Law Office Of William F. Underwood - February 2020

Justice MONTHLY

229-888-0888 • www.puttingpeoplefirst.law

FEBRUARY 2020

That Gut Feeling

CELEBRATING BIG NEWS AND LIFE ANNOUNCEMENTS

For the better part of 2019, I traveled across the southern U.S. and South America, studied Portuguese, and delved into our complex visa and immigration process. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. But I do have some exciting news.

I am engaged!

I met Priscila online in May. She lives in Canoas, Brazil, one of the largest and southernmost cities in the South American country. Shortly after meeting and chatting over FaceTime, Priscila met me in Orlando, Florida, and things seemed to hit off pretty well. We shook off our nerves of meeting each other in person pretty quickly, and after that first visit, I was already looking forward to seeing her again. Shortly after, I visited her family in Brazil, and I brought her up to Albany this past August. I just had a gut feeling that I had found the right person. They say when you know, you know, and that could not have been truer for us. Priscila and I share similar humor, want the same things out of life, and share similar values. We both want a family, and we’re both at that age when we’re ready to be settled. She even has a dog named Paco, who I know Rawson will love. It’s amazing how much of a connection you can share with someone halfway across the globe, and ours feels more profound than I think either of us were prepared for. Right now, we’ve been working our way through the immigration process, and a lot of planning must be put on hold as we work our way through the paperwork and filing. (We even have to do some digging on how we can get Paco up to the United States!) It’s actually been more involved than I expected, but we didn’t want to delay the process. It can take 6–8 months — sometimes even longer — to get an approval. I liken it to filing a brief for the court of appeals or putting in your bar application. There’s a lot of I-dotting and T-crossing that needs to get done. Thankfully, I work with some great legal minds who have been a tremendous help throughout this process. So, I proposed this summer, and now we’re preparing for a June 6, 2020, wedding!

And it’s a process that has been well-worth the hassle. I’m excited about this latest adventure, and I know all the effort we are putting in to get Priscila and Paco the go-ahead to join me and Rawson in Georgia will pay off in the long run. We are hoping we won’t have to push our wedding off any longer, and we’re already excited about this summer.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can call Priscila my wife — and when we can share one country together.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife-to-be.

-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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THE DOG WHO HELPED TAKE DOWN AL-BAGHDADI MEET CONAN

On Oct. 28 last year, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo that quickly went viral. It showed an adorable snapshot of a bright-eyed Belgian Malinois, tongue lolling, still wearing its camo military vest. In the caption, President Trump explained that the pup, Conan, was a national hero who was instrumental in taking down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al- Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well.

on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor. President Trump captioned the photo “AMERICAN HERO!” and he’s not alone in his appreciation for the hardworking dogs that have been helping our military since World War II. “To me, they’re the first line of defense,” United States War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello told Vox after the news about Conan came out. “They’re such a great asset to our military today.” Military dogs are put up for adoption after 6–8 years in the service, which means a lucky civilian could take Conan in as early as 2022! Meanwhile, dozens of other smart canine heroes are looking for homes. To learn more about military and other working dog adoptions, visit MissionK9Rescue.org. domestic workers from having to follow this policy. However, many employers in these fields still offer some form of workers’ protection. Truck drivers also fall into a special category when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. Many drivers are considered independent contractors, which exempts their employer — if they have one — from protecting them via workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, some employers attempt to categorize their employees as independent contractors even when that is not the case. Common examples where this regularly happens include contracting, roofing, landscaping, or construction companies. However, it is unethical to label an employee who is not an independent contractor as such. This limits the protections workers are afforded, especially in these potentially dangerous fields. But there are solutions for those who are not covered by their employers. Independent contractors and other workers are allowed to purchase and hold workers’ compensation insurance of their own, which protects them in the event of an injury, accident, or illness. Your work should be a safe place where you can earn an honest living without fear of a sudden accident or injury limiting your cash flow and debilitating your family. You deserve protection and compensation after a workplace incident, and the team at the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C. can help. Inquire about our workers’ compensation assistance today by calling 229-888-0888.

According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back

WHAT IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE?

Does My Employer Need It?

Workers across the U.S. have social activists like Upton Sinclair and the Industrial Revolution’s railroad protestors to thank for the employment rights we enjoy today, including workers’ compensation. In 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to sign a workers’ compensation bill into law, and by 1948, every state in the nation protected their workers with similar laws.

Today, it’s nearly impossible to find a job without some form of protection via workers’ compensation. Employers pay into state and federal funds, which are then distributed among workers who are injured, sick, or debilitated on the job. (This includes employees who were injured during travel for work.) In Georgia, businesses that employ three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance, but the state exempts farms, railroad carriers, U.S. government agencies, and

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Before an Injury Takes Its Toll

The time to think about your workers’ compensation rights is not after you’re injured. When you are injured or sick at work, your focus should be on healing and protecting your loved ones. You should not have to worry about paying medical bills and buying food, so it’s important you brush up on your rights before an injury happens. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to aid workers who fall ill, get injured, or are incapacitated while working. (Traveling for work counts!) Your human resources department, or your office’s equivalent, should be able to provide you with a detailed outline of the plan your company has purchased to protect its employees, but you should understand the basics that apply to most employees. For starters, workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for a disability. Pain and suffering is not a recognized part of the program. Employees can be compensated for injuries that occurred as a result of their own negligence, but instances of drug or alcohol use, fighting, or misconduct do not qualify.

and file a claim. If your employer is uncooperative, an attorney can offer support to help you receive the payments you deserve. Attorneys also offer guidance during the initial claims process, which is especially crucial for independent contractors or employees covered by complex plans. The compensation payments you receive will not always cover a visit to a doctor, but it’s vitally important that you choose a doctor in your employer’s insurance network and provide the doctor with an accurate and thorough report of what occurred. This will be the basis for any future compensation. Once you return to work in a full capacity, workers’ compensation payments stop. If you return to work on an adjusted schedule, your worker’s compensation payments may be prorated accordingly. You will continue to receive workers’ compensation payments if you are terminated. Now’s the time to learn about your workers’ compensation rights! Inquire about these guidelines with your employer or request a discussion about your rights. To learn more about the process, visit our website at PuttingPeopleFirst.law, and contact our team at 229- 888-0888 for help with your claim. We Value You! At the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C., the trust we build with our clients is our most valuable asset. To show our appreciation, we would like to thank the following clients who have referred others to us since our December newsletter: Your recommendation is greatly treasured by everyone at our office. Clients can also leave their comments on our services through Google reviews ! These statements give us critical feedback and help other clients facing stressful life situations find dependable lawyers. Previous and current clients can also receive free notary services at our office. Learn more about this service by giving us a call at 229-888-0888. Eusebio Mitchell, Emily Harris, Jeffrey Lawson

You do not need to file a lawsuit in order to obtain workers’ compensation. Instead, you will have 30 days to report the accident

Valentine’s Day is all about love … and chocolate. Enjoy these chocolate peanut butter date truffles with your date this Valentine’s Day. Date Truffles

Ingredients •

1 lb medjool dates, pitted (about 1 1/2 cups)

• •

1/4 cup peanut butter 1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

• •

1/2 tsp sea salt Warm water

Directions 1. Using a food processor, blend dates and sea salt until dough can be formed into a ball. Slowly add enough warm water to mixture to thicken dough. 2. Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Freeze for 20–30 minutes. 3. In microwave, warm 1/4 cup peanut butter for 30 seconds, then drizzle peanut butter on top of balls. Freeze balls for another 20 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in microwave, warm chocolate with coconut oil until melted. Stir well. 5. Coat balls in chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 6. Top with additional salt and freeze for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Thank you for trusting us to serve you!

Inspired by The Minimalist Baker

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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inside Trey Is Getting Married! PAGE 1

Meet the Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi PAGE 2 Georgia Requires Employers to Protect Workers PAGE 2 Understanding Your Workers’ Compensation Rights Before You’re injured PAGE 3

Date Truffles PAGE 3

Your Epic Adventure Awaits PAGE 4

Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY

ne of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of

island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.

the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man- eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical

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