About the California Employment Law Report

American FlagI published this post the last couple of years just before the Fourth.  Thinking back on it again this year I want to publish the same post, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep publishing it for many years to come.  Hope you have some time this weekend for put aside your work for a bit this weekend and enjoy some time with your family.  Happy Fourth!

Five things I’m thankful for this Fourth of July:

1.     For the great risk and sacrifice our Founding Fathers took to establish the country. 

When learning about the Founding Fathers in high school history class I did not have a perspective about the risks the Founders took in establishing the country.  Only now that I have a business, a family, and am relatively successful, can I realize the huge risks that the Founders took.  By all means, they were the establishment, the elite of the American society, if anyone had an interest in preserving the status quo it was them.  It is great that their sacrifices of life (theirs and their family members) and their fortunes, helped build the foundation we benefit from today.

2.     The ability to speak freely and practice or not practice any religion I want.

It is great being able to say what you want to say freely and believe in whatever you want.  It is also great be free to practice or not practice any religion you want.  We live in a very tolerant society, and it is even better when the government is not telling you how to live your life.  It is important to remember that throughout history, this has been the exception for how a government normally behaves.

3.     Our Country’s ability to attract creative people.

People that like creating things and being productive want to practice their trade where the government will basically leave them alone and provide a good environment to protect their gains derived from their hard effort (see item #5 below).  The U.S. provides this environment, and that is why so many people come to the U.S. to create a business or to practice their trade.  It is also important to recognize how lucky we are to be born in the U.S.

4.     My right to practice any profession and unlimited resources to learn the required skills.

No one is dictating what students need to be after they graduate high school or college.  Everyone is free to pursue their interest, and the market decides the value of the effort.  With basically any information freely available on the Internet, anyone can learn almost any skill, and like no other time in human history individuals have an almost free way to sell their services or products over the Internet.  In your mid-40’s and want to make a career change?  Perfect, and you don’t even need to go back to school as the information is freely available on the Internet.  Didn’t finish college and are 20 years old with an idea?  Perfect.  Venture capitalists don’t care about your pedigree, they basically are only interested if you work hard and don’t give up.

5.     Our legal system.

Yes, it sounds trite.  But while I don’t think our legal system is perfect by any means, it is the best system established in the history of mankind.  Everyone living in the U.S. presently is very lucky to have this benefit.  It is a foundation for many of the items I mentioned above.  Because people have a good basis for predicting the outcomes of their actions, such as being able to retain property legally obtained, and knowing if someone breaches a contract there will be repercussions, it creates an environment that attracts hard effort and the best talent from around the world.  This is why the U.S. has been the leader in ideas and new businesses.  However, just because the system is established it does not mean our work is done.  We have to be vigilant not to lose the fairness, reasonableness, and lack of corruption in legal system.

Happy Fourth of July.  I have to go start the grill.

I bet your lawyer has never uttered those words to you (unless, of course, I am your lawyer).  For today’s Friday’s Five, I wanted to remind readers about five free resources I offer.  That’s right – they are absolutely free.  Happy Friday.Employers Survival Guide

1.  Download the termination checklist

I’m a big proponent of checklists.  Even if you have performed hundreds of employee terminations, there are so many issues that employers must get right every time, I recommend that each employer develop their own termination checklist.  Download my draft checklist as a start to drafting your own checklist for your company here.

2. Subscribe to my webinar and seminar newsletter

I’m routinely conducting webinars and seminars to California employers regarding best practices and employment law updates.  I often times waive the costs or reduce the costs for clients, friends of the firm, and readers of my blog.  You can subscribe here.

3. Subscribe to my Youtube channel – The Employment Law Report

Rather learn by watching videos?  Subscribe to my Youtube channel, The Employment Law Report.  Some popular videos are my overview of California’s paid sick leave law.  More videos to come soon.  View and subscribe to the channel here.

4. Subscribe to my blog

Receive at least weekly updates about California employment law and best practices for employers.  Reading this, right?  Might as well receive an email by subscribing here when I post a new article so you don’t miss any posts.  That is right, as always, this is absolutely free, so why not?  Subscribe to the blog by entering your email address above the big yellow button to the right.

5. Download my e-book on the top ten best HR practices

The Top Ten Best Human Resources Practices for California Employers e-book – need I say more?  Download it here.

Now you do not have any reason to not to utilize these free resources.  And don’t forget, you can find me on Facebook too.  Have a great Labor Day weekend.

 

I published this post last year just before the Fourth.  Thinking back on it again this year I want to publish the same post, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep publishing it for many years to come.  Hope you have some time this weekend for put aside your work for a bit this weekend and enjoy some time with your family.  Happy Fourth!

Five things I’m thankful for this Fourth of July:

1.     For the great risk and sacrifice our Founding Fathers took to establish the country. 

WhFourth of Julyen learning about the Founding Fathers in high school history class I did not have a perspective about the risks the Founders took in establishing the country.  Only now that I have a business, a family, and am relatively successful, can I realize the huge risks that the Founders took.  By all means, they were the establishment, the elite of the American society, if anyone had an interest in preserving the status quo it was them.  It is great that their sacrifices of life (theirs and their family members) and their fortunes, helped build the foundation we benefit from today.

2.     The ability to speak freely and practice or not practice any religion I want.

It is great being able to say what you want to say freely and believe in whatever you want.  It is also great be free to practice or not practice any religion you want.  We live in a very tolerant society, and it is even better when the government is not telling you how to live your life.  It is important to remember that throughout history, this has been the exception for how a government normally behaves.

3.     Our country’s ability to attract creative people.

People that like creating things and being productive want to practice their trade where the government will basically leave them alone and provide a good environment to protect their gains from their hard effort (see item #5 below).  The U.S. provides this environment, and that is why so many people come to the U.S. to create a business, or to practice their trade.  It is also important to note that if you were lucky enough to be born in the U.S., it is a great reason to remain in the U.S.

4.     My right to practice any profession I want and unlimited resources to learn the required skills.

No one is dictating what students need to be after they graduate high school or college.  Everyone is free to pursue their interest, and the market decides the value of the effort.  With basically any information freely available on the Internet, anyone can learn almost any skill, and like no other time in human history have an open almost free way to sell your services or products over the Internet.  In your mid-40’s and want to make a career change?  Perfect, and you don’t even need to go back to school as the information is freely available on the Internet.  Didn’t finish college and are 20 years old with an idea?  Perfect.  Venture capitalists don’t care about your pedigree, they basically are only interested if you work hard and don’t give up.

5.     Our legal system.

Yes, it sounds trite.  But while I don’t think our legal system is perfect by any means, it is the best system established in the history of mankind.  Everyone living in the U.S. presently is very lucky to have this benefit.  It is a foundation for many of the items I mentioned above.  Because people have a good basis for predicting the outcomes of their actions, such as being able to retain property legally obtained, and knowing if someone breaches a contract there will be repercussions, it creates an environment that attracts hard effort and the best talent from around the world.  This is why the U.S. has been the leader in ideas and new businesses.  However, just because the system is established it does not mean our work is done.  We have to be vigilant not to lose the fairness, reasonableness, and lack of corruption in legal system.

Happy Fourth of July.  I have to go start the grill.

Photo: Kim Seng

Employment Law - Mid Year Update - LinkedinJoin me for a seminar for a mid-year update on California employment law issues.  Learn how to keep your company compliant with new developments in California.  Topics will include:

  • Top five pitfalls facing California employers in 2016
  • How to prepare for the Department of Labor’s changes to the overtime rules going into effect on December 1, 2016
  • Local city minimum wage and paid sick leave developments
  • Revisions to anti-harassment and discrimination regulations potentially requiring revisions to handbooks and policies
  • Q & A – bring your questions to discuss with the attorneys from my firm
  • Mixer – network with other business owners, human resource professionals, and other professionals

The event is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 22, 2016  (seminar from 4 to 5 p.m., mixer from 5 to 7 p.m.).

Location: Westside Tavern, 10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (click here for map)

1.0 SHRM and HCRI credit for HR Professionals.

$150 Regular Price/$40 for clients of VTZ and California Restaurant Association Members. If you are a client, or a CRA member, email cpeck@vtzlaw.com for promo code.

Space is limited.

For more information and registration, click here

Hope you can join us.

In this Friday’s Five I wanted to share some resources that have added a lot to my understanding of business, startups, and venture capital.  Two points upfront:

  • The Internet (especially YouTube) has become a huge equalizer for startups and small businesses.  Ten years ago, the information that is shared on the channels listed below was very difficult, if not impossible, to come by.  Now it is available to everyone willing to learn, and don’t write off YouTube as a learning tool.  The first channel I recommend below is the entire semester for a Stanford computer science course.
  • At first blush, it may seem that the channels are focused on tech startups, but the lessons and general business discussions are great for any business owner running any type of company, in any industry.

So here are five YouTube channels I recommend every employer/entrepreneur should follow:

1.     How to start a startup by Stanford school of computer science

Sam Altman, the President of Y Combinator, conducted this class for Stanford’s computer science school.  He brought in some of the preeminent investors and entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley as guest lecturers for the class.  All 20 lecturers are on YouTube, so no need to be a student at Stanford.  I’ve watch all of the lectures, but some of the best ones that are definitely worth the time to watch are:

Lecture 15 – How to manage by Ben Horowitz (I’ve written about this lecture previously here)

Lecture 3 – Before the startup by Paul Graham

 2.     Gary Vaynerchuk

I have to be honest, I did not like Gary Vaynerchuk when I first came across him a few years ago while he was growing his wine business into a $60 million business.  However, his Ask Gary Vee Show has been very insightful for social media marketing.  He has recognized recently that his persona may turn a few people off, but he has taken steps to regulate it a bit more.  However, as he regularly professes, everyone needs to be their true self, and he does not hide who he is.  I have to admit that I thought social media was not for me, or for lawyers for that matter, but as Gary points out that social is part of marketing now, and every business must engage in social.  Another major takeaway I learned from him, it does not hurt to try new social media platforms and learn how they work, there is simply no downside to trying and learning.

3.     Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford’s School of Business places great content in shorter segments (less than 10 minutes) on a wide range of business topics.  The videos are produced with regular consistency, and cover a wide range of topics.  Recently, one video discusses Human Resources issues that face a startup – posted below.  Consider this channel your continuing business education.

 

4.     Foundation by Kevin Rose

Foundation is a series of interviews of entrepreneurs by Kevin in an informal setting.  The first 15 or so interviews are must watches.  For entrepreneurs, it is great to hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs and the struggles they had.  For business owners, the series provides insights into how these individuals started, managed, and grew their businesses.

5.     Bothsides TV – Mark Suster

Mark Suster is a venture capitalist at Upfront Ventures in Pasadena.  He interviews guests about startup issues and investing with a focus on technology.  His blog, Both Sides of The Table is also a good read for anyone interested in venture capital, and the Los Angeles tech scene.

Bonus: California Employment Law Report

Also, I have to add my YouTube channel to the list as well.  If you have any questions or topics you would like to have me cover in a video, please reach out to me on Twitter at @anthonyzaller or email me.


If you have been a reader of this blog, I’m calling in a favor.  The California Employment Law Report has been nominated for the Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest (out of more than 2,000 blogs, 250 were selected for this).

So if you have found any value from my blog, please click on the banner above, or visit this page and click on the ‘thumbs up’ button to register your vote (I promise it will take less than 10 seconds):

https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/legal-blog/california-employment-law-report/

Thanks in advance for your support.

I was able to catch up with California Restaurant Association’s CEO, Jot Condie at the 2015 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo.  We discuss the threats facing restaurateurs and the steps the CRA is taking to represent its members.

 

1.     For the great risk and sacrifice our Founding Fathers took to establish the country. 

WhFourth of Julyen learning about the Founding Fathers in high school history class I did not have a perspective about the risks the Founders took in establishing the country.  Only now that I have a business, a family, and am relatively successful, can I realize the huge risks that the Founders took.  By all means, they were the establishment, the elite of the American society, if anyone had an interest in preserving the status quo it was them.  It is great that their sacrifices of life (theirs and their family members) and their fortunes, helped build the foundation we benefit from today.

2.     The ability to speak freely and practice or not practice any religion I want.

It is great being able to say what you want to say freely and believe in whatever you want.  It is also great be free to practice or not practice any religion you want.  We live in a very tolerant society, and it is even better when the government is not telling you how to live your life.  It is important to remember that throughout history, this has been the exception for how a government normally behaves.

3.     Our country’s ability to attract creative people.

People that like creating things and being productive want to practice their trade where the government will basically leave them alone and provide a good environment to protect their gains from their hard effort (see item #5 below).  The U.S. provides this environment, and that is why so many people come to the U.S. to create a business, or to practice their trade.  It is also important to note that if you were lucky enough to be born in the U.S., it is a great reason to remain in the U.S.

4.     My right to practice any profession I want and unlimited resources to learn the required skills.

No one is dictating what students need to be after they graduate high school or college.  Everyone is free to pursue their interest, and the market decides the value of the effort.  With basically any information freely available on the Internet, anyone can learn almost any skill, and like no other time in human history have an open almost free way to sell your services or products over the Internet.  In your mid-40’s and want to make a career change?  Perfect, and you don’t even need to go back to school as the information is freely available on the Internet.  Didn’t finish college and are 20 years old with an idea?  Perfect.  Venture capitalists don’t care about your pedigree, they basically are only interested if you work hard and don’t give up.

5.     Our legal system.

Yes, it sounds trite.  But while I don’t think our legal system is perfect by any means, it is the best system established in the history of mankind.  Everyone living in the U.S. presently is very lucky to have this benefit.  It is a foundation for many of the items I mentioned above.  Because people have a good basis for predicting the outcomes of their actions, such as being able to retain property legally obtained, and knowing if someone breaches a contract there will be repercussions, it creates an environment that attracts hard effort and the best talent from around the world.  This is why the U.S. has been the leader in ideas and new businesses.  However, just because the system is established it does not mean our work is done.  We have to be vigilant not to lose the fairness, reasonableness, and lack of corruption in legal system.

Happy Fourth of July.  I have to go start the grill.

Photo: Kim Seng

I was interviewed for a news story that aired on KTLA here in Los Angeles about employer’s use of social media in evaluating applicants and employees. I’ve been writing and speaking about this topic for at least five years now, but given the pervasiveness of social media, the topic is only becoming more relevant with the increased use of social media today.

http://launch.newsinc.com/?type=VideoPlayer/Single&widgetId=1&trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=ktla_virtualrealitycheck&videoId=25655497

 Employers need to remember to keep a few items in mind regarding social media and the workplace. California passed a law, Labor Code section 980, effective January 1, 2013 that prohibits employers from “requiring or requesting” employees and applicants to provide their passwords to social media accounts. Can California employers monitor employees’ internet usage under new Labor Code section 980?

Also, employers need to be aware of employee’s privacy rights. Can employers use employee’s posts to social media as basis for employment decisions or would this violate an employee’s right to privacy?

Finally, when a company encourages employees to use social media for work, there are some considerations the employer should take into account regarding the ownership of the social media accounts.

Generally speaking, employers may utilize social networking sites to conduct background checks on employees if:

  1. The employer and/or its agents conduct the background check themselves;
  2. The site is readily accessible to the public;
  3. The employer does not need to create a false alias to access the site;
  4. The employer does not have to provide any false information to gain access to the site; and
  5. The employer does not use the information learned from the site in a discriminatory manner or otherwise prohibited by law.

This will be one of our most attended webinars, and there is still time to sign up. The webinar will cover legal issues facing California employers under the new Labor Code section prohibiting employers from asking applicants and employees for social media passwords, privacy issues when conducting background checks, alternatives to social media policies, and when policies addressing these issues are necessary. It is taking place at 10:00 a.m. PST January 15. Visit our website for registration information.