Holiday Roundup: Shopping, Safety, Family & Employment
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. The first half of November has flown by, Thanksgiving is less than 10 days away, Hanukkah begins in about two weeks and Christmas isn’t far behind. You might not associate legal problems with such feel-good holidays, but this season can bring with it an array of legal issues.
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Be a Smart Consumer
At the risk of sounding cliche, it’s the season of giving. But that doesn’t mean you should be blindly generous. Before shopping, do your research. Comparison shop, look at product reviews and investigate return policies. Know that thieves take advantage of the holiday season. Don’t leave gifts in plain view in your car, watch your wallet and investigate charities before handing over a donation.
- Black Friday: Tis the Season to be Shopping – Some stores are even open on Thanksgiving.
- Shopping Online – Save the trip to the mall and shop Cyber Monday instead.
- How to Be an Educated Consumer – Don’t purchase anything without reading this first.
- When Gift Giving Goes Awry – When the gift you give isn’t perfect.
- Toy Safety in the Spotlight as Holiday Shopping Intensifies – Remember to check for potentially harmful toys before giving them.
- Fraud Victim? Fight Back! – Your ID is precious. Take steps against getting it stolen.
- Make Sure You Get Your Rebates on Purchases – Tomorrow might be too late.
- Fake & Counterfeit Goods Are No Bargain – They may seem like a good deal, but are they really?
- Donating to Charity the Smart Way – Don’t be a chump with your change.
Safety at Home & on the Road
Whether you’re hopping in the car to drive to Grandma’s house or flying across the country, the holiday travel crush and winter weather can bring all sorts of travel woes. New security rules at airports mean you should spend a little extra time preparing – know what you can pack and what you can carry on. You’ll also want to safeguard your loved ones by taking the time to winterize your car before driving in foul weather. And don’t think that safety begins when you pull out of the driveway. Keep your home and your guests safe, too, during the holiday season.
- Be Careful Driving & Parking This Winter – A winter wonderland can turn deadly quickly.
- Driving While Intoxicated – Laws are getting tougher and the police will be out.
- New ID Rules for Fliers Kick in November 1st – Get your approved ID before you get to the airport.
- Bedbugs Take Wing, Now Frequent Fliers on Airlines – Bedbugs haven’t gone away yet.
- 10 Travel Tips for Infrequent Fliers – With these tips you’ll be more confident.
- 9 Travel Tips for Road Warriors – You may think you know everything about travel; now you do.
- Don’t Let a Vacation Headache Turn Into a Financial Nightmare – Dreaming of a holiday away from home?
- Car Rental Outfits Neglect Repairs, Push Insurance – Get only the coverage you need.
- Think Twice Before Opting Out of TSA Body Scan – Saying "No" could cost more than you think.
- Seasonal Fire Safety Checklist – Be careful with the holiday glow.
The holidays can be tough for kids whose parents have split. As a parent, don’t make it any more difficult on them. Try not to let long-simmering disputes with your ex come to a head, and don’t punish your kids by keeping them from seeing or talking to their other parent.
- Child Custody Visitation & Handling Transportation – Handle with care.
- Grandparents’ Visitation Rights – Grandparents may only see their grandchildren a few times a years.
In a season that’s meant to be joyous, jobs can cause a lot of headaches. Maybe you asked for time off for religious celebrations and your request was denied. Or maybe you’ve found yourself scheduled for the Christmas night shift with no extra compensation. It can pay to know your rights under the law. And if your workplace throws a holiday party, enjoy yourself but be careful. Many a career has been damaged after someone had a bit too much fun at the office celebration.
- Legally Speaking: Employer-Sponsored Holiday Parties – Your actions could speak louder than words.
- The Company Holiday Party: Is It Work or Play? – You may think it’s play, but don’t get too carried away.
- The Basics of Wages and Overtime Laws – Is your boss a Scrooge?
- Vacations and Time Off from Work – Your days off are precious.
- Workers May Be Entitled to Time off for Holidays – Many holidays are already covered, but, if not, ask for time off well before the actual day or days.
- Holiday Sick and Vacation Pay under the FLSA – Achoo. You might have to come into work when you’re sick. Can the boss force you?
- Religion at Work – Holiday observations are just as important as work.
- Check the Turkey, Check Your Email – Be careful when asking employees to work over the holidays.