Thursday, October 29, 2009

Senate Bill that Extends Unemployment Benefits Go to the Floor for Action

The senate bill that would extend unemployment benefits has been approved to go to the floor for action. However, the date and time for a full senate vote for bill HB 3548 is not yet known.

Under the bill, states with high unemployment rates would be able to give 20 additional weeks of benefits, while those whose unemployment rate are below 8.5% will receive up to 14 weeks.

The bill faced some setbacks as Republicans expressed concerns about the brunt of the additional costs being given to businesses.

The bill also became a magnet for amendments like the Democrats’ proposal to extend the $8,000 first time homebuyers tax credit.

Once approved, an agreement must be worked out with the House of Representatives, which passed their own version.

This is welcome news to the many jobless workers in California.

According to the California Development Department, about 134,000 citizens have already exhausted the up to 79 weeks of unemployment benefits available.

Just this September, the employment rate reached a high of 12.2 %.

Although the bill is somewhat a short term solution and does not really solve the unemployment problem, it goes a long way in helping those who are struggling to find a job while the government looks for ways to solve the problem.

Hopefully once the unemployment benefits are extended, the employment rate should also pick-up and by the end of the extension, we can see a reduction in unemployment.

For more information about employment rights and benefits, contact the employment attorneys near you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FBI Apprehends Scientist for Attempted Sale of National Security Secrets

Reports about the scientist who tried to sell some of our most guarded secrets to Israel have shocked a lot of people that such a thing could really happen.

It’s the stuff that makes great spy movies, except that this time, it’s for real.

Thankfully, the scientist identified as David Nozette was arrested by the FBI in a very elaborate sting operation.

By the looks of it, the prosecutors are doing the best they can to keep Nozette in jail for the rest of his life.

The risk of him fleeing and successfully sharing confidential information to other nations are just too big.

According to his former colleague, Scott Hubbard, Nozette was a defense technologist who had access to the Department of Defense national security work, which are highly classified.

The suspicion about Nozette’s espionage work started when an inspection by NASA’s inspector general in 2006 found some anomalous claims for expenses that were not actually incurred.

Further investigations showed that Nozette might have been working for a foreign government. This led to a national security investigation that led to the sting and the eventual arrest.

This issue goes beyond intellectual property rights violations.

Selling trade secrets of companies to rival organizations could already get you to jail for up to 15 years and a fine of about half a million dollars for committing acts of industrial espionage.

And that is just about rival corporate companies.

Nozerette’s alleged act went beyond industrial espionage, it is treason.

Not only was he selling confidential information to another nation, he might have been selling secrets that compromises the nation’s national security.

Hopefully, this is an isolated incident and would not happen again in the near future.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stadium Staff fell before Game Starts

Workplace accidents could happen if an area was not properly maintained by the employer. Injured employees caused by these accidents may be compensated if they can prove that the injuries they sustained may be avoided if only the employer was not negligent in keeping their work area safe.

This may be the case in a slip and fall accident involving a member of the Chargers game-day staff. Walt Daniels was injured after he reportedly fell around 20-25 feet from the visiting coaches’ booth on the press level on Qualcomm Stadium.

The accident happened hours before the game started. According to emergency personnel, the man had a pulse after around five minutes of CPR.

He was putting together program packages that will be distributed to the media when he somehow fell out of the Booth 35C. He landed on the seats underneath and settled on the concrete between the Club Level’s second and third rows.

Two members of the Bronco’s radio broadcast team said the man tripped down the stairs, pitched forward, and rolled out of the booth. They said the worker, who was walking with a cane, desperately tried to regain control after the first stumble but failed to stop his fall.

CPR was performed on him and he was brought to Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Daniels’ employer should have made necessary adjustments to accommodate his physical condition. In addition, the employer should have been aware that Daniels may have trouble in going up or down the stairs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Local Unions Charged With Discriminatory and Unfair Labor Practices

Unions such as the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council, and the AFL-CIO have been charged with unfair labor practices by a national anti-union organization, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

The unfair labor claim, which was filed on behalf of Wesley Fuller, an employee of San Diego's Brady Co who is not a member of the union, alleged that the “Project Stabilization Agreement” is discriminatory.

The charges claimed that the policy dictating hiring terms for the work under the San Diego school district's $2.1 billion Proposition S bond measure would only enrich union officials and deprive non-union workers and employers.

Fuller, despite having completed all state apprenticeship requirements, was denied Proposition S work because his apprenticeship program was not established through a union.

The disputed labor agreement will take effect on all Proposition S projects that will exceed $1 million.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

[Blog Action Day] Climate Change Related Car Accidents through the Act of God Clause

Climate change is inevitable. We’ve come to a point that we cannot really reverse the effects and we will have to adapt to the new environment it will create.

According to the United Nations, every year sees an increase in the occurrence of storms, floods, and even earthquakes.

If climate change continues to have adverse effects, we may see more car accidents that can be considered “acts of god.”

What are car accidents that are considered acts of God? For one thing, they are accidents that you never thought would happen to you.

Act of God in US law refers to accidents that are caused by natural disasters or uncontrollable weather conditions.

This includes earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, lightning and tsunamis.

In these cases, there is really no liable party to be blamed thus the term “Act of God.”

And with the current trend in climate change, these could happen a lot more often than we think.

However, identifying car accidents that are caused by an “act of God” from accidents that are caused by negligence can sometimes be tricky and not all insurance policies cover acts of god calamities, so be sure to check yours.

The car accident claim becomes complicated if the accident was caused by both a natural disaster and negligence.

Generally, the courts decide based on whether the car accident would have happened regardless if the negligence was present or not.

For example, a truck took a shortcut on roads that it is not allowed to pass through and then gets damaged in a flood on that area.

The courts may decide that if the driver did not pass through those roads illegally then the truck should not have been damaged .

Therefore the negligent and liable party is the driver.

Another example would be if a tree falls on a parked car because of an earthquake; the courts may decide that the driver could not have reasonably known that the tree would fall on the car and could have not predicted the earthquake as well.

Therefore the car accident may be considered an act of God.

This car accident clause can be very complicated and insurance companies like to use this as an escape to not cover personal injuries and property damages claims.

The best thing you can do is review your insurance policy about accidents caused by “acts of god” and consult with an expert car accident attorney for advice.

$200,000 Settlement for Sexual Harassment Suit in Fire Station

Julie LaBlanc found a porn magazine in the possession of her child which led to a sexual harassment lawsuit against the San Jose Fire Department.

LaBlanc reportedly filed a complaint to the department after finding stacks of pornographic magazines in the firehouse where she was working.

After filing the charges, she stated that she became the subject of sexual harassment which greatly affected her work.

The city now offers her $200,000 after arbitration took place.

The recent incident only proves that government officials also face unfair treatment from their colleagues but shouldn’t back down even if they were harassed and treated unfairly.

Monday, October 12, 2009

School Girl Hit While Avoiding Sprinkler

Five percent of total car fatalities are children. In fact, children between two to fourteen years old often die in vehicular accidents.

In Fullerton, a 12-year-old school girl had been very lucky to only have sustained splint ankle when hit by a car. The accident happened when she stepped onto a street to avoid a sprinkler. The girl was on her way to school when the accident happened.

The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) revealed that about 250,000 children die in car accidents in a year. This only showed that nearly 700 children are harmed on a daily basis.

Traumatic brain injury
and spinal cord injury are some of the injuries that a child’s tender body has to endure. These injuries are serious that apart from pain and suffering, financial hardship may also be experienced.

In most road accidents, negligence is the main cause. Certainly, when a negligent party caused injury to another, he must be penalized for it. Fine and/or imprisonment are the common penalties for negligent driving.

A pedestrian who may have incurred injury can sue a negligent driver for compensation claims through the help of a personal injury attorney.