Scots Law Explained

The law in Scotland is commonly known as Scots Law and has it’s roots in Celtic law. Around the mid tenth century however, it was revised and influenced by canon law and feudal law. Later King David I instigated the use of sheriffs and other institutions along with other facets of Anglo-Norman law. In certain situations thereafter even Roman law was used where Scots law was deemed inadequate.

In more modern times Scots law has been brought more into line with the laws of England and Wales, but retains it’s fundamental differences. The treaty of Rome has also meant that European laws now influence Scots law as it does the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Parliament has powers over certain areas of the Scottish legal system such as environment, education, health, local government and criminal justice, but Westminster (the UK parliament) retains power over such areas as defence, economic policy, international relations, drug laws etc.

The criminal court system in Scotland comprises District Courts, Sheriff Courts, High Courts and Supreme Courts, the court to be used depends on the severity of the particular case. All qualified Solicitors in Scotland are registered with the Law Society of Scotland. One such member being Ewan Sheriff, a very highly experienced and respected man, Ewan has recently moved his operations to The Middle East.

Civil cases in Scotland are covered in Sheriff Courts, the Court of Session and Supreme Courts depending upon the severity of the case in question. There are also special courts in operation for cases such as children’s hearings.

Time for a Career in Law for You?

Unlike my friends in Europe, who have to decide on what career they want to have early on in their school path and such, we are lucky here in the United States. We can make life and career changes at the drop of the hat. They live in a much more regimented structure.

I was unhappy with my career, so, I went back to law school. It was a bit risky, since I was going to have to run up quite a large student loan debt in the process, but I thought it was worth it. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it and was worried about failing out. I know quite a few lawyers and they all warned me against it, but I showed them in the end.

The first year of law school was amazingly difficult. The professors were out to get students in class and humiliate them, as they are trying to weed out the weak. You also need to learn how to read in an entirely different way and also to think in a logical way that is unique to the law. It is not what you would anticipate.

The hardest thing about getting to where I am currently as a practicing lawyer was actually the bar exam. After three years of law school you probably think that you’d be ready for that test, but frankly, I was not. The entire experience is completely exhausting and will take every bit of energy and knowledge you can muster. Plus, the test is just plain odd. You go through law school taking essay tests the entire time, with the proper answer almost always being shades of gray, and then you get to the bar exam and an entire day of the test is multiple choice questions.

After that, I just got truly fortunate. I started from the beginning as a solo practice lawyer, which I do not recommend for people. But in my case, I got a couple good cases referred to me early by some friends of mine and got lucky to get my practice up and running fairly fast. Even then, it was about a three-year slog to get to the point where I was actually making a reasonable amount of money. Personally, I think joining a firm, whether big or small, and learning from other lawyers is the best way to go.

What I do think though is that more people should be considering this for a mid-life career change. It was the best decision I made in my life.

Federal and California Employment Laws: A Review

There is a saying in the California HR-world: if you can manage human resources in California, you can manage human resources anywhere. California has the most employment laws in the country and they continue to increase, year after year. This article provides a cursory overview of both California, and federal, employment laws.

Federal Labor Laws

There are essentially 11 core laws that apply to all organizations regardless of size in the United States. They will be explained briefly below:

1. FLSA – Fair Labor and Standards Act

2 & 3. Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts (NLRA and Labor Management Relations)

4. Consumer Credit Protection

5. ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act

6 & 7. FICA and Social Security

8. EPPA – Employee Polygraph Protection Act

9. USERRA – Uniform Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act

10. IRCA – Immigration Reform and Controls Act

11. EEOC – Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection

Virtually all employers in the United States are subject to these laws and in some instances, California has added to them.

1. FLSA guides work hours and wages. California has made modifications to FLSA specific to breaks, minimum wage and overtime.

2 and 3. Both the Wagner and Taft Hartley Acts address and regulate union activities. Please note that the NLRA applies to all businesses and the rights of employee behavior, whether a union is present or not.

4. The Consumer Credit Protection act addresses use of credit information and employment. Again, California has added to this.

5. ERISA addresses retirement.

6 and 7. FICA and Social Security are in regards to federal deductions.

8. The use of polygraphs is greatly discouraged and illegal in most instances. There are specific rules involved in the legal application of polygraphs and the documentation required.

9. USERRA addresses the rights of veterans and military people in the workforce.

10. IRCA has recently updated the I-9 form as of March 8, 2013.

11. Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection (EEOC) address the interviewing and hiring of individuals.

Additionally, employers must comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation, child labor Laws, employee safety-OSHA, Independent Contractors, Posters/Notices (Federal and State), and Privacy Laws (Federal and State).

California Employment Laws

In addition to these laws, California has its own extensive list of regulations. The following applies to ALL California employers, regardless of employee size. The explanation of each law is beyond the scope of this article, but it should provide HR professionals a guideline to research any California-specific laws they may be unfamiliar with.

  • Unemployment Insurance (EDD)
  • New Employee Reporting (EDD)
  • Parent’s Leave for Children Suspended From School
  • Crime Victim’s Leave
  • Disability Insurance- PFL/FTDI/SDI
  • Military Leave
  • Volunteer Civil Service Leave
  • Election Leave
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Leave
  • FEHA/harassment
  • Kin Care
  • Ralph Civil Rights Act (hate violence)
  • Unruh Civil Rights Act (businesses)

Laws Applicable Based on Employee Size

Neither list of employment laws is exhaustive. Employers are subjected to many other laws and regulations, but they only apply at certain employee thresholds. Below is a list of laws that apply at the following employee counts. California-specific laws are noted with a *.

  • 2 or more employees
    • Cal-COBRA*
    • Environmental Protection Agency
  • 5 or more employees
    • CA Discrimination Laws*
    • Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
  • 15 or more employees
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA/ADAAA)
    • Federal Discrimination Laws (Title VII)
    • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
    • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act(GINA)
    • Organ and Bone Marrow Donor’s Leave*
    • Civil Air Patrol Leave*
  • 20 or more employees
    • COBRA
    • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
    • Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)
  • 25 or more employees
    • Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation
    • Domestic Violence Leave: Medical Treatments*
    • Literacy Leave*
    • School Activities Leave*
    • Military Family Leave*
  • 50 or more employees
    • Affirmative Action (Federal)
    • Military Family Leave
    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • California Federal Rights Act (CFRA)*
    • Mandatory Supervisor Unlawful/Sexual Harassment training including abusive conduct*
    • Volunteer Firefighters Training*
  • 75 or more
    • WARN Act (Plant closings and layoffs)
  • 100 or more
    • EEO reporting requirements
  • Leaves of Absence (holiday pay, sick pay, vacation) are not required, but if offered, specific laws apply.

This article was intended to provide a high-level review of the key employment laws in California, and across the nation. It is by no means exhaustive, and a professional HR consulting firm or employment specialist should be contacted with any questions or concerns.

Based in Los Angeles since 1982, CPEhr provides a comprehensive HR solution for small and mid-sized employers in California, and across the country. Contact us to schedule a free human resources consultation.

State Labor Laws That Create Safe and Secure Working Conditions

West Virginia is one of the most famous states which is located in Appalachian and the Mid-Atlantic region of United States of America. This has one of the best cities that has the potential to provide you some promising and well-deserved income opportunities that match your skills. Here are some labor laws which must be followed by each and every employer.

1. Posters Of Labor Laws
According to this law, the employers must paste the posters which supply their working areas with the posters. These posters deal with information which is related to the labor laws of this city. These posters provide accurate information that help the common citizens to get rid from the exploitation conditions of the employers.

These posters comprises of information that is related with unemployment, minimum income, discrimination laws and many more rules which fall under this category!

2. Hiring
As per the federal laws, the employer cannot hire a worker who is unhealthy, physically unfit or below the age of 14 years.

3. Discrimination
The employers cannot discriminate the workers on the basis of caste, creed, sex, nationality, religion, color, i9ncome or any other basis! If any employer is found to discriminate his employers then they musty get ready to face the destined punishment.

4. Injury At Work Place
It is the responsibility of the owner to avert his/her co-worker or sub-ordinate from the injuries or any physical damages. In case any co-worker is injured, he/she must be offered proper medical treatment. Omitting this rule can lead to some deadly results.

5. Safety At The Working Place
According to this rule, the employer must offer the best working condition to the employees which are hired by him/her. If you are not offering accurate working condition then you must get ready to face the punishments which are destined for the people who overlook the importance of this law.

6. Harassment Of Employees
This law protects the employees from being harassed by their job providers. This law punishes the employers who pester their sub-ordinates.

7. Minimum Wage Of The Employees
The employers must provide their sub-ordinates with a salary at the rate not less than $7.25 per hour. The job providers must offer their employees even when they are enjoying the training period. If any employee is found to overcome this rule, he must get ready to face the severe punishments which are destined for these employers.

I am sure that you must have got a good idea about the labor laws which are followed in West Virginia.