January 2015

Financial Elder Abuse Law - Clarification of Scope

As indicated in my previous blogs on the subject, financial elder abuse is rampant in this country. A recent post by the National Adult Protective Services Association indicates that one in twenty older adults have suffered some sort of perceived financial mistreatment in the recent past and that only one in forty-four cases is ever reported.

In Bounds v. Superior Court (2014) 229 Cal. App. 4th 468 the Court provided guidance on when there has been “financial abuse” under the Act.

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An Overlooked Injury: Loss of Smell (Anosmia)

People who sustain traumatic injuries display the more obvious signs of trauma, such as broken bones and wounds, but often their more significant injuries may be overlooked or undiagnosed. Particularly with head trauma, damage to the olfactory system (the sense of smell) can result. Damage to the olfactory nerve and bulb (anatomical components of how a person can sense smell) can result in anosmia, the total loss of one’s olfactory function. Most people don’t appreciate how devastating the loss sense of smell can be.

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Volunteers are Now Protected Under FEHA

New this year, volunteers and unpaid interns are now protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") against unlawful discrimination and harassment. Assembly Bill 1443, signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2014, added to the list of protected people those who work at companies and organizations without pay. Likely a result of the number of people taking unpaid work in a competitive job market where neither federal nor California state law protected unpaid workers, the 2015 amendments to FEHA close that loophole.

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