Category: Uncategorized

Virginia Unemployment Benefits Update

Welcome back to all of you who may be following this site to gain additional information about the filing of Virginia unemployment benefits for self-employed individuals. I have spoken today with a representative from the VEC and would like to provide you with a little bit of additional information in the event that it helps you with your filing or to maintain your patience. It appears that starting with last Thursday we could, for the first time, access the site of gov2go and actually file weekly claims for unemployment benefits going back to March 15th. Please note that for those people whose initial unemployment claims were denied due to monetary in eligibility, completing this weekly claim is sufficient to satisfy both the state weekly VEC unemployment claim and the federal PUA claim, so you do not need to file twice for each week. For each week you must fill out the appropriate questionnaire so that you can determine your eligibility and then submit your claim. The VEC is hopeful that it will be able to issue money for these claims in the next two to three days. They do advise that certain Banks may have a waiting period once it is received by the bank to be posted to your bank account but they are hopeful that their piece of the puzzle as far as issuing payments might commence in a few days. For those self-employed people who have applied for PPP loans and been approved you need to be aware of how to take those funds into consideration when you file your unemployment benefits. On the gov2go site for each weekly claim there is a button to click as to whether you have applied for or received PPP funds. I’ve been advised that once you individually receive a “paycheck” from these PPP funds then you must identify the amount you received in the block where you click the button for PPP benefits. If the amount of your PPP payment exceeds your weekly benefit then, for that week, you will not receive an unemployment benefit. However it is important to continue to go through this exercise weekly even if you don’t get a weekly benefit. It is possible that your PPP funds could run out before you become re-employed and in that case your unemployment claim remains alive and well for future benefits as long as you have been completing your entitlement weekly. Hang in there, please try and stay patient and with a little juggling we may all start to see a benefit by the end of this week

CARES Act

For all of the self-employed people, 1099 workers, musicians and other people who DO NOT GET A PAYCHECK WHERE THE EMPLOYER HAS TAKEN OUT AND PAID STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES. Although the CARES Act, as a federal law, now allows you all to get state unemployment benefits (to the maximum of $378.00 per week), currently the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) will automatically deny your initial claim, because their computer system first looks for a prior earnings record. DO NOT FEAR! I have spoken with someone from the VEC and they acknowledged that the problem is their software system and not your entitlement. They anticipate that it will take a few more weeks for them to update the system and, for all those who have filed and been denied, DO NOT REFILE. They advised that their website will tell us all what we need to submit in order to get benefits, and that when we do qualify, the payment will be retroactive from the date of the initial application. Also, since the Federal unemployment benefit of $600.00 per week is dependent upon the administration of the payment through the state, you will likely get that sum, when it finally becomes available, through the VEC. The problem is that we don’t know when this will all happen, and NEITHER DO THEY!

Remember that I cannot speak FOR the VEC, even though I spoke TO the VEC, and things in this area have been changing quickly. I just wanted to try to allay the fears of those like my wife, who owns a hair salon and who is currently out of business, and who received one of those “denial” letters while at the same time listening to people on the TV tell her just the opposite.

Stay healthy, stay separated, stay patient, and stay nice to each other.

Diabetic Blackout Causes Fatal Crash, “What Do You Think”

Okay it’s time to ponder another edition of what do you think? Maxine was diagnosed 10 years ago with diabetes she checks her glucose levels each day and she’s never suffered from a diabetic blackout. One evening in her car Maxine begins to pass a slower moving vehicle and she crosses into the oncoming lane. She’s unable to get back into the proper lane and she crashes into the oncoming car unfortunately killing the other driver. Maxine claims she suffered a blackout she can’t recall the collision at all and the evidence is that at the scene of the accident EMTs administered glucose to Maxine. So tell me what you think. Should Maxine be liable for the other drivers death or is her conduct excused because she suffered a sudden emergency? What type of conduct do you think it should take to give rise to a sudden emergency? Let me hear what you’ve got to say.

Fired for Social Media comments. “What Do You Think”?

It’s time for a social media edition of what do you think! Nancy works for a local caterer in their marketing department and she is a regular poster on Facebook both for her personal interest and as marketing director for her company. Nancy feels very strongly about a post that another local merchant made on facebook and she fires off her opinions through her own personal account but Nancy’s boss who is one of her facebook friends sees her post complaining about another local merchant and he fires her so what do you think? Where is the line where your personal opinions become your boss’s concern? if you are free to express your private opinions do you need to be prepared for the consequences of those opinions? let me hear from you.  What do you think?

Ready for the answer? Here it is! Its a difficult line to straddle where a proprietor has the right to protect his or her brand and the right or power to require compliance by employees while engaged in connection with the business. The difficulty further arises when, in a state like Virginia where one can be terminated for no reason, absent a contract, an employer may terminate for non-work connected speech or actions. Since the first amendment doesn’t apply privately, one may fairly consider that restricting your opinions maybe a subtle condition of your employment. Distasteful, but currently legal.

Preexisting Injury

Can you still recover if the crash you were in aggravated a preexisting condition? Watch our latest video to find out, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more legal updates and news.

Hospital Gives Patient Wrong Pills!

Is the hospital at fault even if the patient sees the mistake and doesn’t take the pills? “What Do You Think”?  Check at my video and the answer below.

Medical Malpractice cases in Virginia are the most complex and expensive cases to litigate, they require proof through hired expert witnesses that the medical professional breached the standard of care and that the breach caused harm.  If you believe that you have been harmed by medical negligence, CALL SANDLER LAW GROUP FIRST at 757-627-8900.

But at their heart, these cases are still negligence cases, and a recovery for negligence requires that there be a duty, that the duty was breached and that the breach CAUSED HARM.  This is the legal version of “NO HARM, NO FOUL”, because the civil tort system is not, in the ordinary case, based on PUNISHMENT FOR AN ACT, it is based upon COMPENSATION FOR HARM.

In our video although the nurse may have been negligent in that she had a duty to read the chart and give the correct medicine, and she might have breached that duty, THERE WAS NO HARM.   We are all quite fortunate that our system does not rely upon “could have” instead of “did”.

For more information on bringing a Medical Malpractice Action in Virginia download the booklet titled, “Medical Malpractice Harms 100,000 Patients A Year” on our homepage..

 

Social Media Comments

Recently a White House official suggested that ESPN host, Jemele Hill, be fired for her Twitter comments about the POTUS. With that in mind we thought it a perfect time to review our video about being fired for social media comments. Take a look at my video… my legal opinion is below.

Predictably, because my video was first seen on Facebook, the responses to whether an employee could or should be fired for expressing their opinions on social media were slanted in favor of the employee.  Whether your termination from work will give rise to a claim is why you should CALL SANDLER LAW GROUP FIRST at 757-627-8900, because your claim is always going to be based on your specific facts.

But in this video, understand a few things:

  1. First, in Virginia an employer may fire a worker without reason, unless there are contractual rights that protect the employee.
  2. Second, the first amendment DOES NOT APPLY, as it only controls the governments restrictions on speech, not private restrictions.
  3. Third, just because you HAVE an opinion does not mean you should OFFER IT!. People today forget that what you choose to say has consequences, and if you choose to say it, be prepared to accept these consequences, both good and bad, because you can’t control the reaction of others.

Intersection accident

 

This video addresses one of the most often cited misconceptions about civil liability for a vehicle crash.  Shocked clients tell me “The other guy got a ticket, so how can the insurance company say he wasn’t at fault?”.  There are two simple answers to this question.  First, a ticket is only an officer’s opinion of whether someone violated a traffic law, and traffic laws are NOT the same thing as civil responsibility.  The issues are different and the burden of proof is different.  Secondly, civil liability focuses on CAUSATION, what caused the crash.  In this video neither the absent insurance or the expired license caused the crash.  The crash was caused by someone not keeping a proper lookout and whether they had a license or insurance has nothing to do with who caused the crash.

CALL SANDLER LAW GROUP FIRST at 757-627-8900 when someone runs into you, NOT THE INSURANCE COMPANY.  You need someone who knows the law to speak for you, so that your right to a full and fair recovery will be protected.