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Caring for Caregivers

Hiring Help the Right Way Families can sometimes have some very expensive misconceptions about California’s rules for hiring a private, live-in caregiver.   For starters, it is never a good idea to have verbal “handshake” agreement to compensate through a combination of money, housing and/or meals.  Common mistakes include: Presuming the caregiver fits the California definition…

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Oh No You Didn’t!

Wrongful Termination of At-Will Employees Theory is one thing, practice another. In theory, “at-will” employment means neither employer nor employee are obligated to continue the relationship for any period of time.  Either may terminate for any reason or for no reason at all, with or without advance notice. In practice, some company executives and personnel…

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Rude Awakenings

Sounding the Alarm on Off-The-Clock Work We are lawyers, not magicians. Yet, we have received perhaps more than our share of requests to turn back time.  If only that employer client could have it all back, to start out the right way on workplace timekeeping and compensation practices. While we cannot put the proverbial toothpaste…

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Expecting Privacy at Work? Fugeddaboutit!

The 411 on Email and Texting Policies With the prevalence of workplace email and texting, businesses should consider publishing sound written policies on expected etiquette and on management’s ability to access and monitor such electronic communications.   For lack of such guidelines and rules, employees should not be left with the impression that their privacy rights…

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From California Employer Daily: New Year, New HR Ideas

In its article “New Year, New HR Ideas,” California Employer Daily recently passed on three key actions employers should consider at the beginning of the year, courtesy of James J. McDonald, Jr., managing partner of the Irvine office of Fisher & Phillips, LLP.  We thought these were pretty spot-on ideas worth sharing: “1. Get Your…

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Travel Pay in California

Policies to Keep Your Business in the Fast Lane Depending on the magnitude of the error, business owners and managers who discover they have been underpaying workers for travel time could be suddenly afflicted with the equivalent of extreme motion sickness. Hourly employees must be paid for all “hours worked.”   Depending on the circumstances, an…

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EEOC Reports Record High

Workplace Misconduct Charges in 2010 The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently published its annual statistical report on unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges.  Individuals filed 99,022 complaints (“charges”) with the agency in 2010, more than in any of the EEOC’s 45 years of existence.  The total is a 7% increase over 2009. Many…

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An Employer’s Guide to New 2011 Laws – Part V

Employer’s Obligations to Prevent Discrimination and Other Unlawful Employment Practices. In a recent case before the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC), paralegal Robin Williams alleged her former employer, Lyddan Law Group, was liable for hostile work environment harassment and discrimination on the bases of race, religion and sex.  She also asserted Lyddan retaliated…

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An Employer’s Guide to New 2011 Laws – Part IV

IRS Increases Acceptable Mileage Rate Deduction Effective January 1, 2011, the IRS increased the accepted mileage deduction for business use of a motor vehicle from 50 cents to 51 cents per mile.  Employers may deduct as a business expense the full amount of any reimbursement equal to or less than this IRS rate.  However, the…

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An Employer’s Guide to New 2011 Laws – Part III

New Requirements for Unpaid Internship Programs Internship programs can promote a business or industry to ambitious students looking for experience and items on their resumés.  However, a company must comply with several rules in order to exempt such interns from minimum wage laws. An April, 2010 opinion letter from the California Division of Labor Standards…

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If you are an employer facing possible litigation or have an employee issue on which you need immediate guidance, call us to set up a consultation, or submit your message using our contact form.

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