Complying with Environmental Law – What Municipalities Must Know

Environmental LawGovernment agencies are no longer exempt from environmental laws and a city or municipality must know those laws if they are to make decisions without getting themselves into trouble or cut off from County or Federal Funding. Thus, every city must understand that the water and air pollution they create, they are legally responsible for. It’s time for cities to clean up their act.

In the book you will be introduced to the realities of where the EPA starts, stops and where the cities are to follow the letter of the law. The book has chapters on NPDES permits, oil and fuel management, hazardous waste and god forbid; Superfund Sites. Of course, there are chapters on other things such as pesticides, asbestos, air quality and safe drinking water; all of which are obviously paramount to the safety and welfare of the people. Cities must have a good understanding of these things when buying and selling real estate, zoning, making city ordinances and rules for businesses and residences, otherwise the city can be liable for millions, or in some cases billions in fines from other agencies.



Some Major Aspects of the New York Labor Standards

The citizens of a healthy democracy and society must be engaged in meaningful employment that sustains their life necessities. It is also the mark of a responsible nation to make sure that the interests of its employees are looked after and that they are provided ample protection.

Every country has official formulated laws to protect every employee. Every organization has their own policy to follow, but there is the national law that has to be followed by both private and government employers.

The employment laws that are in force at the state level in New York and its constituent counties have been put in place to ensure that employee rights are protected and the employees and workers are provided all basic necessities of a proper workplace.

These employment laws cover a wide range of issues related with employment such as child labor, overtime wages, minimum wage, maximum working hours etc. These laws are actively enforced throughout New York including its constituent Staten Island.

Maximum Work Hours

The number of hours that an employee has to work in a day has been limited as per the Labor Standards of the state of New York. Beyond these work hours, an employer cannot demand work from employees. Without the law, it is possible for the employer to demand more time from the employee, and fail to compensate the same.

Labor Standards on Manual Work

Where heavy manual work is concerned , Labor Standards dictate that appropriate rest periods must be allowed to the employee throughout their work day.
In jobs that do not demand manual work from its employees, employers are not required to provide such regular rest intervals and a normal meal breaks suffice.

Every employer must provide a period of rest not less than 24 consecutive hours in a calendar week to each employee.

Minimum Wage in New York

The minimum wage in New York as per state Labor Standards is eight dollars per hour. Employers are required to pay their employees’ wages equivalent to this amount. This minimum wage has been arrived at after extensive study of current cost of living in the state of New York and takes into account the basic needs of employees and workers.

For employees who have not been paid the wages they have earned, the dept. of Labor offers a helping hand. After a formal claim has been submitted before the department, it takes swift and decisive action to remedy the situation. Glance at www.klawnyc.com for more information.

After diligently performing all duties assigned by an employer, every employee deserves, by law, the wages as per the employment contract and in accordance with the labor standards.

These regulations of the Labor Standards act as legal discouragement to unethical employment policies in Staten Island and the state of New York. They offer a solution to employees who have suffered unlawful deductions from wages or have been denied due wages.

Child Labor

The employment laws in Staten Island in New York protect children against heavy work. Minors under the age of 14 years cannot be employed in any form of occupation whatsoever.

For minors over 15 years of age, there is provision within the employment laws to seek jobs that are part time and do not collide with school time or are within vacation time. Minors older than 16 years of age are free to pursue full time employment as long as they are finished with school.

Farm Labor Employment Laws

In the case of farm labor, the New York employment laws have laid down a stringent set of rules that must be complied with by all employers who hire the services of farm labor. Farm labor is also governed by the minimum wage requirements of the state of New York and hence all farm laborers must be paid wages in accordance with the minimum hourly rate of $8 in the state.

Also, according to farm labor standards any cost that the employer bears to provide food and shelter to the workers, can be subtracted from the earnings of the workers.

On top of this employment laws state that farm employers must provide their employees a required minimum amount of rest per day. This is emphasized because farm work takes a toll on the body and the body cannot function without proper rest intervals.



Some Basics of Employee Rights

Austin employment laws offer a legal framework for how employers and their workers relate. From the moment a person gets hired through an interview to the day that person is relieved of his/her job, employment laws exist to ensure that his/her employment rights are upheld at the workplace.

Using this article as a medium, we seek to provide a brief but informative look at the major aspects of these laws.

Hiring an Employee

While hiring an employee, the law forbids employers from any form of discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, age, national origin or disability.
None of these factors of race, religion etc. can be cited as a viable reason to reject a qualified candidate. Doing so is an offence against state employment laws.

Any employer who bases hiring decisions on any of such discriminatory, improper factors risks being subjected to liability for employment discrimination.

Laws on Minimum Wage

The minimum hourly wage has been set as $7.25 throughout the state of Texas. Along with the minimum wage protection, the employment laws also offer additional protection of employee interests in the form of the overtime laws. According to these, employers are required to pay their employees an overtime wage if they demand work from them that exceeds 40 hours per week.

And the overtime hourly rate must be one half times more than their usual rate. These statutes on minimum wage and overtime pay hold for all nonexempt employees.

Among those covered under these provisions are employees of businesses which have more than half a million dollars of gross annual sales as well as employees of smaller businesses conducting interstate commerce.

There are, however, certain professions that have been exempted from these minimum wage and overtime restrictions. Among these are employees that carry out administrative work, executive level employees and employees that are considered IT professional.

Some employees in the service sector who receive tips on a regular basis as part of their compensation are excluded from the minimum wage restrictions. For these employees the law recognizes a combined wage (tips plus regular wage) as sufficient to fulfill the minimum wage benchmark.

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Safety at the Workplace

A major concern for employees is safety at the workplace. Thus the employment laws make it necessary for the employer to make sure that the safety of the employee is taken care of while at the workplace.

Apart from independent contractors all manners of workplaces and their employees are provided legal security through the stipulations of these laws.

In addition to the legal protections, agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offer employees a platform where they can lodge their complaints regarding workplace safety.

No employer may reproach an employee in any way who has complained about the safety conditions at the workplace.

Health Compensation

If an employee of a business suffers an injury while working for the employer then the employer is liable to pay that employee a proportionate amount as compensation. This compensation should be drawn from an insurance program that the employer must have in place as a matter of legal policy.

While the employee is incapacitated by the injury, the employer must pay the medical bills and additionally, a percentage of the income that the employee has lost because of the injury.

The employer may decide not to participate in an insurance program like this but should the employer decide to adopt these programs then they limit their exposure to compensation as only workplace injuries are eligible for compensation under these insurance programs.

Should an employer fail to provide the coverage, injured workers can pursue any legal remedies that are available against the employer, such as suing for damages.

Medical and Unpaid Leaves

The statutes of the employment laws also guarantee that all employees, who are covered under their provisions, will be given unpaid leave for a long as 3 months of the need arises.

The statutes of the FMLA apply on employees of government departments as well as employees of businesses with fifty or more people working for them. These employers must also provide a 2 hour paid time off to their employees for voting.

State law also compels employers to provide their workers with unpaid time-off for jury duty. Employers cannot penalize their workers for any work time missed due to jury duty.

Benefits After being Discharged

If an employee has been let go from his/her job for any other reason than misconduct, then the employer is liable to pay that employee certain severance compensation in accordance with the rank and period of service of the employee.

The state employment laws also provide the option for erstwhile employees to continue their health coverage at their own cost after they have left their job. But this is only applicable for businesses that have at least 20 employees.



Finding a Divorce Lawyer to Help

If you’ve discovered yourself trying to find a attorney, you would like to make certain that you find the right 1. You don’t would like to waste your time and efforts, and you also don’t would like to end up dropping your scenario. Rather, you would like great results, as well as for this you want the very best attorney to do the job.

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Be sure to figure out who all will likely be included in helping focus on your scenario. What kind of expertise have they got? Some could possibly have several years of expertise, whereas other people can be fresh out of regulation institution. The time is the attorney expecting on investing to the scenario?

Prior to work with a attorney, take a seat and determine the situation that you may have. Occasionally, you may find that your particular condition is not really bad adequate to warrant a legal professional. Comprehending exactly what you really are experiencing may help help save a ton of money over time by using a attorney and court charges.

Should you need a great attorney, question your mates, family and peers if they know anybody. It is best to get yourself a professional recommendation from a person you trust instead of getting a attorney who spends a lot on promo campaigns. If you cannot get yourself a professional recommendation, do a little track record analysis on various lawyers.

When you really want a attorney who specializes in a unique field, pick one. While you might have a legal professional whom you trust implicitly, they can not know adequate to truly handle your scenario within a approach which leads to a confident outcome. Request that attorney for who they will often advocate instead.

Are you feeling like you will find the attorney that will enable you to win your scenario now? It’s important that you use the tips you’ve discovered right here so that you can much better create the correct determination connected with your preferences. You wish to think that you will have the very best person in your corner.

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Climate change and the increased demand for environmental law

In the 21st century, it’s all about the  environment. Climate change, global warming and the green movement have been  pushed to the forefront of both our political and personal conscience as the  future of our natural world and our sustainability become increasingly pertinent  issues.

Climate changeIn line with this increased environmental awareness, much  climate change legislation has been enacted and the demand for environmental  lawyers and the number of environmental law jobs is also on the rise. Many of the most successful lawyers are those who have  established themselves as an expert in a particular area of law, and with this  increased environmental law demand, environmental law is proving an  increasingly popular, required and important law field. Are you interested in  getting involved in environmental law and making it your area of expertise?

  • What is environmental law? Broadly  speaking, environmental law regulates the interaction of humans with the  biophysical or natural environment in order that human impact may be reduced. Environmental  law is usually related to two main areas  pollution control and remediation  and resource conservation and management.
  • International environmental law.  Because of the international nature of much environmental laws  in the forms  of multilateral and bilateral treaties between nation states  environmental  lawyers will often be involved and well versed in international law. Environmental  law jobs, therefore, will suit lawyers after an area of law expertise that can  be transferred and well utilised across national borders.
  • ‘Green’ law firms and the increase in  environmental law jobs. As climate change has moved from an uncertain  scientific theory into a real global threat recognised the world over, the  field of environmental law has expanded. There is an increased demand for those  experienced in climate change legislation and with an understanding of the  markets and regulations surrounding climate change and carbon trading or  renewable energy. Law jobs at environmental firms  are even demonstrating their commitment to their field by ‘greening’ the  operations and running of their business.

With law firms, legislation and ordinary citizens responding  to the threat of climate change and global warming, environmental law will  continue to be an important niche area of law for years to come. Those looking  to enter the legal work force or determine their area of expertise should  consider environmental law for its pertinence, prominence and importance in  contemporary 21st society.



Do You Know How Environmental Law is Enforced?

The main bodies for enforcing environmental law are Local Authorities and the Environment Agency. Since the aim of environmental enforcement is to prevent harm to the environment and human health it focuses on both punishments for breaching environmental laws and prevention so that breaches are prevented from occurring in the first place. These two elements of enforcement give rise to a range of sanctioning tools and cooperative strategies. The sanctioning approach involves punitive measures such as suspension, variation or revocation of license or authorisation; or criminal prosecution in a court of law. The cooperative approach covers other formal or informal mechanisms like persuasions by the regulators, monitoring or inspection, issuance of verbal or written notices.

Environmental Law -The cooperative approach has the potential advantage of achieving environmental compliance without the hassle and cost arising from court prosecution. However, it is also generally acknowledged that cooperation has to be supported and backed-up by more formal legal mechanisms. For example, in the Environment Agency versus Stanford [1999] case, the scrap metal dealer (Mr Stanford) notified the Environment Agency that his activities were exempt from a waste management license. An officer of the Agency then visited the site and informed Mr Stanford that the activities were in fact unlawful. Rather than prosecuting Mr Stanford the officer advised on the various steps that were required to qualify for exemption. On subsequent site visits, the officers of the Agency gave the impression that no prosecution would be commenced if the works were carried out within a specific period of time. When these works were not carried out the Agency initiated a prosecution.

Given this context, it was argued that the prosecution was an abuse of process because of the promises of non-prosecution made by various officers of the Agency. This argument was dismissed by the court on the grounds that there was nothing to support the finding that the defendant was led to believe that he would not be prosecuted for past offences if he completed the necessary works by the stipulated date. Although it was arguably true that the Agency had not made it clear that it was considering prosecution, it was under no obligation to do so. Even if it could be argued that the Agency had imposed a condition that the defendant would not be prosecuted if he completed the work by the stipulated date, the condition had not been met.

This case shows that the enforcement agencies are not prohibited from taking formal enforcement actions even when they permit offenders some time to bring their actions into compliance and such acts of the enforcement agencies cannot be used as a defence against prosecution.

Empirical studies of the activities of enforcement bodies in USA indicate that a hierarchy of enforcement mechanisms are utilized. The first stage involves advice and education about the environmental problem that constituted the breach of law. Where this mechanism fails in enforcement of particular regulation, warnings are issued and the option of prosecution is exercised only where the offence is either serious or intentional. Given the specific nature of environmental regulations, the work of enforcement agencies is technically and scientifically based and the agencies provide technical guidance and help to the industry for effective compliance. Therefore, education and advice are regarded more important than sanctions and other formal enforcement mechanisms. The emphasis is upon continuing relationship between the regulator and operators in order to prevent harm to the environment and its effective protection. This object can best be achieved through effective cooperation with the industry rather than confrontation which may result from imposition of sanctions. But it is worth remembering that when this fails the regulator can always revert to a more formal sanctioning approach!