Category Archive : Labour

A Bankruptcy Attorney in Chicago Helps Stave Off Creditors

The world can be rough today, and finding oneself in a financial bind is quite common. Many different things can lead someone to seek a bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, and it might be the right solution for you. If you have so much debt that you can't pay it all off, medical bills, credit cards, and now you have now job or diminished hours, you aren't alone. Countless people are in the same situation, and contacting a Chicago bankruptcy attorney could be the one thing that shows you the light at the end of the tunnel.

When you have a Chicago bankruptcy attorney helping you with your case, the lawyer will be able to make sure that you file everything properly, and that you know the proper procedures of how to file successfully. With the changes that have gone into effect in recent years regarding the bankruptcy laws, it is important that you have someone on your side who knows these changes and who is able to ensure that you complete your paperwork properly and that you abide by the rules. When you are working with a great bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, you will find that you have an automatic stay once you file. This is certainly a good thing for anyone harried by creditors.

What is a Bankruptcy Automatic Stay?

The automatic stay means that creditors are no longer going to be able to take action against you. This means that they will not be able to contact you by phone or in the mail regarding money that you might owe to them. If they do contact you, get in touch with your Chicago bankruptcy attorney and let him or her know. Your bankruptcy attorney in Chicago will be able to talk with them and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

In addition, the creditors will not be able to file lawsuits against you, and they will not be able to proceed with any lawsuits that they might already have started. Your bankruptcy attorney in Chicago can make sure that they do not repossess your property, garnish wages, or foreclose on you, and that they don't file liens or judgments against you too.

When Do Bankruptcy Automatic Stays Not Apply?

Of course, you will find some instances that the automatic stay is not going to apply in as well. If you owe child support or alimony, you are still going to have to meet those obligations. Still, the Chicago bankruptcy attorney will be able to take quite a weight off your shoulders by eliminating the contact with creditors that could be causing you undue stress.

The last thing that you need is more problems in your life. Get in touch with a bankruptcy attorney in Chicago today and talk about your case. For some, filing bankruptcy is the best option, a way to start over in life and do things differently the second time around. Do not let another creditor harass you on the phone! Get the help you need today.

Employee Benefit Plan Auditing And Financial Reporting Models

What is the ERISA Advisory Council?

Section 512 of ERISA provides for the establishment of an Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The duties of the council are to advise the Secretary of Labor on issues important to the administration of ERISA, and submit recommendations regarding the Secretary's functions under ERISA. The Council consists of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Labor, and includes representatives of employee organizations, employers, the general public, and the accounting profession. Typically, the Council focuses on three to four issues each year. For each issue, the Council defines the issue to investigate, takes testimony from witnesses, and submits a report of findings and recommendations to the Secretary of Labor.

What does this study include?

According to the Issue Paper for this project, the Council's goal is to make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor with respect to ERISA's audit and financial reporting requirements; the desired outcome is to improve the Department of Labor's oversight of employee benefit plan audits. The Council plans to study the following:

In its work on the audit and financial reporting requirements, the Council will specifically be evaluating limited scope audits. At the conclusion of the study, the Council will make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor, which may call for changes to the current financial reporting model, auditing standards for benefit plans, or both.

AICPA Testimony?

On June 29, 2010, Marilee Lau, Chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee, and Michele Weldon, Chair of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel, testified on behalf of the AICPA2. In its testimony, the AICPA discussed key changes in employee benefit plans from the time ERISA was enacted in 1974 to the present day.

Comparison of Employee Benefit Plans � Then and Now

Plans in 1974 �

Plans today �

The AICPA testimony focused on the key areas as follows: the limited scope audit exemption, 403(b) plan reporting and audit requirements, and health and welfare plan reporting and audit requirements. Limited Scope Audit Exemption ERISA's limited scope audit exemption allows the plan administrator to instruct the independent auditor not to perform any auditing procedures with respect to investment information prepared and certified by a qualified institution which acts as trustee or custodian of plan investments or their agent. The trustee or custodian is only required to certify as to whether the information provided to the plan sponsor is complete and accurate based on information obtained from their ordinary business records; as a result, the values reported on statements are the best available information in their systems at the time of the report. In the case of "hard-to-value" investments, the report typically includes a value provided by a third-party broker or fund company, which is not necessarily fair value, and not necessarily the value as of the year-end of the plan (i.e., the reported value may be as of the end of the prior quarter). Unless the plan administrator has engaged the trustee or custodian to provide asset valuation services, the trustee or custodian will not verify the accuracy and validity of the valuation sources. When ERISA was enacted, most benefit plans held investments for which there was a readily determinable fair value, and so the best available information in their records was typically reliable.

The AICPA recommended that the Secretary of Labor seek legislative repeal of the limited scope audit exemption, or at a minimum, allow the election to be made only for assets whose current value is based on quoted market prices for identical assets. In the event that the limited scope option is not repealed, the AICPA also made recommendations dealing specifically with the use of certifications when "alternative" or "hard-to-value" assets are held by a Plan. Finally, the AICPA recommended that the Secretary of Labor require that those electing the limited scope audit exemption be required to include the certifications with their Form 5500 filings, which would subject them to review by the Department of Labor.

Section 403b plan reporting and audit requirements

ERISA-covered 403(b) plans will be subject to the same Form 5500 reporting and audit requirements as 401(k) plans effective with the 2009 plan year. Many of these plans have existed for decades, and with no previous audit requirement, there are not adequate books and records to support a "clean" audit opinion. Due to the nature of this limitation of the audit scope, many of these plans will face receiving qualified, adverse, or disclaimers of opinion for decades. The AICPA therefore recommended that the Department of Labor allow such 403(b) plans to prepare their financial statements on a regulatory basis of accounting. This recommendation would require the development of a regulatory basis of reporting in order to provide a consistent financial reporting framework. As an alternative, the AICPA suggested that the Secretary of Labor could require plans to have an independent auditor perform an agreed-upon-procedures engagement to test certain elements and compliance matters.

Health and welfare plan reporting and audit requirements

In the case of health and welfare plans, the AICPA focused on the limited usefulness of their financial reporting as compared to the cost. Specifically, useful information regarding the plan's ability to pay benefits is not provided; the plans are not required to be funded, nor are plan sponsors typically required to fund or maintain benefits. The ultimate obligation to pay benefits rests with the plan sponsors, and therefore one must look to the plan sponsor's financial statements to evaluate the likelihood of benefits being funded. Further, the AICPA noted that the costs of these audits are frequently significantly higher than for other types of benefit plans due to the complexities of the health care systems. The AICPA recommended that the Secretary of Labor evaluate whether the costs associated with these audits for single-employer plans effectively meet the needs of users of the financial statements. As an alternative, the AICPA encouraged the use of agreed-upon-procedures.

Other recommendations

In addition to the key areas of focus above, the AICPA made other recommendations, including:

Due to the limited time in the hearing to discuss the subject matter and the AICPA's recommendations, the AICPA also recommended that a special joint task force be established with the accounting profession to more fully consider these issues and solutions.

Next Up

According to the DOL website, the next meeting of the ERISA Advisory Council is scheduled for August 31 through September 2, 2010 at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC. The Council will present its findings and recommendations to the Secretary or the Secretary's designated representative at the final meeting of the council year, which ends on November 14.

The Problem of Self-Representation in Your Employment Case

In lean economic times, more employees are representing themselves in labor dispute cases, both in court and in arbitration. They do not think they can afford a labor attorney. However, studies show it is a very risky decision.

A recent study by the American Arbitration Association shows that pro se litigants - employees who represent themselves - won just 20 percent of the time and were awarded an average of $12,200, compared with an average of $29,000 for employees represented by counsel. The study encompassed nearly 4,000 cases that were arbitrated, or negotiated in a formal procedure outside of court.

Inside the already overly taxed court system, it is not much better. Judges are decrying the number of new pro se cases because they have to give extra time to claimants who are not well-versed in the nuances and byzantine nature of labor and employment law. Like people in any other profession, judges have to do more with less, and, given the serious mantle they wear, cannot skimp.

Many claimants believe a judge will help them with their case and just be understanding about the things a claimant does not know. However, this puts an unfair burden on judges and court personnel at a time when judicial budgets are being cut. Even under ordinary circumstances, you cannot rely on a judge to help you:

An administrative law judge's job is to listen to the evidence, rule on objections to it, and decide the case based on evidence that is admissible and in line with the rule of law. An experienced attorney speaks legal language and understands case law and precedent. He or she also knows what is and is not admissible evidence.

Employment law is extremely complex and is constantly being updated. It is extremely difficult to square new laws, such as the Frank-Dodd Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the many regulations that apply to particular fields and classes of workers. It is a constantly evolving field and some of the laws conflict. It is far better to rely upon a trained attorney to research applicable statutes in a given case.

Additionally, each law has different applications that depend on the number of employees a company has and the type of work it does. It is clear to see that anyone who takes on their own case has a formidable job ahead.

Finally, representing yourself requires patience and a level of objectivity that many people find difficult to attain. You would need to be willing to stick to facts and leave emotions far away. Anyone who is suing their employer is understandably angry, indignant or upset; none of these feelings must present themselves in a courtroom or at an arbitration table. A skilled neutral third party who knows case law is the best person for this job.

The money you invest in an employment attorney is well spent. Research shows that it can net you a larger award in the long run. An ethical, experienced lawyer will discuss fees and expectations with you. Many will work with you on payment plans. Most give free consultations to help you decide.

Skills & Qualifications Needed to get a Australia Skilled Worker Visa

Australia Skilled Worker Visa is for foreign professionals who want to work in Australia. Country has a stable economy and political environment, rising work opportunities and very high class lifestyle. Overseas flock to this country for better career opportunities and higher pay packages. Different types of Australian working visas encourage skilled professionals from around the world to contribute to the country's labor force. Australia Working Holiday visa is for foreigners who want to work in Australia during their visit to the country.

Australian working visa permits the holder to engage in any type of job opportunities available in the country. The work should be based employment skills and educational qualifications.

The Australia working visas allow both the employer and the employee to enjoy the benefits. The seven different types of work visa are:

The Skilled independent visa is for applicants who have certain level of educational qualifications and skills that have high demand in the nation. This is a points based visa system and the work is done through SkillSelect. Australia immigration selects the applicants for Skilled workers very transparently. It is not affected by your race, religion, color or ethnicity.

The skilled sponsored visa is for foreigners who have sponsorship i.e., some of their family members or relatives who are staying in Australia are ready to sponsor them. It targets individuals who agree to stay and work only in a specified regional Australian area. They must be sponsored.

Employer nomination scheme is for applicants who are sponsored by their employer. The employer must be Australian. Professionals can come to Australia and stay here and work for the employer.

Australian working holiday visa is for tourists who want to work and visit to meet the financial requirements of their trip. Applicants between the age group of 18 and 30 and no dependent children are the eligible ones. The applicant with a valid passport should be native of a country that have reciprocal working holiday program with Australia. An adequate fund to sustain the travel without depending on work is a must.

Besides the basic requirements, the applicant needs to meet health and character guidelines set by the immigration government. Health criteria for Australian working holiday visas is crucial if the applicant intends to work in Australian health care industry.

Hence it allows the person to stay in and travel to Australia for 12 months from its approval date. Multiple entries are allowed.

Amendments to The Commercial Register Act

At the end of the previous and the beginning of the present year some amendments were made to the Commercial Register Act to optimize the register procedure.

The principle position of the procedure pursuant the Commercial Register Act is the encouragement of the use of electronic documents and the electronic signature. In this connection it is stipulated that the application for the registration and that for the deletion of the circumstances and the application for the publication of the acts as well are submitted by the joint-stock companies and the limited partnerships with shares only in electronic form. Thus is achieved also harmonization of the norms of the community law in this sphere.

Another amendment concerns the circle of the applicant. Now the procurator is included in the category. They are natural persons, assigned and authorized by the merchant to manage their company for remuneration and have the right to undertake any actions and conclude any deals related to the exercising of the trade occupation. The practice of the registration officials was to refuse to recognise the procurator's capacity as an applicant often without any justification.

Of greatest significance is the amendment concerning the obligations of the official when processing the received application. In general, the procedure for the registration, publication or the deletion of the acts at the Commercial Register can be summarized the following way: for each action sought, an application according to a sample is issued which must be accompanied by a document for a paid state tax and other documents if required by law. After receipt of the application, the registration official revises it and if it is duly filled out and accompanied by all required appendices - the demanded action is performed. In case the application is invalid for any reason, a justified refusal is issued. This refusal can be appealed before the District Court competent for the seat of the merchant or the branch office of the foreign merchant in a 7-day term from its receipt. Such was the practice before the last amendments. In most cases for committed errors or the incomplete content, the applicant loses the deposited fee or goes through court actions, even with a positive resolution, results in waste of time - a factor of huge importance for the dynamic trade relations. What is changing in this respect with the last amendments? The new regulation provides forthe official to instruct the applicant to remedy the irregularities when the latter has not enclosed all documents required by law or if the due state fee is not paid. These instructions must be published via the trader's electronic account and when an application for the registration of the merchant is submitted - to be published in the web-site of the agency. This must happen not later than the next work day from the receipt of the application at the Commercial Register. The applicant can fulfill the given instructions by submitting a new application. If this does not happen within 3 days, the official can issue a justified refusal. With this amendment, without hampering one of the principles of the commercial registration - namely, the speedy and thrifty procedure, the latter adapts to the needs of the trade turnover.

Employment Arguments When to Search For Legal Advice

Work position dramas are nothing new; at one factor or another, many us are limited to have some kind of problem come up at perform. This could be across a large range of different places, some demanding the help of legal services and others that can be settled simply by discussing out the problem. So when in the market for to contact up a job lawyer? This is something that you will have to look at on a situation by situation base, with regards to the type of employment argument and enough time period it has been going on.

Before even getting into some of the more typical kinds of employment conflicts, every worker should know that when first deciding upon your employment contract it is employed to discuss to a attorney. By law your company has to give you this chance. Allowing a attorney throw an eye over it right away will get any irrational or far too complicated conditions before the truth. Once you're in the job, some of the most typical places for employment conflicts to occur are with respect to termination, violence, sex-related following and redundancy.

Dismissal

In the occasion that you feel as if efforts are being made to intentionally power you out of the company in an unjust way, speaking with a attorney is the best way of planning for battling against termination. Whether your manager has set irrational efficiency objectives, is being severe or difficult beyond the world of normality, or has not given you an precise efficiency evaluation due to a personal problem, a attorney will be able to set out your best plan of activity for interacting with the scenario.

Workplace Bullying

The somewhat dirty thing about violence in a office is that there can be a thin line between sensible critique from a position of constructiveness, and overall victimisation. Where a attorney can help is in developing the best plan of activity for coming back things to stability, depending on the choices available to you in your particular scenario. In these kinds of circumstances it is important to have a conversation with your company, but in some circumstances they may be reluctant to listen to it and will only answer at the factor where the law gets engaged.

Redundancy

The loss of a job due to inner reorientating or redundancy has its own set of rules and procedures under law. Your participation in the choice, along with a right to be informed before the likelihood of this occurring is essential to the realization due procedure. Not only can a attorney help by assisting this conversation, but in some circumstances they are able to acquire information which helps you in complicated your upcoming redundancy.

Don't wait in looking for out expert guidance when it comes to complicated employment conflicts - you'll find it most often will pay off to act earlier rather than later!

NLRB Issues Final Rule On Posting Of Employee Rights

The National Labor Relations Board issued a Final Rule that requires employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The issuance of the Final Rule follows a notice and comment period in which employers generally called such a posting unnecessary and misleading. When the final rule was announced, it required posting the notices no later than November 14, 2011. Since that time, the posting rule has been the subject of a number of legal and political challenges. To address these and other concerns, the NLRB has moved the required posting date to January 31, 2012.

The posting requirement applies to all private-sector employers (including labor unions) subject to the National Labor Relations Act, which excludes agricultural, railroad and airline employers. The Board has also chosen not to assert jurisdiction over very small employers, whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have more than a slight effect on interstate commerce.

Covered employers will be required to post the employee notice where other workplace notices are typically posted. Also, employers who customarily post notices to employees regarding personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site will be required to post the Board's notice on those sites. Copies of the notice are available from the Agency's regional offices, and it may also be downloaded from the NLRB website.

The notice, which is similar to one required by the U.S. Department of Labor for federal contractors, states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. It provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints. The notice must be posted in English and in another language if at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English and speak the other language. The Board will provide translations of the notice in the appropriate languages.

Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board investigates allegations of unfair labor practices made by employees, unions, employers, or other persons, but does not initiate enforcement action on its own.

The Board received more than 7,000 comments regarding the proposed rule. In response to the comments, some parts of the rule were modified. Under the Final Rule, for example, employers are not be required to distribute the notice via email, voice mail, text messaging or related electronic communications even if they customarily communicate with their employees in that manner, and they may post notices in black and white as well as in color.

Think You Know Someone? Run a US Background Check to be Sure

No matter how much you think you know a person, there are always things that they may not be willing to share publicly. Everything from a failure to pay bills on time to a problem staying under the speed limit may be something they keep secret. A US background check can help you take a look at those secrets to help you decide whether or not those secrets are serious or benign. The different options available with a US background check make it so that you can find out virtually anything about a person. If you are in a relationship that is getting serious, do not wait until after the engagement to make sure there are no skeletons in the closet, instead order a US background check ahead of time.

When you are about to commit to living with another person it is important to know what you might be getting yourself into. Signing a lease with another person makes you both jointly and severally liable for the rent according to most lease agreements. This means that if they default, you could be left holding the bag. When that happens you could wrack up a large debt that is not really entirely your responsibility. A quick US background check can let you take a look at your new room mate's prior credit history and rental litigation. You will need their permission and some information from them, but it is a reasonable request, particularly if you are willing to return the favor. This can help you make solid judgments about their ability to meet their financial commitments. You can also see if they have a history of evictions, which could affect your living situation down the road. The more you know in advance, the less likely you are to face a problem.

Taking proactive steps like ordering a US background check is the minimum you should do before agreeing to move in with someone, much less marry them. Even when you have lived with someone for years that is no guarantee that you know all there is to know. During divorce, more than one person has been caught flat footed by the amount of debt a spouse can incurred. Married couples are jointly accountable for debts incurred during a mortgage, making it necessary that you protect yourself by knowing the facts before you commit.

Finding out about a poor credit history may not be the end of the relationship, but it will give you the information you need to determine who will control the finances. Every household operates differently, and you might need to be the person in charge of financial decisions if your partner is not good at managing money. Make sure that you know what the issues are with a US background check before you link your financial well being to someone else.

Workers Compensation- The State Governed Insurance Structure

Workers Compensation is a state governed insurance policy structure that's in position to assist workers which have been wounded or endured a sickness that is a direct consequence of their own work place. Virtually all business employers are generally bound by law to have an insurance policy in place to cover for virtually any injuries and also companies may have various programs in position that have their very own list of rules and regulations addressing how you can file a claim. If there is a demand to submit a claim then the particular Human resources section at your job should certainly supply you with the important information and facts.

Beneath typical situations any employee which has endured a work affiliated trauma has the right to register a claim intended for damages regardless of who was responsible, regardless of whether was obviously a co-worker, the particular supervisor or perhaps the organization itself. If a worker settle for virtually any financial reward from a business it negates their right to lodge any more claims say for example a common law claim in opposition to the employer. It will be really uncommon to locate a firm that has absolutely no insurance plan in position. In reality, a few of the bigger corporations will typically form their particular insurance policy scheme so there's no longer a necessity for them to move around for other insurance providers to offer them one.

To be able to create a workers compensation claim, the particular accident or injury should be reported as soon as possible to the company who will in turn notify the insurance provider. Whether that organization happens to be an external insurance provider or an in-house they ought to cover any kind of health related costs as well as out of pocket bills you may incur. Any form of damage should be insured and this is not limited to simply serious accidental injuries such as broken limbs. Recurring movement injuries for instance carpel tunnel syndrome or constant back discomfort as a result of extreme bending also needs to be dealt with. Your claim can also include injuries caused by a toxic work surroundings, heart disease, lung diseases and stress related stomach problems are all problems that may lead to a compensation claim.

Should you endure an injury that keeps you away from work for a brief period of time then you could obtain a portion of your usual salary up to a set restriction in the companies' structure. These types of payments are normally tax-free so they really should not be too little. These kinds of transaction will normally continue once you have been unable to go back to work for several working days following the incident or disease has transpired.

Should you turn out to be permanently handicapped because of an injury in the office then a workers compensation claim may entitle you to get long-term payments or even a lump sum payment. This kind of settlement will be determined by the severity of your accidental injuries. These kinds of claim could be very intricate and may possibly take quite some time to be settled; normally it is suggested that you get the aid of an injury lawyer to handle this type of situation.

The Many Factors to Have a Thorough Employee Handbook

In this challenging economic climate, hardly a week goes by where I don't listen to from people who missing their job. Sometimes, they contact to evaluation a severance contract. Many times they contact asking if they have a declare for "wrongful launch."

Sometimes, an company will get statements of this characteristics against them, even though they think their employees are employed on an "at-will" base. Could these statements be avoided? This is one of the causes to have staff guide.

Large Lot of money 500 organizations always have staff guide to evaluation their guidelines toward employees. The law does not require that your organization have staff guide. However, if you do not have staff guide, your guidelines may not be obvious to your employees.

Your professionals in your organization will also have to depend upon storage of what has been done in the past to make sure your organization's guidelines are being properly and continually used.

Also, without an itemized plan as included in staff guide, there is no evidence that you made employees aware of your guidelines or guidelines. This may make an administration problem, and maybe a legal problem later.

You don't have to be a Lot of money 500 organization to have staff guide. Even businesses can benefit from a simple employee guide that contains some primary products. A lesser organization needs to make staff guide to allow the company to continue to have the attention and versatility, and yet give the employees observe of the common guidelines and what is predicted by their company.

No matter how little it is, the organization still has guidelines, so you should make them down and evaluation them in a guide.

One of the most essential products that should be in the staff member guide is a please note. The please note should be both at the starting and at the end of the guide and should condition that the guide is not a contract of career. Missing such a please note, a unhappy employee might try to sue your organization for violation of contract.

You should also have a plan published in your guide which declares that all employees are "at will." This supports the way in which most employees are employed in Il. If your organization desires to seek the services of someone for a phrase of a year or longer, your organization will differ the "at-will" selecting by revealing the phrase and other considerable conditions in an itemized contract.

It is excellent to tell apart in the guide about the change between a part-time worker and a full-time worker, as some employee benefits are used in that way. It is not a wise decision to use the phrase "permanent" when mentioning a full-time employee, which may suggest employees that cannot be ended.

It is also essential to condition the organization's plan on non-discrimination and sex-related following, making sure it is obvious the organization will not withstand either elegance or sex-related following. You will want to assign the person or hr division to deal with any such problems registered by the staff member.

In inclusion, having an itemized severance plan, especially for the mid-sized to bigger organization, is a wise decision. Without the published plan, any severance provided by the organization in one case might be used by another employee who was fired to identify a design for the organization.