How to File an FLSA Claim for Unpaid Wages or Overtime Violations

The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA protects employees in the United States from abusive and unfair labor practices with regards to the payment of wages. Part of it covers regulations on overtime pay and requires employees to properly compensate workers with an overtime wage that’s 1.5 times more than their regular rate. When these regulations are violated, employees have the option of filing an FLSA claim to be compensated for unpaid wages.

While it’s certainly possible to navigate an FLSA claim on one’s own, it can get easily complicated without the counsel of a legal professional. Getting an attorney on board at the very start of the process can help you assess the facts of your particular case and work on a plan of action based on your own situation. Employees covered by the FLSA have 2-3 years to file their claims. This timeline starts on the date in which the alleged wage violation was committed. It lasts for 3 years if said violations were willfully committed by an employer, and lasts for 2 years if the violation isn’t found to be a willful act. If the claim is successfully granted by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, you might be able to receive compensation that’s double the amount of unpaid wages owed by the employer. If, however, the clam isn’t successful, you still have the option to file a civil suit against your employer.

Of course, many individuals hesitate to go through this process and file an FLSA claim for their back pay due to fear of retaliation. As such, it should be properly emphasized that it would be illegal for your employer to participate in any discriminatory retaliation acts because of your decision to file an FLSA claim. It would be against the law for any employer to terminate a worker or prohibit them from receiving promotions and similar opportunities due to FLSA claims and other complaints.

Grounds for a Marriage to be Declared Null and/or Void

There are 17 states in the U.S. that are known as “no fault” divorce states. In these states, which include Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, Florida, Colorado and California, a spouse may file a petition for divorce with his/her partner without the need of having to cite a reasonable ground, such as adultery or cruelty. Thus, simply stating “irreconcilable differences,” which renders a marriage being beyond repair, as the basis for divorce would already be acceptable. All other remaining states are known as ‘fault” divorce states due to need for the one filing for divorce to cite a valid reason due to which the divorce is being sought.

Divorce, however, may be filed only if the marriage entered into by two individuals is legally binding. If a marriage, from the very start was null or invalid, then termination of the marital union should be through annulment.

An annulment is a legal declaration of the cancellation of a marriage. It has to be canceled and declared canceled to give the spouses, or a spouse who has been offended (based on the second reason below), the right to enter, this time, into a legally binding marital union. A marriage is considered non-legally binding and, therefore, invalid from very start, due to any of the following reasons:

• It was entered into by blood-related individuals (most states outlaw marriages between relatives closer than second cousins). Allowing the union to go on would result to incest;
• One of the individuals is in an existing marriage, thus, making succeeding marriages acts of bigamy;
• One or both of the spouses are under the age of 16 when they entered into marriage.

In certain instances, on the other hand, when a marital union is considered legal but will have to voided or canceled due to the following grounds:

• Fraud, such as when one keeps secret a prior marriage, a felony conviction or addiction, and/or having a child from a previous marriage;
• Coercion, which is the case when one spouse was forced by the other (such as through threats) to enter into marriage;
• Intoxication due to alcohol or drug since this renders either of the spouses lacking the full capacity to consent to marriage;
• Mental incapacitation, since this renders one or both spouses unable to fully grasp the responsibilities and duties with a married life; and,
• Impotence or the inability of one spouse to have sexual intercourse.

For a court to grant a petitioner for annulment, however, the petitioner for annulment should stop cohabiting with his/her partner after he/she learns of the claimed ground/s for the annulment. If the petitioner does otherwise, then no annulment will be granted by a Texas court.

All The Things You Need To Know About Restraining Orders

When your spouse has become a violent and dangerous person to be with, you need to protect yourself at all cost. When you are constantly threatened, abused, harassed, or stalked, a restraining order may be your best defense against your abusive spouse. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, it may be in your best interest to file for a restraining order.

In general, a restraining order is a court order protecting you from further harm by someone who has hurt you. It is designed to keep the abuser away from you or keep them away from the scene of abuse which could either be your home, workplace, or apartment. It is a civil order and does not give the abusive person a criminal record.

Victims of domestic violence can get a restraining order. A spouse, a former household member, and another person who is present at home and who is more than 18 years old and an emancipated minor can file a restraining order. Victims of any age who has been subjected to domestic violence by the person who will be the father or mother of the child when the pregnancy comes full term can also obtain a restraining order.

The restraining order lays down the things that the abuser can and cannot do. For example, the court may order them not to have contact with the victim personally or though the phone, at home, work, or almost anywhere the victim requests to put in the order. It may also provide protection for other members of the victim’s family.

The initial serving of the court order is called temporary restraining order or TRO. In most states, the TRO is valid for more than 10 days. At the expiration of the order, the abuser and the victim will be asked to appear in court. If the abuser violates the court order, they may face arrest by the police. Just make sure you carry the TRO all the time.

Dogs Won’t Bite, Unless . . .

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association, the third type of pet that is most commonly kept in 71.1 million households in the US is dogs, which number to 74.8 million (the first is freshwater fish at 142 million, while the second is cats, of which there are 88.3 million). When it comes to which pet is loved most, however, then there is a completely different story than what the numbers say.

While cats and other animals may look cuter than (some) dogs, the energy, playfulness and loyalty of dogs are characteristics that no other pet may be able to show. This is why, despite having freshwater fishes and/or cats in the house, many still choose to have a dog around.

It is natural for dog owners to believe that their pet dog is the greatest and friendliest pet anyone can have. Though this may be true at some point, what pet owners, in general, fail to realize is that there are instances when even the most domesticated pets become uncontrollable, causing injuries to people in the process. Also, to believe that one dog is as friendly as another is a big mistake. In fact, based on records from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reports of dog bites total to 800,000 every year. The irony regarding dog bites, however, is that, instead of strangers being the ones bitten most, the most common victims of dog bites are young children and older adults who are members of the dog owner’s own family. And, contrary to what many think that these bites are just minor scratches, majority of these cause lacerations and disfigurement; some even result to death, especially bites to the head or neck of children below four years old.

While dogs are, undeniably, fun and loving animals, if these, however, feel threatened or if their energy is kept unspent, then these may suddenly attack or become overly playful which can be a cause of injury. To protect people from dog bites or attacks, each state has enacted its own law, like the leash law in the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, or a law that prohibits owners from letting their dogs loose or at large. According to a Charleston personal injury lawyer, in the state of South Carolina, a dog owner, as well as the person handling the dog at the time when such dog attacks or bites someone, will be held liable for injuries caused by their dog, even if they did not know or could not have known that the dog would inflict the injuries.

In the states of Denver and Colorado, however, a breed of dog, the pit bull, has been banned due to the disturbing cases of attacks reported of this breed. Pit bulls, even according to professional dog owners, are more hostile than other breeds of dogs. In fact, in many states, Pit bulls are identified as lethal weapons so that police officers have been authorized by courts to shoot these dogs if these, in any way, threaten to attack or bite anyone. From 2005 to 2012, Pit bulls have been linked to 250 fatal attacks on senior citizens and children.

Victims of dog bites and dog attacks have the right to pursue legal action against the owner of the dog (that caused the bite or the attack). This legal action is mainly for the purpose of seeking compensation for all damages, which may include: cost of medical care; scarring/disfigurement; income lost during recovery; pain and suffering; and, loss of enjoyment or quality of life (if the injury is severe enough to cause life-changing effects).

Pedestrian Accidents: Totally a Driver’s Fault?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that, in 2012, traffic crashes took the lives of 4,743 pedestrians and injured about 76,000 (some injuries led to death a few days after the accident); this means that every two hours a pedestrian is killed, while every seven minutes, one gets injured.

Data from past years also showed that most pedestrian accidents happened in cities and during the night, that most of the victims were male, that half of the total number of accidents occurred on weekends, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and that 37% of those killed, as well as 13% of the drivers of automobiles that hit the pedestrian, were drunk with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level.

Whenever a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, fault is typically blamed on the driver, who is usually judged as not having any courtesy towards non-motorists. While it is bad enough that some drivers deliberately choose not to yield to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, others make it worse by making the whole thing like a game, seeing just how close they can get to these people even to the point of almost hitting them.

But, is fault blamable only on a driver? What about pedestrians who are too engrossed in using their cell phone that they never even bother to check the road before crossing it, or those who are too into jogging that he or she would cross the street without even looking first for possible approaching vehicles?

So many accidents happen because of negligence, which is failure to act with reasonable care, causing injury or harm to others as a result. Often, however, proving liability as to whose fault the accident really is can be a legally challenging, but a necessary, task.