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Lexington and Louisville Law Blog

Drivers should never cut off large trucks

A driver is about to miss their exit, driving in the left lane of the interstate. There is a semi-truck in the right lane. In a panic, the driver speeds ahead of the truck, cuts it off, and then slams on the brakes to slow down for the exit.

You see this all too often. It's one of the most dangerous things any driver can do. Remember, a truck might weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even with excellent brakes and an attentive driver, they just cannot slow down fast enough to avoid a rear-end crash.

What laws do employers violate the most?

If you have employees at your Fayette company, then you're likely aware that you must abide by both Kentucky and federal laws. If you don't, then you could face penalties or get sued. Some companies don't take their time to learn these laws or purposely turn a blind eye to them. Some laws are more often violated than others.

Minimum wage requirements

Where are sexual harassment allegations most common?

Sexual harassment allegations can happen in any industry. Both men and women can be harassed, accused or falsely accused. It's important to remember that this happens everywhere and not to assume anything. People need to know their rights in various industries all over the state.

That said, some reports do claim that these situations present themselves most often in the media industry. For what it's worth, this report only takes into account other white-collar jobs. But, among those high-level jobs, the media industry sees the most reports.

Drafting noncompetition agreements that are reasonable

In business, one of the most important priorities should be protecting your assets from competitors. These assets could be in the form of trade secrets or practices and processes, but they could also be in the form of talented employees and the information that they have.

This is why drafting noncompete agreements are so important. Failing to put in place and enforcing noncompete agreements could lead to competitors benefiting from your work. However, when employers put in place unreasonable noncompete agreements, they can either deter talented people from wanting to work at the company or be unsuccessful in enforcing the agreement if a dispute arises.

Successfully defending yourself against securities fraud

Being accused of securities fraud is a very serious issue and something that you should not simply dismiss as a casual threat. If you have been dealing with a person in business who has accused you of securities fraud in a conversation or in writing, you should take immediate action to ensure that you can defend yourself if they try to take legal action.

Securities fraud is a very broad term to describe many different types of intentional misconduct relating to stocks and shares. Those who commit securities fraud usually do so by deceiving a person in order to benefit financially.

Sexual harassment at work: How to identify the signs

Sexual harassment is a type of workplace behavior that (1) is sexualized or sexual in nature and (2) makes someone feel uncomfortable. Whether verbal or physical, a court might construe a specific behavior -- especially if it is repeated -- as sexual harassment and take action to protect the victim. When evaluating a case, courts generally classify sexual harassment into two primary types: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment may involve a manager or supervisor asking an employee to perform a sexual act or go on a date in exchange for an employment benefit -- like a promotion, raise or bonus. The request could also come with the threat of punishment if the employee refuses to comply. Generally, the manager or supervisor will use their power over the employee to manipulate or pressure them into complying with the request.

Mediation can be an effective solution to workplace problems

No matter how hard Kentucky employers try to foster a harmonious workplace environment, disputes will pop up. It's inevitable. How employers handle any signs of discord can set them apart from other work sites.

But if troubles pop up, mediation could be a solution.

Your company likely has an avenue for employees to voice their concerns through the human resources department. Sometimes, though, employees see human resources as an extension of the boss and don't place complete faith in a resolution. That's why calling in the services of a mediator - a neutral third party - can be so important.

Kentucky law protects rights of new and expectant moms

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law the Pregnant Workers Act, making Kentucky the 25th state to enact laws to protect the rights and health of pregnant women and new mothers on the job.

It will take effect on June 27 and require employers to make a "reasonable accommodation" for new or expectant mothers. Under the law, those accommodations "may include more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, appropriate seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or less hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, modified work schedule."

Defenses against truck accident fault accusations

When a truck is involved in an accident, it's common to assume that the trucking company or driver will almost certainly be held liable for causing the accident. However, truck drivers by law need to be highly trained, and trucks are subject to much higher safety regulations than passenger vehicles. Therefore, often it is the case that another party was at fault.

Since trucks have such a high capacity for causing damage, they are often blamed by the other parties involved. But these parties must be able to prove that the damages were due to the negligence of either the truck driver or the trucking company before they can be successful. The following are some strategies that many trucking companies use to defend against accident fault accusations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Update on Overtime

Sammons Capture.JPGSince 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor has been working to update the minimum wage and the "white collar" exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The effective new minimum salary level for the "white collar" exemption was to be raised as of December 1, 2016, from $23,660.00 per annum to $47,892.00 per annum, in what has been called the Overtime Final Rule. This left those employees who did not meet the minimum salary threshold as potentially qualifying for overtime pay. While employers frantically evaluated how these changes would affect their bottom line, a federal district judge in Texas granted a nationwide emergency preliminary injunction that prohibited the U.S. Department of Labor from enforcing the Overtime Final Rule. The case went up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where in 2016 a stay was put in place while the U.S. Department of Labor considered formulating a new rule.

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