When a company that operates a West Virginia mine adopted a new policy requiring its employees to track their time and attendance using a biometric hand scanner, a 35-year veteran at the mine had a serious problem. He is an Evangelical Christian, and he sincerely believes there is a strong connection between the technology and the Antichrist.
Imagine that your 18-year-old who just left for college is involved in a serious car accident. He or she is injured so badly that making health care decisions is impossible. After rushing to the hospital to help, however, you are told that you cannot see your child. In fact, the hospital won't even give you updates on your child's condition.
If you’ve ever worked as a home health aide or nursing assistant, you’re probably aware that these so-called “companionship services,” however vitally important, have not been subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that guarantees the minimum wage and overtime pay. Even when the U.S. Department of Labor revised the definition of companionship services in 2011, home healthcare workers were specifically excluded from FLSA coverage.
A recent decision by the Internal Revenue Service has made life simpler for the same-sex couples in Minnesota who are now enjoying the benefits of legally recognized marriage. In our last post on the issue, we discussed the fact that under the new state law, same-sex couples will be able to inherit without state tax liability.
Rick's Cabaret International, operator of the gentlemen’s club here in Minneapolis and others nationwide, could be facing substantial liability in a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 1,900 current and former exotic dancers at its Manhattan location. Other Rick’s Cabarets had better evaluate their own policies or they could find themselves facing lawsuits, as well.
Estate planning is one of the areas of the law where the formalities matter immensely. Take proper will execution, for example, where one must have the right paperwork at the right time with appropriate witnesses in order for the will to be valid. It is not enough to simply tell someone your last wishes or even to have an attorney draw up a will. If it is not properly executed it will not be accepted by the court and enforced through the probate sytem.
The law and technology are always in a state of tension, since technology can evolve quickly and the law may drag behind. Often we find ourselves trying to apply decades or centuries-old legal rules to a totally new situation, and sometimes it is hard to find the right answer.
If you asked a random person on the streets of St. Paul if they liked their job, chances are they'd say no. But sometimes, it's not for the reasons most people might think. Sometimes, it's because they are in a hostile work environment but get little relief from management who may not be doing anything to remedy the situation. While this is against federal employment laws, we see situations like this happening in states across the nation.