Every Business can fall prey to fraud, embezzlement, and other types of scams. That’s how billions of dollars are lost each year; by theft from employees. You hear about it mostly from large corporations, but size is not a guard against theft. An employee can walk away with goods to resell or with money in the form of cash or checks.
New Version of AB 51 in CALIFORNIA has been signed by Governor Newsom Attn Employers : A revised version of Assembly Bill 51 will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. This law effectively outlaws mandatory arbitration agreements with employees.
Watch Liat explain what an "At-Will" State means for an employer as well as the employee. Extracted from an interview with WorkCompMatters.org host, Steve Appell.
Want Your Business to Succeed? Of course all entrepreneurs are optimistic when they form a new business, but there are some common, not-so-obvious mistakes that can spell disaster for any business regardless of size or age. Be smart and take a few simple actions to proactively avoid trouble. The most common mistakes are made by businesses who focus only on "more sales" and are complacent about dangers that can easily be avoided. Having preventative measures in place can save you money and turn losses into profits. It's important to do the following things before trouble happens: Select an experienced business attorney [...]
Employment in CA is "at will" which means an employer can hire and fire an employee with or without any reason at any time with or without notice and an employee can leave the same way. If you have a problem employee the sooner you deal with it the better. The situation is likely to get worse and this employee will probably come up with a work injury or disability or something else you will have to take into consideration as part of the termination. The main thing to remember is that the reason for termination cannot be discriminatory. That [...]
Domino's Inc. tried to argue in court that they are not required to make their website or phone apps ADA compliant. In January of this year, the Appellate court ruled against them thus making it easier for attorneys to bring lawsuits against other businesses. Most businesses that are targeted are small businesses that provide "public accommodation" and must therefore comply with the ADA requirements on their website. Restaurants are popular targets, but the field is expanding fast. There are no clear ADA regulations that explain what compliant website content looks like. What is even worse is that there are no clear [...]
Business owners will enter into contracts with vendors or other providers for goods and services on a regular basis. Your phone service, copy machine, website builder, marketing consultant, suppliers, distributor or other service company. Most business owners do not have the time nor inclination to read through the fine print of a contract and assume what they agreed to orally with the salesperson is what the contract says. THIS CAN BECOME A BIG MISTAKE. Next thing you know you have a problem and the salesperson who promised you this was not going to happen is no longer with the company. There's [...]
The mainstream media, social media, pundits, bloggers and everyone in between have gotten on the bandwagon to blast Harvey Weinstein, demonstrating once again that a man is guilty until proven otherwise when it comes to sexual harassment. Do not get me wrong, I do believe the women who have come forward with their stories of Harvey’s inappropriate behavior. What I don’t understand is why now? Something else is going on. Now I may sound paranoid, and as an attorney I believe that is my right, but there is someone big and powerful out to get Harvey Weinstein and now is [...]
UBER ignored a primary cornerstone of a solid business during its super-expansion. Simply stated, no one at the company took the time to create a foundation - a structure, and sound policies. In fact from public reports it seems UBER sanctioned sexual harassment and gender bias which was encouraged or ignored by management in a hostile work environment. The prevalent company culture, which brought UBER financial success, ignored the basic rights of employees. And in the blink of an eye, one employee went public and the situation snowballed into a law firm investigation, dozens of layoffs, and investor revolt. The lesson [...]
Depending on the situation and your assessment of the threat, you may wish to do any or all of the following: Keep person off premises: Put supervisors on notice to watch for person, disseminate the photograph, especially to receptionists and front desk people who are greeters. Notify Security: Advise security and building personnel that the person is banned from premises. Police: Advise personnel to contact police if person is spotted. Depending on threat, file a police report. Confidential: Share information only with gatekeepers to workplace safety. In your opinion, if the threat is old, not imminent, not relevant, or not credible, [...]
Are you married? Do you have an "ex"? Do you have children? Children from a previous marriage? A home? Or Two? A business? Parents you need to take care of? A crazy relative? A brother you cannot stand? A special needs grandchild or other relative? An in-law you think is out for the family money? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions you should plan your estate! A couple of hours with an attorney and a few well spent dollars can save years of infighting and tens of thousands of dollars in litigation and attorney fees. No [...]
Employers can reduce sexual harassment claims by knowing recent changes in the laws in California, (specifically SB 1300) have made it easier for an employee to claim sexual harassment in the workplace. When conduct sufficiently offends, humiliates, distresses or intrudes upon an employee, so as to disrupt the employee's emotional tranquility in the workplace it is enough to create a case. Even a single case of harassing conduct may be the basis for legal action (effective January 1, 2019.) As of this year an inappropriate "stray remark "can be used to prove harassment as part of the total workplace circumstances. This includes [...]
Any person who signs a contract must first decide which path to take: "arbitration or a jury trial which is best?" Up until about fifteen years ago this was a usually an automatic decision. People wanted their day in court, they wanted a judge to oversee the procedures, and they wanted a jury to hear their case. Then arbitration organizations grew and developed rules that were incorporated into the California and Federal statutes which gave people the same rights in arbitration that they would get in court with the exception of a jury. Additionally, arbitration is a much quicker process, most of the arbitrators are retired judges that know the law, and in days when court proceedings last two years or more, hearings take months to schedule, and jury trials are a gamble there is much to be said for a quick and more efficient arbitration. When drafting contracts or agreements for my clients I always discuss the pros and cons of arbitration versus court. There are many attorneys that, no matter what you say, are consummate believers in court and jury trials. Some, because they can charge more for their work and time spent; some because they believe juries will give larger awards. Those attorneys (myself included) who have actually gone to trial in front of a jury or sat on a jury know that you NEVER know what a jury is going to do; what small fact they will latch onto and what will be the deciding factor for them.
In 1973 my Family Immigrated to Los Angeles from Israel where I was born. My parents, new to this country, did not understand English well. As many immigrants, they were entrepreneurs who went into business for themselves. Between the two of them they worked in dry cleaning, teaching, sandwich shop, 7-Eleven, and three restaurants including a seafood fine dining establishment. In each and every business there were documents to review, papers to sign, forms to fill out and my parents, being honest people thought those they were dealing with were honest as well. Unfortunately, several times they learned the hard [...]
42% of theft occurs in companies with less than 100 employees. * Association of Certified Fraud Examiners As a business owner you want to believe that the people you hire are honest, and most are. That said, you must be vigilant concerning theft from your own employees regardless of the size of your business or the loyalty of employees and length of service, some employees are dishonest or make honest bookkeeping mistakes. Theft may be in actual money or company owned assets. Either way it costs YOU money. Examples: A. One very distinguished and successful attorney had a bookkeeper who [...]
Company owners with five or more employees should have an Employee Handbook for their business. The handbook can be brief or lengthy depending on the type of business. The Employee Handbook prevents misunderstandings among employees who will know their rights. The Employee Handbook is a guide for policies and rules of behavior. Whether long or short every handbook should contain: A statement that employment is "at will." Expectations of employees for behavior, dress code and conduct including acceptable and unacceptable behavior, use of company computers, telephones, etc. List of employee benefits including vacation and sick days. A statement of equal [...]
The "right" client? It may sound simple, whomever calls or walks through the door is a customer. And that may be true for certain retailers like a restaurant or dry cleaner, but for those developing a relationship with a client, not a one time service, finding the right client takes more work. Things such as; need, product benefits, service, features, authorization to make the purchasing decision, the ability to pay, and "trust" become things to examine closely. Whether you are a realtor, website developer, doctor, lawyer, financial manager, or any business person on the look out for long term repeat [...]
With thousands of attorneys in the Los Angeles area, many practicing different fields of law, some are truly gifted, some just barely get by, and most fall in the middle. When you have a legal problem that is important to you, how do you make sure you pick the best attorney for your case? Look for the following: Ask if the attorney has experience with your specific type of case. Be it a car accident, employment dispute, contracts, copyright, divorce, criminal, etc. The attorney you choose should have experience in this area of law. Is the attorney responsive to your [...]
In order to grow your business and find new customers or clients, It's essential to communicate in a language they will understand. A good way to begin, is to analyze your current customers and make note of commonalities. One thing we have learned in the last couple of years is that energizing your BASE brings results. Therefore, when you are looking for customers or even communicating with current clients, speak their language. Would you rather work with an attorney who tells you that "the res judicata effect of the adjudication in the prior action may be beneficial in defense of [...]
6 "Must Do" Actions Before The End of the Year Do you know how much you earned last year and how much taxes you will owe? Review your financial reports and get an idea of your tax exposure. Speak to your accountant or financial advisor. Maybe a large purchase is better made now, before the end of the year. Maybe all purchases should be frozen until next year. You be the judge. Tie in employee bonuses to performance Are the bonuses you are giving commensurate with performance? If not, make it clear that the checks are holiday gifts. One common [...]
Prevailing wisdom is that business success requires a superior product, excellent customer service, and fair pricing. Beyond that there are marketing, promotion, and sales as well as economic conditions and a bit of luck. How does your business build a foundation for success? When I am asked what are the three most important things a business should have, I answer: An experienced business attorney A qualified business accountant Insurance Prevention of serious legal problems is the key. Investing in a business attorney is part of the cost of doing business. It's important to remember that by the time you are [...]
The news is rife with school and workplace shootings. The opportunity to review office safety procedures with your employees is NOW. Employers have an obligation to keep the workplace safe. Employers may have liability for failing to act under certain circumstances. Now would be be a good time to send an E-mail to all employees. I suggest sending something like the following: We want to ensure our workplace is safe for everyone. Company procedures require that any employee, who has obtained a restraining order, or who is being physically threatened, or who is in fear for their safety or the [...]
Dear Liat: I own a car dealership and I train my employees and teach them how to sell cars. Recently two of my employees left to work for a competitor. Before they left my employment I offered and they accepted $5,000.00 in exchange for an agreement that they would not compete with my business for the next 5 years. How do I enforce this agreement? Sincerely, Frustrated Dealer Dear Frustrated: Your situation is common. Many employers spend time training workers only to have employees leave to work for a competing business. Unfortunately, in California this is not against the law. [...]