Burlington Lawyer | PROS – WORKING FROM HOME

Working from home is good 

My previous discussion about working from home can be found here.

People are living farther and farther away from work. Often this is due to the high cost of homes and or a preference in lifestyle. Longer commute times can attribute to employee tardiness and overall performance. If an employee is commuting for an hour, it wouldn’t be surprising to find they are tired at the start of their shift. Working from home can alleviate some of these issues.

Toronto Lawyer says working from home is not always great

Toronto Lawyer says working from home is not always great

For the employer there is a potential that the employee might end up using their commute time to do work. The employee wandering over from their bedroom to their computer terminal at home would certainly not be as exhausted as battling morning rush hour traffic. Not to mention, many employees on finally reaching the office will often opt for hitting up the coffee machine. Thus, more time wasted. After that, many employees will often check their email, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Weather is also a significant factor when reviewing employee performance. Especially, in colder climates such as Canada. Even a small predicted snow storm can delay an employees’ commute time extensively.

Not to mention, employees will want to beat traffic on the way home and could opt for wanting to leave earlier.

All of the above directly affects employee performance.

Another positive aspect of working from home is the reduction of real estate costs for the employer. Smaller employers could easily manage a business with smaller and more cost efficient office space. It’s no surprise that virtual business stations are becoming more and more popular. The need for an actual physical space is no longer a necessity.

With the reduction in costs the employer could provide employees with additional tools to assist them. For example, purchasing high powered scanners, subsidizing an employees’ internet or administrative costs. Even if the employer was to provide these subsidies it would still be nothing compared to paying a monthly commercial lease for a large space.

Employees working from home could save in vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, clothing costs, childcare and even food. Employees and employers could consider these savings when discussing salary.

Both employers and employees would also benefit from sick days. An employee working from home might not require sick days or a full sick day. Perhaps, the opportunity to get some rest in the morning allows for them to work more productively later on. More importantly, could working from home even result in healthier employees physically and mentally? Imagine, not having to scrape the ice off your windshield in minus 20 weather. Instead, relaxing from home with comfortable clothing and a soothing ambience. Not to mention the stress associated with having to attend work on time. Could this lead to reductions in employee claims as per an employers’ insurance group plan?

Overall, it seems that working from home has tremendous benefits to both the employer and employee.

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Toronto Employer Lawyer questions those who work from home

Employer Lawyer: Working from home

Recently, a Toronto employment lawyer commented on a talk radio segment that he questioned the legitimacy and or honesty of people working from home. I can’t say I disagree with him. However, one caller commented that lawyers often only see the bad side of things because that’s when we are called. I can’t say I disagree with this either.

Optimists and HR consultants theorize that given the high cost of real estate and worker productivity more employees could be shifted towards working from home. Can we imagine the year 2025 walking into the headquarters of a major corporation such as Microsoft and finding only one large reception area and everyone working from home?

More organizations are opting for employees working from home and having in-person meetings at virtual spaces or even coffee shops.

However, does working from home encourage people to goof off? I am always surprised when I see so many of my own neighbours wandering around on a Monday morning at Walmart shopping when they should be at work. Their answer is, “I am working from home as long as I get my work done the company doesn’t mind.” I spoke to one individual who travelled with his family to Florida for vacation. He said, he did not take it as vacation time because he worked while he was down there from his computer. He also said, his company was fully aware that he would be in Florida and not take the time as vacation time.

So then, who really cares? Obviously, there are still many jobs where working from home is simply not an option. However, if it doesn’t matter when or where the job is done, why is this an issue?

In the following two posts I will talk about the pros and cons of working from home.

Burlington Lawyer | PROS – WORKING FROM HOME

Halton Lawyer | CONS – WORKING FROM HOME

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Bill Cosby and the Full and Final Release

“I was confident that I had made her a millionaire.” Those are the words of the original Bill Cosby prosecutor in reference to the 2005 civil suit.

A few days ago I wrote about Bill Cosby and our difficulty in separating fact from fiction. You can find the post here.

Today, I would like to talk about a full and final release in the context of Bill Cosby’s 2005 civil law suit.

It’s likely that when Mr. Cosby was sued by the complainant they would have executed a full and final release. This is an agreement between the parties based on mutual negotiated terms to settle the lawsuit.

Lawyers representing

Lawyers representing

In this situation parties such as the plaintiff and defendant are represented by their lawyers and they are advised as to the terms of settlement. A good lawyer will provide his or her opinion and ensure that neither party is under any duress or undue influence.

The point being, that the complainant in Mr. Cosby’s case would have signed some type of final release. Common conditions in a release include, ending the lawsuit for compensation and keeping the contents of the settlement private. Lawyers have the option of inserting anything as long as the parties agree.

Another common provision is that neither the plaintiff nor any affiliates would be entitled to start a lawsuit against that same defendant for that particular matter.

Today, many lawyers will include provisions about not discussing the lawsuit or anything related to it in public or social media.

Given, Mr. Cosby’s popularity it’s likely that the complainant would have agreed to similar terms. It’s also the reason she has remained silent despite being hounded by the media. I recall a statement from the complainants’ lawyer referencing privacy issues based on the civil settlement.

Although, court documents are public documents transcripts from depositions are not. It’s almost implicit when settling a lawsuit to ensure that everything is sealed to some extent. It’s also very very likely that Mr. Cosby’s lawyers back in 2005 would have not wanted the transcript to go public. The complainant accepted compensation for agreeing to the terms.

Today, it is that transcript that is now being used to prosecute Mr. Cosby.

Will the complainant have to testify? If she does, is she then in violation of the settlement? If so, will she have to pay the settlement back?

Moreover, if the parties pursuant to contract law with legal representation entered into this settlement. It seems highly unfair for a judge to intervene in any such agreement by releasing the transcript.

As a rule of thumb it’s probably wise that today’s lawyer starts to incorporate more stringent conditions into their full and final release when settling lawsuits.

 

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Burlington Lawyer | We don’t see Bill Cosby we see Cliff Huxtable

For me the shock of the Bill Cosby scandal is not about the number of complainants or the allegations. Instead, it has to do with the role that made him who he is and how we have always remembered him as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable.

Cliff and Claire Huxtable were exemplary members of their community and in various episodes their ideology of family, honesty and morals were instilled in their children and others.

Whether it was the episode where Theo was treated as a guest in a hotel or where Vanessa had to play the drinking game, the Huxtables always managed to get their point across in less than half an hour.

The entire show made for clean wholesome drama that you could watch with your parents.

But the Huxtables were more than just that. Cliff was a successful doctor with a home practice and Claire with her thriving law practice. Together, they embodied success and the all American dream.

 

Cosby Show

CAST SHOT OF THE TV SERIES THE COSBY SHOW – 1984
REF: 61870
FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

For an only child such as my-self growing up in a single parent family, the Huxtables home seemed warm, cozy and filled with life and laughter.  Their family lessons were not exclusive to the African American community but resonated with many of us.

Despite, their lucrative professional positions the Huxtables always demonstrated financial restraint and made their children aware of smart life lessons. Given the lengthy run of the series many of us grew up with the Cosby kids and understood the issues of the time.

It’s this blurring of reality and fiction that causes so many of us to still question the allegations surrounding Bill Cosby. Perhaps, this is the reason that we still can’t see him as a deceptive alleged sexual predator and only as Cliff Huxtable. Whose only crime was to sneak in the odd salty snack and a kiss from his wife with the credits rolling as they snuggled.

Burlington Lawyer | Wearable Tech is Useless

Wearable Tech is Useless

If you grew up in the eighties you were probably super excited to hear about the introduction of wearable tech a few years back. However, by and large all of these products have been a big disappointment. In fact, they are an embarrassment. With the exception of virtual reality gaming devices.

Smart Watches

The smartwatch is an overpriced useless gadget with the off chance of some of them actually looking cool. Furthermore, there is nothing your phone can’t do better. Texting and or sending and receiving emails on a smartwatch is not only ridiculous but almost impossible. Similarly, so is calling someone from your smartwatch.  Many of today’s smartwatches lack the blockbuster media capabilities our phones do and to be honest who cares about little notifications to your watch.

In fact, your cell phone can probably do an even better job of telling the time. For example, many of these smartwatches have poor battery life.

Even if you still wanted a smartwatch the price tag is not worth the cool factor. Smartwatch manufacturers would be wise to price these gadgets accordingly. Finally, it seems the smartwatch manufacturers are releasing new models almost every other month. Samsung took the lead on jump starting this trend. The long awaited Apple Watch did not deliver as was expected. Don’t forget with the exception of a few almost all smartwatches are reliant on your smartphone.

Fitness band

In fairness to the smartwatch they might look cool. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for the fitness bands. Fitness bands are nothing more than glorified pedometers. They measure the amount of steps you take and or track your sleeping habits. Some will provide notifications to your band that are relayed from the phone. Yeah, I really need that.

I haven’t found any yet that you can use to monitor your blood pressure. Many of the new fitness bands will track your heart beat. However, this isn’t enough for blood pressure measurements.

If the wearable tech industry wants to get our attention they will have to invent better products that are affordable. Until then, I wouldn’t bother purchasing any.

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I am pleased to be providing legal services in Halton region. I will be servicing Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton.

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Legal Services in Burlington

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I am pleased to be providing legal services in Halton region. I will be servicing Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton.

Please call me.

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Part 3 – Ontario’s new e-cigarette and vaping laws: Vaping is safer.

Vaping is safer 

Please feel free to review my previous posts about Ontario’s new e-cigarette laws and Bill 45.

In this post I would like to discuss e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Wherever, I go I end up hearing stories from smokers how e-cigarettes have either helped them cut down or helped them quit all together. Remember, you can purchase an e-cigarette or vape with or without nicotine.

Since many smokers are speaking about the positive benefits of an e-cigarette why is the government deciding to restrict its use and or advertising?

A traditional cigarette contains thousands of chemicals an e-cigarette does not. If you don’t agree, then simply pick up a bottle of e-juice and read the ingredients versus a traditional cigarette.

The smoke or better referred to as vapor that is emitted from an e-cigarette is harmless and disappears within seconds. If someone was to come into the room immediately after they wouldn’t notice anything.

Also, many e-juice companies are now branding and marketing their product as using safer and healthier refinement processes. For example, take a look at this company that actually offers its lab reports.

It’s ironic that Bill 45 is referred to as the Making Healthier Choices Act, when in fact it is doing anything but that. The ability to use an e-cigarette is helping many smokers. The prohibitions implemented by Bill 45 will only stop this.

vaping, e-cigarettes

 

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Ontario’s New E-Cigarettes and Vaping Law – Part 2

Bill 45, Making Healthier Choices Act, 2015: E-Cigarettes and Vaping – Part 2

I would like to continue on with my discussion about e-cigarettes and vaping. You can find my previous post here.

In that post I discussed the concerns presented by section 3 of the proposed Bill under the heading display and promotion.

In this post, I would like to focus on section 8 that bans flavored electronic cigarettes.

No person shall sell or offer to sell a flavoured electronic cigarette that has been prescribed as prohibited at retail or for subsequent sale at retail or distribute or offer to distribute it for that purpose.

Again, this provision demonstrates the government’s lack of understanding of what e-cigarettes are.

The government defines an electronic cigarette as follows:

A vaporizer or inhalant-type device, whether called an electronic cigarette or any other name, that contains a power source and heating element designed to heat a substance and produce a vapour intended to be inhaled by the user of the device directly through the mouth, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine.

The reference to heat a substance is where the issues arises. Anyone that vapes or has reviewed the industry will understand that the substance in question is commonly referred to as e-juice and or e-liquid. The Act proposes no ban on the substance but instead on the actual device being a vaporizer and or inhalant type device, whether it’s called an electronic cigarette and that has a power source and heat.

Section 8 imposes a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes but what about the actual substance?

Walk into a gas station and you can purchase a real flavored electronic cigarette. Many of these are disposable. I would suggest, that yes this would fall into the category of a prohibited device as per the definition of an electronic cigarette and further it being flavored.

However, can a merchant who has been found to be in violation of section 8 by merely selling the e-juice or substance mount a defence that the provision does not apply?

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