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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Topics: From Our Office

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth wants to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving weekend! As 2021 winds down, we want to assure all of our clients from our many different legal practice areas that we are on your side, all the way.  Our dedicated team remains focused on protecting your legal rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.  We are extremely thankful that we get to help you with your legal needs. Please note that our offices will be closed this Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Contesting a Permanent Disability Rating

Topics: Workers' Compensation

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The road to recovery after a work injury can be difficult.  For many injured workers, weeks, months, or even years of medical treatment, demanding physical therapy, and painful medical procedures do not lead to a full recovery.  When a doctor determines that additional medical treatment will not produce a noticeable positive benefit to an injured worker, the doctor may declare the injured worker permanent and stationary and issue a P&S Report.  In the report, the doctor assigns the injured worker a preliminary impairment rating indicating the worker's level of disability for any injured body part.  The rating will be from 0 to 100 percent. The preliminary impairment rating goes through several adjustments before a final rating is determined.  First, the individual body part ratings are converted into a 'whole person impairment rating'.  This is done through a specific mathematical formula and would also be listed in the P&S Report.  Once the whole person impairment rating is calculated, another formula is used to determine a permanent disability rating.  The permanent disability rating formula takes into consideration future earning capacity, occupation, and age.  The full formula and how it is calculated can be found here. With its usage of specified formulas and guidelines, challenging a permanent disability rating is difficult, but not impossible.  Injured workers who have suffered permanent disability can object to certain aspects of their evaluation.  If you think that your doctor did not properly assess your injuries, you can request a second opinion from a different doctor.  Should the second opinion determine that your disability level is more severe, your preliminary impairment rating would be higher, leading to a higher permanent disability rating.  If you think that the insurance company mislabeled your occupation or has made a factual error regarding your age, you can challenge those errors. Experienced workers' compensation attorneys can help you determine if your permanent injuries are being assessed properly, as well as every other confusing step of the workers' comp process.  The Law Office of Scott Warmuth provides injured workers guidance to help improve their physical and financial outlook after a work injury.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Amazon Flex Drivers Receiving Checks for Withheld Tips

Topics: Employment Law

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Payments for more than $61.7 million in illegally withheld tips for drivers of Amazon Flex have begun to occur.  Back in February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled legal action against Amazon for not paying out tips to its Amazon Flex drivers between 2016 and 2019.  Amazon only stopped stealing its drivers' tips after the FTC open an investigation in 2019.  Advertisements for recruiting Amazon Flex drivers clearly indicated that drivers would receive 100% of earned tips.  Customers of Amazon Flex were also told that drivers would receive 100% of tips. For people who are unfamiliar with Amazon Flex, the program involves drivers who are independent contractors who deliver AmazonFresh and Prime Now deliveries that are distinct from the typical Amazon order.  These drivers pick up orders and deliver them to customers, in a similar manner to food delivery apps, within hours. The FTC has announced that it is issuing 139,507 checks and 1,621 PayPal payments to the affected drivers, indicating that about 141,128 Amazon Flex drivers had at least $5 in withheld tips from Amazon.  The average amount of withheld tips is $422, with the largest payout coming in at over $28,000.  About 20,000 of the drivers will receive payments greater than $600. See the FTC press release here. Businesses in California must follow specific employment law guidelines when it comes to tips and gratuity.  Tips cannot be considered a part of an employee's wages and management is not entitled to any amount of those tips.  Businesses that pool tips to share with more employees have additional guidelines, including who is and who is not allowed to participate.  Any violation of tipping laws, such as those seen in the Amazon Flex case, can be pursued under employment law. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps workers who have been treated unfairly and illegally by their employers by pursuing the companies who violate employment law.  We provide free legal consultations and offer our services completely risk free with a no win no fee guarantee.  Call us today at 888-517-9888.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Thank You, Veterans!

Topics: From Our Office

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Today, November 11, is Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.  Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week it falls on, to commemorate the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth wants to thank all the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Guardians, Guardsmen, Reservists, and everyone else who is a veteran of the armed forces for their service to the United States![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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What Exactly is Attorney/Client Privilege?

Topics: Criminal Defense

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If someone has been charged with a crime, he or she has the right to an attorney; a right clearly spelled out by the Miranda warning.  The only way criminal defense attorneys can properly do their job is to understand everything that may have led up to an arrest.  And to understand everything, defense attorneys need to know the truth about what happened to their clients, even if that truth does not necessarily look good for their clients in the eyes of the law.  For this reason, conversations between attorneys and clients are considered privileged, confidential, and inadmissible during a trial. Attorney-Client privilege allows for pointed legal advice, without the fear of legal jeopardy.  It should be noted that the privilege is not universal and requires certain conditions to be met.  Most importantly, for a defendant to have attorney-client privilege, the defendant must actually be a client, or is seeking to become a client, of the attorney.  Other exceptions also apply.  For example, if defendants try to confide in their attorney, but do so loudly within earshot of other people, anyone who heard the conversation is not silenced by attorney-client privilege.  Also, any communication with an attorney made with the goal of committing or covering up a crime is also not privileged and will typically be reported to the court. While much more nuanced, the basic understanding of attorney-client privilege is that attorneys can converse with their clients confidentially.  Conversations are not shared with other attorneys, judges, insurance companies, or any other parties that may be involved in a case.  Criminal defense attorneys have an ethical obligation to advocate on behalf of their clients, regardless of the circumstances of the crime or their personal feelings about the case. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth takes our responsibilities to our clients seriously.  All information and the details of any conversation between our law firm and our clients is considered protected by attorney/client privileges.  Attorney/client privilege extends beyond the borders of criminal defense cases as well.  It also applies to personal injury, employment law, and all of our other practice areas as well. We offer free, confidential consultations with no obligation.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 for your free legal consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Protected Classes under Employment Law

Topics: Employment Law

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Employment law offers legal recourse to the victims of workplace discrimination.  Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer or potential employer treats an employee or applicant unfairly because of the worker's inclusion (or perceived inclusion) in a protected class.  The most familiar type of discrimination is racial discrimination, where an employer treats certain workers differently because of the color of their skin.  Race is just one of many protected classes in which a business can be accused of workplace discrimination.  If you, as a worker, experiences discrimination because of any of the following reasons, you may have a legal case. National origin or ancestry - Employers cannot treat you differently because of your heritage.  This can include your country of origin or your parents' country or countries of origin.  It also includes your perceived country of origin.  An American worker of Chinese heritage being discriminated against because a coworker assumes he is from China can pursue a discrimination claim. Religion or creed - Companies cannot discriminate against employees for their religious faith.  An employer is not allowed to treat workers requesting certain religious accommodations differently from other workers.  Religious discrimination cases involving the accommodation of prayer breaks for Muslims or Jewish holidays are often in the news. Age - Employers cannot discriminate on the basis of age against any workers over the age of 40.  Many companies may try to avoid hiring older workers out of a fear that they may only work a short period of time before retiring or will soon be physically unable to perform certain work duties.  Refusing to hire older workers is age discrimination. Disability - Employers are not allowed to treat workers or potential hires with a physical or mental disability, disclosed or undisclosed, differently.  Interviewees are not even allowed to be asked about disability status.  If you can perform the job duties, with or without reasonable accommodation, you cannot be treated differently. Gender or gender identity - Companies are not allowed to treat any workers differently because of gender.  It does not matter what a worker's gender is, what gender the worker identifies as, if any, or what gender the worker may be perceived as. Sexual orientation - Workers who are treated differently due to their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation are experiencing discrimination. Medical history - Employers cannot treat you differently because of a medical condition or your genetic information.  While they can require a medical examination, the employer must require the exam from everyone and not just certain individuals they suspect have a medical condition.  This includes pregnancy or the intent to become pregnant. Relationship status - Businesses cannot discriminate against any worker on whether the worker is married, single, partnered, divorced, separated, etc. Military status - Employers are not allowed to consider military or veteran status into consideration for any business practice.  This includes active reserve members who may be called to service. Workplace discrimination rules under employment law are extremely complex.  But as a general rule, if you suspect you're experiencing employment discrimination at your job, write down why you think so.  Do this for every instance of suspected discrimination.  Provide your documentation to an employment law attorney to see if you are experiencing actionable discrimination.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth offers free employment law consultations.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to speak with an expert today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Time to Fix that Broken Headlight

Topics: Auto Accident

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Halloween has come and gone, so you might think that the time for the dark and spooky happenings has past, but the darkness is only beginning.  Daylight Saving Time ends in the early morning hours of the Sunday after Halloween, meaning many of us will begin several months of evening commutes in complete darkness.  If you have been putting off repairing a broken headlight because you are only driving during the day, it is time to fix that broken headlight.  Not only is driving with one headlight dangerous, but it is also against California law. According to California Vehicle Code 24400, all vehicles require two headlights to be operated during darkness and/or bad weather, which is defined as weather that creates less than 1,000 feet of visibility or requires use of the windshield wipers.  The earlier sunset and the approaching wet season both require two working headlights to keep you in compliance with the law.   Failure to repair a broken headlight could initially lead to a relatively inexpensive "fix-it" ticket that directs you to repair the broken headlight, but it could also lead to a much more expensive violation ticket and a possible increase in auto insurance premiums. And those legal consequences say nothing of safety.  Driving with a broken headlight can cause numerous safety issues.  Reduced visibility and depth perception, unseen road obstructions, erratic driving because of difficulty navigating the road, and the inability for other drivers to recognize your vehicle can occur because of a broken headlight.  Basically, for your safety and the safety of those around you, it is important to fix a broken headlight as soon as possible.  If a car crash were to occur, a broken headlight could also be taken into consideration when determining fault in the collision. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth strongly encourages all drivers to ensure their vehicles are safe to drive at all times, including two working headlights.  As soon as you notice a broken headlight on your vehicle, be sure to get it repaired quickly!  Our law firm has been helping the victims of car accidents seek compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and more from at-fault drivers for decades.  We offer free consultations and a no win no fee guarantee.  Call us today at 888-517-9888![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]