I Would Do Anything For My Kids, But Even I Have a Limit

When it comes to my kids, there is actually a limit as to what I will and will not do. Sure, if my daughter wants the latest Moana doll to line the shelves at the Disney Store, she’s got me so wrapped around her little finger that I’ll rev the engine to my intimidating Nissan Sentra, drive the 35 minutes to the mall, tote around a cotton bag to do my part to aid recycling, all so I can hear her squeal with excitement as she grabs the doll, hugs it and ultimately forgets about it by bedtime.

What I won’t do, however, is expose my children on social media. It’s a controversial topic that Huffington Post writer Emily Blatchford discusses at length in her article, “Should You Post Photos of Your Child on Social Media.” In our technologically advanced – and ever advancing – world, we, as adults, have become accustomed to the concept of sharing, perhaps, “over-sharing.” As a typical millennial, having come of age in the vintage-laden, Riot Girlll days of the 90s’, computers, TRL, reality tv-shows and inventions of Myspace, I was beginning my segway into a virtual identity long before I ever realized it.

By the time 2018 rolled around, social media became such a mainstream addiction that I actually took a conscious step back from it. My temporary hiatus allowed me to reflect on my habits beforehand – and that included the conscious decision to not show my children’s faces to my high school friends while they scroll their newsfeed on their lunch breaks.

Blatchford talks at length about how posting pictures could be an invasion of privacy, a segway for photos to wind up in the hands of sexual predators, and even further, how this is cultivating an environment where our kids don’t necessarily gain the opportunity to understand that not everything you see online is real.

While I enjoy my children’s smiling, bad-breath smelling faces gleaming at me at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning, those on my Facebook or Twitter feed don’t share my sentiments. In fact, that’s a huge reason as to why I refuse to post them. Outside of me, my wife, and our parents, no one really cares about our kids. They’d care if they had surgery, or recognition at school, but a half blurry, out-of-focus picture of my daughter refusing to eat her mashed peas doesn’t necessarily strike me as a viral content. Although, let me ask Annie Liebowitz real quick to confirm.

I think sharing your children’s milestones comes with a price – and a hefty one, too. Often, parents aren’t familiar with where that line should be drawn? Sharing your excitement over your child taking their first steps is magical. Sharing the image of the first time your child used the potty correctly crosses a line. It’s a controversial topic and one that my friends and I often disagree on. While I have a mild social media presence that would trick you into thinking I didn’t have any kids (except of course, when I write about them), I have friends who created Facebook accounts for each of their children that way they can have the photos, likes, comments, and memories to look back on when they grow older and ironically, when Facebook becomes obsolete.

We’re taught, growing up, that sharing is caring, but when it comes to social media, my children’s privacy is paramount. It’s in this discovery that reminds me that sharing may not always be the most caring and loving thing I could do for them as their father.

What is Whistleblowing?

whistleblower lawyer cherry hill, njEvery individual, as well as human resource professional, should be aware of the relevant state and federal laws that protect those people who come forward to report unethical behavior, fraud or illegal actions on the part of an employer. These people who share critical information that aids in a government investigation, may be referred to as whistleblowers and whistleblowers are afforded particular protections under both state and federal laws.

Human resources managers should be aware of what to do with information that is reported by a whistleblower as they could be named in an ongoing case if the whistleblower attempted to make a supervisor in the human resources department aware of an issue and no further action was taken. In addition, a human resources manager would be well advised to understand all the various implications of a whistleblower’s protected rights.

Many employees may investigate their own rights and determine that they have been discriminated against or subjected to other illegal behaviors that could form the basis of their own lawsuit directly against the company. An experienced human resources manager will have documented procedures and guidelines for how to handle these particular situations.

A whistleblower is an employee of an organization who reports another employee or group of employees for something that is believed to be dishonest, illegal or wrong. Even if this information is ultimately harmful to the company’s bottom line or the executives, there can be no retaliation against a whistleblower because of the laws that are in place, assigning steep penalties to a company that engages in whistleblower retaliation.

If the employee chooses to come forward with a lawsuit about whistleblower retaliation and has ample evidence showing that the employer took steps to discriminate against that employee because of his or her decision to report fraud or illegal behavior, the consequences for the company can be significant. It is essential for every company to be mindful of the whistleblower laws and to develop human resources procedures surrounding whistleblowing.

Whistleblower suits can be very complex because depending on the allegations put forth by the person with internal knowledge, government authorities can make the decision to get involved in the case. The government always has the option to step into a case, but in some situations, they may decline the opportunity to pursue one. If the government is involved in a case under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower may be entitled to some portion of the reward. If the government opts not to participate in the case, the whistleblower may still continue on their own if they believe that fraud has occurred. These complex elements highlight the importance of whistleblower protections.

What HR Managers Need to Know About the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002?

The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in order to address the corruption that had taken place in the government and across the country during that time. The primary purpose of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was to address critical wrongdoings, such as fraud, although there are provisions within that address whistleblowing.

Anyone who brings forward genuine information in an attempt to curb crimes or other dishonest acts is afforded necessary protections so long as they have a reasonable suspicion that the acts indeed occur. If an employee complains about illegal acts carried out by an employer, like fraud, then that employee is protected from retaliation. Even if the allegations are wrong, the employee is still eligible to receive those protections as long as they had good faith to believe that fraud was indeed happening.

There is no need to worry about penalties or countersuits due to coming forward with erroneous information as the law tends to be lenient towards whistleblowers who did have a reasonable suspicion that fraud was occurring. These whistleblower complaints can be made to an employee’s supervisor, a law enforcement agency, or a government representative. All of the same protections still stand.

Various Other Whistleblower Laws

Other whistleblower laws may be in place, depending on the individual industry. For example, there are whistleblower protections afforded to those working in the financial industry. Retaliatory measures, however, such as being harassed or being fired are all prohibited by these laws. There are laws specifically for employees of an industry who make complaints about that industry.

In addition, state whistleblower laws may apply and afford additional protections. There are a number of different states that have their own laws on the books about whistleblowers, whether it relates to a violation of wage laws, family and medical leave protections, jury duty or discrimination.

These laws are generally mentioned in conjunction with federal laws that are designed to give clear protection to whistleblowers who are coming forward with relevant information. Many states have specific provisions that allow employees to sue or fight back when they were wrongfully penalized or fired in violation of public policy.

Every state will have a different interpretation about these alleged violations of coming forward under public policy and it is important for a whistleblower as well as the human resources manager to know what to do. Finally, a human resources manager should be informed of how to handle a situation in which an employee comes forward directly to someone in the human resources department about the alleged indications of fraud.

A proper investigation procedure can help to shield the company from further allegations of wrongdoing. In the event that the whistleblower case ultimately develops into a government investigation or other circumstance, the human resources department should have thoroughly documented information about how the complaint was handled when initially brought forward by the whistleblower and the company’s overall procedures designed to minimize instances of retaliation.

These can present unique legal and technical concerns for any company as a whistleblower can come forward to report fraud in practically every industry if they can illustrate that the employer or another person at the company was involved in a legal or fraudulent behavior. This is a complex network of state and federal regulations and it is important for human resources manager to understand the possible exposure to issues associated with these concerns.

Winter Activities The Whole Family Can Enjoy

Slip and Fall Lawyer Newark, NJThere is nothing quite like being able to experience all four seasons throughout a year. Each season brings its own change in temperature, scenery, and weather. There are the fresh rain and new growth of spring, the warmth and sun of summer, the brisk air and colorful leaves of autumn and the chill of a fresh snowfall in the winter.

In accordance with the weather, the varying seasons throughout the year also come with many changes in dress and activities that can be done. For instance, spring and summer make it much easier to wear shorts and skirts and tank tops and t-shirts. Meanwhile, the cool air of autumn means long-sleeved shirts and pants and bringing out the jackets.

When winter finally approaches out comes the wool hats, gloves, winter jackets, and boots. As far as activities go, it is much easier to get up and go do something outside during the spring and summer. The warm weather means trips to the beach, playing sports outside or even leisure activities like a day out on the boat or a picnic in the park.

The cool weather of the fall is even a time when many people are outside enjoying the last of the nice weather. Football is in full swing and a walk around the block exploring the changing colors of the leaves on the trees is always a fun activity.

But then comes winter. Temperatures drop below 32 degrees and wind tends to pick up, making it quite cold outside. Add on the troubles of a heavy snowfall or wintry mix and venturing outside for fun is not something many think about doing.

But here’s the thing: just because winter is cold and windy does not mean there aren’t activities you and your family can do together. There are plenty of cold weather activities to do outside and a handful of great ones to do inside as well.

The National Debt Relief highlights a handful of great outdoor activities in an article online. Their top choice and one many choose to do when the first snowfall hits, is going snow tubing and/or sledding.

The great thing about tubing and sledding is that they are inexpensive activities that can be done wherever there is a hill. Snow tubes can be found online or in a store and sleds can be anything from what you buy in the store to a plastic bag. Make sure to dress warm and in layers and do not forget to invite your friends.

Even less expensive than sledding since it requires only snow is a snowball fight. A fun, playful snowball fight with the family is a great way to get in some exercise while enjoying the fresh snow. You can then take a break from the snowball fight and work on building a snowman or igloo. Top it off with some quality snow angels and you have a solid day of fun in the snow completed.

If your budget allows, taking a family trip to go skiing and/or snowboarding is another great winter activity to partake in. Many lodges offer accommodations and rentals in a package deal, making it easy to just wake up and hit the slopes.

Many ski and snow resorts even offer lessons for those with little to zero experience in the sports. And while some may be worried about injuries, there are always other activities to partake in like cross-country skiing or snow tubing. Snow tubing at a ski and snowboard resort is a bit more organized than in your backyard and usually involves pre-made tracks and hills to tube down.

Outside of the snow-related activities, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in the winter. An extremely popular activity is ice skating. Outdoor ice rinks tend to pop up in the winter and if not outside, there are plenty of ice rinks around that offer indoor skating.

Ice skate rentals and admission onto a rink are relatively cheap, making it an affordable activity for a family. It is also always better to do your skating on a formalized rink as opposed to finding a frozen pond or body of water. You never know just when that ice may give out.

On an even more relaxed level, a great outdoor activity in the winter is taking a walk and viewing holiday lights. The winter brings many different holidays and with those holidays come many different decorations.

Some towns even hold storefront decoration contests, making it the perfect place to stroll through. After a fresh snowfall, lights tend to sparkle a bit brighter so that is the ideal time to take a walk and take in the sights. Keep in mind though, that sidewalks can be slippery or slick, so take care when walking with the family to avoid a slip and fall. Enjoy the evening and cap it off with some hot cocoa at a local cafe.

Sometimes the cold weather and inclement weather might mean outdoor activities are a no go, but that doesn’t mean the family fun has to stop. There are plenty of indoor activities worth doing as a family, especially beside a warm fire.

An article from VivaReston Magazine points out just how much fun board games can be on a snowy, cold night. The article says, “games are a fun way to test your trivia, acting, artistic and even strategic skills.” Games are a great way to involve everyone in the family and last long enough for some fun, quality time with each other.

Other indoor activities can include checking out a show at the local theater if travel is not too difficult due to weather. Taking in a movie at the movie theater is also another great activity to do as a family.

It is easy to get lost in the fact that winter is cold and windy but instead of laying in bed all day or just watching television, do your best to get outside. Include the family and enjoy what the season has to offer. And remember, the winter will not last all year. Soon enough, you will be wondering what spring activities are available to do.