Aldrich Goldstein

Aldrich Goldstein's Portland Construction Law Blog

Beware! Your new Portland home may have construction defects

When you go to purchase a home, a lender will take into consideration how much your home is worth when deciding how much of a mortgage to allow you to take out. When you go to sell a home, your realtor will base the price that they list is at on a variety of factors including the condition of your home. If your home was hastily constructed or was built with inferior building materials, then it may have construction defects. These can devalue your home.

Construction defects can be caused by the use of inferior building materials or poor workmanship as outlined above. They can result from structural and civil engineering problems, site planning or selection issues or inadequate soil preparation and analysis.

You don't have to lose everything when you become a whistleblower

Employees often file a whistleblower complaint in one of two instances. They do so if they have reason to believe that their employer is putting the public's safety and health in jeopardy. They also do so if they believe that their employer is engaging in illegal activity.

Whistleblower complaints are more often filed in certain industries over others. They're most common in the environmental law and other highly regulated sectors such as the trucking, nuclear power and airline industries. Government agencies and any taxpayer-funded initiatives also often have more whistleblowing lawsuits filed against them compared to other industries.

What can you do if a seller doesn't disclose a home's defects?

Most homebuyers expect the person selling them their home to be upfront and honest in disclosing any defects that it may have. Many sellers are only required to disclose major structural or mechanical flaws with their property, however. Many contracts don't require sellers to call a buyer's attention to anything visible to them. If you're purchased a home, then you may wonder what options are available to you once you identify problems with it.

Before you buy

Was I sexually harassed? A breakdown of sexual harassment

When people face sexual harassment at work, they often find themselves wondering if that's really what happened to them. Are they reading too much into an innocent comment or a joke? They don't want to make a serious accusation against someone when it's not warranted. However, we often do not talk about sexual harassment as much as we should, so they do not know exactly what it looks like.

This is a problematic combination, so let's take a moment to consider what this looks like and what you can do.

Steps business owners should take to protect their trade secrets

Whether it's a secret recipe, a well-honed sales funnel, specially-designed technology or something else; most companies have an "it" factor that sets it apart from the competition. You likely put in years of hard work and invested significant financial resources to perfect what you do. You must be proactive in making sure that your trade secrets don't end up in the wrong hands.

If you don't currently know what it is that allows your company to stand out from the pack, then you need to think long and hard about it. You must be able to identify it.

What are common reasons employees sue their employers?

If you stop and think about how often you hear about an employee suing their employer, it's probably quite often. It's not surprising that's the case. According to a study conducted by the insurance company Hiscox, U.S., most employers have a 12% chance of being sued by their employees. The smaller a business is, the more likely it is to find itself embroiled in a lawsuit. There are some standard reasons employees sue their employers.

One common reason employees sue their employers is because they get hurt on the job.

Signs that a contractor may be no good for you

Construction projects often require a lot of preplanning. Homeowners generally have to make design and materials selections that are going to fit in with their budget. They also have to concern themselves with how long the project is going to take. Finding a qualified contractor to complete the job is perhaps one of the most challenging things that you have to do.

Before you hire anyone to start work, you should first ask to see their contractor's license. You may even want to look them up on the licensing board's website to make sure that they don't have a disciplinary record or pending lawsuits filed against them. If a contractor isn't licensed, then you should steer clear of them as they may not have the necessary expertise to complete your project.

What's considered to be a construction defect?

If you think about your friends that have purchased a new home, it's likely that some of them have discovered that it has some flaws. If not, then they might have had their Portland house remodeled and have later found that the work was performed shoddily. Both of these are examples of construction defects. Each year, countless lawsuits are brought by Oregon residents against their contractors for issues such as this.

How construction defects are defined varies by jurisdiction. Low-quality building materials, poor designs or shoddy workmanship can all lead to a building or a person getting injured. This is why each of these flaws all fall under the umbrella of construction defects.

What is employment retaliation?

Employees should always feel empowered to speak up when something illegal is going on. Unfortunately, many feel as though they can't report the problems because they are worried that they won't have a job. All employees should know that retaliation isn't legal and shouldn't be tolerated by any worker.

There are a lot of actions that can be considered retaliation. The key in all of these situations is that the worker is facing negative employment actions because they either reported an unlawful activity or cooperated with an investigation.

There are many options for resolving business partner disputes

When partners are about to start a business, they're excited about what they're planning to accomplish. Just like most relationships, though, there's a point at which all the euphoria dissipates. It's often after that honeymoon period is over that cracks in the foundation start to emerge. Conflicts with your business partner can get heated fast.

Business partners often fight about operational matters. When you were planning to start your company, you may have sat down to plan how you were going to co-manage it. It's easy for business partners to lose track of their responsibilities -- especially if no one is holding them accountable for their actions. One partner may accuse the other of not doing their fair share of the work.

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