It’s baseball season again and, therefore, that time of year for me to remind readers of an important legal issue relating to their enjoyment of baseball namely, “who is responsible if someone gets hit with a line drive, foul ball and/or broken bat while watching a game?” As a lawyer, and a big Giants fan, I like to start off the season by saying, put down your cell phone and “keep your eye on the ball” during play. A distraction can lead to serious and even life threatening injury.
This week’s question comes from Anonymous in the East Bay who asks: “I read your article last week on guns and crazy neighbors while riding home on BART. It got me to thinking: I know some shifty dudes who have a lot of guns. Some of them are felons and some have restraining orders out on them for domestic violence. They have some heavy pieces including AK 47’s and other assault weapons, machine pistols and silencers. I’ve also seen some bullet proof vests. They deal a lot of drugs and use the guns to “protect their interests.” Isn’t there some restriction on criminals owning guns? Can people still buy AK’s in California? What about body armor?”
Ana from San Francisco writes: I am ending my maternity leave next week. I would like to send an e-mail to my manager to ask about my employer’s policy on lactation breaks and request a private room where I can express milk for my baby. However, I am worried that I may be asking for too much since the company is small (only 25 employees in my office but approximately 75 in the Bay Area) and I already took a lot of time off after giving birth for my recovery and for baby bonding. I do not have my own office and I do not want to pump in a bathroom stall, as I am worried that it would be unsanitary. I heard San Francisco has extra protections for nursing mothers. What are my rights?
Today’s question comes from Priscilla in Hayes Valley who asks “As I would hope everybody else would be, I am outraged, sickened and angry with the senseless gun violence that we saw, AGAIN, in Florida when 17 people were senselessly gunned down by a man who was, apparently, suffering from mental illness. How can such a person get access to a gun? Is there law which limits access of crazy people to weapons? A member of my family is a gun nut and has a bi-polar disorder. He has a lot of guns and has made statements about “going postal” and “shooting up the town.” I am afraid of him going off and hurting someone. Please let me know what someone can do when they think that there is a time-bomb ticking away like this.”
This week’s question comes from Dawn E. in the Mission District who asks: “I live on 23rd Street near the construction site where two pedestrians were injured when materials were blown off the job site and onto them as they were walking by on the sidewalk. It is unfathomable that this could happen. What is the law on a situation like this?”
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.