The Legality of Workplace Drug Testing

It is the aim of most employers to reduce the risk of accidents and mishaps. Employees who come to work under the influence of drugs present a serious danger to their colleagues—especially if heavy machinery and hazardous materials are used on the job. Not even the high-end service professions are impervious to such a menace, which is why on site drug screening is so prevalent. Office workers who show up with drugs in their system can cost companies significant amounts of money through incompetence, mismanagement, and workplace disruption.

The intentions of private businesses may seem reasonable and justified, but the legality of their actions is much more complex.

Until the mid-1980s, the lower federal and state courts had a history of striking down mass drug-testing programs. The Constitutional basis for these decisions is quite clear. The Fourth Amendment states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

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The Importance of Estate Planning

There is a common misconception that if you are not a millionaire there is no need to undergo estate planning. Somehow people have developed the notion that it only serves to help the super-rich. This could not be more wrong. Many states have laws in place that allow taking over and administrating the sale and disbursement of everything you own in cases where there is no will in place at the time of death. This can leave your estate in probate court for years and limit what your family receives. This article strives to show the importance of complete estate planning.

What Is an Estate Plan?

Estate plans are a set of legal documents that lay out a plan of action in how your material wealth and health will be handled if you become seriously ill, or die. These documents normally include a will, advance directive, and your choice of executors that will handle everything from making the hard medical decisions, distribution of any cash left behind to the individuals of your choice, and seeing that any material possessions end up in the hands of the people you have chosen and placed in the will.

Lack of proper estate planning can end up pitting one relative against another, which will cause the process to get hung up in a probate court for years. Lack of estate planning has literally ripped entire families apart. This is especially true when estates are valued at large sums of money and assets. Nothing can cause more immediate strife in a family than financial arguments. It can cause feuds that will last for many years to come.

Exercise Control with Your Estate

Taking the time to sit down with a estate planning lawyer and carry out complete estate planning is your chance to exercise complete control over what happens with your money, and possessions while you are in sound condition to do so. It is an act of kindness that will make your passing less stressful for all involved. Every detail down to the funeral arrangements can already be planned and ready to put into action.

Estate planning allows you to be very specific in the details of how personal items, money, stocks, bonds, cars, homes, paintings, jewelry, and anything of value is distributed. You can decide who would best manage your estate. You can feel confident that every decision going forth is set in stone long before you pass away. You can even have them interface with your personal injury lawyer. No one will be left struggling making the tough decisions. 

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An Overview of Environmental Law and Compliance

Environmental compliance refers to the practice of conforming to environmental laws and regulations. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in sensitization on the importance of environmental law and compliance. Many countries and organizations are increasingly integrating environmental concerns and compliance activities to prevent conflicts, overlaps, and gaps. Compliance involves managing monitoring programs or schedules, data validation to ensure compliance, and generating routine compliance reports. These complex and time-consuming processes have led to the increased use of compliance software to manage environmental compliance.

How Environmental Law and Compliance Works

To address environmental problems, environment regulatory authorities such as the EPA use various strategies that combine incentives, compliance assistance, and monitoring and enforcement tools. Compliance assistance helps businesses, industries, and governments to understand and meet their environmental obligations. As the name suggests, incentives are designed to provide new and innovative ways of meeting environmental obligations. Monitoring and enforcement help ensure compliance with state or federal environmental regulations, laws, and standards.

Compliance Assistance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) educates business owners and industry leaders on environmental law. It creates various compliance assistance tools to help organizations, industries, and governments understand environmental law so that they can meet their environmental requirements. These tools include resources and guidance documents for compliance assistance, compliance assistance centers, compliance assistance hotlines, and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program. These tools help small businesses and organizations meet their environmental compliance goals and find valuable information on environmental law.

Compliance Incentives

Integrated into compliance and enforcement tools are incentives that are designed to encourage self-policing and disclosure of violations of environmental laws. Compliance incentives help to ensure better environmental results. Some of the incentives provided by environmental regulatory agencies include a self-auditing policy for disclosing compliance as well as information and guides for better environmental practices. Some environmental protection agencies recognize and reward organizations and businesses that comply with standards beyond current requirements.

Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement

One of the best means of ensuring environmental compliance is by implementing effective monitoring and compliance assessment policies. Without compliance, laws and regulations may have little or no impact. There are various ways of ensuring that businesses and public facilities comply with environmental laws and regulations including inspections, self-reporting, investigations, and targeted information gathering.

Environmental protection agencies often conduct regular on-site inspections of public facilities to determine compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Some of the issues under inspection include whether proper permits are available, if hazardous materials are properly labeled and handled by hazardous waste disposal specialists, and if emergency plans are in place.

Businesses and industries may be asked to routinely monitor certain aspects of their operations that affect the environment including emissions and discharges and to report their findings to the government. Businesses that fail to self-monitor or provide inaccurate information are considered to have potential compliance problems.

Environmental protection agencies may require businesses and industries to carry out specific self-testing and disclose the results of their findings to the agencies. The agencies may also examine the records of businesses to determine when they bought pollution equipment, how much the equipment cost, and when it was installed. The EPA has been given broad authorities to gather information from businesses and industries if it suspects violations.

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What is an Article 32 Hearing?

An Article 32 hearing follows a military investigation. Its equivalent in the civilian world is a grand jury. When a person in the military is charged with a crime, an Article 32 investigation must take place. This is done prior to a case being sent for a military trial. After the military investigation is complete, the government will present all of the evidence that is known to an impartial Investigating Officer (IO) who will determine if an Article 32 hearing is necessary.


The reason for an Article 32 hearing is to have a pre Court-Martial hearing. During this hearing, all of the known facts will be examined. The substance of the accusations will be brought forth in the form of charges. The charges will be formalized and used to determine if the case proceeding to trial would serve the purposes of discipline and justice.

Uniform Code Of Military Justice (UCMJ)

The UCMJ identifies a number of infractions by members of the military that require punishment. A member of the US military who is accused of an infraction contained withing the UCMJ could face a number of non-judicial or administrative punishments. The most serious infractions will require a general court-martial to determine guilt or innocence. Prior to anyone being referred for a general court-martial, an article 32 hearing must take place. A service member’s commanding officer has court-martial convening authority. They will ask for advice from the command judge advocate concerning the strength or weakness of a case. They will also express their desire for the disposition of the case.

Rights Of The Accused

When a service member is accused of a violation of the UCMJ, they will be advised of the charges against them. The accused will be informed they have a right to be represented at the hearing by an attorney. The accused representative will have an opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses against them who are made available. The defense is also permitted to present anything they believe will help with their defense. The investigating officer will examine any and all witnesses requested by the accused to testify on their behalf. If charges are recommended after the investigation, a statement of the any testimony’s substance will be provided to the accuser and their representative.

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