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Sexism in the Workplace: #MeToo’s time has come, so how to we make a more respectful and equal working environment?

 

Sexism in the workplace

#MeToo is a movement that is overdue. But how do we get from #MeToo to what’s next?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by Pexels

Although most governments have enacted laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, sexism is still alive and well today. Even in 2017, many people are being sexually harassed or even assaulted in the workplace. And there are many, many women in this world who have dealt with sexism on the job.  Sexism is a type if discrimination and should not be tolerated.

Here are some tips for how to make it through this painful situation if it is happening to you or a loved one:

 

Shut. It. Down.
Don’t settle for a workplace that allows harassment and sexism to continue. If it is safe for you to do so, confront the offender. Ask them why they treated you the way they did. Report the behavior to your boss or to the Human Resources Department. If a crime has been committed, like sexual battery, call the police.  It isn’t the 1950’s anymore.  If someone at work pinches your “ass,” they may have committed a crime and may be subject to arrest and prosecution.

At very least, call the person out. Confront them.  Just be ready to protect yourself in the event that the person decides to retaliate against you for bringing their bad behavior to light. (Read on for some tips on how to handle retaliation.)

We live in a society where our disgusting president, the criminal in chief,  would like nothing more than to shove a tic tac up every woman’s “pussy.”  Though this came to light before the 2016 Presidential Election, America nonetheless deemed this man fit for the Oval Office instead of prison.  It is time to take back our collective and individual dignity.  Just because America and Republicans – even so-called “evangelicals” or the “Religious Right” supported that disgusting pig doesn’t mean that his grubby hands are the law of our land.  This stops now.

Prepare for retaliation.
It’s difficult enough being the victim of sexual harassment – or witnessing sexism happen to someone else. I so deeply wish that I could tell you we live in a world where you could do the right thing and not suffer any consequences. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in.

The sad truth is: there is a very real possibility that, when you report the sexual harassment or sexism you’ve experienced, that the person who is responsible for treating you that way will not appreciate you calling them out. They may or may not have a change of heart and try to act better next time. Sometimes, this just fuels their fire and causes the bad behaviors to escalate.

So what can you do? Be prepared for the worst case scenario before you report anything. Know how you plan on responding if the person does indeed retaliate (because they just might). Have a strong support system in place (hopefully, you have supportive people in your life anyway).  Try to consult with a lawyer beforehand.  An attorney versed in sexual harassment and workplace discrimination law could help a lot.  Hostile workplace claims may lie after incidents of sexual harassment.  A settlement involving money can’t repair your dignity, but it can send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.

It also helps to know the local laws in your area. Chances are, there are laws prohibiting your employer from firing you or retaliating against you for reporting a case of sexual harassment. Know your legal rights and be prepared to advocate for yourself if those rights are violated.

Report it to HR.
Rather than trying to handle everything on your own, know who you can turn to for help. Human resources staff members are literally trained to deal with this type of situation. That’s what they’re there to do. Allow them to do their job, and you can take a deep breath and know you did the right thing by getting them involved.

I wish we lived in a world without sexism, sexual assault, sexual harassment, mansplaining, or a whole list of other issues we women have to deal with on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in; this one is. In this world, we will occasionally be faced with very difficult situations.

Hopefully, you don’t ever have to deal with sexism or sexual harassment in the workplace. If you ever do, though, I hope this article offers you some guidance during a difficult time.

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This is a guest post by Constance Ray. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.  This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.  If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

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Marijuana Industry Growth: Poised for Jobs, Tax Revenue and Health and Safety Benefits 

Did you know that marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States?

The topic of marijuana aka cannabis has evolved from more than just a side conversation to a full-blown dialogue in the United States. The potential growth has caused this industry to be projected to be more valuable than the organic food industry very soon. Yes, the organic food industry — The one that has completely entranced an entire nation and has changed the way that people look at food.  This is but one illustration of the potential for Marijuana Industry Growth.  

If this were to happen, the marijuana industry could mirror the popularity and then some. It’s important to note – that will only take place if marijuana is legalized in all 50 states. Until then, people are taking it seriously and are pushing for its legalization in the nation for many reasons.

From its positive economic impact to its medical benefits, people from all corners of the country are calling upon their local legislators to once and for all decriminalize and legalize marijuana use in their respective states.

The numbers don’t lie. They are a clear indicator that the popularity and the growth of cannabis usage continues to increase and the lobbying in support is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, either. In an April 2017 Gallup poll, 94% of Americans favored lawful use of medical marijuana and 64% favored outright legalization.

In fact, the industry is only going to expand and in this post, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the contributing factors to the cannabis boom in the United States.

Marijuana Industry Growth

Types of jobs available

According to a U.S. report, it’s projected that by 2019, “all of the state-legal markets combined will make for a potential overall market worth of almost $11 billion annually.”  This buttresses the idea of Marijuana Industry Growth.  

To date, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. While it may be legal in these eight states, there is still red tape that surrounds the amount of cannabis you can purchase and carry, for instance.

As a whole, the marijuana industry is expected to grow exponentially. This is due in part to the fact that as the demand for high-quality and low-priced cannabis continues to increase, so too does the operations and production which in turn calls for a need for scaling the industry to accommodate the demand.

When it comes to cannabis, there are definite economic benefits to its overall legalization. Just like in any industry, when it experiences a boom, it results in job creation and economic opportunities.

When it comes to cannabis, there are definite economic benefits to its overall legalization

In the case of cannabis, it could mean putting money back into the wallets of many citizens by way of job creation. For example, it is estimated that there are currently 7,500 – 10,000 jobs in Colorado alone just from this developing industry.

To build off of the factual background of the economic benefits of cannabis nad so-called cannabusiness, did you know that the industry as a whole is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing by 2020?  Indeed it is.  In fact, a study by New Frontier Data projected that it could create more than a quarter million jobs!

But beyond the actual jobs that this industry could help with safety as well. While it might seem that you’re reading this wrong, it is doubtless true cannabis could actually benefit the public’s safety. First, it eliminates a black and unsafe market.  Dispensaries use security and that aids a safe transaction for all.  Marijuana is out of the alleys and shadows and into the light of day.

Marijuana is out of the alleys and shadows and into the light of day.

Even so, many people, especially government officials and especially, especially, especially!!! Law enforcement ;) are under the illusion that cannabis is unsafe and could lead to additional crime, injury, and accidents.  And such as it is, the drug war rages on.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now marijuana enemy #1.  The DOJ has just announced a crackdown on recreational marijuana.

On the contrary, the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis could help shift law enforcement’s attention from nabbing people for nominal amounts of marijuana on their person, arresting them, booking them, and ultimately going to court, and instead, focusing more on patrolling the areas and taking care of the criminal issues and serious problems facing local communities and tearing at the fabric of society.

Not only would this add, for lack of a better term, “more boots on the ground,” legalizing cannabis would also cut down on corrections and court costs which ultimately puts money back in the pockets of the government – a win-win.

Marijuana Industry Growth

The Marijuana Industry is Poised to Create jobs and 11 Billion Dollars in Revenue

Why is the market growing? It’s growing because people are realizing not only its economic impact but its medical benefits as well.

The various strains of cannabis have their own unique characteristics. Whether it’s calming the feelings of anxiety or depression or easing the symptoms associated with cancer or AIDS, as more and more research is done, the list of the health benefits of cannabis continues to grow at a rapid rate.

At the end of the day, the marijuana industry continues to grow and expand by leaps and bounds. The information that we covered in this post is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more states from all over the country are fighting to legalize and decriminalize cannabis, a drug that can help many people manage their conditions and symptoms.

Accordingly, while currently only eight states have legalized recreational marijuana, if the pace of this trend continues on its current trajectory, the overhaul of sweeping legalization throughout the United States could come sooner than we think.

 

This is a guest post by Kathy Cooley.  Kathy has more than 2 years of experience as a freelancer and write on many topics including foods, medical cannabis, recipes, lifestyle, chocolates, health, fitness and many more. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein.  

 

 

 

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How to Handle the Courtroom Stress

Courtroom stress can be a killer – – even before your case starts.  People have fear of courtrooms and most of us tend to avoid any affairs that can advance to court. However, once we find ourselves in the grip of it, we need to know how to cope.

Defendant – shock and fear

That very moment when you first find out you are being sued is usually accompanied by nausea, numbness and the sound of your heart beating in your chest. The next moment, you find yourself in a very strange place. You will either ignore the fact that you are facing a trial or become truly agitated and upset at those pressing charges. The advice to you is not to seek justice at this point, but wait until the shock wears off and you can truly accept the challenge laid out in front of you. If you really perceive it as a challenge, it will help you face certain fears. Do not act as if everything is lost straight away. If you do have some fears, and you certainly will, try to focus on the underlying causes. Do not lose your head because you feel you will give in to pressure, but try to understand where the pressure is coming from. Assuming you are telling the truth, it can be caused by fear of public speaking and your opposition’s representative’s ability to make you look bad and somehow turn everything and everyone against you. Your best option here is to be generous when communicating with your lawyer and tell them everything you know as well as ask questions about the process and your odds so you know what to expect.

Witness and plaintiff

These are two different categories but with similar fears. Both of these do not go through the phase of initial shock as there is nothing particularly shocking. However, until they walk into a courtroom, they do not know what they can expect. Both plaintiffs and witnesses are afraid of the hostile environment in the courtroom as well as being ridiculed by the opposing side. If you feel that someone has violated your rights, did not do you justice, and has done you great damage, stand your ground and ask for reprimand. However, get well informed about similar cases and their outcomes. Everyone involved in a judicial process may benefit from gaining relevant knowledge. Expert witnesses should stay on top of the developments in their specialty whereas other witnesses should speak to a lawyer and find out what exactly is expected of them as well as the type of questions they will need to answer. They can even ‘practice’ giving their statements or being cross-examined. This will help them overcome their fear as they will gain the necessary self-esteem backed up by their knowledge.

Judge and jury

Judges and jurors are no exceptions to the influence of the courtroom stress. The source of their stress is quite different to what has already been mentioned. First of all, they have the ultimate role in the process and their decision is the one determining the outcome. Often, those accused fail to see their own fault but blame it entirely on the decision reached by these legal actors. This can often lead to courtroom violence or threats and safety risks for jurors and judges, as well as their families. East Coast Family Lawyers point out that the more emotional the trial is, the greater is the courtroom

courtroom stress

Most courtrooms are built to be imposing

stress involved. Jurors do not get to choose dates and which trial they will be at. This is why they usually bring along some stress related to their private or professional tasks they cannot tend to due to the jury duty. The type of stress these two categories are exposed to is the hardest one to alleviate, mainly due to the burden of their role.  However, helping them deal with their basic fears by making sure they are truly safe of any form of violence within the court and that their families are protected, can help them deal with the unproductive portion of the stress. Also, allowing time for jurors to take care of their personal and professional matters can be very helpful. When it comes to the stress caused by the emotional content of a trial, there are different types of debriefings and interventions done, before and after the process, to ensure that they do not suffer a trauma caused by stress.

Do not let anyone intimidate you. Stand your ground on every matter. Be well informed and do not be afraid to ask questions. Fear is dreading the unknown so the key is to take your time to familiarize yourself with the processes, the facts, and your emotions.

 

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If you are falsely accused of a crime quickly hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  That attorney can help defend you such that accusations do not turn into false criminal charges and a wrongful conviction ending in years or decades of unjust prison time.

 

The frightening truth is that anyone can be falsely accused of a crime at any time. Proving that you’re innocent may cost money, time, energy, and loads of stress. You need a devoted criminal defense attorney and sufficient resources to beat a false accusation.

In the old Soviet Union they could prosecute anybody they wanted because some of the statutes were so vague. Alan Dershowitz points out that this was a technique developed by Beria, the infamous sidekick of Stalin, who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA. “Show me the man,” says any federal prosecutor, “and I can show you the crime.” This is not an exaggeration. [1]

Although you may believe that a false accusation could never happen to you, the reality is there’s no real way to know what the future holds. In the event that you or someone you care about is falsely accused of a crime, use the following 10 suggestions to protect yourself:

Falsely accused

Anyone can be falsely accused of committing a crime. Getting legal help quickly from an experienced criminal defense attorney if the best way to counter false allegations

#1: Prepare an “Arrest Plan”

Yes, this is the United States, but you could be falsely accused of a crime. Just as you don’t imagine that your home will catch fire or your car will be stolen, you take out a renter/homeowner or auto insurance policy just in case. You might also take out earthquake, hurricane, or flood insurance depending on where you live. Consider what you’d do if the police came to your door or how you’d react to a phone call saying a loved one was arrested before it happens.

#2: Discuss Possible Arrest with Your Family

Discuss arrest with your kids. If they’ve ever been questioned or arrested by a police officer, it’s important to have the talk now.

#3: Come Forward

Call “911” first. The person who makes the emergency call first is more likely to be viewed as the victim. Since an accuser is likely to be seen as the potential victim by law enforcement since he or she came forward first, take proactive steps.

#4: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Remember—you have the right to remain silent. Let’s say you or your spouse was just taken away in handcuffs by the police. You don’t know what’s happening. You’re anxious, afraid, panicked, and confused. Although you aren’t the individual the police have accused of a crime, you can remain silent. Ask for an attorney to be present before discussing anything with the police.

#5: Ask for a Search Warrant

Demand a search warrant (even if there’s nothing to hide). If law enforcement officers ask to search your property and you know you did nothing wrong, it’s tempting to just say yes. Realize that your cooperation won’t help to end the nightmare. Ask for the warrant—your criminal defense attorney will be able to determine what the police are looking for that way. If the police didn’t properly execute the search, the warrant may disqualify evidence found (if any). Physical documentation is preferable when the criminal justice system is concerned.

#6: Criminal Justice Can Be Hard on Innocent People

Popular culture lulls some of us into a false sense of security. Actors that play police officers and prosecutors always seem to value the truth above everything else. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in real life.

The flow system of criminal justice wants to process as many cases as possible in the least amount of time. This occurs through the process of plea bargains. A plea bargain is the least expensive way for the prosecutor and you to end the criminal justice process. However, once you negotiate a plea bargain—even if you plead guilty to a lesser offense—you will have a criminal record.

You may face continuous impositions in the future, e.g. limits on where you can travel, alcohol or drug tests, or community service. If you’re innocent, you might not be willing to accept any of these restrictions. Be prepared to fight with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side.

#7: Expect the Prosecutor to Assume You’re Guilty

Movies and reality are quite different. Expect the prosecutor to treat you like you’re guilty even if the evidence doesn’t support this conclusion.

If your case isn’t high-profile, the prosecutor might not bother to review your case until shortly before the court date. Even if the false accuser decides he or she wants to call an end to the court proceeding, it’s ultimately the prosecutor’s decision. In the interim, you’ll need to abide by court-ordered restrictions that feel like parole.

#8: Proving Innocence May Come at a High Price

Going to trial is expensive. Your accuser probably won’t have to pay for a lawyer, and his or her transportation to and from court might be paid by the prosecutor.

Realize that the cost of freedom is priceless. Do everything possible to defend your innocence. Look for an experienced criminal defense attorney who accepts payments. Don’t assume that, because you’re innocent, you don’t need a knowledgeable and skillful defense attorney at your side.

#9: Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Doesn’t Mean Your Guilty

You shouldn’t go this alone. If someone has falsely accused you of a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer. The criminal justice system is a frightening land in which you don’t speak the language. You need a criminal defense attorney with experience. He’s going to explain what to expect and how to face the many curveballs you might face.

#10: Trials Are Stressful

You, your family, friends, or employer will experience anger, stress, exhaustion, and fear until the trial is over. Don’t speak to anyone but your defense attorney about the trial. Friends and family can’t help you. Unless you have an employment contract, your employer can terminate you.

When you’re wrongfully accused of a crime, you’ll probably lose friends. You’ll feel sad and surprised by those who just don’t want to know what’s happening. Others will assume you’re guilty. Stay grateful to your true friends.

 

Getting Legal Help

If you or someone you love is falsely accused of a crime, you need resources and information. The knowledge that you’re innocent doesn’t always mean an innocent verdict in court. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area for advice on how to proceed.

About the Author

Greg Tsioros

 

The Law Office of Greg Tsioros in Houston, Texas provides legal advice and aggressive representation for clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies at both the state and federal level. Mr. Tsioros handles criminal defense cases of any stature – from orders of parole and expunctions to more serious DWI and drug charges.

 

 

[1] For a detailed analysis, see Harvey Silvergate’s book “Three Felonies a Day.”

 

The Law Offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the content of this post.  Jay Leiderman did not alter any substantive content.

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Driving under the influence (DUI)’s or driving while intoxicated (DWI)’s are no laughing matters which put people at a deathly risk on the road. Yet, hordes of people each year continue to drive drunk or high, and many are convicted. According to Statistic Brain, around 1,500,000 people are arrested annually just for drunk driving. This does not include marijuana or other prescription pill convictions.

For the ones who were blessed to survive the tribulation, police conviction and the cost repercussions induces immense stress. Other than going to jail for a night, the costs following are a pretty penny.

According to QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison tool and ‘think tank,’ the average of costs of a DUI are rough on the wallet:

 

DIU costs

 

 

What Should I Do After A DUI?

First of all, it is highly recommended that a person charged with a DUI gets a lawyer, as the cost-benefit trade-off of having a DUI lawyer on the case is much more favorable in the long-run. According to a driving under the influence lawyer cost-benefit study conducted by QuoteWizard, having the charge dropped with a lawyer can save:

  • $3,400 in insurance costs
  • Reducing a DUI charge to reckless or negligent driving saves you $1,900 in insurance
  • Court fees and fines for DUI average $3,600. For negligent or reckless driving charges, that number drops to $1,600.

 

DUI charges

 

Insurance Costs after a DUI – Higher Risk Drivers

One of the largest factors of added cost following a DUI is the insurance rate on row 3 on the cost analysis above (table 1). It can rise above $5000 per year! This makes it difficult for those to get back on the road as the rates can increase up to 5 times more than usual, a heavy burden for many.

When a person has a DUI on their record, insurance companies considers those convicted as ‘high-risk’ drivers for an average period of 3-7 years following. Since they were recklessly driving drunk or high, insurance companies are going to be wary of covering the person because his or her driving records shows that they are statistically more prone to get into an accident due to poor past choices.

This is opposed to a person with a clean driving record who requests to be insured. For clean drivers, the insurance company takes on the risk because there are chances that the person will never get into an accident in their lifetime, making them an ideal customer to take on. Essentially, this segment of prospective insurance customers are assumed to be good drivers, and not those labeled a criminal, until proven otherwise.

Since insurance companies are a business that need to make money and be profitable, it is much more risk to take on a person to insure who will likely need to the use the insurance. Paying out claims to people insured and in an accident is one of the major expenses for insurance companies. Since the person convicted of a DUI is considered a higher risk driver, there are fewer companies out there who will take the person’s policy on. Some will not even consider it.

Then, he or she will need to file for an SR-22 at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

This creates a seller’s market for the situation, which ends up giving all the leverage and bargaining power to the insurance company. Expect the rates to significantly increase through this, due to lower supply. Since most people need to drive to live functionally such as driving to work, the demand is high (general law of economics apply).

Exactly determining the insurance cost is hard to calculate because there are many factors that play into it such as varying state laws. Secondly, all the insurance companies have different standards and policies regarding high-risk drivers. Insurance companies have common factors that play into the added costs.

Variables That Affect Insurance Cost after DUI

  • Driver’s Age – Younger drivers likely pay more
  • Location – Rural vs Urban rates vary
  • Car Model – New cars will typically cost for insurance coverage
  • Driving History – Violations compound on each other

After the DUI case is over, he or she will need to update the current policy or shop around if dropped. Insurance companies do not offer “special” DUI insurance policies. Even though they market them as so. This policy is essentially a normal insurance plan with stricter standards and a much higher monthly premium.

Then, he or she will need to file for an SR-22 (except the few states that don’t require it) at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. This essentially states proof of financial responsibly, showing a minimum liability coverage for the state where the person convicted of DUI lives. With the SR-22, it may state that the driver was involved in a major car incident, in which additional paperwork needs to be filed. This all adds more expenses to monthly premiums

When Will My DUI Insurance Rate Go Back to Normal?

After the 3-10 years, the insurance rates should go back down to normal. If the rates do not go down after that time, request to have the driver’s record expunged or have the incident listed under the ‘sealed records’ in which only the courts and police officers have access to. By doing so, insurance companies will not be able to see your DUI, which will mitigate any impact on insurance costs in the future.

After that time, be safe, and drive sober. It is not worth going through the process all over again and have to pay even more the next time. Take a taxi, walk, or get a ride home from a designated sober driver and live a safe and healthy life.

 

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This post is not legal advice from the Law Offices of Jay Leiderman.  It is a guest post that was edited only for grammar and spelling.  If you need advice about how to handle you DUI case, consult with a lawyer capable of defending a DUI.  Jay Leiderman will be happy to discuss these cases with no charge for an initial consultation.  

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