Saying No to Overtime

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For hourly workers, earning time and a half can sometimes be awesome and well worth the extra hours. But it can be less than great when you have plans or want to spend time with your family. Unfortunately, saying no to overtime is a bit difficult because of something called mandatory overtime.

What is Mandatory Overtime?

As defined by Business Management Daily, mandatory overtime is “the practice of requiring employees to work more than a standard 40-hour workweek.” Other words for it are forced or compulsory overtime. Although an employee may refuse to work mandatory overtime, it is completely legal for an employer to fire an employee that chooses to do so.

The Fair Labor Standards act (FLSA) is the relevant law when it comes to mandatory overtime. Instead of prohibiting employees working over 40 hours a week, it states that all such extra hours are paid at one and a half the hourly rate.

Employers like mandatory overtime for several reasons. They can use mandatory overtime as needed during busier times of the year without having to hire additional workers.

Saying No to Overtime

So, now that we know what mandatory overtime is, how could you say no when you have a conflict?

Make a Plan

Before you tell your boss, you can’t do overtime, plan out your answer. What’s your reason? Most managers can be understanding of conflicts like taking care of your kids or a loved one, or plans you already made well in advance. If you’re dealing with burnout and are concerned you won’t be able to do the work well without resting, hopefully your boss will understand that as well.

It’s also important to keep in mind how much overtime you’ve been saying no to lately. If this is a position where overtime is expected, you may need to pick your battles when it comes to asking to not work over 40 hours.

Talk to Your Boss

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to talk things over with your boss. Despite the name of this article, try not to actually say the word “no.” That can be seen as negative. You just want to explain to your boss what’s going on, and why you can’t take on extra hours now.

If They Say No

If your boss denies your request to not take on overtime, you might evaluate your current job. If you truly have a reason for not being able to do the overtime, it’s hopefully resolvable. It’s also possible that the position you’re in is just one that requires frequent overtime, and you aren’t currently a good fit for it.

COVID – 19 and Evictions

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In December 2019, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in China. Since then, the coronavirus has struck the entire world by surprise. The importance of physical touch and contact was bought into emphasis as the entire world went into lockdowns and people were made to isolate and quarantine within the walls of their homes. Since the novel coronavirus spreads at an exceedingly fast rate, it poses a huge threat to public health with its high mortality rate.

Black and white image of a house’s front door and window

Temporary Protection from Eviction

COVID-19 has affected almost all areas of our daily lives, be it financial, personal, educational or professional. Adjusting to the new normal has indeed been a challenge for people all around the globe. However, health care providers and people in authority are working round-the-clock to ensure the wellbeing of as many people as they can.

As a response to this global threat, state and local governments have taken drastic measures to ensure public health and safety. When it comes to housing, eviction laws in several countries, including the US, have been temporarily altered to not only prevent the spread of this disease but also facilitate people who are struggling with financial issues.

Providing stable housing is an effective measure because it allows people to abide by the stay-at-home and social distancing measures recommended by state and local authorities. It also reduces the number of homeless people residing in congregate settings or shelters. Improved living conditions are bound to reduce the spread of this virus.

The Final Word

The laws amended in the light of COVID 19 provide increased protection to tenants and renters. From March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, all landlords and property owners have been advised not to evict any residents if the sole reason for their eviction is their inability to provide housing payment. The state has developed a rental assistance program to reduce financial distress on both landowners and renters. All tenants that qualify for this program will be provided with financial assistance during and beyond this period to help reduce their struggles.

Class Inequality in Healthcare | Wealthy? You’ll Be Healthy

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Doctor And Patient Looking At Test Results
Health Care Access For Rich People

The conversation about class inequality in healthcare all over the world has been going on for a while. Whether you are looking at rich nations like the US or poorer nations with shoddy healthcare services, there are clear differences in the sort of care the rich get and the care that the poor get. Due to problems with insurance and high prices, healthcare is really expensive for a lot of people. This has resulted in serious class inequality in healthcare, with only the rich being able to afford access to good care.

With one billion children living below the poverty line across the world, they are more likely to suffer from poor nutrition, obesity, and asthma. Adults who are part of the lower socioeconomic category are also more likely to experience mental illnesses, infectious diseases, heart conditions, obesity, and blood pressure issues.

Taking time off from work to go to the doctor, not being able to pay for services, not having access to healthcare consultancy, and more are common problems. Being poor also means that you have more crises and stress to deal with, which can also add to a person’s health woes.

The gap between the rich and the poor has been sharply increasing since the 1970s. The increase in the gap between the rich and the poor definitely has consequences that can impact individuals deeply. One way to address class inequality in healthcare is to enact top-down policies that are designed to address such inequalities specifically. There needs to be more focus on making sure that healthcare is easy to access for everyone in society without putting you under a big debt of thousands of dollars.

My Name is Brad – A Docu-drama Film / Project in Memory of Kelly Thomas and Countless Others Who Fall Victim to the Stigma of Mental Health and Homelessness in America

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Bradley James was born on April 13th, 1972. Kelly Thomas was born on April 5th, 1974. While neither met each other, they both share something in common. They both suffered from schizophrenia. While Brad lives in British Columbia, struggling to make ends meet, Kelly was not that lucky. On July 10th, 2011, while many in America were glued to their television screens, watching in awe as the US team defeated Brazil during the semi-final of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Kelly Thomas lay in a hospital bed, bloody and dying.

Kelly Thomas, a man who had struggled with fits of schizophrenia his entire life, was dragged out into the streets and brutally beaten by six officers of the Fullerton California police department – he later succumbed to his injuries.

Now, 57 Years of Soul Music Radio is collaborating with The Urban Survivor Humanitarian Network and Cheektowaga-Omni Media Marketing based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to tell Kelly’s story to the world. The company is raising funds via Slated, a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers, to launch the production of their film, “My Name Is Brad” in early Spring 2021.

This docudrama film is an initiative to recognize severe mental health issues and make them a mainstream topic of conversation. The film is aimed to show the controversy surrounding mental illnesses and police misconduct. It revolves around the lives of Brad James and Kelly Thomas.

With the current scenarios looking to get worse before they get better, the producers of “My Name Is Brad” believe that now’s the right time to bring this topic to the forefront of humanitarian initiatives that should be prioritized. With the new President in the Oval Office, we are closer to this dream than ever before – to end the injustice, indignation, and stigma associated with mental health and homelessness.

All funds raised through this film will be used to kick start an Urban housing development in all major cities. Modular container housing can be purchased for less than $2000 per unit. Since the government spends millions on everything else, it’s time to end homelessness and help those who are struck with mental illness. For that, your participation and support are desired. 

If you would like more information about this film, or to find out how you can help, please visit the website:

https://mynameisbrad.org/

From Homelessness to Renting: How to Find Rental Housing without References

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There is no point in sugar-coating the fact that transitioning from homelessness to renting can be quite difficult for an individual, especially in cities like Toronto or Vancouver. From a landlord’s perspective, these markets are full of eligible and desirable tenants, so why would they lend their property to someone without any reference and an unstable (or non-existing) rental history.

This is a challenge most homeless people face, even when they have found a stable job and have enough money for a deposit. Finding rental housing without references can be tough but not impossible. There are a few things you can do:

1. Seek out your regional Housing First* program. It’s designed to help homeless people find stable homes. You’d need to contribute a portion of your income (ideally 30% or more) while the rest would be covered by rent subsidies. It also helps you establish a rent history that can open up more rental housing options for you.

2. Provide potential landlord proof of stable income. If you’ve been working for a while, bring your last three payslips and, preferably, a letter from your employer stating your good behavior (and that they don’t have any plans to let you go in the foreseeable future).

3. If you have a stable income and money for monthly rent but not the deposit, charities like Canadian Red Cross and Salvation Army might assist you (financially). With a decent deposit amount (say three-months rent), you might be able to convince potential landlords to rent to you, even if you don’t have references.

4. Don’t fake a reference history. It is a huge red flag, and if you get caught, it might disrupt your chances of renting with other landlords as well.

5. Talk to the people who are running emergency shelters. They might be able to guide you to individuals who might be inclined to rent to you without references, just to pull you out of homelessness. If not, they might be able to put you in touch with local housing assistance programs you might not be aware of.

Be honest, talk to the people helping homeless individuals in your community, try to save as much money as you can for rent and deposit, find a co-signer if you can, and make sure your employer puts in a good for you. These might help you find rental housing without references.

*https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/funding-opportunities/RHFP

Boggles Brown – The Blurb

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-From “Boggles Brown – My Cartoon Life in the Land Of Schizophrenia” inner sleeve. – BJ 2010

Boggles Brown is broke, except for the “People With Disabilities Allowance” he gets once a month. This month, he lives in a run-down motel – he manages to buy an old beat-up Toyota which is unreliable but reliable if you know what I mean. Somtimes he thinks his car may be bi-polar.

He wonders whether he should be using one of those fancy-named gasoline additives like “Engine-X,” I imagine “Engine-X” to be somewhat like Olanzapine, only for cars.

Boggles Brown struggled through college. He graduated,worked for a while and then became bonkers It was not worth the ecstacy or all the raves in the world to lose his mind – he knows that now. But it is his life, what to do?

Boggles Brown is not how I see myself so much, as how I think others see mee. My mom has read some of my cartoons and scratched her head. I imagine a lot of people will do the same. But that’s not the point – is it? Am I Canada’s Andy Warhol? I think not.

I hope you like Boggles, and if you don’t, I hope you keep it to yourself because the point is that it gave me something to do.

These are all hand-drawn on whatever paper I could find.

– Boggles Brown; BJAF 2010

http://mynameisbrad.org/ “Genes” – Boggles Brown; Urban Survival Media 2009

Exclusive Boggles Brown T-Shirts Online

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Browse and bedazzle when you wear the words of our talkative transient.

Greetings Readers,

Now, like never before, we have been waiting for a marketing breakthrough to gain that glimmer of interactivity on it’s way to your wardrobe. It’s here – Boggles Brown multi-colour T-Shirts where you get to write the dialogue for our lovable but lunatic street-sage.

MyNameIsBrad.ORG is an exclusive portal of perception on a development of Boggles’ words and world.

Drop by and donate to give the My Name Is Brad docudrama the funding it needs and order a Boggles Brown exclusive hand drawn T-Shirt by local artist Brad James.

Stay Safe and Think of M. Brown When You’re Feeling Down.

– The Crew At The Urban Survivor and My Name Is Brad

Homelessness During COVID – Disaster Amplified

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In any given year, there are about 235,000 Canadians that suffer from homelessness. That’s about 0.625% of the total population, a statistically “small” minority, which is, unfortunately, seeing its woes compounded due to winter and COVID.  

Homeless people rely on shelters to provide them a place to sleep and stay, especially during the cold winter nights when staying outside or in a makeshift shelter can be deadly disastrous. So it’s only logical that the shelters try to accommodate as many people as possible.

But that’s impossible due to COVID cases spreading. To mitigate the probability of transmission, shelters have reduced the number of people they take in. Needless to say, this is a significant blow to the homeless population of the country because during the second wave, more and more people are seeking shelter and less space is available. The lifting of the eviction ban has also added fuel to the fire.

To make matters worse, some shelter homes are being forced to close down or have been working at reduced capacity because the staff and residents have contracted the virus.

People are aware of the problem and are doing what little they can to remediate the situation like staging protests and urging the government to ramp up support. And shelters are using glass dividers in between beds to reduce the probability of transmission in close confines.

We can take lessons from international solutions to this problem, such as accommodating homeless populations in unused hotels (since the travel business is already suffering) or taking measures to contain homeless people to designated areas (by providing necessary amenities and shelter) to mitigate the possibility of transmission.