On February 7, 2013, Carnival’s Triumph left the port of Galveston in what was anticipated to be a relaxing four-day cruise to the Caribbean. However, this winter getaway quickly turned into a living nightmare for Triumph’s 3,142 passengers when the 14-story, 900 foot ship lost power following an engine fire 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico.
On January, 8, 2013, The Consumer Product Safety Commission in association with Fisher-Price announced a voluntary recall of the Rock ‘N Play Infant Sleeper due to the risk of mold developing between the removable seat cushion and hard plastic frame of the sleeper. Apparently, mold can develop in this area of the sleeper when it remains damp or is infrequently cleaned. This recall applies to 800,000 Rock ‘N Play Sleepers that have been sold at stores nationwide and on-line
Customers have had many complaints over the years about not just the customer service but also the quality of the products that they have received from Hurd Windows and Doors. From faulty locking mechanisms to the insulation gas leaking out of windows and doors, customers of Hurd Windows and Doors have made their frustrations known. One of the more troubling problems that we’ve heard about relates to broken seals on the windows and doors. Apparently, the seals and vinyl nailing fin used in Hurd’s windows and doors fail due to weather exposure and direct sunlight. When the seals break, water is able to penetrate the interior, which can cause rotting and mold. The damage can be extensive and certainly expensive. Other visible signs of broken seals includes permanent fogging of the glass. Many of these issues have already been the subject of litigation since the late 1990s, including the failed seals resulting in permanent fogging. Nonetheless, the defective windows and doors continue to be purchased or inherited with the homeowners being none the wiser.
Azek Deck Company describes itself as "the leading brand of ultra low maintenance decking." Azek Decks are made with proprietary Procell Technology, which is designed to limit the shortfalls associated with traditional wood and composite decking. Azek has represented to consumers that Azek Decks are:
- Scratch resistant
- Split resistant
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Durable and long lasting
- Impervious to moisture and insects
- Limited lifetime warranty
Unfortunately, despite these representations, some consumers of Azek Decks have experienced problems with their decks, including staining, extreme fading, scratches, and severe mold and mildew.
If you or someone you know has experienced similar problems with an Azek Deck, please call Pogust Braslow & Millrood to investigate or visit us at pbmattorneys.com.
There is no question that the struggling economy has put more Americans into debt and more businesses are trying to recover payments that are rightfully owed to them. But we have laws that require these businesses to try to collect these debts in a fair and just manner. Consumers need not stand by and submit themselves to harassing treatment from debt collectors. They can stand up and fight back to stop this demeaning conduct.
In the past five years, many employees' 401(k) plans have taken a hit along with the economy. So it would be expected that, especially during such times, employers would make sure that they choose 401(k) plans for their employees with options that maximize the returns on their investments, right? However, rather than ensuring the selection of a plan in which the fees and expenses charged to employees are minimized, some employers are instead simply choosing 401(k) plan advisors based on pre-existing relationships, incentives, and often just sheer indifference and then give the advisor carte blanche to select the employees' investment options. The problem is that plan/investment advisors are only selecting investment options because they are receiving kickbacks through revenue sharing from the mutual fund companies that have overly expensive funds that no reasonable - or honest - advisor would otherwise select for employees. The end result is that the plan advisors, and in some cases the employers as well, are receiving the benefits of the investments while the employees are stuck with the diminished returns of an investment portfolio with excessive fees and expenses.
As an attorney, I frequently find myself working through my lunch or eating while I work. Generally, this is due to necessity because of deadlines approaching or because of a need to incessantly catch up on work from being out of the office for whatever reason. Unfortunately, too many people can probably relate to the feeling of being behind on work as well as my experience of working through lunch. An important difference to make, however, is that as an attorney, I am (1) paid on a salary basis for all of my hours worked and (2) rightfully classified as an exempt employee under the learned professional exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Therefore, it is okay if I work through my lunch because my salary is designed to compensate me for every minute that I work, even if it's during my lunch. For many many other jobs though, especially any job that you are paid an hourly wage, if you work through your lunch or eat at your desk while doing work - even paperwork - then you NEED to be compensated by your employer. It's the law!
A recent NY Times article reports that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services continues to find that some hospitals are unnecessarily performing double CT scans on patients' chests in order to increase the bill to the healthcare insurance providers. More specifically, the hospitals are performing one CT scan using iodine contrast and one CT scan without the contrast solution. Radiologists say one scan or the other is needed depending on the patient’s condition, but performing two scans in succession is rarely necessary. In addition to the effects this practice is having on health insurance costs and Medicare/Medicaid (over 25 million in 2008), the real concern has to be for the patients who are being unnecessarily exposed to additional radiation. For comparison purposes, two CT scans of the chest would be equal to approximately 700 standard chest X-rays.
For years, industry and government groups in the U.S. have denied any cancer risk posed by the radiation that is transmitted by cell phones. Earlier this week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), issued a press release confirming what foreign researchers have been suggesting over the last decade: cell phone radiation may cause cancer.
In a precedent setting class action case, a court in Pennsylvania recently found that the owners and operators of the Split Rock Resort in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains had misclassified 259 salespersons as “independent contractors” and that those salespersons were entitled to over $2.2 Million in wages, benefits and penalties plus interest under Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law.
Protection from Retaliation Extends to Employees Who Only Make Oral Complaints about FLSA Violations
In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., the Supreme Court clarified the language contained within the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (Act) that forbids employers “to discharge . . . any employee because such employee has filed any complaint” alleging a violation of the Act, 29 U. S. C. §215(a)(3). In reversing the Seventh Circuit Court, the Supreme Court held that the scope of statutory term “filed any complaint” includes ORAL, as well as written, complaints.
A public hearing was held in Trenton, New Jersey on April 15, 2011 regarding a proposal to amend N.J.A.C. 12:56-6.1 and 12:56-7 with regard to exemptions from overtime compensation for executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development specifically wants to repeal its existing regulations for these exemptions and adopt the language of the federal counterparts instead. While the goal is to eliminate any inconsistencies between the state and federal regulations, the effect will be to lessen the burden on New Jersey employers hoping to justify denying overtime compensation to certain employees.