expert witness, Timothy Dimoff, COVID-19, videoconference

Expert Witnesses Testify Via Videoconferencing [COVID-19]

The global coronavirus pandemic has and continues to have a profound effect on the way we do business, interact with others socially, and even how we conduct court cases, especially in the area of expert witnesses.   In the past, the preferred method for this type of testimony was to fly the experts in, prep them for a day or two, and have them testify. They were not considered to be “experts” until the judge and jury could see them, and each side could grill their credentials.   Since March, all of that has been tossed on its head. Depending on the state and case, expert witnesses have been eliminated or reduced for months. However, because there is no definitive end date to COVID-19 and many states are concerned about the escalating rates of this disease, remote appearances are taking shape, and judges are warming up to this way of testimony. Courts and Coronavirus During this time of COVID-19, U.S. federal and state courts are taking various measures, including restricting visitors to court buildings, canceling or deferring hearings, and conducting only essential matters face-to-face. One of the measures being adopted by courts to limit the risk of spreading the...

Continue reading
employee threats, Workplace bullying, bullying at work, Timothy Dimoff

7 Steps to Stop Workplace Bullying

Have you ever repeatedly experienced the following at work: Name-calling Shaming in public Intimidation Verbal abuse Pranks People leaving you out of conversations Managers giving you partial instructions or Having your work efforts sabotaged? If so, you’ve been bullied. Unfortunately, none of the behaviors listed above are illegal. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 19% of all US employees have been bullying victims. 61% of bullies are bosses, which correlates with the statistic that 65% of bullying victims are either fired or resign. Bullying, left unchecked, decreases workplace safety, increases absenteeism, and impacts employee morale. It creates a psychological power imbalance between the person doing the bullying and their target(s). Once the bully cements this imbalance, it’s virtually impossible to fix.   7 Action Steps to Stop a Bully Train employees to recognize bullying. Everyone in your organization needs to know what it looks like and what to do about it. There are two excellent books on the subject to get you started – Beating the Workplace Bully: A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge and Back Off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying @ Work. If you experience bullying, speak up right away. Squash the behavior before it...

Continue reading
coronavirus, COVID-19, coronavirus and the workplace

Coronavirus and The Workplace: Keeping You Safe and Healthy

Whether you’re going into work every day or telecommuting, COVID-19 is on the minds of everyone. Here are common questions many employees are asking.   Coronavirus and the Workplace Q&A My company has been deemed essential, yet I feel uncomfortable going into work. Can I work from home? The straight answer is no — your boss doesn’t have to allow you to telecommute. However, it often depends on what you do for the organization. If you work in a plant, you’ll have to report. However, if you’re in accounting or marketing, it’s possible to make a case to stay at home. On the flip side, your boss is making everyone work remotely. Do you have to oblige? Yes. Can my employer take my temperature at work? Under normal circumstances, the answer would be no because taking your temp is considered part of a medical examination. However, because coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic, and fever is one of the three indicators of it, yes, an employer can require it at the start of your shift. SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. has a solution that can take the temperature of many individuals via a NEW AI application utilizing a camera...

Continue reading
Predators, Pedaphiles, TikTok

TikTok: A Social Media Magnet for Pedophiles and Predators?

It’s a fact: China’s platform, TikTok, is a social media channel many young ladies between 13-24 engage with every day. In a short period, it has amassed more than 500 million worldwide users. TikTok allows users to create short, entertaining videos. What draws young girls to the platform? It may be that many of their friends are also on it. It’s entertaining to make lip-syncing and dancing videos they share with their fans. The personalized “For You” page keeps them returning as well. However, much like other platforms, it’s riddled with privacy holes. Of particular concern is the trolling of pedophiles and predators on this site. TikTok Troubles   In February 2019, TikTok received a $5.7 million fine from the Federal Trade Commission for illegally collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 years old and selling it to advertisers. It’s becoming the tool of choice for bullying among young girls. Many male predators use this channel to communicate with young girls. When users or their parents reported predator accounts, in most instances, TikTok did not suspend those accounts. Even if you make your child’s account private, their profile picture, username, and bio remain public. After the...

Continue reading

Tomorrow is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day – Do you Know the Signs?

Every January 11th, we are tasked to learn more about human trafficking. Please take everything you think you know about it and throw it in the preverbal trash can. Human trafficking doesn’t happen exclusively in big cities, near international borders, or in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. It happens everywhere. Ohio has the fourth largest incidents of trafficking behind Florida, California, and Texas. In 2019, Ohio received a “C” grade by Shared Hope International regarding our state’s sex trafficking laws and prevention tactics. We are the only state that requires 16- or 17-year-olds to prove they were sex trafficking victims. However, the State Senate recently passed a bill that would rescind that clause. It’s awaiting passage in the House of Representatives. In Ohio: 80% are children who live in urban settings 67% are white, female teens 33% are African American Girls are dressed in inappropriate clothing and wear heavy makeup The average buyer is 40 years old According to the International Labour Organization, on a global level: 81% are doing forced labor (slavery) 75% are women and girls 25% are children   How to Spot Human Trafficking   Look for a significant age difference. If you see someone much younger, don’t assume...

Continue reading
holiday stress avoidance tips by Timothy Dimoff

Cut Down Holiday Stress with These Six Tips

Even though we are just a few short days away from the beginning of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve, it’s the time to have fun, get-togethers, plus do the shopping, baking, and cooking for everyone. Yet…often this is the time when stress levels run high. Arguments break out and feelings are hurt. As you gather with your family, friends, and coworkers this year, please keep these six ideas in mind to keep your enjoyment level high and your stress levels low. Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress Put a check on your expectations. Please remember this is a season of giving, not receiving. Just because you spent a hefty amount for a gift for your boss, don’t expect he or she will do the same. Let kindness be your theme this season. Take care of yourself. In years past, I have tried to do too much during December and gotten myself run down. The last two holidays, I was sick and not much fun to be around. This year, I’ve vowed to: Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night Take breaks – go for walks, hit the gym, or go to my local coffee shop alone Keep up...

Continue reading
dangers of vaping, vaping devices and vaping dangers as noted by Timothy Dimoff

What You Need to Know About the Deadly Dangers of Vaping

To vape, you need three things – a device (like the ones above), a liquid pod, and a lighter. Individuals either vape in replacement of cigarettes and cigars or as a new way to enjoy a marijuana high. But there are dangers of vaping. What’s in the pod is the focus of today’s blog post, as what it may injure — or even kill you. Vaping Nicotine E-liquids contain different levels of nicotine. One of the more popular devices, Juul, contains up to 59 mg/ml of nicotine per pod, the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes. Vaping Cannabis Over the last few years, there’s been a rise in vaping-related lung illness, of which 78% or more of these incidents have been tied to products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives you the feeling of being high. However, THC’s chemical make-up, C₂₁H₃₀O₂, is very similar to its counterpart, Cannabidiol (CBD), which combats the effects of THC and is not psychoactive. On October fourth of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised Americans to stop using all THC vaping products while it concludes it’s an investigation into lung-related illnesses. Most of the sicknesses occurred...

Continue reading
Aggressive Behavior, High Profile Events, Timothy Dimoff

Defuse Aggressive Behavior at High-Profile Events

High-profile events call for special security techniques instituted by trained personnel who know how to de-escalate aggressive behaviors. Security personnel often come from law enforcement backgrounds with specialized training in awareness and presence techniques. These same techniques can help you to identify and properly respond to aggressive behaviors if necessary. Three Steps to De-Escalation The three most important steps for effective de-escalation during an event are to detect, defuse and respond. While all large events require good security measures, high-profile events present a special challenge because they usually involve extremely large number of attendees, bringing greater potential for dangerous situations to occur.  Recent news stories have demonstrated that the first responders are often not law enforcement, but the workers or attendees. Therefore, in addition to having a contingency and organizational plan, it is important that all personnel involved with a high-profile event are properly trained in response techniques in order to maintain safety at the event. The biggest risk is in thinking “It can’t possibly happen here!” Detect Learning how to detect aggressive behavior is the first step. It can help to prevent personal injury and may mean the difference between life and death. Knowing how to properly detect...

Continue reading