility is carelessly handled by some medical professionals? What options do patients have when their errors lead to harmful and sometimes even fatal outcomes?

Medical malpractice constitutes any error committed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals due to negligence. Among such crucial mistakes include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed or improper treatment, birth injuries, and wrongful death. Despite its prevalence, medical malpractice is easy to avoid. A Tennessee personal injury lawyer may tell you that all these devastating consequences could be prevented if medical personnel were more careful and diligent in dealing with patients through every step of the way.

It’s important to note that medical malpractice hardly stems from any malicious intent. Most of the time, medical malpractice cases happen due to mistakes that might seem small or irrelevant in retrospect. For example, a physician rushing to meet different patients might miss a step during examination and give a wrong diagnosis. An overworked nurse, meanwhile, could accidentally switch medication for two different patients just because there aren’t enough people on staff. Hospitals should also be held accountable in making sure they have appropriate regulations to keep their personnel from making crucial mistakes.

Every individual has the right to access quality health care. It’s heartbreaking to know that there some patients who are denied such right because of mistakes and accidents that are easy to avoid. If you or anyone you love have suffered tremendous harm due to medical malpractice, it’s important to seek out legal counsel right away. Your legal options and avenues might vary state to state, so make sure you contact an experienced attorney from your area.

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Cigarette Maker is Finally Found Liable

The winning streak that Philip Morris USA, Inc. has been enjoying for years has finally broken, and with a bang. Florida resident Richard Boatright was awarded $35 million in compensatory and punitive damages (Philip Morris was found 85% liable, but also penalized for fraud and conspiracy) for his personal injury claim against the tobacco company. He had to undergo two lung transplants for medical conditions caused by cigarette smoking. And he is likely to be just the first of thousands to make a successful bid for compensation for health problems caused by cigarette smoking.

It is common knowledge now that cigarette smoking is extremely hazardous to the health, but back in the 1960s, it was an uphill battle for plaintiffs to prove that tobacco companies had a measure of liability for their failure to warn and misleading and unconscionable (they targeted children) marketing tactics. It took years, and many appeals before the Supreme Court finally ruled that the defenses used by tobacco companies to avoid the consequences of their liabilities, including that of preemption, did not apply to the personal injury cases brought before them.

Even 46 states have made a claim against the tobacco companies in 1998 where it became apparent that:

  • Nicotine, a component of tobacco, is addictive
  • There was a causal link between cigarette smoking and certain diseases
  • Tobacco companies knew but concealed evidence about these facts since the 1960s

The states sued tobacco companies for the medical costs of tobacco-related illnesses, which eventually resulted in the Master Settlement Agreement for $206 billion.

However, it may be too early to celebrate. Tobacco companies are notorious for dodging the liability bullet; a 2000 class action (Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc.) $145 billion verdict representing about 8,000 plaintiff was vacated in 2006 because the cases were not appropriate for a class action lawsuit, and was decertified. Each plaintiff was allowed to re-file their cases as individuals, but it was only in 2014 when the first of the so-called “Engle Progeny” finally saw justice. Only time will reveal if tobacco companies will finally pay the piper.

According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, if you have just recently discovered that you have a medical condition caused by cigarette smoking, you could still make a claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to gain a better understanding of your legal options.

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What to Expect when Storing your Stuff

When you find yourself with more stuff than you have space for in your home, the most practical move for you is to sell them or give them away. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, then your next best alternative is to rent storage space, unless you want to be featured in a television show about hoarders. However, you need to know what to expect to pay when storing your stuff. Once you have a clear money-wise picture, then you are equipped to make an educated decision.

Note that this is for self-storage. Other fees may apply if you engage a company to package, transport, and store your stuff for you. While the fee may be high, the convenience is worth it.

The costs of self-storage will vary from company to company and depending on the size of the unit. At Pond Springs Mini Storage, for example, the smallest you can get is a 5 ft x 5 ft unit. We will list the average costs for various items that you can expect for a unit of this size, just to give you an idea. This is not a comprehensive or exact costing, so make sure to find out the exact costs from your chosen self-storage company.

Recurring Costs (Monthly)

Unit rental $55.00
Administration fees $15.00
Insurance $15.00

Onetime Costs

Security deposit $40.00
Padlocks $20.00

The costs pile up, don’t they? However, self-storage is a practical solution to your space problems at home. If you choose a good company for your self-storage, you may eventually decide to sell and your items will be in good condition. Make sure that your storage company has reasonable security and pest control measures in place and that you can access your unit any time you want. If you got a climate-controlled unit, have them put what their climate control measures are in writing, just in case.

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Defining Maintenance and Cure in a Maritime Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits typically take a long time before it gets to trial, and even then it can drag on for months, even years. As pointed out on the website of maritime law firm Ritter & Associates, unless a case is settled quickly the plaintiff will have to be responsible for any expenses associated with work-related injury or illness, including medical expenses and lost days of work.

As an employed seaman or commercial fisherman injured or becomes ill while at work, the employer is required under the Jones Act to provide maintenance and cure benefits no matter whose fault it is. This practice has its origins from the ship owner’s duty to provide an injured seaman with room and board while on a ship even if the seaman is unable to perform his duty.

When a seaman is injured or becomes ill at work although not at sea, the employer is still obliged to provide for the worker’s necessary maintenance which is typically paid on a weekly or biweekly basis, and this includes actual expenses for rent or mortgage, food, utilities, property taxes, even homeowners’ insurance. It should be noted that a seaman in certain states who is a union member may not receive full maintenance benefits if regular maintenance costs exceed what is stated in the contract covering all union members. Also, necessary maintenance does not include Internet access or car payments.

Cure, on the other hand, refers to the employer’s obligation to pay for reasonable medical and associated expenses necessary for the treatment for and recovery from the work-related injury or illness sustained by the seaman. The employer pays for these expenses directly. These obligations continue until the seaman achieves what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI) as assessed by a doctor, which means that no further improvement of the patient’s condition can be expected.

Ironically, if you contract a serious work-related injury or illness and your employer refuses to pay maintenance and cure benefits, you may have to sue. Consult with a maritime lawyer regarding your rights in a particular situation.

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Avoiding Foreclosure

Most people are taken by surprise when they are informed that their home is on the threat of foreclosure. Aside from those committing mortgage fraud, there are many reasons why people have a hard time keeping up with their mortgage payments. Foreclosure gives the lender a legal right to repossess the house. Having a foreclosure on your record can seriously affect your chances of qualifying for future credits, therefore preventing a possible foreclosure is important.

When you have been informed about your impending foreclosure, it would be best to first contact the Loss Mitigation Department of your lending company to tell them about your situation, your financial standing, and other things that you deem important regarding your foreclosure problems. It is also recommended to stay in your home despite the foreclosure notice; leaving can may disqualify you from getting assistance.

According to Greenway Law, LLC, one way to avoid foreclosure is to request a mortgage modification. Through this, you can ask for changes in your mortgage agreement according to what’s most applicable to your financial circumstances. Mortgage modification includes adjusting the loan terms, or maybe the lender could offer you leeway and spread the payments of the late payments (also called repayment plan). There are other options, all depending on you and the lender’s agreement. Mortgage modification is easily available for people who have recovered after certain financial issues and could afford a new payment plan.

Many people are unaware of options to help fixed their mortgage issues, and this is where having legal help comes in. Knowing more information and understanding your options on how to save your house and avoid foreclosure is easy if you know where to look and who to ask. Talking with a lawyer greatly helps, but so does talking with your lender, since they can decide which alternatives you best qualify for.

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