Fremont business law attorneyFew small business owners are raking in the cash. In fact, many have only a month or so of reserve in place, should an emergency closure happen. It is this lack of financial security that can place small businesses at serious financial risk during a lawsuit. California state recognizes that risk and has taken proactive steps to protect small business owners from lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn more about this protection, and why it is important, with help from the following.

Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA was put in place to protect those with disabilities. It explicitly prohibits the discrimination against any individual with disabilities in the workplace, public accommodation, government activities, transportation, and communication. All this essentially means that employers, businesses, transportation providers, and even government agencies must accommodate disabled persons according to the law.

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California business law attorneyAlthough federal law does not require that employers give their employees rest breaks, state law does. As such, employers within the state of California must comply. More than that, employers must understand that there are no exceptions. A recent California Supreme Court ruling confirms this. The following information explains the California’s rest break law, ensuring you have the information you need to protect your business and avoid litigation.

Minimum Work Hours for Rest Breaks

As outlined by the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order, employers must offer all employees a rest period that is within the middle of any work period that amounts to three and one-half hours or more. So, for example, any employee that works a four hours shift should take their rest break two hours into their shift - or at least as close to that time as practical. For example, an employer may stagger the rest periods of employees who started work at the same time to avoid a workflow interruption. Any employee that works less than three and one-half hours is not entitled to a rest break under the California state law’s guidelines.

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Fremont business law attorneyAnother year has nearly ended, and a new one will soon begin. With that welcoming of the new year, business owners will need to make some changes to ensure they are compliant with the business law changes for 2017. Is your company ready? Find out with help from the following overview of the upcoming changes to come, and learn where you can get assistance with any last minute preparations.

Minimum Wage Increase in California

Over the next several years, the minimum wage in California will increase to $15 an hour. January 1, 2017 marks the date of the increase. As a result, employers with 26 or more employees will be obligated to pay no less than $10.50 an hour in the coming year. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees are being given until 2018 to adhere to the increase, but they should begin planning now to ensure they are able to transition with less difficulty.

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California business law attorneyNo matter how hard you work to hire quality employees, there will likely come a time that you must terminate one. It could be a matter of performance. It could be a matter of attendance. Or it could be related to theft or breach of contract. Whatever the situation, it is critical that you, as an employer, know how to protect yourself from wrongful termination lawsuits and discrimination lawsuits. The following information explains further and provides you with some key tips on legally terminating an employee in the state of California.

Understanding Employment at Will

Like most states, California lets business owners employ “at will.” This means that you can terminate an employee for almost any reason, or even no reason at all, as long as employment contracts and other documentation do not contradict your right to employ at will. (If you have questions about this, you should contact an experienced business attorney for sound legal advice.)

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Fremont business law attorneyEarlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Secure Choice Retirement Plan into law. With that single act, more than 7.5 million workers in the state were given the right to receive access to a retirement savings plan through their employer. What will all this mean for your small business come next year? The following explains.

Why the Law Was Enacted

Statistics from the National Institute on Retirement Security estimate that some 45 percent of private-sector employees do not have access to a retirement account. They do have the option to create their own individualized plan, yet most do not. In fact, AARP estimates that just five percent of all workers who do not have direct access to an employer-based retirement account actually contribute to an individual plan. Considering the current strain on social security, and the lack of saving for most Americans, the numbers are concerning to legislators across the entire country. California took action by signing the Secure Choice Retirement Plan into law. Now other states are considering it as well.

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Willett Law Firm

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Fremont, CA 94538

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