The case of Jahi McMath has led to an international debate on the meaning of life and death. A recent New Yorker article by Rachel Avive delves more deeply into the legal and ethical issues presented by this extraordinary case.
Thursday February 8th – A young Berkeley woman was killed when an AC Transit bus hit her vehicle as it was crossing Ashby Ave. at California Street. It appears that the speed of the bus may have been a factor as the bus pushed the vehicle down Ashby Avenue and crashed into a house. The bus was traveling westbound on Ashby Ave, while the Honda was traveling southbound on California before the collision occurred.
Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel stated the force of the collision sent both vehicles smashing into a parked car and then into a nearby house.
The area was closed to traffic for a period of time after the crash, and reopened later in the afternoon.
Berkeley police are still investigating what lead to the collision. The Driver of the Honda Civic was identified as Kelli Zachery a 27 year old Berkeley resident.
The Dolan Law Firm Offers our condolences to Ms. Zachery’s Family and Friends.
Joe from San Francisco writes: My wife and I learned of a great opportunity to work in a restaurant in San Francisco. We were promised “good wages” and we were excited to move to from the Philippines and start a new life in America. When we arrived in San Francisco two years ago, we were required to and continue to work over twelve hours a day and not allowed to take breaks. We also work 6 days a week. Our employer told us that we owed a debt and he began deducting various items from our wages such as transportation, interest or fines, and charges for bad behavior. We ended up with almost no salary for the hours we worked. We were also threatened with our visas having expired and being in the United States “illegally.” My employer even took our passports away. We were threatened that if we tried to leave our employer and go back to the Philippines, something bad would happen to our family there. We confided in a friend who told us that she believed that we are victims of human trafficking. What can we do? We feel trapped and do not know if we have rights.
Samantha from Oakland writes: Since 2016, I have been working full-time for a small business in Oakland. I am pregnant with an expected due date of April 2018. When I spoke to the owner about my leave of absence after the birth of my baby, she said that because she only employs 30 employees, I would only be entitled to a 6 or 8 week leave of absence, depending on how my baby is delivered. Is that correct? I thought I would get another 12 weeks off for baby bonding? Will my job be protected if I take this much time off? I am also concerned about my health insurance. Does my employer have to continue making payments during my leave?
This week’s question comes from Maria in Fairfield who asks: “My mother rented an apartment on a month-to month basis. She gave the landlord first month, last month and two month’s security. She and the apartment manager had a dispute concerning my brother and his wife who came to stay for several days. They were noisy and upset the tenants. My mom had enough of her harassment and told the manager that she was going to move out.
She gave 30 days notice. She moved out before the thirty days and tried to schedule a walk-through to get her deposit back. The manager said that my mother could come back and clean the apartment and get her remaining items. The manager changed her position and told my mom she could not come back in to clean or get her things. She also said that she would not give my mother back her security deposit because there was a lot of damage. That’s not true.
A USA Today article reports that, Fires, high winds, and rain have culminated to form deadly mudslides that have devastated parts of southern California. The mudslides have leveled homes and several fatalities have been reported.
Today’s question comes from Janet M. in South San Francisco who asks: “I work for a large contracting firm that does business with the State and other large businesses doing civil engineering and building projects. I am not management and I am union member. I have developed a condition known Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which affects my breathing. Some of the jobs that we work on have a lot of dust and others use chemical adhesives which make it difficult for me to breath. My job doesn’t involve doing any of the work that is directly involved with these irritants; but, I am occasionally required to go onto job sites where I am exposed.
There are 3 other people that do my job too and I am the second most senior. They could do some job shifting that would allow me to pick up part of my co-worker’s responsibilities, and they mine, so I would not be exposed to these triggers. My doctor recommended I ask for this change in my job, so I asked my supervisor who said no. When I asked her if I could then go home sick when I have a COPD attack she said no. She is mad at me because I have had to take afternoons off when I am exposed to these conditions as it is difficult for me to breath.
She says that I have exceeded the number of absences which are allowed under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and if I miss another day of work she is going to move to have me terminated for “job abandonment.” I said I was going to go to an attorney and she said that I was bound under my union’s CBA agreement to use the administrative process set forth in the CBA. My Union Rep is of no help and says that they aren’t going to file a grievance unless and until I am fired. This isn’t fair. What rights do I have?”