To hear some employers tell it, avoiding lawsuits for employment law violations is incredibly complex. The truth is that many violations of worker rights involve employers trying to save money or avoid the hassle of firing obviously inappropriate personnel. It is not difficult for employers to obey the state and federal laws protecting employees. Many simply choose not to. An insurance company whose clients include many small- and medium-sized businesses recently conducted a study of employee lawsuits against employers. The advice that came out of that study is that simple measures all employers should have in place would prevent many of these lawsuits.
October 2015 Archives
October is Bullying Prevention month. Now that November is nearly upon us, perhaps we should take a look at efforts to address the problem of bullying. Shining a spotlight on the problem might be effective for a time, but when the spotlight is turned off, what is there to stop the cockroaches from coming out of their hiding places? Bullying prevention isn't an issue for October. It's an issue for children and adults all year long.
Car accidents are a serious problem for teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents were the top cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old in the U.S. in 2013. Teen drivers lack the experience to make the fast and accurate decisions needed to avoid danger. Parents have a large role to play in helping their teen drivers stay safe. The NHTSA is currently celebrating National Teen Driver Safety Week. In recognition of this, the NHTSA is asking parents of teen drivers to join their campaign, '5 to Drive.'
If you are not aware of "conversion therapy," the odious idea behind it is to push lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people to change their sexual orientation. It treats any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality as a disease to be cured. It is typically pushed by religious groups and incorporates prayer or other elements of religion. New Jersey is one of several states to pass legislation to stop licensed mental health providers from offering conversion therapy to young people. It is time to stop the practice all over the country as a recent government report details.
The sad incidents in Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland, New York City and elsewhere have led many to question the actions of law enforcement in using force. Many of those who believe that police use of force is excessive and out of control have called for body cameras as a solution. Some in law enforcement are equally enthusiastic about the use of video cameras, believing that the cameras will lead to greater public trust and protect officers from false claims of brutality. It is worth examining whether body cameras can actually deliver the positive results claimed by proponents.
According to a 2013 study cited by GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), 55.5 percent of LGBT students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. Another 38.7 percent feel unsafe at school because of their gender expression. While bullying is a potential problem for many young people, LGBT students are frequently targeted for abuse. Today, October 15, 2015, is Spirit Day. Spirit Day was first celebrated in 2010. The purpose of Spirit Day is to show LGBT youth that we support them and to help put a stop to the bullying that they must so often face. Supporters are asked to wear purple, as purple is the color symbolizing 'spirit' on the rainbow flag.
Laws specifically targeting bullying behavior are a relatively recent phenomenon. Bullying was long tolerated, if not accepted, as a part of growing up. Fortunately, our society finally began to appreciate just how harmful bullying can be and took action. Anti-bullying legislation of one form or another has now been passed in all 50 states. The laws vary significantly in how they address the problem. Recent research suggests that the most effective approaches to anti-bullying legislation have had the intended effect. The research may help states with less effective laws make necessary changes to protect the victims of bullying.
There are several reasons why drunk driving is easier to police than drugged driving. The impact of alcohol on a person's ability to drive is comparatively predictable. It is easier to test for the presence of alcohol than other drugs. The signs of impairment are easier for law enforcement officers to identify. While drunk driving involves one substance, alcohol, drugged driving must cover a range of substances, both legal and illegal, each of which carries its own concerns. The obstacles to policing drugged driving are real, but the need to overcome them may be increasing according to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association.