Where Creativity and Nature Meet

Most Recent Articles

What Makes a Work Environment Hostile?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Employment Law | 0 comments

Employees have the right to be safe in the workplace. When you hear the word safe, the first thing that comes to your mind is protection against workplace accidents, especially if you work in hazardous environments such as construction sites. But one factor of safety is often overlooked – protection against hostile work environments.

But what makes a work environment hostile anyway? According to the website of The Melton Firm, a hostile work environment exists if an employee experiences abusive or discriminatory treatment. The most common mistreatment involves age, race, and gender.

One quirky remark about potentially sensitive issues such as sexual orientation does not necessarily mean that the work environment is hostile, because it may be an isolated incident. Typically, a work environment is only hostile when it passes the following criteria:

  • The level of the abusive or discriminatory treatment is severe
  • The abuse or discrimination is persistent and long-lasting
  • The abuse or discrimination is already directly affecting the victim’s work
  • There is enough reason to believe that the employer is aware of the problem but fails to act on it

For example, if an employee is consistently mimicking his disabled co-worker in a manner that is meant to provoke him, he may be creating a hostile work environment. This may have negative effects on his co-worker, like having low self-esteem and making excuses of not going to work to avoid being bullied.

In fact, the co-worker is not just the only person affected. There are instances where the entire workforce will feel the hostility of the workplace, and there is a possibility that this will result into comfort and productivity issues.

Even though co-workers are the common causes of hostile work environments, it is not unheard of for employers to be the ones guilty. For example, if an employer acts in a manner that is meant to make an employee quit his job, it may be creating a hostile work environment, not just for the victim, but for everybody in the workplace who may be subject to the same act or heard of the act that has made the victim quit.

Read More

Know How Your State Handles Criminal Offenses and Professional Licenses

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Criminal Offense and Professional License | 0 comments

Everybody makes mistakes, but there are mistakes that have more severe consequences compared to others, like when you commit a criminal offense and you have a professional license. You can face the penalties of the offense itself, like fines, probation, and even jail time, and the fact that you have committed an offense can have an effect on your professional license.

According to the website of the Leichter Law Firm, professional license defense can be very complicated. This is because it involves both criminal and administrative issues. But before even thinking about defense, you should first know your state’s laws regarding this issue.

For example, in Texas, licensing authorities can suspend or revoke a license, disqualify a person from getting a license, or deny a person from taking a licensure exam on the following cases:

  • The person has committed an offense that is directly related to the licensed field
  • The person has committed an offense that is not directly related to the licensed field but has committed it within the last five years
  • The offense committed involve capital murder, sexual assault, human trafficking, aggravated kidnapping or robbery, or other serious offenses

The website of the Flaherty Defense Firm mentions that criminal charges can have life-altering consequences, and they couldn’t be more right in the case of those who have professional licenses. In fact, there are instances where the charges themselves, even though they have not been elevated into real convictions, are enough reason for licensing authorities to act, as if “innocent until proven guilty” is not a thing.

As mentioned earlier, this is because the issues involved are not just criminal but also administrative in nature. So, administrative bodies such as licensing authorities may have the tendency to act independently, like when they decide to revoke a license because of their own judgments.

This is why knowing how your state handles criminal charges and convictions and how they may affect professional licenses is important. Not only will this help you in defending your professional license, but also in safeguarding your career and the financial freedom it brings.

Read More

How a Bankruptcy can Affect your Divorce

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Bankruptcy and Divorce | 0 comments

You may be bankrupt because of many reasons, like when you have made poor financial decisions. You may want a divorce because of many reasons, like when you and your partner have drifted in terms of love and priorities. But what if you want to file both for bankruptcy and divorce? It may be a legal nightmare.

According to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., divorce is already a complicated process, as it may involve a variety of legal issues such as alimony, child custody, and division of property. But it becomes even more complicated when a bankruptcy has been put into the mix.

Firstly, the combination of bankruptcy and divorce may be too much of a financial strain for the couple because of the legal fees. Secondly, the legal complications of bankruptcy may make it harder to come up with divorce agreements. After all, the creditors have no legal part in your divorce, so somebody must still pay them no matter what.

It should be determined what kind of bankruptcy has been filed, because the difference in the kinds of bankruptcy can be a factor in the divorce agreements. The website of Erin B. Shank, P.C. mentions two kinds of bankruptcy designed for regular people – chapter 7 and chapter 13.

In chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor’s assets are sold and its proceeds go to the creditor. In chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor’s payment plans are revised for more financial freedom. Either kind of bankruptcy does not allow the discharge of domestic support obligations related to divorce, such as alimony and child support.

But the difference in chapter 7 and chapter 13 may influence other aspects of divorce, like debt settlement. For example, if you have debt under a marital settlement, chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot discharge it, but chapter 13 can, as long as it doesn’t involve domestic support obligations.

Due to these complications about debt settlement and domestic support obligations, sometimes it is better to just file for joint bankruptcy before even thinking about divorce, because it is easier to clear debts and divide properties this way, and no domestic support obligations may be put at stake. But there are instances where it just cannot be avoided, like when a medical condition suddenly forces one party to file for bankruptcy even while on the middle of a divorce process.

Read More

Why Car Accidents Happen

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

There are many reasons why car accidents happen. Maybe there is a drunk driver who has crashed into an innocent car. Maybe the brakes of another has suddenly malfunctioned and made the car crash into a tree. Maybe there is debris on the road that has made the driver lose control of his vehicle.

Whatever the reason may be, they have one common denominator, and that is negligence on the side of one party. Negligence is one of the most common causes of car accidents, and that is just pitiful, because negligence can easily be avoided.

Driver Negligence

A large number of accidents has been caused by another person’s negligence, like another driver. Some of the most common negligent behaviors on the road include the following:

  • Distracted driving, because of how distractions put away the driver’s hands on the wheel and eyes on the road
  • Driving while fatigued or sleepy, because of how these conditions can compromise the mental capacity of the driver
  • Drunk driving, because of how alcohol can physically and mentally affect the driver
  • Speeding, because of how it can minimize vehicle control and reaction time

Trade Negligence

The website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC mentions that auto defects are some of the common causes of car accidents as well. Designers, manufacturers, and other parties that may be involved in the trade process may be held liable for defects, such as the following:

  • Brake systems that do not trigger efficiently
  • Child car seats without adequate restraints
  • Defects in safety equipment, like airbags and seatbelts
  • Door latches that do not shut properly
  • Tire blowouts

Jurisdiction Negligence

Jurisdictions and states are likely to be responsible on the construction and maintenance of the roads in their areas. If there are issues on their roads and these issues have caused accidents and injuries, they may be accountable. The website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C. has given examples of road defects:

  • Lack of dividers, guardrails, and other barriers
  • Lack of road signs
  • Malfunctioning traffic lights and street lights
  • Potholes, uneven pavements, and other dangerous road conditions
Read More

Negligence in Auto Accidents

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Car accidents may have enough force to cause injuries, or worse, deaths. Still, many car accidents still happen in the United States, and a big portion of them occurs because of utter negligence of one party. According to the website of this Houston injury lawyer, some of the most common negligent acts include the following:

  • Driving while fatigued or sleepy
  • Driving while having manual, visual, and mental distractions
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Mechanical failures due to design errors, flaws, and defective or non-functioning parts
  • Reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding and swerving
  • Road defects, like cracks and potholes

Most of these negligent acts involve the driver being too confident of his driving skills or too complacent that nothing bad is going to occur. But there are also negligent acts where designers, manufacturers, and all other players in the trade process are involved, such as those that involve mechanical failures. Entire jurisdictions may also be at fault, because most of the time they are the ones responsible in the maintenance of roads.

Here are the most common injuries associated with auto accidents:

  • Amputations due to entrapment
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord problems sustained from the jolting motion of collisions
  • Brain trauma from hitting the head on hard surfaces, such as dashboards and pavements
  • Broken bones from impact
  • Chest and rib damage due to restraints like airbags and seatbelts
  • Head injuries from projectiles, like flying glass and debris

Auto accidents become even more tragic if an innocent party has been involved. For example, an unsuspecting driver has been diligently traveling when a drunk driver from the opposite lane swerves into his direction, resulting into a head-on collision. The unsuspecting driver may have a chance to sustain some of the injuries above, even though he has done nothing wrong.

Those who have been injured in accidents that are not their fault may pursue legal action. This is good to know, because the threat of lawsuits will make negligent parties, such as drivers and manufacturers, to drive and manufacture products in a way that will not cause inconveniences to other people.

Read More