Using Arrests and Convictions as Front in Employment Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace remains to be a major problem that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) faces every year. Despite all the laws that aim to protect the rights of employees and promote equal opportunities in all aspects of employment, EEOC continues to receive close to a hundred thousand discrimination charges every year (99,412 for the year 2012 and 93,727 for 2013).

Since it was formed by the US Congress in 1964, EEOC has never wavered in its commitment in strictly enforcing the mandates of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (passed in 1964 also) which is centered on the prohibition of all acts of discrimination in the workplace, be it in the hiring or firing of employees, transfer or recall back to work, promotion, apprenticeship programs, job training, wages, fringe benefits, and so forth, regardless of basis – national origin, religion, sex, race or color.

Often, however, the real basis of discrimination is obscured by a factor that is not directly protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Arrests and Convictions – and, unless a clear link can be established that one’s arrest and conviction is really just a front to employment discrimination based on race, national origin, etc., then an employer cannot be charged with violation of the Civil Rights Act’s mandates.

Information regarding a job applicant’s or an employee’s possibility of having been arrested or convicted in the past has become one of the details required by employers in hiring an applicant or retaining the services of an employee. Some employers even choose to conduct a background check to see if an arrest and criminal record exist under an applicant’s or employee’s name and then use this (as front) in rejecting or dismissing an individual.

A survey conducted by the EEOC on employers revealed that almost all employers now subject all or a few of job applicants to criminal background checks. This move is aimed at eliminating any possibility of theft, fraud, workplace violence and negligent hiring (in the event that a person with a criminal record is hired and causes injury on someone). A person’s arrest and criminal record can be accessed for background checks from different sources which include: Court Records; Law Enforcement and Corrections Agency Records; Registries or Watch Lists (which are maintained by a number of government entities); State Criminal Record Repositories; and, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Interstate Identification Index (III), which is the most comprehensive collection of criminal records in the US.

Though an arrest or a criminal record is not included in the list of the protected bases of workplace discrimination (race, color, religion, sex, or national origin), EEOC makes it clear that it will hold employers legally liable for prohibiting the stipulations of Title VII if the use of this is proven as only concealing a violation of any of the anti-discrimination laws.

Cary Kane Legal explains on its website that other than the Port Authority, the federal government and the law enforcement agencies, no other employer can ask applicants about the possibility of their having been arrested or convicted in the past. If a person does have a record and feels that it has been used but only as a front to hide the real reason why he/she had been discriminated upon, then seeking the help of a dependable Labor and Employment lawyer will definitely be necessary.

Risks Associated with Talcum Powder

A meta-analysis of several studies indicates that baby powder could increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 24%.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston decided to look at 8 of the many studies investigating the carcinogenic qualities of talcum powder to prove once and for all if there is indeed a link between powder use and cancer. After decades of being used by millions as a way to keep fresh, having been assured that is “clinically proven” to be safe, gentle, and mild, it appears that it isn’t so safe after all.

Pooled data of powder use for 8,525 women with ovarian cancer was compared to 9,859 cancer-free women and the results showed that women who made it a habit to put talc on “feminine” parts of the body after a shower or bath had a 24% higher chance of developing ovarian cancer. According to the talcum powder lawsuit lawyers at Williams Kherkher, ovarian cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer in women, accounting for 5% of cancer deaths, and the symptoms only manifest when the disease is in the advanced stages, making it a serious health issue. The meta-analysis was published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal (“Genital Powder Use and Risk of Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of 8,525 Cases and 9,859 Controls” Cancer Prev Res August 2013 6; 811).

It is believed that talc particles applied in the genital area travel up the reproductive tract into the body where it triggers inflammation, which can encourage existing cancer cells to multiply. About 40% of women are believed to use talcum powder in intimate areas of the body as part of their personal hygiene regimen. The carcinogenic effect of talc in this meta-analysis only applies when applied to the genital area. Risk factors include a family history of cancer, early menstruation, and specific genetic expressions (glutathione S-transferase M1 without glutathione S-transferase T1).

How To Deal With Lawyers The Right Way

Do you need legal advice? Are you looking for someone to stand in your corner and fight for you? If so, you probably need to consult with a lawyer like the people at the Abel Law Firm. Choosing a good lawyer and working with one you trust isn’t always easy. But with the tips shared here you should be able to find a lawyer to fit your needs.

A good tip if you’re looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you pick the right one. Location can be a big factor when looking to hire a lawyer. If you’re going to being to court soon, it’s absolutely crucial that the lawyer you pick is in the area.

If a crime is something you’ve been accused of, the thing you must do is ask a lawyer for help. Try not to do anything by yourself, since this may mean you’re breaking the law. Attorneys have the necessary experience to handle any issue that may arise.

Make sure you understand the costs associated with a particular lawyer ahead of time. Before you even begin the process of seeking someone out, you need to think about what you can afford. As you call different lawyers, discuss fees and the payment schedule. Do not be surprised later on!

Know just exactly how much opportunity cost you are giving up when choosing to go to court. Any case takes time, and just how much time depends a lot on the ability of your lawyer. If you choose a young lawyer to save money, you may find that the case takes many more weeks than if you had gone with someone more seasoned. Those weeks can be many hours of lost pay! Do your homework here and make sure the math works out for your choices.

Hopefully you have learned some things about lawyers from this article. Using a good lawyer can make your life much easier. Use the tips you learned here and you can find and use a trustworthy lawyer that will work for you and help you out with whatever you are dealing with.

The Difference between Laser and IPL

Most people think that laser treatments are the same as intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, and for the lay person there is very little difference. This is why IPL treatments are categorized under laser treatments. Essentially both methods use light waves, but that is where their similarity ends. They are in fact very different technologies. In brief, lasers produce a concentrated beam of light of a single wavelength, which will be determined by what they are being used for. IPL is also a beam of light but filtered to remove the ultraviolet (UV) range of waves, so it is said to be a broad spectrum beam.

Lasers have been developed and used for medical applications for more than 50 years. Because it has been around for quite a while, the technology has been fine-tuned to pretty much do what it has to with few or no side effects. It hasn’t always been safe, though; it took decades to develop a hair removal laser that could target hair follicles precisely enough so that it did not damage the surrounding tissue and even then it took some more years for experts to finally agree that alexandrite lasers was the most effective for depilation.

IPL, on the other hand, is a relatively recent development and was initially used to treat spider veins and broken capillaries. Because it is broad spectrum, it wasn’t long before it as discovered that it also had some positive effects on acne, skin texture and tone, and hair removal.

The choice between laser and IPL treatments eventually depends on the knowledge and experience of the attending healthcare practitioner to accurately evaluate each case. There is no one-size-fits-all solution even for similar cases; individual idiosyncrasy will always affect the outcome. This is why it is important to consult with a qualified skin professional before embarking on laser or IPL treatment.

Contingent Fees of Personal Injury Lawyers

It is considered a good thing that most Americans have never felt the need to engage the services of a personal injury lawyer. However, if and when that need arises, a majority of these clueless individuals have no idea what they should expect in terms of legal fees.

It is common knowledge that the number of personal injury cases has been on the rise as more and more people are made aware of their rights under tort law. However, the traditional view of lawyers who bill by the hour on top of other charges does not generally apply to personal injury lawyers, which mostly take on cases on a contingent fee basis.

A contingent fee is that percentage of any award that a claimant may win in a personal injury case. If a case fails in securing compensation, the lawyer does not get anything. The legal fees, therefore, are contingent to (dependent on) success, hence the term “contingent fees.”

Prior to engagement, the client should be made clearly aware of a particular lawyer’s contingent fee terms so that when the time comes, there are no unpleasant surprises. Typically, contingent fees for personal injury claims are one-third or 33% of the total award, although various factors such as competition and prominence in the field have driven it into a range of 25% to 40%. For example, if the case is settled for or awarded $50,000, the contingent fee of the lawyer at 33% is about $16,500, leaving the claimant with $33,500.

This may seem a large wedge of the pie, but considering the amount of investigation necessary to build personal injury cases and that they take between 6 months and two years to even get to trial, it is a reasonable trade-off to billable hours. Moreover, a lawyer with a proven track record in certain types of personal injury cases have the knowledge and experience to push for the maximum compensation allowed under the law, which is generally a whole lot more than what a claimant with no lawyer or a lawyer with no experience in such matters would ever be able to get. On the whole, it is a win-win situation for the claimant to engage the right lawyer on a contingent fee basis.

Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are being charged with a criminal offense in the US, you should be advised of your Miranda rights, and one of these rights is that to an attorney or legal counsel. If you can’t afford one, a public defender will be assigned to protect your interests. However, a public defender may not be able to provide you with the representation you need because they are often juggling several cases at the same time and don’t have the same resources as a private lawyer. If you are facing serious charges, you should make every effort to get the best possible criminal defense lawyer you can get.

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will depend on a number of factors. One of these is whether you are being charged with a state or federal crime.  Not all lawyers have the requisite experience to handle a federal case, which is typically more complex than a state case. A federal case is prosecuted by the US Attorney’s office, where the lawyers tend to have more resources than a state prosecutor, so the prosecution also tends to be a tougher nut to crack.

Another factor to consider is specialization. Lawyers are theoretically licensed by the state to practice any type of legal work, but an experienced corporate lawyer may not be as effective in a criminal case as a criminal defense lawyer. Even then, not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal. You will want one that handles mostly, if not exclusively, the same type of crime of which you are charged with. Check on the lawyer’s track record to get a feel for competence. Failing that, find a lawyer who is willing to spend the time and energy to study your case thoroughly and construct an effective defense.

It is also important that you choose a lawyer you can work with. A criminal defense lawyer should be articulate and a good negotiator, qualities which are important in arguing a case. You don’t necessarily have to like your attorney, but he or she should inspire your confidence and respect because you have to be able to rely on your lawyer in this most crucial of tasks.

Criminal Defense against Marijuana Possession

Being accused of a crime, whether it be a simple case of misdemeanor or something much more serious, such as DUI or possession of marijuana, can be a frightening experience, especially for people who committed the act without actually having intended to do so.

A drug crime, specifically, is an act in violation of federal laws, deserving lengthy jail terms and hefty fines. A drug-related crime includes selling, manufacturing, distribution and possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Despite its wide use, marijuana remains to be considered an illegal drug in the US. The Controlled Substances Act has classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug or a type of drug that has no legal medical value. This, of course, is contrary to the ruling of some states which recognize the medical value of the drug; some states have even decriminalized it for (private) recreational purposes. And though the Washington Initiative 502 has experimentally allowed marijuana, everything about it (manufacture, growth, possession, etc.) is still subject under certain conditions, like the possession of license and the person involved should be, at least, 21 years old.

Marijuana contains THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, its key psychoactive ingredient. As any street drug does, marijuana also has many street names, including cannabis, grass, weed, pot, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, ganja, reefer, etc. For people who are caught with weed, the charges can be between misdemeanor and felony, with the amount of fines and length of jail term depending on the amount of the drug possessed. Nevertheless, these punishments are always better avoided due to their possible long-term effects.

On its website, the Dallas-based Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, state how a criminal charge can completely alter an individual’s life. It can affect his/her employment, even finding a place where he/she can live. A charge relating to marijuana possession is a hard battle to fight, though. And one has to know and understand that not all lawyers are equally good, some being more determined and competent than others. These are the kinds of lawyers one would need when charged with a serious crime. It would be to one’s real benefit if he/she will make sure that the defense lawyer he/she will hire is of such caliber.

Unsafe Products: Yasmin and Testosterone Supplements

An article on the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., speaks of the importance of pharmaceutical drugs for people who are ill, suffering from an injury or recovering from a surgery. Medicine, the article further says, has always been a part of medical treatment. Not all who take medicine get the desired beneficial results, though, for due to differences in overall health condition, metabolism and, past illnesses, what may be a cure to some, may serve as poison to others.

It is the task of pharmaceutical companies to produce safe and efficient drugs that will provide the cure to diseases, relieve ailments and keep people in good and healthy condition. Before these drugs are even allowed to be prescribed and released to the market, these will have to be tested and proven safe for use.

May pharmaceutical companies, which also fund the conduction of tests on their own drugs, however, keep the tests’ negative results to have the drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for distribution. Thus, there have been instances when reports of adverse cases are filed against particular drugs, for instead of providing cure for the illnesses these were intended to treat, these, rather, cause more severe illnesses which put patients in greater danger. Some drugs have even been linked to the unexpected death of patients some months after the drug’s use.

A couple of drugs that have been made available in the market and which have been prescribed to millions of users due to their known effectivity and the benefits these provide, are Yasmin and Testosterone supplements. Yasmin, an oral contraceptive from the German firm Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, was introduced in 2001. It was acknowledged as a truly effective contraceptive, preventing females, aged 14 and up, from getting pregnant. Yasmin was also said to effectively treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and temperate acne.

It was not long, however, when reports of Yasmin side effects began to surface; the drug was linked to the death of 23 Canadian women and was found to increase the risk of developing gallbladder injuries, pulmonary embolism (blood clots blocking the pulmonary artery), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in veins deep inside the body) stroke, heart attack and death.

Testosterone, on the hand, is the hormone that is responsible for different sexual characteristics, such as sexual function and sex drive, maturation of the prostate and various male sex organs, and growth and distribution of male hair, like facial hair. The introduction of testosterone supplements was approved by the FDA for males suffering from Hypogonadism, that is, low testosterone, or low T.

Testosterone supplements, though, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and even death. Despite this risk, the seductive television ads that make men think that the supplement is a fountain of youth, have  resulted in more than four million prescriptions. This turn of events has some medical and legal professionals guessing that Low T lawsuits are sure to increase in months to come.

Bad Hospitals and Bad Doctors: Realities Patients can Avoid if They Want To

In the US, each state has its own medical licensing board that is tasked to grant medical licenses to qualified and competent applicants, as well as protect its residents’ health, safety and general welfare, against doctors who fail to practice and live up to the standards of the medical field.

In the event of reports of doctor negligence, abuse, malpractice or unprofessional conduct, a medical licensing board has the authority to investigate and review any case filed against such doctors, discipline those who will be proven guilty, and hold in probation, suspend or revoke their license.

Such tasks, if strictly followed by each state’s medical licensing board, would be ways that may lead to the formation of ideal hospitals and health care clinics, and highly competent medical specialists. But this is far from what is real, as proven in a study by USA Today, a multi-platform media company that delivers news and information. The study actually reveals the continuous practice of thousands of doctors with records of serious misconduct. And, despite, having been disallowed by many health care institutions, HMOs and hospitals, from treating patients further, these doctors’ own state medical boards seem to be doing nothing, not even show any sign of moving to hold these doctors on probation.

Families of patients who have suffered more severe injuries or who have died due to the gross negligence and serious misconduct of these doctors suffer more in their own anger and misery for the very slow pacing of the law which ought to make these doctors pay for the horrid consequences of their acts.

On its website, the personal injury lawyers of the Atlanta-based Ausband & Dumont Law Firm speaks of the right to justice of victims of personal injuries, which are injuries that result from the careless, reckless or negligent act of others. Part of this justice is compensating the victims (and/or their families) for the present and future financial concerns resulting from the injury.

There are thousands of good doctors, this is a fact. But to say that there are also thousands of bad doctors is another (fearful) fact that no one can deny. It is, therefore, highly important that you know who your doctor really is, as well as the overall reputation of the clinic or hospital where he/she is connected. A number of websites now openly and courageously identify bad doctors and bad hospitals, while a few other websites mention hospitals which have been proven as providing good performance in terms of quality patient care and in the number of their reliable medical personnel.

Not all doctors are committed, or have the same level of commitment, to their profession; not all hospitals provide quality care too. The next time you need medical care, make sure that your health care provider will provide real care, not make you more sick.

Essential Factors when Appealing for a Long Term Disability Claim

An injury or illness that causes long term disability can lead to financial burdens for a lot of people and their families. Very often, however, despite the obvious illness and medical proofs, many disability benefit claims still get rejected by insurance providers, which apply strict scrutiny in evaluating the worthiness of each insurance claim.

An article posted in the website of the Hankey Law Office, P.C., speaks of the same careful examination of claims documents by those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Furthermore, the firm states that, aside from being a complicated task, it may take months before applications get to be evaluated and either approved or rejected.

Though some applications may really turn out as nothing more than fraudulent claims and, therefore, rightfully rejected, many others get denied simply due to technical reasons, which may mean a signature missed, a skipped box, incorrect process in filing of application, and so forth – mistakes often committed by applicants due to the length and complexity of claims documents.

With regard to approved applications, SS members or policy holders (of private insurance firms) usually complain because of the small amount on their behalf – an amount that may be too little compared to what is stipulated in their policies. Thus, just to be able afford medical treatment, as well as address family needs, some resort to selling their properties after all savings have been depleted.

Delving deeper to determine the real cause of rejection of claims, especially by private insurance firms, many legal and financial experts say that everything is simply based on the firm’s intent to remain profitable. Thus, it tries to find mistakes in applications in a manner that is quite aggressive. There are insurance firms that employ tactics, like much delay in the approval and release of the benefit, undue termination of the claimant’s policy or misclassification of illness or injury. A case of insurance bad faith is how experts call it; it involves the violation of the policy that the insurance provider drafted and which it signed with the policy holder.

In the event of a claims denial, undue termination of the policy or if the insured knows and feels that the amount of the benefit released is so much lower that what he/she should have received, the applicant is allowed to fully examine the denied claim and appeal the decision.

An appeal is a formal request for a re-evaluation of the unfavorable decision arrived at by an insurer. There are essential things, besides hiring a legal counsel who has expertise in insurance benefit claims, that an appellant must do to avoid losing an appeal. These include:

  • Filing the appeal within the allowed time frame
  • Preparing all the necessary and relevant documents, such as medical record, medical abstract, letter from the employer, opinion of a medical expert, and others
  • Readying oneself to argue against any misrepresentation or misuse of evidence or inadequate in-house medical review, by the insurer