New federal rules scheduled to go into effect on December 1 are being challenged by a number of states this week. Among the 20 includes Indiana, and, despite their passionate efforts, experts predict their challenge to the changes won’t hold up in court.
The change in rules will be warmly welcomed by part-time employees who occasionally work more than 40 hours per week as they would now be eligible for overtime pay. Once the rule goes into effect, anyone making less than $47,476 dollars a year will be paid time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours a week.
Professor of labor and employment law at Indiana University Kenneth Dau-Schmidt recognizes that the concept has already been in effect in the interpretation of law for many years. He said, “It’s been tested before. The Supreme Court has already told us that the federal government does have the authority to impose the fair labor standards act against the states.”
While Dau-Schmidt feels that it’s likely the upcoming challenge of the official ruling to be introduced will turn out to be futile. However, he does have some advice on how protestors of the rule can increase their chances of coming to a mutual agreement by arguing against the pre-determined inflation adjustments instead. In regards to the dissent on this issue, he said, “I think it makes sense that some state attorneys are going to want to challenge this.” I don’t give the challenge much chance in court though.”
It’s expected that the rule will hold. If and when it does, this will have a direct impact on the lives of 87,000 workers in the state. We shouldn’t have too much longer to wait for the final answer as Dau-Schmidt predicts it won’t take the court long to come to a final decision on the matter.
A law that states that texting while driving will no longer be tolerated–and is in fact illegal–is now in effect in the entire state of Indiana. As of July 1 this year they became the 32nd state to make texting while driving against the law.
If they catch you texting and driving in Indianapolis you’re going to need $500 to cover the cost of the fine that will now be imposed upon breakers of the new law. But take heart; if you have the capability of hands free texting you will still be able to do so while driving. The law applies strictly to sending, writing and reading text messages while your vehicle is in motion. Unless of course you’re under 18; and then it is actually illegal for you to utilize any telecommunications considered wireless, devices for text messaging or cell phones in general. Though you will be cited and fined for texting while driving it has not yet been approved for the issuing officer to confiscate your phone or text messaging device; regardless of your age.
So Can You Still Talk On Your Phone While Driving?
You can for now… Legally. Back in February the Indiana State senate approved a law that would restrict all cell phone use to hands free only. After a 29 to 21 vote, this possible future law has been sent to the House (and currently considered ‘dead’). A law restricting cell phone use while driving has come up before the senate on numerous occasions but before now had not been passed along to the House. Senator Brent Steel is still not on board with the ban on texting while driving, however. Possibly he should get together with Indiana resident Diveeta Thompson. On the day that this bill was House approved she had testified in support of the bill. What could she possibly have to add?
Ms. Thompson used to have a son. The 18 year old died as a result of a texting while driving crash.
Have you ever wondered, after viewing someone’s hideous job performance, how they somehow manage to get paid for the job they (don’t) do? It’s possible that this could soon be a concern for some of Indianapolis’s teachers thanks to the new law that says the teacher’s performance will now affect their pay.
Do You get What You Pay For?
I imagine that the makers of this law were asking themselves that when they originally discussed this proposition. Was someone actually worried that they were paying too much for whatever services Indianapolis’s teachers were providing? Whatever they were worried about they have changed the ways in which teachers in Indianapolis will now be fired, promoted, paid and judged. Student performance will be a major factor in the evaluation of whether or not a teacher’s salary will be altered or a possible promotion given. So much for collective bargaining rights.
Or Do You Pay For What You Get?
That would be the intention of this new law. We will pay you what we think you’re worth. Of course if you ask Big Brother what was meant to be the purpose of passing a law like this they will tell you that it will weed out the bad teachers, make improvements to teachers already in existence and attract more top of the line graduates for new teaching positions. On the flip side, opponents of this new law fear that it will create a time warp taking teaching back to the non-union days of low pay, political favoritism and arbitrary firings. Limits on teacher input and the possibility of cost cuts seem to be, to some, what’s really going on in Indianapolis.
Before this new law was implemented the following was true as it applied to teaching jobs in Indianapolis: unions could negotiate working conditions and hours; and wages for teachers were determined by amount of grad schooling and years of experience.
There’s a new law in town; at least in Indianapolis. And it’s got the law up in arms. The new law to which I am referring is Indianapolis’s new gun law. The second law to which I refer is the Indianapolis police force.
As of late June of this year, no license would be required in order to carry a handgun as long as some specific conditions were met: the gun must be securely wrapped and unloaded (What’s the sense in that? Who carries an unloaded gun?); the gun must be carried during legal hunting hours (again… How do you hunt with an unloaded gun? Throw it at the deer?) or carried on your way to the shooting range; it’s OK to carry an unloaded gun in your vehicle; and OK to carry it loaded if you are on your own property. The fact that guns can now be carried inside of a car is making police even more nervous about pulling people over than they already needed to be.
What Kind of Law is That?
Oh did I mention that the law states that the gun you’re carrying in your car must be out of reach? Did I mention that the new law does nothing to define ‘out of reach’? Officials are claiming that this law was meant to apply to people transporting weapons to and from shooting ranges, gun shows and gun shops so that they would no longer need a permit just for transportation purposes. And the guns that you’re carrying on your property, or on another’s property with their permission, can be loaded and you are no longer required to obtain a license to do so.
You used to need a license to carry a gun in Indianapolis and permits and licenses were issued only after an intense background check. Next time you travel to Indiana to watch your team play the Colts you might want to wear a plane tee shirt rather than your team’s jersey… Just in case the cheerleader’s packing.
It’s been six years since Indianapolis officials passed a law allowing low income mothers that had recently given birth access to free birth control. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon with whom you side, the law was never actually implemented. No one cared enough (apparently) to check the status of this bill. Was this ignorance, carelessness or a purposeful act?
Less is More
More free birth control could have meant less unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions. Abortions totaling over 5500 were reported last year in Indiana, a rise of 2% over the prior year. One of Indianapolis’s state senators was not even aware that the law which had been passed had never been put into motion. Indiana’s administration for family and social services, whose responsibility it was to apply for the Medicaid federal expansion program, apparently never got around to it. The consideration for free birth control to women who had recently given birth was meant to reduce the health risks to not only the women themselves but guard against the increased possibility of low birth weight or premature births over the next two years following the delivery of a baby; a very realistic concern, according to doctors.
So Now What?
Six years after the free birth control law was to have been signed, sealed and delivered; should Indianapolis now resubmit the law for another vote? Or are state officials not responsible for assisting family planning? Teen pregnancies, risky pregnancies and unwanted pregnancies… Should these be a concern for the federal government or for the individuals themselves that are involved in these situations? Are the laws already in place in Indianapolis sufficient for the care and well being of low income families; or is this a necessary, added benefit that Indianapolis should consider?
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, a law (once it is passed) is a law. How do the powers that be mess that up?
Are you thinking about starting a business in Indianapolis? You’re not alone. During the recession many people have become entrepreneurs after losing their jobs or sources of income.
You may have followed common steps to starting your business like obtaining a business license but one of the most common things that many people don’t do is obtain a business attorney to help them with the growth of their business.
What Business Attorneys Do
Intellectual Property – Thanks to the internet, it’s gotten easier for anyone to steal trademarks and product information due to hacking or other unscrupulous means. When you hire a business attorney, you can receive help with protection of your intellectual property, products or anything that you created and insure that those ideas will continue to belong to you.
Compliance – If your business involves hiring or firing employees, it’s important to have an attorney on board your team to insure that everything is done legally and ethically.
Taxes – A competent business attorney can also aid you in making sure that you’re not over paying or underpaying your taxes. Even though many people prefer to use an accountant when it comes to taxes, a business attorney can provide you with that extra means of protection.
Expansion – As your company grows, a reliable business attorney can help with all forms of expansion from reviewing contracts before you sign them, sending out collection letters to clients who haven’t paid to creating new legal documents for you.
How to Find the Right Business Attorney
- American Bar Association – Before checking with any other resource, make sure that you review the ABA website. This resource is the best for finding business attorney’s in Indianapolis and nationwide.
- Networking Opportunities – The next time that you go to a networking opportunity, make sure that you ask other business owners that you meet who their business attorney is. This step will save you time and money.
Convenience store jobs are some of the easiest jobs to get anywhere in the United States but, they are also the most dangerous jobs.
Marcella Birnell was a normal 45 year old woman who wanted to earn additional income for her family and decided to take one of those “easy” convenience store jobs at the Village Pantry Store. Not long after she started working there, she was shot in the head during a botched robbery attempt.
Shedding New Light on Dangers
While Marcella is still recovering from her head injury, her brother, Peter Tole is bringing her story to the attention of the entire state by trying to get a new law passed that will help to protect people who work in convenience store positions.
The law which will be called “Marci’s Law” will require all convenience stores to be fitted with partitions that are bulletproof. This wall of protection would give any convenience store owner or employee enough time to call the police and stay safe until help arrives.
Mr. Tole said: “These corporations are playing Russian Roulette with the lives of our family members,” Tolle said. “The corporations will not voluntarily provide the protection for the people who are on the frontline collecting the cash to hand over to them. It has to be done by law. They have to be forced by law to provide basic protection of these minimum wage workers who have no voice, no representation, and nobody listening to them.”
Cost Per Store
During the process of laying the foundation for the new law Peter Tolle researched the cost of bulletproof partitions and found that they cost an average of $7,500.
Mr. Tolle has also contacted other former and current employees of Village Pantry Store who have been victims of gun violence and is rallying more supporters behind the law.
Until the law gets passed it remains to be seen if corporations will do more to protect hard working, minimum wage workers like Marcella Barnwell since the economic recession has forced many companies to cut costs.