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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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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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Fremont CA business law attorneyCalifornia has one of the most progressive Family Leave programs in the nation. It allows workers time off, job holds, and even a provision that provides them with a partial income while caring for a newborn or ill family member. However, legislation feels there is still a gap in the system; as of right now, employees who work at businesses with fewer than 50 employees do not have access to the program. A new bill seeks to change this. If you are a small business owner, learn how your business may be affected, and how you can avoid possible litigation over compliance issues.

California’s Family Leave Act

There are, essentially, two important portions of the Family Leave Act. The first is that an employer must allow employees the right to take up to six weeks of time off to care for an ill family member, or to bond with a newborn, without fear of losing their job. A temporary employee may cover the absent employee’s duties, but the job (or a similar job with the same pay and benefits) must still be available when the employee returns to work. Failure to comply can result in litigation against the company.

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California business law attorney, upgraded debt ratingLast year, Standard & Poor upgraded California’s general obligation debt from an “AA-“ rating to an “A+” rating, signifying further financial growth for the world’s eighth-largest economy. While this suggests further economic growth and security, analysts recently announced that the Golden State may have reached its peak. For companies both large and small, this could have some pretty big implications, particularly on those that had planned to make business expansions in the coming year.

California’s Economic Growth

According to analysts, California has already outlasted most economic expansions. At the very least, this places it at risk for a plateau. Alternatively, major changes to the global economy could cause the state’s current standing to falter, possibly even to the point that its fiscal alignment would be placed in jeopardy. So what does all this mean for businesses both big and small? A closer look at how debt and economic growth impacts the growth of businesses provides the answers.

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