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November 2010 Archives

Using Your Human Resources Department

Many of us work for a company that has a human resources department. Often, however, we have limited contact with them. We see them when we are hired and fill out our paperwork. We deal with them whenever we change our benefits, when we submit our annual reviews, and for our end-of-year tax statements. Some of us go through HR for payroll and vacation requests. And generally, leaving the company involves one last meeting. However, human resources can often provide an employee with much more.

States Target Buzzed Drivers with New Law

Recently, Austin, TX police chief, Art Acevedo announced his intention to pursue a new law targeting “buzzed” driving. As a result, Texas lawmakers will introduce this legislation for consideration as soon as January 2011. Current Texas law considers operating a vehicle with a .08 or higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be Driving While Under the Influence (DWI). Depending on a driver’s record, a DWI may be prosecuted as anything from a misdemeanor for first offense to a felony for multiple offenses. Punishments range from a fine, community service, suspended license, to jail time. The proposed legislation, however, would further target potentially impaired drivers by creating a new category called “Driving While Ability Impaired” (DWAI). Under this proposal, anyone operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol of .05-.07 could be convicted under a DWAI. Punishment levels for this conviction are pending a formal construction of the proposed law.

Safe Driving Tips for Teens

One of the most nerve-wracking moments of any parent’s life is the first time you turn the car keys over to your newly licensed teen. Whether we are too aware of the dangers of driving, or remember our own mistakes as a teen driver, it’s almost impossible to feel completely comfortable watching our teen drive away. While we can’t protect them completely, in addition to teaching them driving laws, there are a few rules parents can put in place to help teenage drivers stay safe.

The Hazard of Prescription Drug Mistakes

In 2007, actor Dennis Quaid and his wife became the proud parents of twins. Their joy quickly turned to fear when treatment for an infection resulted in the twins receiving a massive overdose of a blood thinner. The twins recovered, but Quaid went on to sue the drug maker due to his belief that incorrect labeling led to his children’s and other patients’ dangerous overdosing. Sadly, the case of the Quaid family is far from an isolated incident. Injuries and death from incorrectly administered medications occurs far more often that people may be aware.

How Safe is Public Transportation?

When people discuss safety on public transportation, the conversation tends to focus on protecting ourselves from crime. We are advised to be aware of suspicious characters, to secure your belongings against theft, to report abandoned packages, etc. However, what about our safety from the vehicle itself? When we ride public transport, we trust that the operators of these vehicles have our best interests at heart. We have faith in the professionalism of not only the company that runs the vehicle and its operators, but also the city, state and national government entities devoted to the oversight of our safety. And yet, preventable accidents continue to occur.

How Good is Your Work Coverage?

We hear all the time about workers who have little to no coverage for when they are unable to work due to injury or illness. But, sadly, there are workers who have access to such coverage, but fail to adequately utilize these benefits. Whether unaware or uninformed, too often people fail to sign up for or use the benefits their employer offers which provide financial assistance when they are unable to work due to injury or illness. And even when they do elect for this coverage, some fail to make certain it will provide enough to maintain their quality of living. By better understanding some types of disability coverage available to you, you can take steps to protect you and your family.

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