In a prior job, I used to share a cubicle with a guy who hated everything. I wish that this were an exaggeration. This guy, who we’ll call Steve (because his name was Steve) was quicker to express a negative sentiment than the Grinch (and he was also slightly hairier). Steve was very unpleasant to be around, and was always pushing the limits of the company rules. And then, one day, he pushed too hard, and he was fired. He stormed out of the office, threatening to sue everyone he saw, and then he was gone. We’ve all got that co-worker. You know whom I’m talking about.
[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] For even the most controlled persons, times may come when self-defense, or the defense of someone unable to protect themselves, may arise.  In these cases, the assumption is often that litigation for any violence would naturally not apply. However, you would be surprised how often assault and battery litigation could still stick.  Assault and battery is the combination of two violent crimes: assault, or the threat of violence; and battery, or the actual physical violence. The intention behind the actions is important.  Generally, it is only necessary for the defendant to have the intent to do the harmful act (as opposed to an intention to actually do harm). Essentially, the act must be done voluntarily.  Even in cases of self-defense, an intention to do harm or to do a harmful act can result in assault and battery charges.
[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] In a recent Washington Post article, it was cited that winning the $640M jackpot was so remote (1 in 176 million chance), that you had a better chance at the following:
  • You have a 1 in 1 million chance of getting hit by lightning, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • There's a 1-in-a-few-million chance of the Earth getting wiped out by a large asteroid, a NASA spokesperson said.
  • You have a greater chance of having identical quadruplets than winning the Mega Millions jackpot. Odds are 1 in 13 million, according to an NBC report.
  • Scared of dying from a bee sting? Well, you have a 1 in 6.1 million chance of dying from one, according to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
In this day and age, some people are what I like to call “sue-happy.”  Meaning that they will sue for just about anything.  Last year was no exception and 2011 brought 10 of the most ridiculous lawsuits to date.  These suits included a convict suing the couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police, a woman sued because the “Drive” movie trailer did not contain enough actual driving, and another woman sued a store for $5 million because of a disagreement about an 80-cent refund. Yes, these are all for real, and you can check them out more at the link above.  These lawsuits conjure up all kinds of feelings of ridiculousness and absurdity, yet frivolous lawsuits occur all the time, and the worst part is that some of them actually come out victorious in court.
Human Resources.  It’s a living thing.  State and Federal rules and regulations combined with business protocol and best practices.  It’s a field that requires knowledgeable and determined professionals.  Usually, the path to equitable solutions is clear.  But what about the time when implementing the reasonable accommodation under ADA crosses into the privacy regulations of HIPPA?  Or, federal exemptions regarding state statutes cross paths under ERISA?  The truth is that the HR professional can become personally liable. Let’s talk about a few places where liability can creep in. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) the law criminalizes knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant, along with financial and other penalties for employing them.  This act introduced the I-9 form to ensure that documentary proof of employability was provided, however, there are plenty of methods potential hires have found in forging their documentation.  And, hiring personnel could still be found negligent in a possible case of employing an illegal immigrant.
I know a thing or two about competition.  I was sixteen, playing volleyball for my high school team.  Things were pretty intense; the teams were neck-and-neck.  The other team bumped, set and spiked!....right into my face.  My face burned from a mixture of humiliation and pain and my ears rung, thankfully masking the sound of the other team’s fans cheering from the stands.   I blinked, dazed, wondering if my face would appear permanently smashed after this experience.  I was angry, but even though my team was losing and I had been injured, I never thought of retribution. The same cannot be said for John Levi Miller, a former professional wrestler who is currently suing an old opponent for kicking him in the crotch hard enough to cause his testicles to rupture, resulting in one of them having to be removed.  Ouch!  And I thought I knew what being competitive was all about.
[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Confucius, once said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” In a better world, such words of wisdom would cause at very least a moment of reflection, but alas today’s modern society abounds with stories of revenge and retaliation gone awry. When it comes to retaliation in the workplace, it’s important for employers and managers to remember that prevention is much preferred to the bitter pill of litigation. That’s because, historically speaking, it’s typically the company that ends up taking the blame in retaliation suits. In fact, recent studies indicate that an employee who files a retaliation lawsuit is more likely to prevail at trial and recover significant damages than an employee filing a typical discrimination claim. What makes retaliation claims so much different? One theory would indicate that jurors, while slow to believe that managers are racist or sexist, are much more likely to find those same individuals capable of seeking revenge on someone looking to hurt the company. It’s simply human nature.
You know how difficult it is to apply sunscreen to your own back. No matter how much you stretch and contort, there is always a spot that you miss- right down the center.  And after a day in the sun, that is the spot that causes you to lose sleep at night from the burning, prickly heat of a sunburn.  Your discomfort is due to leaving that spot open and vulnerable. Unfortunately, some medical malpractice policies can leave you just as open and vulnerable to getting burned.
Have you ever been summoned for jury duty?  Well, let me tell you a little about it.  You HAVE to go; no if, and, or buts about it. You are sometimes allowed to reschedule, but you’ve still got to do your time.  Missing work, school, birthdays, weddings, or whatever it may be is inconvenient to say the least.  What if the case continues on for weeks or even months?  Now can you imagine if you weren’t on the jury, but were the defendant?!  It can happen easier than one might think, especially for all you professionals out there. Thinking that you’re completely protected from lawsuits is a rather naïve assumption, especially nowadays.  Recent trends in court decisions have been holding HR practitioners, supervisors, business owners, and other decision-makers personally liable for their actions under several employment laws.
It’s an unfortunate fact that the world in which we live is getting a little litigious. Lawsuits these days can pop up out of anywhere, and they aren’t always legitimate. Frivolous lawsuits are especially present when your net worth gets higher. Sometimes, personal lawsuits can seek up to two-to-five million dollars, and for people who live or work in lawsuit-heavy industries (i.e. nonprofit organizations, condominium rentals, etc.), it might be a good idea to evaluate where your regular home policies might fall short, and where a personal liability policy might be a good idea. A friend of mine works with kids, coaching sports at a local school. While most of us question her sanity, we also admire how much good she does in the lives of those girls. She told me a story, though, that made me realize how sticky a situation working with kids can be.
[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] If your work clothes are workout clothes and your office is a gym, you are in the market for fitness instructor insurance. Your job is to motivate people to reach past their limits to do one more crunch, bench press, or squat. You coach them through new moves, correct their form, and then push them to do even better. Fitness instructors are sought after by a growing baby boomer population as this generation strives to remain active throughout their lives. Years of education, experience, and building your client base have formed the foundation for your business. You don't want to lose everything over one bad experience.
Businesses take risks.  That’s the way it is.  Business is risk.  But, businesses also do everything they can to protect themselves.  One way they protect themselves is to hire Human Resource professionals to ensure the business does not cross-governmental legal parameters in regards to employee rights. The ironic thing is that these same HR professionals can actually be at risk themselves.  Employment litigation is becoming increasingly common in the USA.  And plaintiff attorneys are not only suing the companies, but also the managers and supervisors, including HR managers.
Owning property carries a fair amount of risk. The factors that make you, the landlord, the most vulnerable are, damage to property either by tenant or disaster, and lawsuits. Many landlords depend on the income from rental properties to make payments on their current residence so it is important to protect yourself so that you are not without this income. Here are some facts you should consider when choosing landlord insurance coverage. Not all policies are equal– This is one of those categories where you get what you pay for. XINSURANCE will consider the type of property you own and customize coverage, premiums, deductibles and financing to suit your specific needs.
Every business knows it has to watch its bottom line, its profit margins, its vendor relationships, its break-even points, and its fixed and variable costs. And at night when the world finally goes quiet, good employers are still thinking about their quarterly goals and their fiscal projections. But according to 2010 statistics what should actually be keeping employers up at night is how liable their company is to litigation. And not only their company but themselves, personally. Statistics released by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) show that record-breaking discrimination charges were filed in 2010 on behalf of US employees. The increase marked a 7.1% growth over 2009 and the highest number since 1965. Retaliation claims were up 7.9% over 2009. Disabilities discrimination claims were up 17%. Racial discrimination claims were up 6.9%. And the list goes on.
We’ve all grown up hearing those stories about “that lady” who sued “that fast food place” because her coffee was too hot. Or “that guy” who sued “that brewery” because their beer made him run into a telephone pole with his Ford Bronco. Or “that Lindsay Lohan” who sued “anybody” because, well, who knows why she does anything, really (click here to shake your head at her and sigh in exasperation). But frivolous lawsuits aren’t just the subject of humorous web searches anymore.
No one wants to get into trouble. Nobody wakes up and thinks, “Boy. Today, I think I’d like to test the limits of my legal and insurance coverage. Honey? Get the 4-wheelers out! We’re going to test them out on that golf course.” Trouble is a thing that pops up when least expected. The trick to taking care of trouble is making sure that as many of these little gaps as possible are not problem areas. Without being alarmists, it can be surprising the things that American adults can be found personally liable for. A large lawsuit can boil down to something simple like:
Most people consider insurance when it comes to their car or their house because it’s required in order to get a loan. But renter’s insurance is another thing. Many renters live under misconceptions about the need for insurance. For example, some believe that the landlord's insurance will cover them in case of theft, or their roommate's insurance will include them, or that they are still covered under their parents' homeowners insurance. The truth is, in order to protect your belongings you must get coverage for them yourself.
Protection is a natural instinct. We throw our arms across our children when anticipating a car wreck; we double-check the stove, iron, and electric blanket to make sure they’re all off before leaving the house; we worry about giving credit card information out online. One form of legal protection that has been increasing in popularity since the 1970s is pre-paid legal services, and it is the result of that same, natural inclination towards protecting ourselves, those around us, and the possessions and careers we have worked so hard to build. There are, however, both pros and cons where pre-paid legal services are involved. First, let’s explain what a pre-paid legal service (PPL or PPLS) actually is.