Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Massachusetts And New Hampshire Law Blog

How to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace

While no working environment is perfect, there are certain things Massachusetts residents should not have to deal with when either on or off the clock. Sexual harassment is one of those things. What can people do when they are dealing with this form of harassment?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is a very specific way sexual harassment should be attacked. First, victims should ask their harassers to stop -- if that is something they feel comfortable doing. Sometimes, they don't, and that is okay. Second, victims need to report the problem to the human resources department and/or management.

Understanding some terminology in business interruption insurance

More than likely, you are going into business to make a profit. As you start your company, you commit to going to great lengths to make sure you set it up for success. You may have already purchased insurance policies to cover losses of property, expenses from liabilities and more. Another insurance product you may want to consider is business interruption insurance.

This type of insurance covers any income you may lose while you cannot run your business due to some catastrophe, such as a fire, flood or some other calamity. In order to help avoid any misunderstandings, miscommunications or disputes, it would be useful to better understand some of the common terminology in these policies.

Focus on getting through your divorce, not what caused it

When ending a marriage, it is easy to spend your time wondering how you got to this point. It is easy to spend your time trying to determine fault or assign blame. It is even normal to do so. When going through the divorce process, though, it's best for you and other Massachusetts residents in this same position to focus on the divorce, not necessarily what caused it.

Divorce is emotional. You are ending a relationship you once had so much hope for. Even if it is for the best, it does not mean working through the dissolution process will be painless.

Mental capacity can affect business succession planning

It is impossible to know what life is going to throw at you. You can be sailing along just fine, running your business and living large, and then the next minute, your world can be turned upside down with a devastating medical diagnosis. If you were recently diagnosed with a disorder that is going to affect your mental capacity now or in the near future, the next steps you take as a business owner could make or break your company. You see, mental capacity can affect business succession planning.

If you wait too long, any succession planning you do may be deemed legally invalid. For any legal document to hold up, you have to be of sound mind when you create it. So, if you do not have a succession plan in place or you want to make changes to one that you already have, don't wait, get it done.

Divorce can get nasty when a lot of money is involved

Few couples in Massachusetts and elsewhere can make it through the marital dissolution process without fighting. Divorce can get particularly nasty when a lot of money and assets are involved. A good example of this is the recent divorce between a member of the Dixie Chicks and her actor husband.

According to reports, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and her husband Adrian Pasdar filed for divorce two years ago. As he supposedly put his acting career on hold to take care of the couple's two children, he asked for $60,000 a month in spousal support. He also asked for his legal expenses to be covered and back support. She did not want to grant him any of this.

The damaging effects of sexual harassment on women

Every day, in Massachusetts and elsewhere, there are women and men who are subjected to unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior by their co-workers. Sexual harassment is a very real issue, and the victims of it end up suffering in more ways than one. A recently published article directly addressed the damaging effects sexual harassment has on women, and what researchers have found may be surprising to some.

According to the article, the American Association of University Women found that women who are subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace end up having fewer job opportunities, make less money than their co-workers, experience depression, may experience post-traumatic stress disorder and have a higher risk of developing long-term health problems -- among other things. A survey conducted by the AAUW found that 38% of women who are harassed in the workplace end up leaving their jobs early, while 37% claim that the harassment slowed their career advancement. Still, sexual harassment, in many cases, ends up going unreported -- why?

Insurance disputes common following a car accident

No one expects to be involved in a car accident, but when they are, they do expect insurance to cover their losses. Unfortunately, numerous car accident victims find themselves involved in insurance disputes with the responsible parties' insurance providers. When that happens, what right do Massachusetts residents have?

The problem with insurance companies is that they are in business to make money. The only way they can do this is by paying out as little as possible when claims come piling in. So, when a victim makes a claim, that claim will either be quickly denied or a low-ball settlement may be offered. They can get away with this by citing various policy exclusions, lapsed policies or a victim's failure to file a claim on time -- among various other things.

Massachusetts high net worth divorce: Handling investments

Most couples with a high net worth in the state of Massachusetts did not get where they are by letting their money sit in low-yield savings accounts; they invest. What happens to these investments, though, when a couple chooses to end their marriage? Who gets to keep what when the divorce is final?

Investments, like all other assets, are subject to division if they are considered marital property. How various investment accounts are tapped to divide them depends on a number of things, such as the type of account, tax penalties, financial penalties and fees. Some accounts can be split without any issues; others are a bit more complicated to handle.

Insurance disputes common following motor vehicle accidents

Numerous Massachusetts residents are involved in motor vehicle accidents every day. Thankfully, most of these accidents are only minor fender benders, but some are on the extreme side. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if an accident is a minor or major event, victims or -- in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members depend on insurance providers to take care of them. Sadly, that does not always happen. Insurance disputes are all too common following motor vehicle accidents.

Typically, to start an insurance claim, one should call and report the car accident to the insurance provider -- whether it is one's own or the other driver's -- right away, or at least within a day of the incident. After a claim is opened, the insurer will open a case and investigate the matter. Depending on the details of the event, some level of compensation may be offered, or relief may be completely denied.

Dealing with a construction dispute?

The world of construction is an interesting place. There is a lot involved in a construction project, which means a lot can go wrong along the way. When a construction dispute arises, and they often do, what can the offended party do? In the state of Massachusetts, this individual may pursue civil litigation in order to seek resolution if other means to resolve the issue have failed.

If you have found yourself in a construction-related dispute, the steps you take to resolve it matter. A few examples of commonly seen construction disputes include delays, defects, contract issues and payment disagreements -- among various others. These disputes can cost everyone quite a bit in time and money. So, wanting a swift resolution is understandable.

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