Dec
07
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As the year winds down, one thing most employees can count on is that their employer-sponsored holiday party will be coming up. Many employers believe such parties are an excellent tool to increase morale and provide a much-needed break in the workday to their employees. These holiday parties, however, raise employment issues that all employers and employees should consider prior to kicking off the holiday celebrations. Here are a couple points everyone should keep in mind when celebrating with their co-workers.
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Oct
29
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There have been two huge jury verdicts against employers in Iowa over the last year. One was for $12 million dollars in Des Moines back in August and the other was for $1.4 million in Chickasaw County. In the Des Moines case, the female plaintiffs alleged that their complaints to their employers about harassment fell on deaf ears. In the Chickasaw County case, the plaintiff alleged she was disciplined after complaining about harassment. These are great examples of a couple of the top mistakes employers make regarding employee complaints: ignoring the complaint or failing to perform a prompt and thorough investigation and retaliation.
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Oct
01
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“Will I have to pay spousal support?” “Am I entitled to spousal support? “How much and for how long?” These are typical questions raised by dissolution clients from the initial consultation and throughout the case. These fair questions usually receive complicated answers. To begin with, there needs to be a discussion about which of the three types of spousal support might apply: traditional, rehabilitative, and/or reimbursement. Traditional spousal support is what most people think of when considering spousal support. This is the support for life at a set amount. Rehabilitative support is generally for a set period of time (e.g., 2-7 years) and is used to assist one spouse to obtain education or training such that he or she can be self-sufficient separate from the other spouse. Last, reimbursement support is paid by one spouse for the economic sacrifices made by the other, especially as it directly relates to the enhanced earning capacity of the spouse.
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Tags : Family Law

Sep
02
2 comments
In the course of business, chances are a landlord will eventually encounter a situation where their tenant fails to pay rent, and they believe they have the right to evict. The landlord would like the tenant to vacate the premises as soon as possible, but is unsure of how to proceed. So what do they do? Change the locks and remove all of their property? Call the police? Send a large number of texts or emails?
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Aug
12
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School districts, similar to any other employer, often struggle with properly implementing employee leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides that employees are entitled to up to twelve weeks of leave for their own serious health condition or to provide care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition. In order to qualify for FMLA leave, the employee has to be a covered employee who worked 1250 hours in the twelve months immediately prior to the requested leave and worked at least twelve months for the employer, although these months do not have to be consecutive.
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Tags : School Law

Jul
07
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New and amended Iowa statutes went into effect on July 1, 2015. Included in that legislation is an amendment to Iowa Code section 670.4 that insulates municipalities from liability due to injuries from sledding accidents. Iowa Code section 670.4 previously protected municipalities from liability in claims related to skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycling, unicycling, scootering, river rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. However, sledding was not included in the list of activities. The new legislation substitutes “recreational activities” for the list of specific activities, which includes sledding, provided that any injuries or damages are the result of the normal and expected risks inherent in the recreational activity and the individual engaged in the recreational activity was voluntarily on public property when the injuries or damages occurred.
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Tags : City Law

Jul
01
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Did you see the article entitled “Lack of regulation leads to varying bereavement leave policies” in the June 20, 2015 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette? I was quoted in the article. Gazette reporter Maddy Arnold wrote about the fact that identical bills to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act to include the Parental Bereavement Act of 2015 were introduced in both houses of Congress in May, 2015. That Act would permit employees to take up to twelve work weeks of leave within twelve months of the death of a son or daughter. Online prognosis of the chance this legislation would be enacted: “0%.” There’s a Facebook page dedicated to this initiative “created by two grieving dads who simply want the option of 12 weeks of unpaid time off work when one loses a child.”
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Jun
11
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Variances from a City’s generally applicable zoning regulations are within the exclusive statutory authority of a City’s Zoning Boards of Appeals (“ZBA”). A variance is appropriate when it will help avoid an undue or unnecessary hardship. But how is a ZBA to know whether a proposed variance might result in such a hardship?
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Tags : City Law

May
08
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The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (or ADEA), protects employees 40 and over from discrimination with respect to any term and condition of employment, including hiring, promotions, and reductions in force. In essence, it prohibits all human resource decisions made because of an employee’s age.
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Feb
24
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Volunteers play positive and important roles in our community. But, some volunteers can also occasionally pose a legal risk. In 2014, a school district found this out the hard way when its volunteer golf coach of fifteen years sued it for overtime compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime pay for employees and states that employees working more than forty hours a week get overtime. In this case (out of Virginia), the court ruled that a public-school-security employee, who also voluntarily coached high school golf, was not owed overtime pay for the time spent coaching due to his status as a “volunteer” as opposed to “employee.”
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Disclaimer:  This Blog provides occasional, general postings only and should not be construed as legal advice or the opinions of Lynch Dallas, P.C. These blog postings are not a substitute for seeking professional legal counsel, and you should not act in reliance upon the information contained these blog postings without consulting an attorney about your specific situation. In addition, you should not rely on these occasional, general blog postings as your sole source of information regarding changes and/or developments in the law.