New Emergency Temporary Standards for California Employers Effective June 17, 2021

The Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) placed on California employers were recently revised. After a brief period for public comments, the state adopted the new ETS on June 17. While the new ETS relaxed many rules pertaining to mask usage, it also maintained a number of requirements for many California employers.  Some of the requirements from the original ETS that still apply going forward Read More

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for California Employees

To help California employees fend off economic instability as the pandemic lingers in some corners of the state, the powers that be in Sacramento approved an additional 80 hours of paid leave for those affected by the virus. The program, dubbed Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL), applies to public and private employers with at least 26 employees.  The paid leave does not apply to independent contractors. Read More

Valuation Methods for Your Business

Some small business owners hardly ever need to have their companies assessed by a professional valuator. Others, like those in emerging or high-growth industries, might regularly engage with business professionals to determine the value of their enterprise.  Situations that call for a business valuation include:  Selling a business;Buying out a fellow owner’s interests in the company;Taking on significant Read More

Four Insurance Policies Your California Business Needs

The types of commercial insurance policies available to California business owners are almost as numerous as the different kinds of businesses in the state. For example, the insurance policies an HVAC company needs are incredibly different than the ones needed by a CPA. Only two insurance policies are required for all businesses in California: workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance.  Workers’ Read More

Using Restrictive Covenants in California

Companies across the U.S. routinely use restrictive covenants in order to protect their legitimate business interests. A restrictive covenant—sometimes called a “negative covenant”—is an agreement where at least one party agrees to abstain from certain actions. The two most common restrictive covenants used in employment law are:  Non-Compete Agreements: This contract is used by employers to prohibit employees Read More

The Threat of PAGA Claims for California Businesses

If you are a California employer, you know that staying in compliance with the state’s myriad employment requirements takes considerable work. What you may not know is that the state has a procedure that allows employees to file very broad lawsuits against their employers for alleged labor violations. This is referred to as a PAGA claim, referring to the Private Attorneys General Act that was passed in 2004. The Read More

What Business Owners Need to Know About Protected Classes

Any employer who doesn’t want to be in real danger of losing a discrimination lawsuit needs to know about protected classes. These groups are legally protected from employment discrimination through a variety of state and federal laws. Put simply, an employee who is discriminated against based on his or her membership in a protected class has a legal avenue for damages, which can be financially devastating for many Read More

Final Paychecks: Rules on Employee Compensation After a Resignation or Firing

Let’s be honest, employers: resignations from some employees sting a lot more than resignations from other employees. You hate to see your best people go, and you should do everything reasonable to keep them, but workers simply don’t stay with one job as long as they used to.  Whether an employee of yours resigns or is terminated, you have to provide them with their final paycheck in a timely manner. Many business Read More

How Can I Settle a Lawsuit Out of Court?

That question, unfortunately, is next-to-impossible to answer — even for an attorney — without knowing the numerous particulars of your case, including the amount of money at stake and the reasons for the conflict. Litigation is generally regarded as the last resort when trying to resolve a legal dispute, but it can be a good last resort if you have a problem that you can't resolve any other way. Some common Read More

What is a Fanciful Trademark?

Many once-small businesses have built their brands and reputations off the strength of their trademarks. Apple, Amazon, Nike, ExxonMobil are some of the world’s most recognizable brands because they have strong trademarks that are fanciful. Fanciful trademarks are the strongest trademarks because they are the most distinctive.  A trademark, as defined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is a Read More