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Garden City New York Legal Blog

Why you should be cautious when drafting a will

If a person dies without a will, there are state laws that will determine what happens to the estate. This process can be lengthy and expensive, especially for the beneficiaries and heirs who want to settle the estate and move forward. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to have an updated will.

A good, thorough and carefully drafted will is the foundation of any estate plan, but there are limits to what this specific document can do. If you are drafting your will, you will want to learn more about what you can do with a will and what other things you may need to accomplish all of your estate planning goals. Knowing what should and should not be in your will can save you time as you work for appropriate protection and security for your future interests 

Protecting whistleblowers from retaliation in your business

It may have been a shock when an employee came to you with information about wrongdoing in your company. Perhaps it involved acts of discrimination by a trusted colleague or sexual harassment from one of your managers. Maybe the employee even pointed the finger at you. You have a lot to do to deal with this situation including an investigation, perhaps the involvement of law enforcement, and possibly the discipline and/or termination of the offender.

How you deal with the whistleblower is also something about which you should be concerned. Whether you feel offended at your employee's accusations or you genuinely want to protect your worker from further harm, it is critical that you proceed with caution to avoid appearing as if you are retaliating against him or her for blowing the whistle.

What sexual harassment is and what it does

A vast majority of women will experience some form of sexual harassment at some point during their lives. However, men can also become the victims of sexual harassment. Many women, and men, fail to take any action unless it becomes severe or turns into a sexual assault. Even then, the victim may not report it out of fear, shame or embarrassment.

If you are one of these individuals, you should know that sexual harassment does not have to reach these levels for you to do something about it. Even if the perpetrator's actions do not rise to the level of criminal activity, it does not excuse it. Numerous federal and state laws protect you from this type of behavior, and you should not hesitate to assert your rights under them.

Are you worried about losing your pension during divorce?

Most people work hard for a living in order to provide for themselves and their families now and to have a nest egg for use during retirement. You may have consciously and meticulously ensured that the funds in your various accounts stayed at certain levels and that your retirement funds and pension were right on track. However, you may now face major concerns about your pension due to your pending divorce.

Having financial worries related to divorce is understandable, as this life change can easily result in a tremendous upheaval to savings, retirement accounts and other financial areas. If you have concerns about how ending your marriage will affect your pension, you may want to remember that you could have options for protecting those funds.

Breach of contract issues

Contracts are the backbone of a successful business. With a contract, you can spell out the expectations you have for the other party and clarify your business' responsibilities. A solid contract can go a long way in preventing disputes with your employees, clients and vendors, and it can provide a legal defense if a dispute should arise.

Even if you and the other party agree to the terms of the contract and sign it, there is still the chance that the other party may violate the terms to which you have agreed. This is what the law calls a breach of contract. If the other party fails to fulfill the terms of the contract in whole or in part, you may find yourself in a frustrating and complex situation that may require the involvement of the New York civil court system.

My employer is not giving me meal or rest breaks; what can I do?

In order to pay to live in New York, it is necessary to work. This does not mean you are a slave to your job or your employer. Depending on the length of your shift, you have the right to take meal and, possibly, rest breaks. What can you do if your employer is not offering these to you?

If your employer is not honoring meal and rest breaks, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor. You may take further action by pursuing legal claims against your employer in an effort to seek compensation for your losses.

Understanding when an employee is exempt or non-exempt

If you own a business in New York, you may have spent a great deal of time learning about the laws and regulations related to your industry. Possibly, you must keep up with new guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and you likely have environmental and tax laws by which you must abide.

You may have a difficult time keeping up with all the laws and regulations for your company, especially those involving your employees. Harassment and retaliation laws are often straightforward, but those regulations and protections afforded by the Fair Labor Standards Act may be confusing. It is critical that you understand the categories of your employees to avoid legal issues.

How do I know the best interests of my child?

Separation or the end of a marriage is always a difficult process. Even straightforward and amicable divorces between understanding spouses can become confusing, complicated and even contentious.

When a marriage has brought offspring into the world, no one feels a divorce more than the children.

Thinking about equitable distribution in divorce

Divorce is a difficult process, even if spouses remain compassionate towards each other. The end of a marriage is always easier when the people in it can solve any disagreements about how it will end quickly and smoothly.

How do I deal with an uncontested divorce?

Divorce can be a messy process, with disputes causing costly and lengthy problems between spouses. Fortunately, the end of a marriage does not necessarily have to be contentious, although even simple divorces without acrimony should not be attempted alone.

How can I file for an uncontested divorce?

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