3 Workplace Laws You Need to Know About

It’s difficult to believe that in todays day and age, US workers are still being subjected to poor treatment by their employers, such as overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination and fear of punishment for speaking up.  The recession has made people fearful of losing their jobs and are therefore putting up with unfair treatment, allowing the employers to continue unlawfully and unchecked.

Workplace violations are particularly common in the low-wage labor market, with almost 26% of workers claiming to be regularly paid below the minimum limit and almost 80% of the same group who worked more than 40 hours not being paid the legally required overtime limit.

One way to prevent these violations from happening, is to be aware of the workplace laws in your state and take action if you believe you are not being treated in accordance with the law.  However, understanding legal jargon can be tricky and time-consuming, so here are three common Workplace Laws you should know about today:

1. Overtime Laws

If you live in the state of California you may not be aware that there are more stringent overtime laws than in most other states.  According to the Department of Industrial Relations, hours worked in overtime must be paid at the following rates:

  • One and a half times an employees regular rate of pay for hours worked over eight in a workday, or forty hours in a work week.
  • Double time for hours worked over twelve in a single workday, or for hours worked over eight on the seventh day of the work week.

In addition to common pay related queries and claims relating to the above rules, many companies often misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ when in fact they are entitled to ‘employment status’. Employers may have done this accidentally or intentionally in a bid to avoid paying costly overtime wages. Misclassification claims under California overtime laws are becoming increasingly commonplace – make sure you have been correctly classified, and take action if not.

2. Access to Personnel Records

Under California state law employees and ex-employees have the right to get copies of their personnel records and files that related to the employees performance, or any grievance concerning the employee.  This access should be allowed no later than 30 days after a request has been made.

3. Social Media Accounts 

Six states including California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey, recently passed some pretty tough new social media privacy laws that could have serious implications for any employers who violate the rules throughout the recruitment process.

Thanks to two bills signed into law in 2012, businesses and schools are prohibited from demanding that applicants share social media passwords or information.  With an increasing number of people regularly using social media accounts, both on and off the job, employers have gotten into the habit of asking employees to reveal the username and passwords for their personal accounts under the guise of company safety, but state legislators consider this to be an invasion of privacy.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

Tackling Blocked Drains: It’s Not Just Baby Wipes Down There!

We all know that drain and sewer operatives will undoubtedly find their fair share of ‘unflushable’ items in the system on what is likely to be a daily basis. The amount of people who flush baby wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products down the toilet is alarming, and while many of these people may not understand the impact that their actions could be having on the drains, some will undoubtedly know the consequences, yet still do it out of convenience.

Blocked drains can be a major issue and while some blockages are able to be dislodged without any problem at all, a lot of the time, services such as Dyno drain cleaning need to be alerted so that they can sort out the problem. It can cause huge amounts of inconvenience for the homeowner, so wouldn’t it be easier to avoid ‘unflushable’ items altogether and dispose of them the right way?

You may think that baby wipes, condoms and the pet goldfish are the limit of what sewage workers have found in the drains and sewers, clogging up the system, but, unfortunately, there have been several cases of things much, much worse being the culprits! Here are some things that you definitely don’t want to be the reason for your blocked drain, some of which have made the news over recent times:

Cats

In the USA, a 14-pound cat got stuck inside a 5” drainpipe earlier this year. How he got in there, nobody really knows, but at least he was rescued relatively unscathed!

Meanwhile, in California, a kitten spent nine hours stuck in a drain and, while it took a while to rescue him, he made it out eventually and was put up for adoption.

Back in the UK, a cat spent two days in a network of pipes in Port William, Scotland, after finding an opening and wandering around the pipes unable to make its way back out again.

Feet

A man in Pittsburgh had to call for help after he got his foot stuck down a drain in his back garden. After doing some yard work, he got himself wedged into a terracotta pipe. Emergency workers helped him out by chiselling at the pipe to free him.

A Boa Constrictor

A troublesome 10ft long boa constrictor had been wreaking havoc in a Manchester apartment block, writhing around the pipes and popping up in toilet bowls occasionally, before it was eventually caught three months later. Scary stuff!

Ducklings

Twelve cute ducklings fell down a drain in Lincolnshire back in May, while their mother watched and guarded the drain. The RSPCA were called in to rescue them and did so, successfully.

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with such unusual events! While the winter months may require the help of plumbing and drain engineers to fix frozen or burst pipes, remember that Dyno can also fix blocked drains too – give them a call if you find you can’t solve the problem yourself so that your drains can be flowing freely in no time. 

By Dyno

Ageless Skin Through Science

Sunlight.  Pollution.  Stress.  Worry.  Time.  Whatever the cause, it all takes its toll on our skin, manifesting as wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.

Ageless Derma is the product line developed based on scientific research and effective ingredients coming together to fight the signs of aging.  The products are the brainchildren of Dr. Farid Mostamand, a leading skin care expert.  He is the author of hundreds of articles and a book titled Ageless Skin Obsession, all about providing great skin care and preventing early aging.  He is the founder of the Focus Medical Spa in Anaheim, California, and the website www.drskinspa.com, which provides skin care advice and over 4,000 anti-aging products.

Dr. Mostamand’s team of scientists, biochemists, researchers, and estheticians with over 30 years of combined experience work together to review research done by institutions and universities to determine what ingredients really work and which are just filler.  They also look at concentrations and formulations to be sure the products can work at the cellular level.  These scientifically formulated products are designed for maximum absorption and enhanced effectiveness.

Ageless Derma is made from plant products and extracts, never from animal products. It is also free of artificial perfumes, detergents, alcohols, and mineral oil.  It includes belides, made from daisies.  This extract helps reduce the appearance of age spots, sun damage, and uneven skin tone. Swiss apple stem cells help the skin to heal and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  Ageless Derma is the only skin care line to use plant stem cells.  Vialox powder is a peptide that reduces the electrical signals in the facial muscles so wrinkles are less likely to form.

Ageless Derma also contains vitamins like vitamin K and a form of vitamin A called retinol.  Retinol is well known as a restorative product that reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin K helps reduce the appearance of dark circles through comforting stressed blood vessels under the eyes.  CoenzymeQ10 is not a vitamin but it is a naturally-produced antioxidant that works to help collagen production in the body.  It is included as an ingredient as amounts in the body tend to decline as we age.

Ageless Derma is packaged to keep the product fresh.  It uses a pump dispenser to keep the product shielded from light and air, and so it can be kept free of artificial preservatives.  The company provides a 30 day money back guarantee for anyone not satisfied with their first purchase.

There are four main products in the Ageless Derma line – Ageless Derma Stem Cell and Peptide Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Ageless Derma Retinol and Vitamin K Eye Cream, Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Intensive Skin Brightener, and Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Mineral Makeup.  All of the products are made with healthy peptides, vitamins, plant stem cells, and antioxidants, created to improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of dark circles and age spots, and smooth wrinkles.  The mineral makeup also contains an SPF to help protect the skin while the vitamins help it heal.  For more information on the full line of Ageless Derma products, click the links below.

1. Ageless Derma Stem Cell and Peptide Anti-Wrinkle Cream

            2. Ageless Derma Retinol and Vitamin K Eye Cream

            3. Ageless Derma Intensive Skin Brightener

            4. Ageless Derma Mineral Makeup

Here is what clients are saying about Ageless Derma:

“My age spots faded right before my eyes after only three weeks! I couldn’t believe how much younger my skin looked!” Laura Adair, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“I watched wrinkles around my eyes disappear and my skin looked firmer and smoother in such a short time. Ageless Derma has changed the way I look and feel!”Jessica Owens, Los Angeles, CA

As founder of Focus Medical Spa in Orange County, California, Dr. Mostamand is accustomed to hearing glowing feedback from thousands of grateful clients. For the past 10 years, his medical spa has offered non-invasive aesthetic procedures and physician grade skincare solutions to women seeking to rejuvenate and restore their damaged or aging skin.

In an effort to expand his ability to assist clients seeking to restore and maintain their youthful appearances, Dr Mostamand founded a skin care website. Since 2006, DrSkinSpa.com has been dedicated to providing complimentary skincare consultations as well as easy access to more than 4,000 of the most effective, physician grade anti-aging skincare products available.

His well-received book, Ageless Skin Obsession, provides valuable insight into the latest skincare research and the assists readers in making educated decisions in their quest to capture the essence of ageless skin.

{book review} THE BEST MAN by Kristan Higgins

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I spent many days with my head in a book, but not just any book …. The Best Man was the book that I found myself so involved in reading that while I was sitting in my car at the school waiting for my preschool son, I completely forgot I was even parked at the school. I was so enthralled in reading The Best Man that my brain shut off all other surroundings.

The Best Man_cover

Do you have one of those friends that just seems to never get the right guy?

She dates and dates just to find something wrong with each of those men she tried forming a relationship with?

Maybe it’s you? Maybe it’s your sister. Maybe it’s your best friend. Who knows, but I bet we all know or have known a Faith Holland in our lifetime.

Faith Holland is that type of girl – the one who gets the wrong guy over and over, well sort of.  As I read this book I began to think that maybe Faith just fell for any guy that was nice to her, looked appealing and was in a decent career. Reading further into the book I realized that Faith had a deep secret about her mother that quite possibly made her latch onto the wrong men, being completely oblivious to the fact that they were gay, married or what not. It’s as if she was wanting a protector, a man to fill some hole within herself that she didn’t even stop to smell the roses … or see who the real man in front of her was. This was a habit Faith kept falling into and eventually led to her utter frustrations with the male species in general.

Excerpt From The Best Man -

When she’d paid the bill (and really Clint, thanks for ordering a seventy five dollar bottle of wine), she went out into the damp, cold San Francisco air and started walking. It wasn’t far to her apartment, even in heels. The streets of San Francisco were nothing compared to the steep hills of home. Consider it her cardio. Pissed-off Woman Workout. The Stop of the Righteous and Rejected. It was noisy down here at the wharf, the seagulls crying, music blaring out from every bar and restaurant, a dozen different languages bouncing around her.

Back home, the only sound would be the late seasoned crickets and the call of the owl family who lived in an old maple at the edge of the cemetery. The air would be sweet with the smell of grapes, tinged with wood smoke, because already the nights would be cooling down. From her old bedroom window, she’d be able to see all the way to Keuka. She’d spent her childhood playing in woods and fields, breathing the clean air of western New York, swimming in glacier-formed lakes. Her love of the outdoors was the main reason she’d become a landscape architect—the chance to woo people from their increasingly interior lives and enjoy nature a little bit more.

Maybe it was time to start thinking seriously about moving back. That had always been the plan, anyway. Live in Manningsport, raise a family, be close to her sibs and father.

Clint Bundt. Married with a kid. Such a hemorrhoid. Well. Soon she’d be home with her dog. Liza probably was out with her guy, the Wonderful Mike, so Faith could watch Real Housewives and eat some Ben and Jerry’s.

Finally that one man came into {and out of} Faith’s life in such a way that she started thinking about her true plan … the life plan she had for herself before moving out to California, to move back home and be with her family in Manningsport. Faith had nieces, nephews, grandparents, father and family along with friends in Manningsport, should she not belong back there now? Now that her love life is simply just taking this turn for the worse it seems?

Travel along with Faith Holland while she goes on a somewhat funny romantic walk back into the world she grew up in and learns some things about human nature, her own self and perhaps go on to find something even more special … finding that one true love.

The Best Man will have you so enthralled with the story line that nothing else around you will matter while you are reading it. The comedy keeps you giggling when things get a little too serious sounding. The relationships between the characters and their actions are written so well by Kristan Higgins that you will picture yourself right there witnessing all that Faith and the other characters in the book go through.  Between the comedy and the suspense found in this romance novel, I firmly believe that if you are a romance book fan that you will just love this novel.

Learn more about Kristan Higgans, New York Times Best Selling Author and see what other books she has available for your reading pleasure on KristanHiggins.com.

How to Travel to California With Style

California is not just a state of the union, California is a state of mind. California has its own style. California means Disneyland, Hollywood, San Francisco and more. We’re the birthplace of the modern motion picture, aerospace and the personal computer.

FROM MOUNT LEE TO THE MATTERHORN AND BEYOND

As you set out on your journey, it’s important to remember that California is a big state. Plan your trip accordingly. For instance, Hollywood and Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, are almost an hour apart. It’s a several hour drive from LA to San Francisco. You may want to begin at one end and work your way across the state.

HOLLYWOOD HIGHLIGHTS

To really see all of California, you’ll need a year. You’ll need a couple of weeks minimum. In the LA area, for instance, there’s Hollywood Bowl, all the movie locations, Hollywood and Vine, the Hollywood sign and too many other attractions to cite them all. You’ll also want to check out our club and music scene, including lots of great concert venues. Punch up stubhub.com and get some John Legend tickets at the legendary Wiltern Theatre in the heart of Los Angeles. Then grab some grub at one of the great Wilshire area restaurants. Olvera Street is the jewel and center of LA’s historic and modern Mexican culture. It’s not far away.

THE OC IN SC

Orange County has its own culture. At its heart, of course, is Disneyland, but don’t miss all that OC has to offer. There are countless excellent restaurants, cultural attractions and hotels here. It has as much to offer as LA. Before traveling to be sure to check out Orange County Vacation Rentals to enjoy the best vacation possible.

BEACHES

Also in southern California, San Diego and Santa Barbara are wonderful beach communities with gorgeous, golden scenery. The area offers many great restaurants, clubs, sights and watersports. The birth pangs of California are evident in its local history.

CALIFORNIA’S HEART

Many seem to mistakenly believe there to be a great void between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Much of US western history happened in that space. Don’t forget Highway 49 through gold rush country. You’ll find everything from agriculture to artist colonies in the heart of the state.

CITY BY THE BAY

San Francisco is the polar opposite of Los Angeles in many ways, yet both great cities are quintessentially California. Whereas LA has Hollywood and Vine, SF has Haight-Ashbury. Both are equally historic for very different reasons, yet both are part of California’s legacy.

For all its history, San Francisco is a modern city with a distinctive culture that is especially vibrant in its night scene. Bay area bistros have a European flavor. There are lots of distinctively Californian venues, too. Picking up some more John Legend tickets at stubhub.com, you can catch him at the local Fox Theater Oakland.

Wherever you go in California, you will find portents of the future. You will also discover a big piece of American history. With all the golden state has given to the world, you may find a piece of your own past as well.

 

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