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December 2014 Archives

A New Jersey Employment Law Attorney on the Avis Class Action

On September 19, 2014, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denied an attempt by Avis to appeal the certification of a class of shift managers who were denied overtime pay by Avis. Like the frequent use of so-called independent contractor status to deny overtime, employers also play games with titles, giving employees "manager" titles, even though those employees don't have any real managerial responsibility, in order to avoid paying them overtime and require them to work excessive hours week in and week out.

The Rise Of Vision Zero

There are conflicting views of how well the U.S. is doing in making auto travel safer. Viewed individually, every traffic death is a tragedy, and often a preventable one. Despite the preventable nature of the large majority of highway accidents, the 32,719 traffic deaths recorded in 2013 is considered by some to be a success story. There is an odd tension between touting the improvement seen in recent years and an acknowledgement that we could be doing much better.

New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Talks About Jury Trials and Dangerous Toys

"Or . . . What Would Toys Be Like Without Trial Lawyers?"

This is another in my "what would life be like without trial lawyers?" (and jury trials) series. Glad everyone is enjoying it.

Are Changes Ahead For The NHTSA?

With Mark Rosekind confirmed as the new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the clock is ticking on changes many advocates say are necessary to make the group effective. As a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, Mark Rosekind made his name as an expert on human fatigue and the dangers it poses in the transportation industry. Some question whether that background is appropriate for an agency that frequently deals with highly technical auto industry matters, including defective equipment and safety systems. Some have suggested that the complex nature of auto technology has left the NHTSA scrambling to keep up, often relying on auto companies to provide the needed information to make decisions about recalls.

Civil Rights Lawyer Discusses Ferguson, Staten Island event and Grand Juries.

It's unfortunate that I'm writing about something like the recent incidents that took place in Ferguson and Staten Island, considering that it's the year 2014. Being a civil rights lawyer, over the years I've seen and heard about a lot of injustice, and it continues to be disappointing and painful to try to understand how such events could've taken place in today's day and age. Yet, unfortunately, I hear about such discrimination and harassment every single week of my life given my calling.

Massive Unpaid Overtime Settlement For Oil And Gas Workers

A case involving back pay for unpaid overtime has been settled for $4.5 million according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The case involved more than 140 employers and roughly 5,300 workers in the Marcellus Shale oil and gas industry. The back pay settlement covered multiply violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The agreement was reached following an investigation by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

Eroding Safety And Special Interests

The safety of "ordinary" citizens is regularly sacrificed in the face of motivated special interests. One company employing thousands of people is highly motivated to destroy protections for those workers. Each worker has limited resources to assert his or her rights, so the fight is one-sided. It is a problem that has compromised the rights and interests of almost every American. Special interests impact highway safety in the same way they affect everything else - things get worse for the majority so that a highly interested minority can profit. The latest spending bill being considered by Congress has now had a rider attached to it that could increase trucking accidents and deaths caused by exhausted truck drivers.

Safety Leader Promises Stronger Measures

The man nominated by President Obama to run the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested the agency would take a tougher stance under his leadership. Mark Rosekind also repeated the need for greater resources for the NHTSA if it is going to be effective in its mission to reduce injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents. The statements were made during Senate hearings to determine if his nomination will be confirmed.

Pregnancy Bias Case Reaches Supreme Court

Discrimination by another name is still discrimination. Employers have tried to disguise discrimination in many forms over the years. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination that has regularly been "hidden" behind work rules that may appear legitimate on their face. Whether a restriction is legitimate or not has been a matter contested in courtrooms all across the nation. A pregnancy bias case against the United Parcel Service reached the Supreme Court this week.

New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses Product Liability and Civil Justice System

Or . . . What Would Cars be Like without Trial Lawyers?

I'm proud of what I do. Without trial lawyers, you wouldn't be as safe from defective products, as protected from the consequences of carelessness, as secure in your personal and civil rights, as you are. Whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not. It's why every effort by corporate, banking and insurance interests to take those rights away starts with attacks on lawyers. You want us on that wall. You need us on that wall.

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Costello & Mains, LLC

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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

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