Tennessee Legal Blog

Current Roundup lawsuit in California could lead to mass torts

When a major company markets or sells an unsafe product, many people who either make or use their product can end up suffering. Thanks to product liability and safety laws, consumers hurt or sickened by defective or contaminated products have the right to take legal action against the company responsible for their injury or illness. Workers sickened or injured by unsafe working conditions also have legal rights.

In some cases, such as talc powder contamination, groups of consumers with similar medical consequences after using the same product band together to take legal action as a group. Groups of employees can also work together to take action against a company.

Misclassifying employees can lead to wage and hour disputes

As Tennessee readers know, employees are legally entitled to fair wages for the work they do. Unfortunately, employers often look for ways to avoid paying by doing things such as misclassifying workers. These actions can lead to wage and hour disputes as employees often have to resort to legal action in order to secure what they are owed.

The importance of properly classifying employees recently came to light in a major legal victory employees won against a major transportation company, Knight-Swift Transportation. Thousands of drivers who worked for this company claimed they were misclassified, allowing the company to pay them less. The company offered the plaintiffs $100 million to settle the legal dispute.

Wage and hour disputes in the restaurant industry

Readers who work in the Tennessee restaurant industry know there are many stories involving unfair wage practices in almost every type of eatery. Wage and hour disputes often arise when a restaurant owner refuses to pay workers fairly from tip shares or denies a person his or her rightful pay for hours worked. It is an unfortunately common story, but workers have the right to speak up and fight for what they deserve.

A wage and hour dispute involving a popular restaurant, Goodfellas Restaurant, in another state serves as a prime example of how even successful businesses may mistreat employees. A few years ago, five employees sued the business for unfair wage practices, unpaid earnings, unpaid overtime and more. This is just one example of how frustrated and mistreated employees can take on their employer and pursue what they rightfully earned. 

Mass torts: Lawsuit filed against game developer for illegal acts

When individuals feel that they have been wronged by companies, it can feel disheartening. However, many individuals have legal options for addressing unfair or even illegal business practices. In some cases, when numerous people are affected by the same issues, grounds for mass torts claims could exist.

Tennessee readers may be interested in such a case stemming from a complaint by a person in another state. According to reports, the lawsuit was filed against Big Fish Games, Inc. and accuses the company of utilizing illegal gambling practices in its online casino games. Apparently, the company offers "free-to-play" casino games, but after players run out of their free chips, they can no longer play unless they purchase more. It stated that unlike other similar games, players do not get the chance to wait a period of time in order to receive more chips and can only continue playing through in-app purchases.

Tennessee residents can seek help with wage and hour disputes

Like most Tennessee residents, you are a hard working individual and expect to be compensated fairly for your time on the job. What happens, though, when your wages compared to your hours worked do not add up? Maybe it was a simple payroll mistake, but maybe your employer is intentionally shorting you pay. Questioning employers on such matters can lead to wage and hour disputes that may require legal assistance to resolve.

When it comes to paying employees, employers are all about their own bottom line. They will do what they can to pay employees as little as they can, in a way that supposedly keeps them in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you question whether your employer's compensation methods are in violation of the FLSA, it is okay to investigate the matter.

How ERISA helps employees when a company goes bankrupt

After putting years, maybe even one's whole career, into one company, Tennessee residents expect to be paid the retirement benefits promised them. What happens, though, if the company files for bankruptcy? Is the pension lost? Thanks to the safeguards offered through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), some retirement benefits may still be paid out.

Pension plans are federally insured. This means that it does not matter what happens to one's employer, retirement benefits will still likely be available -- to some degree. Full benefits may not be available, but what is offered is generally better than receiving nothing at all. Every situation is different.

Mass torts may result over defective or unsafe medical devices

In the United States, millions of people have had medical devices implanted within their bodies. Every year, that number grows. Every year, it seems, thousands of people come forward saying that their devices have done more harm than good. Tennessee residents who have been negatively affected by a defective or unsafe medical device may join mass torts claims against the product manufacturers and medical facilities that utilize them.

A woman in another state recently shared her story about how a metal-on-metal hip replacement has destroyed her life. At the age of 39, her doctors recommended a dual hip replacement surgery after she complained of hip pain. She was told that recovery would take a few months but it was her best bet for stopping the pain. She went ahead with the surgery and has since experienced more pain, hearing loss, memory loss, tremors and boils on her face.

Devastation caused by Australian asbestos mine a painful reminder

Recently, the United States began importing increased amounts of asbestos. Changes in federal policy regarding the use of asbestos have motivated more companies to begin working with this mineral. In many ways, asbestos is a natural product with potentially beneficial uses. However, exposure to asbestos can prove very dangerous for the people who come into contact with it.

Those who mine asbestos, transport it, work in factories that process it, or handle products that include it could find themselves dealing with serious health consequences as a result. Asbestos exposure is correlated with a large number of serious medical conditions, including the deadly cancer mesothelioma. Inhaling the mineral can irritate the lungs. After many decades, that irritation may develop into full-blown cancer.

ERISA and your employment retirement accounts

The idea of working well past the age of retirement might be appealing to some workaholics, but most people in Tennessee already have a vision of the retirement they would one day like to enjoy. These retirement plans often hinge on savings, pensions and other retirement benefits. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 -- ERISA -- helps protect those retirement assets in a number of different ways.

Defined benefit and defined contribution pensions are both forms of retirement plans that a person might be offered by their place of employment. In a defined benefit plan, a worker is promised a specific benefit amount, which is then paid monthly upon retirement. These plans generally offer either a specific dollar amount or a calculated benefit based on a person's final salary and years of employment.

Tennessee wage and hour disputes: Seeking backpay

There are a number of individuals all over the country, Tennessee included, who have not been properly compensated for their time on the job. When this happens, these individual have every right to file wage and hour disputes regarding their employers. If such claims are successfully navigated, compensation for damages may be achieved as can back  pay for any monies that were not paid for the hours worked.

One would think that compensating employees properly would be an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, wage violations are fairly common. Some employers fail to compensate properly for overtime shifts, some do not pay employees for required off-the-clock work and some try to get away with scheduling shifts in a way that they believe allows them to pay their employees less than what they actually should -- among a number of other violations.

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