Report Bullying and Harassment of LGBT Students

Have you or someone you know experienced LGBT based bullying, harassment, or discrimination in school?

According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), you are not alone:

Approximately 85% of high school students report being harassed in school because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and 64% of students report being harassed for being too masculine or too feminine. Even more troubling, only 18% of LGBT students report that their schools have policies which offer comprehensive protections.

Without  adequate statewide protections, what can members of school communities do to address these issues?

We can take action to ensure LGBT students claim their rights, create a record measuring anti-LGBT harassment, and use this record to advocate laws and policies that will address this epidemic plaguing our nation’s schools.

Empowering school communities with this information , and delivering reports to the U.S. Education Department is a critical first step in claiming our rights and getting the tools to create change and build safer schools. We need your help in this important educational and advocacy effort.

GLSEN recommends  that if you – or someone that you know – have experienced school-based bullying, harassment, or discrimination, please file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Education Department today.  For more information on how to file a complaint, visit GLSEN’s website.

For information regarding New Hampshire’s anti-bullying law and other resources check out Bully Free New Hampshire.

For discrimination matters in areas of employment, public accommodations and the sale or rental of housing or commercial property, because of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin contact the NH Commission for Human Rights.

The Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association has a panel of competent attorneys experienced with handling discrimination matters.  Most discrimination claims are time-sensitive so call LRS today at 603-229-0002 or request an online referral.

Do You Have Permission to “Pin” That?

Pinterest, a social photo sharing website, launched in 2010, allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections.  This site, especially popular with women, has grown to 11.1 million users as of last month.

According to Georgia lawyer Kirsten Kowalski, Pinterest’s terms of use agreement states that users are responsible for member content they make available, and either accordingly own the content or have consent from the items’ owners.

“I immediately thought of the ridiculously gorgeous images I had recently pinned from an outside website and, while I gave the other photographer credit right in my pin … I most certainly could not think of any way that I either owned those photos or had license, consent or release from the photographers who owned them,” Kowalski wrote.

Also, Business Insider reports, Pinterest’s terms of service holds users responsible for legal fees should litigation arise. Kowalski notes that Pinterest reserves the right to prosecute users for copyright violations.

Read the entire story from the ABA Journal News.

If you have been accused of  violating copyright laws, or someone is using your intellectual property without permission, consulting with an attorney who specifically handles intellectual property matters can make all the difference!  The Lawyer Referral Service of the NH Bar Association can refer you to competent attorneys who regularly practice in this area of law.  Call 603-229-0002 for a referral or submit the online referral request form.

Can I Be Fired While On Maternity Leave in NH?

According to the NH Commission for Human Rights, you cannot be fired or laid off while on maternity leave if it’s related to your temporary disability; however, you may be fired or laid off from a general and legitimate lay-off for performance requirements.

What else does the Commission say about the rights of pregnant employees?

1. Is a pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?

Yes, an employer must grant a female employee leave for the period of time she is physically disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

2. Is there a set period of time for maternity leave?

No, there is no set period of time for maternity leave. It is based on the period she is disabled as determined by a physician, usually the employee’s personal doctor.

3. Is the employee entitled to full pay while on maternity leave?

The general rule is that pregnancy must be treated in the same manner that the employer treats other temporary physical disabilities. Therefore, if the employer continues to pay other temporarily disabled employees, it must pay pregnant women. If the employer requires use of vacation and/or sick leave for temporary disabilities, then it may require the same for pregnancy.

4. Is the employee entitled to her job back after she recovers from childbirth?

When the employee is physically able to return to work, her original job or a comparable position must be made available to her by the employer unless business necessity makes this impossible or unreasonable.

5. If the position is filled by another employee while the original employee is on maternity leave and the employer prefers the temporary replacement, can the employer refuse to provide the original job for the returning employee?

No, any change in position for the returning employee must be made for reasons of business necessity. An employer’s preference for one employee over the other cannot be a factor in this decision.

6. Can an employee be laid off or fired while pregnant or on maternity leave?

No, an employee cannot be laid off or fired while pregnant or on leave for reasons related to her temporary disability. However, an employee while pregnant or on maternity leave is not immune from a general and legitimate lay off of employees for performance requirements.

To find out more about rights for pregnant employees, go to the NH Commission for Human Rights.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer because of your age, sex, sexual orientation, race,  physical or mental disability,  religion or pregnancy status, contact the Lawyer Referral Service.  LRS can refer you to competent attorneys who specifically handle discrimination matters in New Hampshire.  Call 603-229-0002 or request an online referral.

New Hampshire Advance Directives

Making decisions about medical care is not always easy – especially now that machines can keep patients alive even when there is no hope for recovery. It’s your right to participate and plan for your care.  But at some point, you may become unable to make your own health care decisions. That’s why it’s important to think and talk about your feelings and beliefs with your loved ones – long before critical medical decisions must be made.

 This guide provides you with information about creating an “advance directive” – a legal document that states your preferences about medical care. Please read it carefully and discuss it with your family, doctor, nurse practitioner, patient representative, chaplain or other caregiver.

To download the complete guide go to:  http://www.healthynh.com/fhc/initiatives/performance/eol/2010%20ACPG.pdf

Reprinted by permission from the Foundation for Healthy Communities copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.

While you may not need an attorney to create basic advance directives, you may want an attorney to assist you with more complicated forms of estate planning such as wills and trusts.   Contact the Lawyer Referral Service at 603-229-0002 or complete the online referral request form at https://www.newhampshirelawyerreferral.com/contact-us for a referral to a competent attorney who handles estate planning matters in your area.

 

NH Victim Bill of Rights

Every state has a set of legal rights for crime victims in its code of laws, often called a victims’ bill of rights.  To find out more about the NH Victim Bill of Rights, go to:  http://doj.nh.gov/criminal/victim-assistance/bill-of-rights.htm.

If you are the victim of a crime and need an attorney to assist you with obtaining compensation for your injuries or other damages, the NH Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to a competent lawyer experienced with this type of law.  Call (603) 229-0002 or fill out the online request form.

Receive Scam Alerts

Sign up to receive scam alerts  through email from the NH Consumer Education Partnership, formed by the NH Banking Department, the NH Insurance Department, the NH State Treasury, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and the NH Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau.

http://www.nh.gov/consumer/

If you think you may have been scammed or suspect your identity may have been stolen, the Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to attorneys who have experience assisting people with consumer law and/or identity theft issues.  Call 603-229-0009 or fill out the online request form.

Self-Help Center for Family Court

The NH Judicial Branch Self Help Center provides basic, practical information about the New Hampshire court system, how it works, and what the procedures are for bringing a case to court.   Find links to forms, fees, court rules, alternatives to court and many other links to useful information for anyone representing themselves in Family Court.  For more information go to:  http://www.courts.state.nh.us/selfhelp/index.htm

The Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to an attorney who may assist you with representing yourself through “unbundled legal services”, enabling you to hire an attorney to  handle just a portion of your case for a fraction of the cost of full representation.    For more information call 603-229-0002 or fill out the online request form.