What You Should Know Before Looking For A Wrongful Death Attorney

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Even in those situations where someone is not charged with a crime regarding the death of a person; the deceased’s loved ones can easily file a civil suit for wrongful death. In most of these cases misconduct and negligence are sighted other than criminal responsibility. Take note also that only a person who is an executor of the deceased’s estate can file such a suit. This means that when an executor agrees with the family that there is need to file suit, they cannot also act as the wrongful death attorney. Such suits are normally filed in a civil court for the decedent’s immediate family where they name the person they believe is indirectly responsible for the death.

wrongful death attorney

Prove the case: If the wrongful death lawyer is going to recover any damages on behalf of his clients, there are two things he needs to prove. The first is that he needs to show by a preponderance of evidence how the defendant is believed to have been responsible by either negligence or misconduct. The second thing he will need to demonstrate to the court is how the plaintiff, who is normally an immediate family member, will be negatively affected by the loss. This may not be very difficult to establish in cases where the decedent can be shown to have been the primary breadwinner; this would show how the family will get affected by the loss of the income the victim earned.

Common Cases: In most cases wrongful death attorneys will file cases as a result of any one of the following incidences such as: aero plane or automobile accidents, on the job fatalities, medical malpractices, exposure to dangerous substances without the required warning, food poisoning, and exposure to toxic products without due advice or several other supervised activities. You can be sure that automobile related accidents account for the most common reasons that people will sue for the wrongful death of loved one. Out of the thousands of car crashes that occur each year, more than one third of them are associated with drunken driving which in itself is a criminal offense. The other related crashes can be as a result misconduct, distraction, simple negligence or mechanical failure.

The decision on whether or not you are going to get in touch with a wrongful death attorney is really a highly personal one. However, it is advised that people should finish mourning their loved one before they can decide to file a suit; some of these lawsuits can take a considerable amount of time before they can get resolved. When culpability has been clearly established, you can be almost sure that an attorney will take up your case. You must also expect a long fight in court that can take several years but finally you could get reasonable restitution or compensation.

Roles and Duties of Legal Advisors

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The personal integrity of any lawyer is based on his good moral principles and ethics that he follows and implements in his practice. When the question on integrity is raised of a lawyer, the ultimate result of case filed may change even; the question of integrity may hit the emotions of individual or advisor who is dedicated, honest and capable of doing justice with his clients. The question of justice is important in law and legal advisory. Besides, this factor the importance of service can never be neglected and personal traits and professional characteristics of an advisor must be there and a professional consultant or advisor must be educated, well aware of knowledge and skills of legal advisory. The roles and duties of legal advisor are based on his character building and abilities that he keeps.

Duties of Legal Advisors

One of the main qualities that make an advisor prominent is his behavior with the party and his clients. The way he keeps things confidential and secrets before the third party is considered among the good qualities of an advisor. The conversation helps a bit in such cases and without understanding each other problems; the relation of strong communication may not be developed between client and advisor. The main lacking in our society is proper communication that takes time and this is the reason that strong relations are not built up. A good professional legal advisor will never misuse his post and will guide his client in all matters and will create strong communication as well as relationship with his client. If proper communication is delivered and advisor understand client’s matter like his own matter, then there are chances of success and case may be resolved handsomely. The other duty of an advisor is the charging of fee and this is negotiable between them. The honesty is the only factor that comes and dishonesty may lead a client towards dissatisfaction, if and only fair charges are charged by his advisor. It’s the right of a client to pay his advisor. Similarly, it is the prime duty of an advisor to be fair with his client and should charge accordingly.

There are various strategies that may be adopted by an advisor. One of the prime responsibilities should be to provide all maximum benefits to his clients in all sittings and the purpose should not to provide costly services in order to gain fee and honest, fair and effective advice should be given to clients in every sitting. It is the duty of an advisor to listen his client and a good listener is always a successful advisor. Legal representation from an authorized person demands such kind of behavior that is acceptable and fair in all means and client should feel comfortable while discussion; further this can lead them towards strong and wanted relation that has some value in the eye of law.

John Hopkins University In Trouble For Aiding In Guatemala STD Experiments

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A lawsuit has been filed by more than hundred individuals against Johns Hopkins University for its role in STD experiments in Guatemala. The lawsuit is for medical malpractice and particularly addresses the role the university played in government medical experiments. This particular incident had taken place in 1940s and 50s.

In these experiments the humans were used as experimental objects. They were being constantly infected with disease. The top diseases that they were infected with included Gonorrhea and Syphilis. The individuals who were infected were not told about these experiments and their consents were not obtained too.

When individuals asked about the experiments, they were told that these were just routine medical checkups. They were told that the treatment was in their best interests.

The main targets used in these experiments included orphans, children and soldiers. Patients from psychiatric hospitals and imprisoned individuals were also on the list of people who were used in the experiments.

There was a research performed on 774 individuals and it was on their behalf in addition to their families that the lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit strives to receive a damage settlement of at least $1 billion.

The complaints state that the officials employed at Johns Hopkins University at that time were the major role players in these experiments. Not only did they act as advisors of the government on conducting these experiments but also assisted the government on allocating its budget to make the most of them for conducting the experiments.

Johns Hopkins and many other perpetrators were the encouragers of these experiments. They were also acting as directors of these experiments and aided them in whatever way was possible.

These experiments were lost in darkness for more than half a century and were only brought to the knowledge of the world in 2010. After the news about these experiments came on the scene the president of the US, Barack Obama, had to present his apology to the president of Guatemala.

Michael P. Ehline. a Los Angeles Attorney from www.ehlinelaw.com, confirmed that a lawsuit was also filed at the time for putting people to a medical experiment without their consents. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of only 7 people who were used in these experiments. These experiments were performed on humans without their consent by US Public Health Service.

The exemption of the US governments for the torts that take place in other countries than the US had made a judge dismiss the challenge. However, the judge at that time had also mentioned that this particular chapter is a troubling one in the history of the country.

He also mentioned that the court could not do anything in this matter. The information about these experiments was out in front of the public in 2010 but then the matter had remained under obscurity for quite some time.

It was one year later that a complete report from Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical issues put more light on the matter and how these experiments were done on humans who didn’t know what was being done to them.

Signs That You Need a Lawyer

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There may come a time in your life where you will be in need of professional legal advice or representation, whether in court or some other legal proceeding. The reasons are manifold. You may have been injured and are seeking compensation, you may have been arrested and need legal advice, or you may be writing up a legal document and need authorized witnesses. These and many others are all cases in which you need a lawyer.

There are also incidents where it’s not entirely clear whether a lawyer is necessary. In most small claims courts, for example, it’s often cheaper and more expedient to represent yourself. 

Similarly, you may find yourself in a situation where you just need advice or information, and need alternative sources to engage.

Knowing where and when you need a lawyer is important. On the one hand, you can rest assured a legal professional will have all of your bases covered. On the other hand, you could avoid the expenses of hiring a lawyer at times when you are, in fact, capable of getting by without one. Become familiar with the signs so you can make a proper, informed decision.


What Exactly Is The Problem?

Lawyers rarely act for free. While the state is obligated to provide a lawyer should you be unable to provide one yourself, this is only under certain circumstances, and you have no control over who that lawyer may be. So clearly defining your problem can help you come to a decision as to whether a lawyer is necessary in the first place.

While there are many circumstances such as an arrest or a lawsuit that may obviously require legal intervention, there are also other circumstances in which it can be useful to have a lawyer. If you find yourself in the process of purchasing a home, setting up a business, drafting a will, adopting a child, or entering into a legally binding contract, seeking the assistance of a skilled legal professional can be invaluable.

First, they can make sure that any paperwork you’re drafting is legally watertight — with no unforeseen loopholes or oversights that could cause trouble later. The wording of a contract or document can often be confusing, even deliberately misleading or vague. An attorney is more likely to spot small print that could potentially harm you later. Second, they can make certain you understand what you’re doing from a legal standpoint. Finally, they can advise you as to any laws, ordinances or regulations that may be able to offer you further assistance or protections in the proceedings.

How Much Time Do You Have?

Sometimes the situation leaves you with a fair amount of breathing space. If your court hearing doesn’t take place for a few months or so, then you have some time to consider the circumstances and decide in your own time whether you really need any legal help. The same goes if you’re thinking of drafting a legal document or opening a business.

However, you will encounter situations where time is of the essence. If you’ve been injured and are seeking compensation, for example, you will need to settle the matter quickly if you want your suit to succeed. It’s also never too early to seek legal advice for something relatively far off, such as advice regarding a will or questions regarding business taxes. Of course, if you’re being questioned by the police, you will need a lawyer immediately in order to see you safely through the negotiations.

Is This Something You Can Do Yourself?

There are certain legal circumstances where a lawyer may be useful, but not necessary. Many small claims courts will have stakes that simply aren’t worth the expense of hiring a lawyer to represent you. If all you’re suing for is the return of small sentimental items, like a couple of rings or a PC, then you’d be spending more for the legal representation than what you’d be getting in return. In general, if you’re in court for something worth less than $5,000, legal aid may not be worth your time.

It’s ultimately up to you whether you decide to seek the advice and support of a lawyer in most cases. While not always necessary, the advice they can offer can often prove highly advantageous to your case. Most injury claims or complaints against businesses or organizations can also be settled relatively quickly out of court. Other regulated businesses and institutions, such as banks, will have their own state-run agencies that can pursue the case for you without needing the intervention of an attorney.

Consider your options carefully and try to keep them as open as possible. If you do seem legal advice, do your research and make sure you are getting the right firm to represent you given the nature of your case and their area of expertise. If you are involved in a personal injury case, for example, make sure to engage the services of a qualified personal injury attorney like David R. Heil. Just as with a doctor, you want to make sure you engage a specialist who fits your needs.

What to Do if a Loved One Suffers Severe Brain Injury

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It can be difficult to consider anything outside of a loved one’s health after they have suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. However, in many TBI cases, there will come a time where important decisions must be made involving the loved ones medical and financial well-being. While it may seem a bit cold, keeping a mind on the practical considerations is a key way that someone with this kind of injury needs your support. Your search for information on the legal ramifications of a TBI should begin with an attorney who has experience in these sensitive matters. As every case is unique, it’s important to take advantage of the free consultations offered by law firms like the Law Office of David Heil so they can help you through the process of acting on behalf of your injured loved one. It should also provide a foundation of questions to ask when choosing the right attorney to work on your behalf, which is important when navigating these complex waters during a difficult time.


If the injury is serious enough, your loved one may be in an incapacitated state for a lengthy or indefinite amount of time. Often in this scenario, the injured party has financial responsibilities and assets that, if left unattended due to injury, can become costly. It’s important to go over available options with a support team of family members, doctors, and attorneys to formulate a plan that ensures the interests of the injured are protected. If they are unable to fully manage their estate, you’ll need to strongly consider a legal guardianship.

A guardianship, as it relates to an incapacitated adult, is somewhat similar to how it pertains to a minor. Like a minor, a guardianship in an injured adult is usually court appointed and allows the guardian to act on behalf of the other individual. However, unlike most minors, an adult is likely to have assets that need to be managed by another until such time when the injured party can resume duties. There is no over-arching federal law regarding guardianship, so the relevant legislation will vary from state to state. In addition to varying laws you can expect varying terminology from state to state as well. Some states will use the term “incapacitated” for someone after a TBI while other states may use the word “incompetent”. Regardless of the terminology, an attorney can assist you in obtaining legal guardianship so you’re able to take on essential functions until your loved one recovers.


Guardian Functions

Protecting financial assets is just one the many responsibilities that fall under the role of a guardian. Of course, not everyone can serve as guardian for someone who has suffered a TBI. The responsibility typically falls on a spouse, parent, sibling, bank or money manager depending on the issue. It also isn’t uncommon to see co-guardianship granted to multiple parties in more complex estates. However, too often there can be disputes among parties on who should make important decisions that could hurt the interests and health of the injured party. You may also be dealing with additional outside pressures, which is why it’s best to engage a lawyer for guidance on how to go forward with the essential functions of a guardian. Some of these functions include:

  • Applying for benefits such as Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, or state medical benefits
  • Retaining an attorney to investigate the cause of the accident and seek restitution in an injury case.
  • Institute legal actions to protect the incapacitated person’s rights against insurance companies or those who caused the accident
  • Legally advocate for the incapacitated person’s rights and best interest
  • Safeguard the incapacitated party’s finances
  • Keep records of financial transactions and open bank accounts and write checks for the injured party
  • Legally refuse or limit access to medical records in order to protect the individual’s rights to continued health care and insurance benefits
  • Give authorization for inspection of medical records
  • Release medical information to entities such as public assistance, workers’ compensation, and Medicare/Medicaid
  • Consult with doctors and make decisions regarding proper medical treatment

While this information is meant to be helpful, it is only a drop in the bucket when compared to the help most people need when faced with a difficult family situation. While it is hard to think about anything other than the health of your loved one, as an appointed guardian (or someone who is considering assuming that role) you need to be the anchor for your family and the injured party.  The health of your loved one should always come first, and for that you have a team of doctors. For every other interest, you’ll need a support team that wouldn’t be complete without an experiencing attorney to help you perform the essential functions of a guardian.

About the author:

Brian Levesque is a freelance writer who contributes on various topics of modern living, bringing his practical experience out through articles and advice columns.


5 Ways Your Business Attorney Can Help You

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If you’re in business and you don’t want to run the risk of running into legal complications, then you might want to hire a specialized business attorney to help you. Most people in business tend to shy away from lawyers because they feel they can’t afford an attorney’s services, but in many cases it’s just the opposite: you’d rather have a lawyer today to sort out your business than to pay fines, levies, or other penalties later. There are many different ways in which a business attorney can help you run your business, especially if you hire a specialized business attorney to give you personalized advice. Let’s take a look at five ways that a business attorney can help you establish and run your business.

Drafting Agreements between You and Your Clients

In many instances, business owners attempt to draft contracts and proposals themselves, only to be stuck in a quagmire of legalities later. To avoid the dangers of a faulty contract which favors your clients more than it does you, why not hire a specialized business attorney to draft out these documents or peruse through your contracts to ensure everything is above-board? The devil is in the details with contracts, so it’s better to get them reviewed and approved by an experienced legal advisor. Your attorney can also coach you on the type and context of language to use so you don’t get stuck having to deliver more than what you intended to promise. Your attorney can also advice you if they think you’re over-promising on milestones and value.

Business Attorney

Advice on Making Hiring and Firing Decisions the Legal Way

There are plenty of laws that need to be followed when it comes to hiring and firing people. If you need to hire additional staff or lay off someone, you need to do it the right way so that this decision does not come back to haunt you. Taking this into account, you need to learn how to comply with state laws and federal laws regarding human resources. When you hire a specialized business lawyer, they can help you ensure compliant as well as advice you on classification of employees. Complying with employment laws saves your business significant hassles in the long-term.

Defense Against Lawsuits

Another very important point to make when it comes to lawyers is that they help you in fighting lawsuits. You might have upset a client or an employee, which is where you need to have a good business attorney on your side. All business owners run into trouble at some point, since that’s the cost of doing business. An experienced business attorney can often resolve the situation before it ever makes it to the courtroom.

Looking into Lease and Purchase Agreements

Whether you’re looking to lease or buy a property for your business, you’re going to have to sign an agreement. Before you do so, have your lawyer vet the agreement and advise you on whether the contract is free of all loopholes. Your attorney may also be get you a better deal or more favorable terms, if you pay them to negotiate on your behalf.

Updating on Business Regulations Changes

Business regulations change quite a bit, from year to year and from state to state. Why not hire a specialized business attorney to take you through the changes annually so you can proactively prevent any mistakes from happening which could cost you later? Be it HR issues, franchising regulations or tax reviews, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

So if you’re looking to protect yourself and your business, consider hiring a business attorney today. This is one investment you’ll never regret.

About the author: Tara Smith is an experienced paralegal, who works with business clients throughout the Pacific Northwest on a range of business issues.

Holding a Party? How to Protect Your Guests from Harm (and You from a Lawsuit)

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Even an experienced host or hostess can get caught in a legal bind after a party gone wrong. There are many things to consider before offering up your residence for the next holiday or office party. It’s important to learn what you are responsible for as a host/hostess to protect your guests from dangers and yourself from legal troubles. Following the advice below can minimize your risks and keep guests safe while in attendance and after they’re gone.

Before the Day of the Event

Be Selective in your Guest List – Keeping in mind how many guests your residence can accommodate, carve out a guest list that is appropriate for the size. Leaving a little extra space is a good idea as unexpected guests or “plus ones” are likely to push the number of attendees higher. Think about excluding anyone who may get aggressive or unruly in the presence of alcohol or another guest. A fight could lead to injuries and a lawsuit to follow.

floorSkip the Food Prep and go with a Caterer – Friends and family may be excited to try your delicious appetizer or famous cheesecake but hiring a caterer can limit your liability. Shopping for discount items to minimize costs can be more expensive in the end if a guest suffers a foodborne illness. With a caterer, if an illness or injury occurs as a result of food, the liability lies with the caterer and not with you. If the party isn’t expected to be large, simply ordering trays from a grocery store or restaurant can achieve some of the same result. Just be sure to follow the store’s recommended storage and prep guidelines.

Baby-Proof the House – Putting away any fragile items and locking all doors and cabinets harboring unsafe materials can keep hazards to a minimum and ensure guests go home in their cars rather than an ambulance. If you have a pool and it isn’t featured in the event (i.e. pool party) then be sure to cover it and have it locked or barred if possible. As a bonus, this will keep expensive or fragile items from breaking and avoiding an awkward situation if an item is damaged by a guest, or worse: the need to engage the services of David Heil.

During the Event

Park Responsibly – Having a detailed plan for parking guests’ vehicles is a good idea. If space is limited in your driveway, asking neighbors if you may park your personal cars in their driveway can free up space. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, you can ask if guests may park there as well. Just be sure to note which houses are appropriate in the invite to avoid a nasty visit from local authorities. If street parking is available make sure you note that in the invitation as well and be specific about which side of the street is allowed.

Be Mindful of the Noise – Many communities have noise ordinances — a party that gets a little too loud is vulnerable to being shut down, and the host/hostess being issued a citation. Even if your area does not have a specific noise ordinance, a catch-all “peace and order” statute can be enforced by police for parties in response to loud parties.

Serve Responsibly – If alcohol is going to be present at your event be sure to monitor the situation constantly and closely. Over-served guests should not be allowed to drive for their own safety, as well as that of others on the road. Knowingly allowing an impaired guest to drive off from your party opens you up to liability if that person injures another on the road. Also, be sure never to serve alcohol to minors under any circumstances. It’s easy to conclude that older minors “aren’t leaving the house and a drink will be harmless.” If one thing is certain, is that it’s impossible to know what a teenager will do at any times. It is simply not worth the risk, even if the teen’s parents say it’s ok.

After the Event

Clean the Outside of Your Home Right Away – When the dust settles, your guests have left safely, and you’ve concluded a successful party, it is advised to get on the clean up right away. Feel free to get to the inside when you can but cleaning the outside right after an event can save you a lot of headaches the next day. Many subdivisions and municipalities have nuisance and sanitation ordinances, and fines for those who violate them. Cleaning up right away keeps your neighbors happy and will make it easier to host in the future.

About the author:

Brian Levesque provides advice for individuals and businesses, addressing practical concerns in a down-to-earth manner.  He also provides music for beach-related events, having been a Florida resident for some years.

How to Become a US Citizen Through Naturalization

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For decades, tens of millions of people from all across the globe have dreamed of traveling to the one country where they believed anything could happen – the United States. In decades past, it was quite easy to become a U.S. citizen, as merely showing up and passing through an immigration point of entry was the biggest hurdle for many impoverished citizens of other countries. Today, however, the U.S. citizenship process is a series of hurdles, obstacles and painstaking ordeals for those who don’t meet very specific criteria. In the following article, we will walk you through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen via naturalization.

US Citizen Through NaturalizationAssessing Eligibility

The first part of determining whether or not you qualify to become a citizen via naturalization is to ask yourself a couple of simple questions. The first is simple enough: are you already a U.S. citizen? If one or both of your parents are citizens and you were born abroad or if your parents become naturalized while you were a minor, then you may already be a citizen. If you do not fall into either of these categories, then you may qualify for naturalization if you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident in the country for at least five years. You can shorten that five year period to three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen and meet other requirements. To learn more about those requirements, you will want to consult with an immigration lawyer in LA such as Nelson & Associates.

Prepare Naturalization Forms

The federal government requires that federal form N-400 be prepared and filed with the department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before naturalization can truly begin. You will need to submit the application, passport photographs, documents and fees along with the form itself. This all will be submitted via mail to one of several naturalization offices around the country. In addition to this, other forms – such as N-648 for medical certification of disability – may also need to be included, depending on your specific circumstances. Once submitted and processed, you will be asked to go to a biometrics appointment where fingerprints will be taken and a criminal background check will be processed. If you are 75 years of age or over, then you are exempt from the fingerprint requirements.

citizenshipThe Final Steps

You will be asked to go in for an interview once the naturalization process is proceeding as planned. You will be asked questions about your form N-400, asked to take English and civics tests and will ultimately be provided with the results of your interview and examination. USCIS provides self-testing in order to prepare for the citizenship tests. Your application will be placed in a continued status if you fail one of the civics or English tests, or if it is determined that you need to submit more evidence. A written notice will ultimately be provided to you that states whether or not your application for citizenship via naturalization was approved. If it was not approved, an appeals process is available. If approved, you will be given a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance and become a U.S. citizen.

Salaried Employees: Why You May Be Entitled To Overtime Pay

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Earning a salary is typically something that is sought after as opposed to an hourly paying job. The thought is that a salaried position comes with higher stability, benefits, and a steadier pay rate.

Unfortunately, salaried employees also relinquish their ability to earn overtime pay. If you are a salaried employee working 50 hours a week, this may actually be working against you. One common misconception among salaried employees is that all salaried employees are exempt from earning overtime pay.

However, this is not completely true. While the vast majority of salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay, there are some exceptions to the exemptions. There are two factors that determine these exceptions.

Salary Amount

The first factor in order for a salaried worker to qualify for overtime is the amount they earn per week. This is the more basic and very distinct of the two factors. If you are earning less than $455 per week, you can still qualify for overtime.

If you are a salaried employee earning $455 or more per week, you are not eligible for overtime. The other exemptions is a little less clear and has to do with job duties.

Job Duties

The other factor determining whether or not you are eligible for overtime or not is the duties performed by the employee. This is often considered the “duties test”.

This exemption from overtime relates primarily to employees who perform higher-level work which involves judgement or discretion. These exemptions are often referred to as “white-collar exemptions”. The purpose of this exemption is to restrict traditional white-collar employees for earning overtime without exempting traditional blue-collar jobs.

One key consideration for this exemption is based on the “primary duty” of the particular job. This means that in order for an employee to be exempt due to “white-collar exemptions”, it needs to be principal, main, major, or most important job duty the employee performs.

Luckily the Department of Labor had enough foresight to build into the exemption that the job title holds no basis in this determination. For example, an employer may want to make an employee exempt so they change that employee’s job title to “Managing Supervisor”. However, if there is no managing or supervisory capacity in that employee’s actual job duties, the exemption does not apply.

Typical Exempt Job Duties

Three typical categories of exempt job duties. These exemptions mean that the employee is not entitled to overtime pay. Those three categories are executive, administrative, and professional. Let’s take a look at how these three categories are actually categorized.


Executive job duties are considered exempt and are determined by a three part test. The first is that the employee has a primary duty of managing the enterprise, department, or subdivision of said enterprise. The second part of the executive determination is if the employee regularly directs the work of two or more full-time employees or their equivalent. Finally, to be deemed an executive, the employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or at least influence the employment status decisions.


One of the more challenging classifications to determine is the administrative exemption. In addition to the salary test, a two part test is used to determine if the duties performed by an employee can be deemed administrative.

The employee must satisfy both of the following requirements. First, the employee’s primary duty must be to perform office or nonmanual work that directly relates to the management or business operations of the employer and his or her customers. Secondly, the employee’s primary duties includes discretion and independent judgment in significant situations.

A common misconception is that all employees in a secretarial capacity would be exempt. However, most clerical work, while administrative, is actually not exempt.


The exempt category of “professionals” is often thought to be made up of doctors, lawyers, and teachers. However, this category includes other professions. Two types of professionals can be included in the exempt “professionals” category. Those two are learned professionals, and creative professionals.

A “learned professional” is determined by a three prong test. The employee’s primary duty consists of work requiring advanced knowledge. Advanced knowledge work means that the work is intellectual in nature which includes exercising judgement and discretion. Any routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work is not considered advanced knowledge.

The second prong of the test is that the advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning. This includes areas such as law, medicine, theology, accounting, actuarial computation, engineering, architecture, teaching, chemical and biological sciences, pharmacy, and other professions that can be distinguished from mechanical or skilled trades.

Finally, the advanced knowledge must have been acquired through extended course or specialized instruction. Basically, this means the employees have obtained advanced knowledge through some combination of experience and intellectual instruction. It does not apply to professionals where the academic training is a standard prerequisite. For example, a carpenter may have been highly trained but does not fall under the professionally exempt.

How To Track Your Hourly Wages Properly

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Tracking your hourly wages is a surprisingly underutilized task in today’s world. With so much automation, it is highly unlikely to find an hourly worker that keeps track of their hourly wages personally.

However, despite all of our advances in automated tracking, it is incredibly important for employees to track their hourly wages. It will allow you to identify if there are any discrepancies on your paycheck. Those that refuse to track their hours are putting themselves at risk of not collecting 100 percent of wages.

Tracking your hours properly is incredibly important. In order to so, you need to figure out the way you are most likely to keep track of things on a daily basis. For example, some people prefer an old fashioned pen and paper while others prefer a computer spreadsheet. No matter which you choose, the output should be the same.

Keep It All In One Place

One of the first things you want to do to keep track of your hours worked, is figure out where you are going to keep everything tracked. Purchase a simple daily calendar that you can write on, start an Excel Spreadsheet, or start a Google Sheet that you can edit from almost any device.

This notebook, calendar, or digital spreadsheet will serve as your hub for all of your hourly tracking. It is important to not only record the hours that you are schedule to work, but more importantly, the hours that you actually did work.

So for example you may have two sections for each day worked; hours scheduled and hours worked. It is important to note these changes because it is very easy for a supervisor or manager to input into the system the hours you were scheduled to work, as opposed to the hours you actually worked.

Keep Track After Every Shift

One of the quickest ways to fail at keeping track of your hours worked, is to skip days while recording. Tracking your hours is something you should get in a habit of doing immediately after your shift is over.

If you don’t, there is a high likelihood that you will forget the hours you worked or you won’t remember to record them at all. Your best bet is to get in a habit of immediately recording your time worked prior to leaving your job.

Understanding Your Paycheck

Tracking your hourly wages properly involves understanding your paycheck to the fullest. You need to know where to look to match up the hours that you have recorded with the hours that are reported on your check.

However, before you start matching up figures, you must know your pay rate and pay period. Your pay rate is the rate at which your supervisor and you have agreed upon in terms of how much you will be paid per hour. The pay period, is the amount of time that each paycheck takes into account. The vast majority of companies use a two week pay period, however they can also use a weekly or monthly pay period.

Both of these should be identified on your paycheck. Your hourly rate will be under a column called “Rate” in the same row titled “Regular Rate” or something to that effect.

Also in this “Regular Rate” row will be the number of hours you worked within the pay period. This will be under a column called “Hours”. This figure is what you want to compare with the hours that you have been so diligently tracking.

Take all of the hours you’ve worked within the pay period and see if they match up to the number listed in the “Hours” column. Take that number and multiply it by the rate and you’ve got your gross pay! However, your take home pay is much different due to Federal and State taxes, along with social security, and medicare. That is a whole other story that we won’t get into in this article.

There’s An App For That

You’ve heard the saying a million times; there’s an app for that. Well, there just so happens to be an app for tracking your hours. The Department of Labor actually created one for individuals looking to track their hours worked. DOL-Timesheet helps you to record the amount of hours you worked and calculate how much your employer should owe you. It can even include overtime pay.

For Android users, you can try out Timesheet, an app that will let you track hours on projects worked. Just consider your job the “project” and you’ll be able to easily record your time worked.