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Car crashes are a leading cause of child death and injury

As a parent, you very likely do everything you can think of to keep your children safe and help them have a happy childhood that leads to a successful adult life. Unfortunately, if you are like most parents, you may actively ignore the single biggest statistical risk to your child.

After all, motor vehicles are such an ingrained part of modern American life that most people choose to more or less ignore how dangerous modern transportation really is. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading source of injury and death for minor children.

Options available after an FMLA violation

There are a number of federal protections in place to protect employees in the workplace. One of the most important laws is the Federal Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA. In short, those who qualify for the protections afforded by the FMLA cannot be retaliated against for taking leave for certain conditions. Protected conditions include the birth and care of a newborn child, care of a family member who suffers from a serious medical condition, and the care of one's own serious medical condition.

Although the protections afforded by the FMLA are clearly delineated, the truth of the matter is that employers continue to violate it. In far too many instances, employers reduce an employee's hours or wages after they return from leave, and, sometimes, they demote or terminate the employee simply because the employee attempted to assert their right to leave under the FMLA.

Employment law and age discrimination

There are many factors that go into making personnel decisions. An individual's skill, experience, and motivation can all play a major role in deciding whether to hire, fire, or promote an individual. However, employers need to be careful that they are not basing their decisions on characteristics that would be deemed discriminatory in nature. Doing so could lead to legal action that can be damaging to a business's finances and reputation.

Deciphering discriminatory acts isn't always easy, however. For example, federal law prevents an employer from discriminating against an individual based on age, but only under certain circumstances. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employee or potential employee is protected from age discrimination only if they are over 40. There are no protections for those who are younger than 40. Also, the federal law only works to protect workers from being discriminated against for being too old, not for being too young.

Popular heartburn medication recalled over cancer fears

Consumers expect the products they use to be safe. While certain regulations seek to bring those expectations to fruition, the reality is that dangerous products still find their way into the marketplace. This puts innocent individuals at risk of being seriously harmed, even when they are using a product as intended. Those who suffer harm caused by a defective product may want to consider taking legal action to potentially recover compensation for their damages.

Many Americans may be in that position now after the Food and Drug Administration announced that high levels of a contaminant found in the over-the-counter heartburn medicine Zantac have been linked to cancer. According to reports, probable carcinogen NDMA is present in the medication, which many believe is a byproduct of the chemical form of the drug itself. The medication has been pulled from many store shelves, and additional recall action may be taken in the near future.

Uber facing class action for improper worker classification

California workers are afforded certain protections in the workplace. While many of these protections are meant to halt discrimination and harassment, others are meant to ensure workers are paid fair compensation. This is why federal and state laws regulate wages and hours. Yet, despite these regulations, many employers still fail to adhere to them, which cheat workers out of their hard earned wages and benefits.

One issue that has recently been thrust into the spotlight is the classification of rideshare drivers. Currently, drivers for many companies are classified as independent contractors, which means they don't receive legal protections regarding minimum wage and overtime pay or workers' compensation benefits and paid time off. Last year, the California Supreme Court provided guidance on when a worker should be deemed an employee rather than an independent contractor, but the state legislature just recently passed a bill that is likely to become law.

How to drive safely in forest fire smoke

If you live in or around the Sacramento area, you're well aware of the fact that forest fire smoke has a way of affecting you during the fall months.

In addition to the impact on your health, it can also make it difficult to navigate the local roadways. If you find yourself driving in smoky conditions, here are five tips you can follow to maintain your safety:

  • Turn your headlights on: Using your low beams in forest fire smoke increases your visibility. However, using your high beams is a mistake, as the light will reflect off the smoke and into your eyes.
  • Slow down: If you see smoke in the distance, slow down to ensure that you have enough time to stop if necessary. Smoke can create an illusion of slow motion, so you want to closely watch your speedometer.
  • Watch for parked vehicles: While you may have the nerve to drive through forest fire smoke, others often pull to the side of the road to wait for conditions to improve. Driving at a slow rate of speed can help you avoid an accident with a vehicle that is parked on the shoulder.
  • Roll up your windows: It's imperative to keep your windows up, as you don't want to let smoke inside your vehicle. Also, turn your car's fans to recirculation mode, as you don't want to bring in outside air.
  • Use your turn signals: Not only should you use your turn signals, but you should also do so as far in advance as possible. This gives other drivers a clear idea of what you're doing next.

Illness under investigation, may be linked to vaping products

If you've followed the news recently, you've probably heard arguments over the safety of vaping. To some, this is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. To others, however, the nicotine concentrations are more problematic than regular tobacco products, and the variety of flavors seek to hook kids on a dangerous activity. These disputes were heightened recently when a spate of individuals fell ill because of vaping.

According to reports, hundreds of individuals have developed a serious lung illness that has been linked to vaping. Some of these individuals have even died. Although many of those who have fallen ill have used vaping products to inhale THC, more than 50 of those who are injured were using only nicotine-based products. The illness often presents as a type of bacterial or viral pneumonia, but no infection can be found by medical professionals. Symptoms of the condition include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, and coughing.

Car accidents can result in serious skull fractures

The sudden impact of a car accident can cause extensive damage to vehicles and people alike. Although many victims are able to escape with minor injuries, others suffer catastrophic injuries. Brain and spinal cord injuries are among the most severe injuries that can be suffered, and they can leave individuals forever changed. Far too often these victims are left with permanent disabilities that are expensive to treat and prevent them from living what they once considered a normal life.

Yet, brain and spinal cord injuries aren't the only catastrophic injuries that car accident victims can suffer. Skull fractures, for example, can also be extremely problematic. Although many skull fractures have accompanying brain injuries, this isn't always the case.

We fight for those in California facing workplace retaliation

Discrimination and harassment are all too common occurrences in the workplace. Despite efforts made by federal and state governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and even some businesses, bad actors continue to perpetuate hostile work environments throughout California. Although there are laws designed to protect workers who have the strength and courage to step forward and take action against those who have harassed them or discriminated against them, oftentimes simply bringing these actions to an employer's attention can result in retaliation.

The ramifications of retaliation can be quite significant. A worker may be passed over for promotion, come under scrutiny, lose hours, see a pay cut or even lose his or her job. Additionally, an employer may start rumors that degrade an individual's reputation in the workplace, which in itself can cause a ripple effect of damages.

Employment law: what is retaliation?

Friction in the workplace can not only make it challenging for work to be conducted, but it can stifle relationships and lead to allegations of illegal acts. Quite often this is seen in the context of discrimination and harassment, as well as retaliation. Of course, it is illegal for an employer in California to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on classifications such as age, race and religion, but it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate when allegations of discrimination or harassment are brought to its attention or are reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Retaliation can take many forms. It may present itself in unwarranted disciplinary action or a performance appraisal that is less than what is deserved. Also, retaliation can occur when an employer increases its scrutiny of an employee's job performance and/or decides to transfer an employee to a less desirable position. Reducing pay, job hours and even spreading rumors about an employee or his or her family can all be classified as retaliation.

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