Why You Should Buy A Dash Cam

Dash cams used to be expensive and impractical, but recent advances in technology have made them attainable for around $30.  That’s right, $30 now buys you a piece of technology that would have cost $300 ten years ago. Why should you want one? To begin with, having a dash cam can help you in the event of a bogus traffic ticket.  Traffic courts will generally accept dash cam footage as evidence to refute red light and stop sign tickets, and… Read More >

The Dangers of Slow Driving

We all know it’s illegal to speed, but did you know that California also makes it illegal to drive too slow?  The restriction is codified into the California Vehicle Code at CVC § 22351, which states: “No person shall drive so slowly or stop on the roadway so as to impede traffic or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.” Slow driving doesn’t get as bad a rap as speeding, but it can be just as dangerous.  Slow drivers… Read More >

An Employer’s Guide to Unemployment Benefits

When a worker makes a claim for unemployment benefits, it affects their former employer’s UI contribution rate (their “experience rating”) and, by extension, the amount that former employer will pay in future UI premiums.  Despite the financial stakes, many employers do not understand what triggers a valid claim for benefits or how best to minimize claims.  This is a critical mistake that can cost a small business thousands of dollars a year. So what are the basic requirements for a… Read More >

Important Changes To CA Employment Law For 2014

California labor laws are constantly in a state of flux, and a failure to keep track of the changes may land your business in legal trouble.  The following is a brief run down of some of the most significant developments for 2014. Minimum Wage Assembly Bill 10 raises the State’s minimum wage to $9 per hour starting July 1, 2014.  Note that this increase in the minimum wage impacts the minimum salary an employee must be paid in order to… Read More >

Terminating Employees With Disabling Medical Conditions

Terminating an employee with a disabling medical condition can be a lightening rod for litigation.  However, that does not mean that all such terminations–or even the majority–are unlawful.  To the contrary, private-sector employment in the state of California is by default “at will,” meaning terminable at any time for any reason not expressly prohibited by law, and employers enjoy vast discretion with regard to staffing decisions. Two primary legislative acts protect employees with disabling medical conditions, notwithstanding the doctrine of… Read More >

How CA’s Minimum Wage Increase Will Impact Your Business

On September 25th 2013, the State Legislature passed a bill into law that will raise minimum wage for all non-exempt California employees.  The new law, codified at Labor Code 1182.12, mandates two separate one dollar increases to the minimum wage, the first occurring on July 1st, 2014 and the second on January 1st, 2016. So, how will this change in law impact your business? Well, in addition to the obvious effect it will have on employees currently receiving the minimum… Read More >

Alcohol & Drug Testing In The Workplace

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Employees under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work pose a danger to themselves and those around them.  Maintaining a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy that provides for limited substance testing can help to manage this risk, but there are important legal requirements with which employers must comply. Every individual in the State of California has a constitutionally protected right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Courts have consistently held that this right applies to private… Read More >

Social Media And Your Personal Injury Claim

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Social networking has become common-place in our personal lives, but what is far less certain is how the law treats what we post online—particularly in claims for personal injury. In November of last year, the New York Court of Appeals in McCann v. Harleysville Insurance Co. denied a defendant’s motion to access the private Facebook page of a plaintiff who was claiming damages in a personal injury action.  The judge reasoned that the defendant “failed to establish a factual predicate… Read More >

The Legality of Unpaid Internships

Unpaid internships have become an increasingly common way for young professionals to gain experience and connections in their field of interest. However, the rise in such labor has led state and federal agencies to crack down on employers using internships in violation of minimum wage law. Usually, abuse is unintentional and due primarily to a failure to understand the legal requirements for unpaid internships. So, what are the criteria applied in determining the legality of such work? The federal Department… Read More >

The Different Degrees of Murder in California

As we hear news reports of murder trials, such as those involving the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Jackson, and the tourist at the Venice Beach walkway, there seems never to be an informed explanation of the different degrees of murder which the prosecution alleged — or did not allege but should have. I hope this article promotes a better understanding of what options prosecutors have in bringing murder charges against a homicide suspect.   If you ever follow murder trials… Read More >