Legal Law

What Is Constructive Dismissal Protection?

Constructive Dismissal Protection

When an employee feels they have no choice but to quit their job because of intolerable working conditions created by their employer, they may have grounds to file a claim for constructive dismissal. Employment lawyers can help individuals pinpoint whether this type of legal action is appropriate in their particular case.

To understand the legal definition of constructive dismissal, it is important to first consider the types of behavior that can constitute this term. For example, a worker’s employer might be engaging in significant offensive behavior that can include verbal abuse and threats, sexual harassment, bullying, or workplace discrimination. In addition, an employer might breach the implied contract of trust and confidence in their employment relationship by refusing to resolve workplace concerns or complaints.

Another common reason to file a constructive dismissal case involves an employer making substantial changes to an employee’s working conditions without providing adequate notice or explanation. For example, suppose your employer suddenly shifts you to evenings and weekends, which significantly alters your work-life balance. Similarly, if your employer moves you to a new location that requires travel time that significantly impacts your commute, you could also be able to file a constructive dismissal case.

Lastly, if your employer engages in illegal activities or fails to follow industry standards and laws affecting workplace safety and health, you could be able to file a constructive dismissal lawsuit against them. This is because workers are protected against unlawful retaliation in cases of constructive dismissal due to whistleblowing or bringing violations to light.

What Is Constructive Dismissal Protection?

To prove constructive dismissal, the employee must demonstrate that they were forced to leave their job because of these intolerable working conditions. They must also be able to demonstrate that they had tried and failed to resolve the issues with their employer before deciding to quit their job. This is why it’s often best to discuss the issue with an experienced employment lawyer before taking any action.

Even if you feel you have a legitimate constructive dismissal case, it’s often wise to seek out other job opportunities before quitting your current position. This way, you can avoid a black mark on your employment record and ensure you have other sources of income while you search for new work. Additionally, you can use your time to update your resume and build your professional network so that you can be more competitive in future job applications.

To qualify for constructive dismissal protection, certain conditions typically need to be met. Firstly, the employee must prove that their employer’s actions or behavior fundamentally breached a term of their employment contract. This breach could include significant changes to job duties, demotion without cause, harassment, or a hostile work environment. Secondly, the employee must demonstrate that the breach was serious enough to justify their resignation. Essentially, they must show that any reasonable person in their position would have felt compelled to resign.

Constructive dismissal protection is essential for safeguarding employees’ rights and ensuring fair treatment in the workplace. Without such protection, employees might feel trapped in untenable situations, unable to leave their jobs without risking financial insecurity.

Legal Law

Severance Pay – A Employers Guide to Payments & Policy

Severance Pay – A Employers Guide

The news is full of stories about companies laying off employees, and many Americans are nervous about losing their own jobs. But if you’re one of the lucky few who finds out in advance that your company is making layoffs, you may be offered a severance package that can help ease the transition to a new job and defray any financial hardship. The average severance pay ranges from one to four weeks of pay for every year worked, according to 2021 data from talent mobility services provider Randstad RiseSmart.

But the amount of severance pay can vary widely, depending on how generous your employer is, what type of position you hold and whether or not you negotiate. For example, those ranked higher in the hierarchy, such as middle managers and executives, tend to receive more than frontline workers. In addition, if your company is having financial trouble or faces potential legal challenges, it might be more willing to offer a larger severance pay package in order to maintain its reputation and avoid negative publicity.

If you are offered a severance package, read it carefully to make sure there aren’t any clauses that will restrict your employment opportunities in the future. Severance packages can contain non-compete clauses that prevent you from working in your industry for a set period of time, or non-disclosure clauses that require you to keep secret any information about the company that might negatively affect its reputation and business. These types of restrictions are common and are designed to protect the interests of the company in case you decide to sue for wrongful termination or another reason.

Severance Pay – A Employers Guide to Payments & Policy

Some companies follow a “take it or leave it” approach when offering severance packages, and they won’t let you negotiate the terms. But if you’re confident that you can bargain with your employer for a larger payout, it’s worth the effort. You might also try to get the company to pay for outplacement services or references that will help you find a new job.

Remember that any severance pay calculator is subject to income taxes, so you’ll need to calculate the tax impact of your package before accepting the offer. A lump sum could put you in a higher income tax bracket, so consider asking your employer to spread the payments out over two years to reduce the hit. Severance pay represents a critical aspect of the employment relationship, reflecting the organization’s commitment to treating departing employees with dignity, respect, and fairness.

By adhering to legal requirements, communicating transparently, ensuring equitable treatment, and providing supportive transition services, employers can navigate the complexities of severance pay with professionalism and empathy. Ultimately, a well-executed severance strategy not only benefits departing employees but also strengthens the employer’s reputation and fosters a positive organizational culture.

Legal Law

How Do You Know If A Bond Has Collateral?

Know If A Bond Has Collateral

Whether you are an investor seeking a stable return on your investments or a company looking for a reliable source of funding, bonds can be an excellent addition to your investment portfolio. They are loans that pay interest to investors and provide financing for governments, businesses and other entities that require funds for their day-to-day operations. Many financial advisors suggest that bonds should be a part of any balanced investment portfolio. Bonds come in different forms and can be classified as secured or unsecured. Secured bonds are backed by physical or liquid assets such as real estate, cash and other tangible items. In contrast, unsecured bonds do not have such backing and are therefore riskier to invest in. Whether a bond has collateral is important to know before you purchase it.

Collateral can also be in the form of a basket of securities. These are usually issued by holding companies that want to obtain debt financing without having to pledge their own physical or liquid assets. In this case, the bonds are backed by the voting rights of the company’s subsidiary firms. The securities are pledged to a trustee who manages them on behalf of the bondholders. In the event of a default, the securities will be sold to pay the bondholders.

If the bond has collateral, it will be indicated by a “Collateral” box in the bond document. The “Collateral” box is usually at the top of the document and will include a description of what type of collateral is being used to back the bond. The “Collateral” box will be followed by a paragraph outlining the specific terms and conditions of the collateral agreement between the issuer and the surety agency that issues the bond.

How Do You Know If A Bond Has Collateral?

While it may seem obvious why a person would need to put up collateral for a bond, there are other, less obvious reasons that people must offer up their property as security. For instance, certain bond types have high claims frequencies and it makes good business sense for the surety agency to collect some collateral in advance to make the risk of paying a claim lower.

Another reason that collateral may be required is due to the applicant’s credit. A poor credit history will make it more difficult to obtain a San Diego bail bondsman and in these cases, the surety will ask for some kind of collateral in order to reduce the risk of defaulting on the bond.

There are some assets that cannot be used as collateral for a bond, including certificates of deposit (CDs) and government securities such as blue-chip stocks. CDs and government securities are typically not accepted as collateral because they do not have a maturity date that coincides with the bond term. This creates the risk that these assets will be liquidated prematurely, which can result in penalties or unnecessary losses for the surety agency. Other assets that can be used as collateral for a bond include real estate, personal investment accounts and retirement assets. However, it is recommended that a person does not use their retirement accounts as collateral because the IRS forbids it.

Legal Law

Do Maui Fire Lawyers Offer Guidance on Post-Fire Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts?

Guidance on Post-Fire Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts

The devastating wildfires that swept through Hawaii’s westernmost island have left behind a trail of destruction that has destroyed more than 2,200 homes and buildings and killed dozens of people. Many businesses and residents have been forced to evacuate and may have suffered significant losses as a result of this tragic event. Fortunately, experienced Maui fire lawyers can provide guidance on the insurance recovery process and help clients maximize their available insurance coverages.

Amid skepticism about officials’ response to the disaster, the head of Hawaii’s emergency management agency resigned Thursday — just one day after defending the decision not to sound the island’s disaster sirens. Herman Andaya said he was leaving to focus on his health. The resignation came as the death toll rose to 111 and searchers shifted their efforts beyond the charred remains of Lahaina.

In the meantime, President Biden is visiting the island to meet with emergency responders, survivors, and community members and survey the damage from the blazes. He also announced that additional federal disaster funding was being made available for Hawaii and will allow the state to cover all eligible expenses for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Do Maui Fire Lawyers Offer Guidance on Post-Fire Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts?

The statewide fire and public safety agency, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA), is working with federal agencies to coordinate the effort to support the survivors of this tragedy. Hundreds of local volunteers are helping to clean up communities and restore cultural and historic landmarks in the devastated areas.

Some displaced residents have been warned to be wary of predatory offers to purchase their homes, and the governor has asked his attorney general to work toward a moratorium on land sales in Lahaina and elsewhere on the island. Green said he wants to ensure that non-residents do not exploit the situation by using the tragedy as an opportunity to acquire Hawaiian land.

wildfire lawyer

In the business world, affected businesses are looking for ways to recover from the costs of repairing, rebuilding, and lost revenue caused by the fires. Depending on the extent of their losses, business owners may be able to pursue claims for financial compensation under their commercial property insurance policies. These policies may include first-party property, general business interruption, commercial auto, inland marine, cargo, marine/vessel, builder’s risk, and throughput insurance policies. Additionally, some businesses may have supplemental loss of business income or business interruption coverage under their commercial general liability insurance. For those whose losses are not covered by their insurance, qualified Maui fire lawyers can investigate the possibility of filing a lawsuit to seek compensation. To learn more about your options for recovery, please contact our firm today. We offer free consultations. We look forward to hearing from you.

Legal Law

Things that can motivate someone to become a lawyer

A lot of people try to be a lawyer for a few different factors. Some people see it as a respectable practice to uphold the law and uphold justice, while others see becoming a lawyer as an impressive and surprisingly well-paying job. In this document I will explain some of the reasons why one would love to be a lawyer.

Profits

First of all, it will be a considerable salary that will attract people to become lawyers. One of the best advantages of becoming a lawyer is considered the earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a lawyer was $110,590 in 2008. Even starting her job, she is likely to make around $68,500 just nine months after finishing her studies. Few other careers offer as good an initial income.

career diversity

There are many different sections of the law, with a number of career paths working with many parts of the law. Potential legal work includes being attorneys or legal professionals for law enforcement, court personnel, and legal aid and administrative staff members. Consequently, having a law degree is likely to create a variety of legal career options for you. Also, even within a single niche, an individual’s day-to-day responsibilities can vary considerably, which will make their life in the workplace remarkable.

Discovering much more know how

By becoming a lawyer, you will likely gain knowledge frequently, although you may not return to college for formal advanced training. By participating in cases, he will research past cases, discover more about vague laws, and become familiar with the details of his area of ​​focus. He also has the opportunity to resume college to continue learning, and if he is employed by a law organization, some may even offset his college tuition to persuade employees to consider pursuing another degree or diploma.

An understanding of the law.

Being knowledgeable about the law can be an asset in your everyday life, whether buying a home, getting over a car accident, preparing a will, or making any type of purchase. This is not necessarily a detailed list of when familiarity with the law can help you in your day-to-day life, and you will generally find that family and friends will often come to you for unofficial ideas regarding legal or business issues.

No complications to obtain the title

In the past, it was very tedious to get a law degree. He was required to give up a long period of his life to earn a degree from a university or law school full-time and then work several more years as a student or senior paralegal before becoming a full-fledged lawyer on his own.

Having said that, it is now much easier to get a law degree with all the creation of the world online. It is due to the accessibility of online law degree programs that are available at authorized universities and colleges, which makes it less difficult and less time consuming to obtain a law degree. Especially for people with an existing work or family commitment, this is very good news. Legal scholars can certainly study online on their own time and in their own home to earn their law degree to secure an occupation or enhance their career prospects in the legal field.

Pleasure at work, growth and security

Lawyers truly have the opportunity to make a difference both in the lives of their clients and in the lives of people in each location, as a single case can set a precedent for countless cases to come. This type of occupation, one’s own perseverance is normally honored not only in income, but also offers a sense of joy as part of your work.

When you finally have a degree and certificate to practice law, it is also possible to pursue advanced line of work possibilities. Lawyers with knowledge of their professional background can rise through the ranks of a private practice to become partners in the firm. You can also become a judge or teacher within your field.

Career development in the legal sector is very likely to approach 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is standard when considering any job growth across all industry sectors. If you are employed by a law firm, your job can be very secure if you are always a good employee, which is not something you can say in many markets, especially if the economy is bad. People will always require lawyers, and the progression of the occupation can be even faster than normal in some legal areas, for example, health and ecological law.

Adaptability

Lawyers are definitely not focused on one region of a country. They never focus only on urban centers either; Field lawyers are also needed. Which means you can choose where you want to reside as a lawyer. As long as you receive a permit to be hired in your chosen place, you can go anywhere in your country and practice law.

Rich sociable way of life

Lawyers interact with people from all walks of life. As you do work with clients, you’ll begin to network, which in turn will not only grow your corporation, but also contribute to incentives in other aspects of your life. When you need an honest service provider, a customer could certainly advise someone.

Ability to run a business

You are simply not tied to working for other firms as a lawyer. When you first gain knowledge of your career, you can open your own law firm, and when you have your own company, there is the ability to set your own hours, take the cases that interest you very much, and try to make other important decisions related to your practice. If you work for yourself, you can play by your principles, and while owning a business takes quite a bit of effort, it really pays to know that you’ll be putting money directly into your own bank account, not the wallets of those who own the legal business where you work.

Legal Law

Long-term care and the liquidity trap

In 2011, the average cost of a room in a skilled nursing facility was more than $70,000 for a “shared” semi-private room, and a private room was more than $90,000. That was the cost for just one year of care and for just one person or spouse. Considering that many will need care for 3 or 4 years (or more) and it becomes painfully obvious why seniors are so concerned about the future cost of care.

With this kind of financial responsibility, middle-class families are most at risk, but even families with significant assets can find themselves in a long-term care liquidity trap. It is not a question of whether high net worth families can afford to pay for these expensive services, because they clearly can. It is about creating the necessary liquidity to pay for these services in a fiscally efficient manner.

Families with significant assets often hold diversified portfolios of securities, government and corporate bonds, annuities, real estate, or other assets. Unfortunately, these assets are illiquid or selling them at the wrong time could result in substantial investment losses. As a result, a long-term care event can cause a significant liquidity trap. Paying taxes on capital gains or withdrawals from qualified retirement accounts to pay for care only adds insult to injury. Because of this, long-term care insurance still makes a lot of sense, even for those who can pay for care out of pocket.

It’s for good reason that financial advisors sell life insurance to their clients to pay estate taxes; It is not because they cannot pay taxes, it is to give liquidity to their assets. LTC insurance provides a similar liquidity benefit and, like life insurance, provides a number of tax advantages.

For starters, insurance premiums may be deductible on individual tax returns. Second, qualified long-term health care expenses that would normally be paid for with other sources of income are financed tax-free. For high-income families, this can translate into thousands of dollars in savings. Furthermore, if government policy continues to favor future tax increases for the nation’s wealthiest families, these tax advantages may become even more valuable in the future.

Today, those with significant assets can purchase linked benefit policies that combine LTC insurance with life insurance. This unique plan design provides a long-term care benefit along with premium liquidity. Many of these hybrid policies can be canceled for a full refund at any time for any reason, and if the policyholder dies before using their policy benefits, the full premium is returned to their beneficiaries through a guaranteed death benefit. If you don’t use it, you don’t lose it.

For high net worth families, a linked benefit LTC plan provides the liquidity needed for future care and protects your principal investment at the same time.

Legal Law

The ancient pagodas of Yangon

Yangon is a city where there are numerous pagodas. Apart from these pagodas, there are also stupas and other worship shrines that cover the rest of the Burmese capital. Yangon’s pagodas are one of the things the city is famous for. The pagodas reveal the true culture and beliefs of the Burmese people. Although parts of the city have already been modernized, devotees still use the pagodas for their regular religious rites. The colorful pagodas remind of the beauty and magnificence of true Myanmar customs.

Here are some of the famous pagodas in Yangon:

shwedagon pagoda (Golden Pagoda) – This pagoda has a height of 321.5 feet and is located in the western part of Kandawgyi Lake, below Singuttara Hill. For the Burmese, Shwedagon Pagoda is the holiest pagoda of Lord Buddha. According to them, the place of worship was built to house the Buddha’s hair. The spire of the pagoda is thickly layered with gold and contains rubies, diamonds and precious stones that make the place a renowned site. It has a beautiful lighting effect as if the Buddha still lives in the place. The pagoda is a wonderful sight to behold and is sure to delight visitors with its divine beauty.

Botataung Pagoda – Botataung means “1000 military officers” in the Burmese language. It is said that this pagoda was where the thousand military officers of the King of Burma guarded the relics of the Buddha when they were brought from India to Burma some two thousand years ago. Although Botataung Pagoda is sacred inside, locals believe that it still houses the holy relics of Gautama Buddha. The pagoda was destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt after the war ended. It is now open to the public and serves as one of the historical sites in Yangon.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda – Maha Wizaya Pagoda was built in 1980, located on Dhammarakkhita Hill, also called The Guardian of the Law Hill. The pagoda is now a very famous place in Yangon receiving thousands of visitors every year. The Maha Wizaha contains traditional and decorative arts made by modern artists and craftsmen. You will find two giant guardian lions in the entrance hall of the pagoda, which is a typical icon of the Burmese tradition. There are many beautiful and artistic things to see inside the pagoda that keep visitors coming back for more.

world peace pagoda – This is a well-known Buddhist stupa that was built to give people of all races a place to come together in search of world peace. There are other pagodas around the world that have the same design as the World Peace Pagoda in Yangon. It is also where Buddhist monks gather during world peace ceremonies.

sule pagoda – You will find the Sule Pagoda in the center of Yangon. It occupies the center where Burmese contemporary Burmese politics, geography and ideology originated. The pagoda is believed to have been established over 2,500 years ago. It was built with an Indian stupa structure that is a replica of an relic cast. Sule Pagoda is covered in gold paint and is an eye-catching sight, especially at night when the lights are turned on.

Those are just a few of the many other pagodas, religious shrines, and stupas found in Yangon. A visit to the city will never be complete without visiting some of these pagodas that showcase the unique culture of the Burmese people.

Legal Law

Learning Disabilities: 8 Tips for Effective College Enrollment for Students with LD or ADD

For college students with learning differences, enrolling in classes can be a critical factor for success. Students who choose their own classes may end up with excessively heavy or unbalanced course loads. Some students register with general college advisors, who are unaware of the presence of learning differences and have no knowledge of student learning styles.

Course registration should be done carefully for students with learning disabilities, so they are prepared to succeed even before they enter the classroom. A well-balanced schedule, built around one’s biological clock, with engaged teachers teaching in a multi-modal way, goes a long way toward facilitating focus and minimizing stress.

Here are eight tips to remember when registering for classes:

  • Listen to other students’ recommendations for interesting teachers and/or courses. Then look for more information to decide if these courses will work for you.
  • Does your university offer priority enrollment to students with disabilities? In other words, are you allowed to choose classes before do your peers make the instructors/sections compatible with your learning style? If so, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!
  • Look up your proposed area of ​​study in the paper or online catalog (Note: In the interest of going “green,” many colleges are discontinuing paper catalogs). Check the options you have within your specialization. If you’re undecided about your future career goals, it’s not unusual. Liberal arts major is fine; it’s a well-respected specialization that offers the opportunity to try different disciplines to see what appeals to you.
  • Make a list of courses that appeal to you and meet your specialty requirements. Delete courses with prerequisites that you have not taken.
  • Decide what time of day you are most alert. That’s when you should be in class. From the list above, choose the courses that are currently meeting. Write down the sections/teachers you would prefer.
  • Now, be more specific. Divide up your classes so that the most challenging meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the easiest meet on Tuesday and Thursday. It’s easier to sit through three 55-minute sessions of a difficult course than two 90-minute sessions.
  • OF FIRST IMPORTANCE – Take your proposed schedule to the Office of Disability Services and see a professional who is familiar with you and your learning style. Review all the options on your list and a learning advisor/specialist will help you narrow down your options and select the teachers that best fit your needs.*
  • Sign up as soon as possible to ensure you get the time slot you want.

* How many credits should you take?

This is an individual decision. However, for college freshmen who received academic assistance in high school, a full course load represents a large increase in the amount of work charged to these students and a pace that is more than twice as fast. ; it’s almost always overwhelming. Students may feel as if they have jumped into a 12-foot pool of freezing water.

This is exactly how students begin a downward spiral and begin to doubt their ability to handle college. If only they had started slow and built their confidence before handling so many credits!

Err on the side of caution. For some students, two courses (Math and English) can be considered a full-time load. As soon as you master a reduced load, talk to your advisor about taking an additional class next semester. Dip your feet in slowly. It’s much smarter to set yourself up for success with fewer credits and build gradually as you get used to the college system.** You’ll likely earn a higher GPA, feel empowered, and be excited about college!

** How can you stay on your parent’s insurance plan with a reduced course load? The Disability Services coordinator can write a letter for parents to send to their insurance company stating that “Jane Doe, student of __________Colleagueis considered full time with (___) credits due to a learning disability. This letter should not be submitted until requested by the insurance company. It is rare for an insurance company to deny this request, but if this exclusion is written into your policy, there is a surreptitious way students circumvent it. They simply sign up for a full course load, and during the first week of the semester, while they are still eligible for a 100% tuition refund, they drop a course or two. When the insurance company requests the student’s schedule to confirm full-time status, parents submit the original list. Please note that this is No an endorsement of that tactic!

© 2007 Joan Azarva

Legal Law

Veer Review – Everything Falls Apart

Salman Khan said in an interview that if Veer fails he will take responsibility, this might be the time. Here, for a change, director Anil Sharma shifts the focus from Pakistan to British rule in India without compromising his high-speed rants about motherland, honor and machismo. The film stars Salman Khan in the lead role and has one of the biggest hits of 2009 to its credit. He has also put himself in the shoes of a screenwriter with this movie and it is obvious that this movie is very close to him, but he disappoints his fans with his latest proposal.

It’s a well-known fact to moviegoers that films directed by Anil Sharma care less about accuracy of facts and historical figures, but offer plenty of entertainment where the central character defeats evil almost single-handedly (remember Sunny Deol does in Gadar Ek Prem Katha). Here’s Salman doing it to the ruler of his state who has sided with British rule to oppress the Pindari tribes.

The film revolves around colonial India in 1862 and is mainly based on the Rajputana tribe of Pindari who are tough alcoholic warriors. They are good at war and drink (that’s what the movie suggests). The film begins with the king of Madhav Garh betraying the Pindari tribe after winning a war with them, in order to appease the British. The tribes, as they wish, use revenge. The entire movie revolves around his revenge and it is in the last few scenes that the focus shifts from revenge to liberating India from British rule.

To achieve this revenge the chief of the tribe Prithvi Singh (Mithun Chakraborty) sends his two sons Veer and Punya to England to learn how the firangi mind works and can beat them at their own game. The matter is complicated by the arrival of the princess of Madhav Garh played by Zarine Khan in Veer’s life, who falls in love with the princess. Our hero Veer fights fearlessly with the amoral king, the British government and lays the foundation for the Indian independence movement.

The problem with the movie is not the lack of logic but the amount of boredom it gives the viewer. The hero takes a man’s intestine with his bare hands, engages in a strange kind of Swayamwar to win the princess, and finds himself clothed in the motherland. Such things are only boring and even more so they give a rather comical angle to the movie which is obviously not the intention of the director and screenwriter.

We have best movies in recent times about patriotism (Chak De) and epic movies (Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar). Here even the duration of the film bores the viewer. The music is fine for the movie, if not great. The filmmakers have tried to bring conviction to the project and have worked hard to make it work on screen.

The movie deserved a better script than this to back up the hard work put in by Salman Khan on virtually every scene. He has done his best to take the film to a new level, but unfortunately he has been let down with this epic. The brilliant presence of him in every scene surely deserves approval.

The film has many exaggerated scenes and dialogues that give it an unintended comedic effect. Even the appearance of the warrior Salman and the mass appeal of him might not save this movie from losing to oblivion in the near future. Watch the movie if you are a die-hard Salman Khan fan or want to see the hard work put in by him or save it for a DVD later.

Legal Law

A website checklist

If you’ve just finished building your new website (or renovating your old one), how can you be sure it’s “ready for prime time”? Or maybe your site has been around for a while and you think a makeover may be in order. Because technologies, techniques, and web standards change so quickly, even a website that looks “state of the art” when it’s built can look out of date a year later. Or maybe you started with a basic website and finally have the time and/or money to take it to the next level. If you want to review your website, here are ten things to consider:

Compatibility: Will your website display correctly for most people, regardless of their computer hardware, operating system, browser, and monitor resolution? Make sure your site displays correctly for as many users as possible. If any features on your website require certain browser plugins, please provide a download link. Remember that not everyone will have Javascript enabled and that graphics can be disabled by the user; make sure your site will continue to function without them.

Integrity: None of your websites should be “under construction”. Websites tend to evolve over time and are never really “done”, but that’s no reason to make your website look like a construction zone. If you must include pages that aren’t complete, at least include some informative content on the page to encourage people to check back later. Otherwise, skip the section entirely until you’re ready for prime time.

Content: Do you need to update the text of your site? Have you added services, expanded your product line, targeted new markets, or changed your business strategy? Is your website description of your business current and accurate, including your contact information? Could the content be written more clearly, convincingly, or succinctly? Could your website be more informative, useful, interesting or relevant? Would customer testimonials or an FAQ section strengthen your sales message? Check all the content on your site for incorrect grammar, misspellings, and typos.

Graphics: Do your graphics add or detract from your website? A website without graphics would be uninteresting, but a site with too many different graphics, animations, and fonts is overwhelming and distracts from your sales message. The trick is finding the right balance. Use animations sparingly, especially those that loop (play over and over). They can become annoying and easily distract from your sales message. Remember that banner ads also count as graphics, and one or two per page is sufficient.

Interactivity: You may consider making your site interactive by adding a mailing list, message board, survey, ezine, or guestbook. A quiz or trivia quiz can attract visitors and keep them coming back more often. Rotating content like a joke, quote, or tip of the day keeps your website interesting. Don’t feel compelled to add all the latest bells and whistles just because you can, but ask yourself if some advanced features could give your website an edge. If you don’t want to provide the content yourself, check out the content available from distributors (just keep it relevant to your target market and the rest of the content on your site).

Links: Are all the links on your website working? First, make sure the links between the pages on your site direct site visitors to the correct page. Also check all your links to other websites; the webmaster may have renamed the page or removed it entirely, and those dead links will make your site look unprofessional and frustrate your site visitors. If you’ve removed some of your own site’s pages, set up a custom 404 page that redirects your visitors to your home page (or a search page) when they try to access a page that no longer exists.

Speed: Does your site load fast enough in the viewer’s browser? The “eight second rule” is a good rule of thumb, which means that no site visitor should wait more than eight seconds to view the home page of your website. After eight seconds have elapsed, the viewer will most likely give up and go elsewhere. If you have graphics or animations that take a while to download, provide compelling content to keep them engaged while they wait. Adding graphic elements always comes at a cost in terms of slower loading times, so only include graphics if they really add to the visual impact of your website and strengthen your sales message.

Navigation: Is it easy to find information on your site? The home page should tell visitors, at a glance, who you are, what you do, and how to find what they’re looking for. From there, your visitors should be able to follow a logical path to learn more about various aspects of your business. If you include products or services on your site, organize them logically. If you decide to use graphic icons instead of text, make sure their meaning is obvious. Make it easy for your site visitors to find what they came looking for.

Search Engine Optimization: Is your website optimized to rank for important keywords in the most popular search engines? Double check your page titles and meta tag keywords and descriptions to make sure they are accurate and descriptive. Did you integrate your keywords into the actual content on the page as well (including variations)? Is your website focused on a specific topic and does it have a lot of informative content related to that topic? Is your website spider-friendly (meaning that search engine spiders can access all pages and read the most important content in the source code)?

Style: Is the style of your website consistent with your business goals? Ask yourself what you want the image of your business to be, and make sure your website enhances that image. Is your company’s style polished? Friendly? Fashion? High technology? The appearance of your site should reflect that style. Does your website still compare favorably with those of your competitors? Your website should favorably reflect your business and help you build your corporate image. If yours doesn’t, a makeover may be in order.

Usability – Usability refers to the ease with which site visitors can use your site. The best measure of usability is user feedback: the people who visit and attempt to navigate the site. If you have received complaints, comments, questions or suggestions from site visitors, please change your site accordingly. Of course, dissatisfied customers won’t always let you know. That is why you should also analyze your web logs to see if visitors are leaving certain pages quickly or not visiting some of your pages at all. Think in terms of building pathways through your site that visitors can follow. A well-designed website takes visitors deeper into the site without frustrating or confusing them, and it doesn’t lose them along the way.