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CA employment attorneySan Jose and the entire Bay Area has seen more than its share of layoffs recently. When job cuts come down at major companies and corporations, they can impact workers on all levels. While employees with seniority and upper-level executives may feel some sort of protection due to their position, years of service, and experience, they are often just as likely to face cuts as anyone else on the payroll. However, there are situations in which letting a senior worker go without attempting to put them in another position could amount to wrongful termination. Known as ‘bumping rights’ it is a controversial practice that only applies in certain cases.

No Bumping Rights In Uber Lay-Offs

The issue of bumping rights came up recently after Uber Technologies announced it would be cutting more than 300 jobs in the Bay Area. The company disclosed its plan to cut 238 people from the payroll in San Francisco and another 62 workers in Palo Alto in an official filing with the state Employment Development Department.

All told, Uber claims it intends to lay off an additional 88 people by the end of 2019 and blamed quarterly losses as the culprit. After successfully launching its IPO this past May, prices have steadily fallen. The day before the layoffs were announced, shares had dropped by nearly 30 percent.

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Protecting Yourself in Police EncountersBeing stopped by police, getting accused of a crime, and facing the prospect of arrest is enough to cause anyone to panic. With your adrenaline running high, you could end up making poor decisions. In addition to creating additional legal problems for yourself, the actions you take during police interactions could put your life at risk. Officer-involved shootings continue to be a very real threat in California. As experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys, we want you to be aware of the risks and the ways you need to protect yourself during police encounters. 

Officer-Involved Shooting in San Jose

An officer-involved shooting recently claimed the life of a man in San Jose. The incident happened at roughly 2:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of McKee Road. Officers were responding to multiple reports of a man with a gun in the area when they saw someone matching the suspect’s description walking near the intersection of North Jackson Avenue. 

The officers reported that they saw what looked like a gun in the suspect’s hand and immediately ordered him to stop and surrender the weapon. The man ignored the commands, put the object in his waistband, and crossed Jackson Avenue before turning north and heading in the direction of Independence High School. Police continued following him, telling him to stop and surrender the weapon. When the suspect did reach for the object in his waistband, one of the officers shot him. It was not until he was on the ground that they realized that rather than an actual weapon, the "gun" was a replica. The man, who was shot at least once, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died of his injuries. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wrong-way_20191101-181035_1.jpgWhen it comes to car crashes and collisions, wrong-way accidents are typically one of the least common. However, they are one of the most deadly. Often occurring on one-way streets, intersections, and at highway entrance or exit ramps, drivers traveling at normal speeds are typically taken by surprise to see another motorist headed directly towards them. Considering the fact that wrong-way drivers are often unaware of their mistake until it is too late, neither has adequate time to respond. This increases the likelihood of severe and potentially fatal car accident injuries . The underlying causes are often a combination of driver error and road design issues.

Wrong-Way Crash Claims Four Victims in San Francisco

A tragic wrong-way accident that happened on the freeway in San Francisco claimed the lives of four people recently. The accident happened at roughly on Highway 1 when a woman in a Volkswagen drove south in the northbound lanes. She struck a cab driver carrying two tourists from Chicago, killing herself, the other driver, and both passengers in the vehicle.

Unfortunately, this is the seventh such accident in the Bay Area thus far this year, with fatal wrong-way crashes averaging nearly once a month:

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CA accident lawyerWith the arrival of fall comes a time of year many of us dread: cold and flu season. October is when you need to get your vaccinations to protect yourself against the number of strains expected to make the rounds. However, this will not protect you from getting colds and other infections common at this time of year. For relief, many of us turn to over-the-counter and prescribed cold and cough medicines. While these can help alleviate your symptoms enough to make it through the workday, it is important to be aware of other impacts they could have. Even seemingly mild medications can impact your driving abilities, making impaired driving-related car accidents more likely to occur.

The Dangers of Driving While Taking Cold and Flu Medicines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued its recommendations for the 2019-2020 cold and flu season. Considering the havoc wreaked by last years bug and the potential dangers these viruses can pose, particularly to people with weakened immune systems, they recommend getting your flu shot by the end of October. They also advise upping handwashing, using sanitizer, and staying home from work or school if you are sick.

Unfortunately, few people have the luxury of taking time off at the first sign of a cold or the sniffles. To stay on top of these symptoms, many rely on prescription strength and over the counter medicines. However, these can cause drowsiness, dizziness, impaired judgment, and reduced reaction times, all of which could make you a danger behind the wheel. Medications to avoid taking when driving include:

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CA injury lawyerBetween day care, school, and recreational activities, children spend a good portion of their time with mom and dad in the car during the week. Keeping them happy and occupied while traveling busy roads or sitting in traffic is often a goal, but the bigger concern is keeping them safe from the threat of car accidents. In light of the spike in fatal motor vehicle crashes in San Jose over the course of 2019 and a recent tragedy involving an eight-year-old boy, we want you to be aware of the steps needed to protect them.

San Jose Car Accident Claims Young Victim

A recent car accident in San Jose left several people injured and claimed the life of a young boy. The crash happened at 4:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening on Senter Road. A man was driving his two children, aged eight and nine, in a 2018 Honda CRV when he rear-ended a 2019 Tesla in front of him. The force of the collision caused the Honda to veer out of control. It swerved into oncoming traffic and eventually hit a utility pool.

Police say the children and both drivers were taken to local hospitals, but the eight-year-old suffered the most severe injuries. Tragically, he passed away several days later, making him the 36th traffic fatality in San Jose this year. Investigators have still not released any additional details about the crash or what the causes might have been.

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CA employment lawyerBeing a part of a union offers workers added protection in terms of speaking out against job policies and employers that they feel are unfair or oppressive. This is the case in Santa Clara County, where hundreds of workers gathered to hit the picket lines. However, while going on strike is their right, our San Jose employment law attorney warns about the situations they may need to watch out for.

Workers Take to Picket Lines Over Wages and Other Issues

Santa Clara County workers hit the picket lines recently in what labor union officials claim could be a lengthy strike. Their actions are meant to expose unfair labor practices and what they claim are major problems within the local family services system. The workers, represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are looking for what officials claim are unrealistic salary increases. This is just one of more than 15 issues cited they claim impact them and their ability to do their jobs properly. Other complaints include:

  • Overly heavy caseloads for social workers
  • Dangerous conditions at the Santa Clara County intake center for children removed from homes
  • The relocation of the San Jose Family Resource Center, which would unfairly impact low-income minorities

The union warns that as many as 700 workers spread across several sites could eventually participate in the strike. County executives put current estimates at roughly 200 people, which does not count those taking vacation time or sick days in order to participate. Striking workers have allowed certain other employees to cross picket lines and provide essential services. For the county’s part, they claim that despite concerns being cited, the biggest factor is the wage increases demanded by the union. The County has approved a three percent increase in pay to take place over the next five years. Workers claim this is canceled out by provisions requiring them to make additional contributions to retirement and health insurance benefits.

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CA crash lawyerSerious injuries can happen in even a minor car accident. In the aftermath, there is the rush of dealing with police, other drivers, and medical providers responsible for your treatment. At first, it may be hard to comprehend what actually occurred. In time, you could find that thoughts of the crash come up when you least expect them, such as at work or when you are trying to sleep. You may also find yourself relieving the sensation of impact or obsessing over the threat that another crash will occur. As experienced car accident attorneys in San Jose, we frequently see these types of trauma symptoms in clients we represent. It is important to be aware of the emotional impacts collisions can have on you and the types of compensation you may be entitled to as a result.

Car Accidents and Post Traumatic Stress

As car accidents are unexpected, violent events, it is natural to feel somewhat in shock afterwards. Particularly if you or your passengers suffer injuries as a result, it is understandable for it to take some time to recover emotionally. However, there are an unfortunate number of cases where the shock, sadness, and anxiety you feel over a crash only seems to intensify with time.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, post-traumatic stress is something that many car accident victims end up suffering from. It involves intrusive thoughts, emotional disturbances, and the feeling that you are reliving the accident over and over. Common symptoms include:

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Is the High Cost of Living Driving Theft Crimes in San Jose?San Jose, much like the entire Bay Area, has lots of diverse neighborhoods. Some of these are thriving due to high-paying jobs in the tech industry and other career fields. Residents own multi-million dollar homes or rent luxury apartments while driving luxury cars to visit upscale restaurants and shops in the area. Just a few blocks over, other neighborhoods are not quite so prosperous and residents struggle to get by on minimum wage jobs. Unfortunately, the disparity between these two groups and the generally high cost of living make theft crimes more likely to occur. 

Disparities In Income and Lifestyle Among San Jose Residents

San Jose is regularly considered one of the best places to live for individuals and families. Factors that are often cited as making it attractive for families and other residents include: 

  • High-quality schools
  • A thriving job market
  • Low commute times
  • High median incomes
  • The availability of homes that fall in line with wages

Depending on where you live in San Jose, these qualities may be keeping with what you generally experience as a resident. Unfortunately, in some neighborhoods, this list of amenities simply does not apply. 

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Posted on in Personal Injury

CA injury lawyerHalloween is just around the corner. While little ones may be eager to attend trick or treating and harvest-themed events, it is important for adults to be aware of the risks. October 31st is one of the busiest nights of the year in terms of personal injuries. Slips and falls, burn injuries, and pedestrian accidents are all common. Take the time now to brush up on some simple safety tips.

How Parents Can Protect Children on Halloween

In the days and weeks before Halloween, parents are busy getting their children ready for parties, school events, and neighborhood activities. Amidst all the planning that goes into your child’s costume, be sure and make safety a top priority.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), children are more likely to be the victim of pedestrian accidents on Halloween than at any other time of the year. To protect them against injuries suffered in these and other types of accidents or mishaps, follow these safety tips:

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What Differentiates Murder from Manslaughter? Homicide, or the taking of human life, is the most severe type of crime. It could result in charges of manslaughter or murder being filed against you. If you are facing either of these, you need a strong criminal defense. With the significant differences in penalties, you need an experienced criminal law attorney on your side to conduct extensive investigations while gathering evidence for use at your trial.  

Police Unsure of Motive in San Jose Shooting

Police recently found a man who was shot on the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose and are still trying to determine the motive and the circumstances surrounding the crime. Police were called to Virginia Street and Highway 87, where they found the man bleeding from a gunshot wound, which eventually proved fatal. His death marks the city’s 29th homicide this year and the second to occur during the course of a week. 

Another local man was fatally stabbed with a knife in the 1500 block of Alum Rock Avenue just several days prior. Police are continuing to investigate both cases and at this point are not sure if the cases involve murder or manslaughter. To date, no suspects have been named or charged. 

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CA injury lawyerIn addition to being a time people catch up on personal tasks and household chores, weekends are often spent relaxing with family or friends and taking in local activities. With all this activity, people throughout the Bay Area expect to encounter traffic on the roads. What they may not be aware of is how much this can end up increasing their motor vehicle accident risks. In the aftermath of a particularly deadly weekend for San Jose and other area residents, we want you to be aware of the risks and the steps you can take to protect yourself and others on the road.

Motor Vehicle Accidents Contribute to Deadly Weekend in San Jose

A recent weekend in the Bay Area proved to be particularly dangerous in terms of car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. Eight people were killed and numerous others were injured in collisions that occurred between Friday, September 13, 2019, and Sunday, September 15. Among the victims include:

  • A San Jose car accident victim, killed in a crash on the Capitol Expressway on-ramp to northbound Interstate 680
  • A Berkeley bicyclist who was killed near the Ashby Avenue on-ramp to Interstate 8
  • A Felton woman killed in a single-car crash on Felton Empire Road
  • A San Francisco motorcyclist who was killed after going over the rail on a connector to northbound Highway 101
  • An Oakland pedestrian who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident at the corner of Foothill and Cole

While there were likely several factors involved in each of these crashes, the reckless actions of other motorists on the road likely played a role.

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Posted on in Employment

CA employment lawyerIn light of recent mass shootings and other violent events, workplace violence is a growing concern for everyone. Unfortunately, people in customer service jobs who interact with the general public on a regular basis are more at risk. A recent incident in San Jose highlights the potential dangers. As local employment law attorneys, we want you to be aware of the warning signs.

San Jose Suicide Exposes Hotel Workers to Dangerous Chemicals

A recent incident at a hotel in San Jose left one woman dead and left several workers suffering potentially serious health issues. A woman committed suicide in a room on the 19th floor of the popular Hotel Fairmont, using a mix of undisclosed but dangerous chemicals. Guests in surrounding rooms first became aware of the situation when they noticed an unusual smell in the hallways. They reported the smell to hotel employees, who immediately responded to the scene.

It was not obvious what had transpired in the woman’s room, other than that she had intended to take her own life. It was also not disclosed what mix of chemicals she used. However, the toxic fumes they gave off left eight people sickened, all of whom were hotel employees and members of the housekeeping staff.

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What Right Do Police Have in Taking My Property if I Am Charged With a Crime?When facing criminal charges, one of the hardest things to cope with is the loss of your rights and freedoms. Few people are aware of asset forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize your car, money, or other items they suspect are associated with a crime. This is particularly common in cases where drug crimes are alleged, but it can occur in other types of criminal matters as well.  

Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases

In criminal matters, asset forfeiture laws allow police and prosecutors to take any type of property you own if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. Under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, it is frequently used in drug crimes cases. There are three classifications of property or assets which may be seized:

  • Property Used in the Commission of a Crime: This includes drug paraphernalia and cars, bikes, boats, or other vehicles that may have aided in distribution.
  • The Property Associated with a Crime: This includes cash or money in bank accounts which may have been intended to fund a criminal act.
  • Property Received as a Result of a Crime: This includes any profits you made, as well as items you may have purchased with the profits.  

Federal, state, and local agencies can make significant amounts of money through asset forfeiture, which is typically funneled into areas such as crime prevention programs, victims funds, and purchasing additional equipment. However, there is plenty of controversy surrounding the practice. 

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CA injury lawyerFor older adults, going to the doctor regularly, managing chronic health conditions, and taking proper safety precautions can all help to protect general health and quality of life. Unfortunately, falls are a potential problem and a leading cause of personal injuries, particularly among older adults. In addition to causing serious health complications, slip and fall accidents can actually end up hastening an early death. In honor of National Falls Awareness Day, we offer some tips to help you stay safe.

Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries

Fall Awareness Day is an annual event each September and is sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). A leading cause of death and disability among older adults, they can happen in a variety of situations. Injuries that often occur as a result include serious muscle and tendon strains, sprains, or tears, broken bones and dislocated joints, and debilitating back, neck, or head injuries.

Older adults can help to reduce their risks of slip and fall injuries by taking certain precautions at home. These include keeping clutter off-floors, replacing worn carpeting or flooring tiles, wearing non-skid shoes, and using anti-skid floor mats in bathtubs. However, falls often occur in public places, such as grocery stores, retail establishments, restaurants, office buildings, and other locations. Dangers to be aware of include:

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CA crash lawyerCar accidents are complex events. There are often numerous factors that may have contributed to a crash. In many cases, an investigation will show that one of the parties engaged in reckless driving behaviors which are ultimately responsible for the collision and any injuries that occurred. In cases involving multi-vehicle car accidents, determining fault can prove far more challenging. Blame may be shared among multiple parties, including you. However, this does not prevent you from getting the compensation you are entitled to for the injuries you suffer.

San Jose Police Officer, Others Injured in Multi-Vehicle Car Accident

A recent multi-vehicle car accident in San Jose left a police officer and others involved suffering potentially serious injuries. Emergency crews responded to the scene of the collision, which occurred during the late afternoon hours in the Jackson Avenue/McKee Road area. It involved multiple drivers and left several people injured. Among the victims was an off duty San Jose Police Department officer.

Those with injuries were taken to San Jose Regional Medical Center. Law enforcement is still investigating the incident and has not released any additional details on the officer, the other victims involved, or the suspected cause of the crash.

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San Jose Police Get Digital Upgrade to Counter Neighborhood CrimesResidents of San Jose have complained long and bitterly about the increasing number of neighborhood crimes taking place throughout the local area. Many home and property owners have taken matters into their own hands by installing electronic alarm systems and video monitoring to ensure their family, friends, customers, and property are protected.

In light of local crime statistics, law enforcement has recently announced a series of actions they hope will help discourage lawbreakers and make neighborhoods safer. The latest involves using digital technology to immediately download personal surveillance tapes, keeping criminal defense attorneys busy and making potential suspects easier to apprehend. 

Ring Technology May Save Time in Uncovering And Apprehending Criminal Offenders

On September 26, 2019, the San Jose Police Department announced they were getting a digital upgrade to their existing community surveillance and outreach system. They will be partnering with Ring Technology, which will allow them to have homeowners download security footage in real-time.  

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CA wrongful death lawyerMany people throughout the Bay area own boats that allow them easy access to ocean activities and other bodies of water throughout the region. For those that do not, there are numerous charter boat options offering fishing, diving, and pleasure cruising excursions. Unfortunately, a recent boat fire off the coast of Santa Barbara that claimed the lives of several local residents has cast doubt on the safety of these trips. Wrongful death claims could be filed against the charter boat company on behalf of the victim’s families, due to a lack of safety precautions onboard the vessel.

CA Dive Boat Fire Claims Lives of 34 People

A fire that happened on board a scuba diving boat claimed the lives of 34 people over the recent Labor Day weekend. The fire broke out early Labor Day morning, as the vessel was anchored off Santa Cruz Island. The charter originated in Santa Barbara but the majority of people on board were from San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area.

Early reports indicate that the scuba divers were downstairs sleeping when the fire broke out while the boat crew was mainly above deck. Flames quickly raced throughout the below deck cabins, allowing passengers little to no time for escape. While most of the crew survived the blaze by jumping overboard, nearly all of those trapped below went down with the ship.

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CA employment attorneyIt can be challenging enough to get ahead in some industries due to large pools of qualified candidates and fierce competition for jobs. Unfortunately, in addition to making it harder to find a position, these are also the types of circumstances under which employment discrimination is most likely to occur. While these cases tend to involve minorities in other areas of the country, the makeup of the workforce in San Jose often results in discrimination claims taking a different form.

San Jose Woman Accuses Tech Firm of Favoring Indian and Asian-American Employees

Asian-Americans and Indian immigrants dominate many of the tech firms in Silicon Valley. While these workers might represent a minority in some other places, they are the majority in the tech industry in the San Jose area. A local woman recently filed a lawsuit that as one of the sole caucasian workers at her company, she was discriminated against by her employers on the basis of her gender, nationality, and skin color.

The woman claims she was hired as the director of business development by tech company Happiest Minds, which has its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, early in 2018. As 90 percent of the firm’s workforce is either Asian-American or Indian and most top-level executives are male, she found herself to be in an exceedingly small minority. Among the specific incidents she cites as rising to the level of discrimination include:

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Keeping Your Children Out of Trouble With the LawFor parents, keeping children safe and away from potentially bad influences is a top priority. With the general increase in juvenile crimes in San Jose, it is more important than ever to monitor their activities. As the police become more aggressive in apprehending teen offenders and public pressure increases when it comes to handing out penalties, our Bay Area criminal defense attorneys want you to be aware of steps you can take to keep your children from getting in trouble with the law. 

San Jose Police Focus on Juvenile Offenders

With parents busy working multiple jobs to provide for their families, young people are often left unsupervised. This can make them more likely to commit petty crimes that put them at odds with the law. It also increases the risk that they will be influenced by gangs to commit more serious types of crimes. 

In San Jose, police are taking increased actions after dangerous and destructive crimes involving young offenders have rocked the community in recent months. In the aftermath of two fatal shootings in one local neighborhood and reports of thefts, vandalism, and other types of crimes in others, police have begun mapping the areas where these activities are most likely to occur. 

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Driving Actions Can Result in Child Endangerment ChargesThere are numerous rules and regulations regarding your conduct when driving and how it may endanger children in your vehicle. Even if no actual harm was done to a child, breaking these rules could result in serious criminal charges related to child endangerment, cruelty, or neglect. As there tends to be plenty of media attention surrounding such cases and a strong public outcry, it is important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side immediately. A recent incident involving a Bay Area father highlights the potential ramifications that can result.    

Bay Area Father Faces Charges of Child Cruelty

A San Carlos man faces criminal charges after falling asleep in his vehicle and leaving his child to cry in the backseat. The incident happened at approximately 4:30 p.m., in a parking lot off of Laurel Drive. The child and the father were discovered after people nearby flagged down a passing San Carlos Sheriff’s Department officer, saying they could hear a baby screaming in the vehicle. 

Investigators report that the car was in park and the engine was turned off as the 39-year-old father slept behind the wheel in the front seat. Behind him and strapped into a safety seat sat his daughter, crying and in obvious distress. Officers do not know how long the man was there, but, despite having the windows partially open, the temperature inside the vehicle was dangerously high.  

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