Employment relationships are presumed to be “at-will” in all states except Montana. In general, an at-will employment relationship means that either the employer or the employee is free to end the relationship at any time and for any reason (or no reason) at all. However, “wrongful termination” is a major exception to at-will employment. Common law…

PAYDAYS: It is an employer’s obligation to pay you on the established payday regardless of whether the time-card is submitted. There is no exception in the law that allows an employer to require you to wait until the next payday, or even until the time-card is turned in. Your employer can comply with the law,…

Title VII of the United States Code does not proscribe all conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace. Thus it is crucial to clearly define sexual harassment: only unwelcome sexual conduct that is a term or condition of employment constitutes a violation. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC‘s) Federal Guidelines define two types of…

Workers’ compensation insurance coverage for California employees is mandatory. If a California business has employees, then the employer must obtain workers’ compensation insurance. It is really that simple. The insurance coverage should take effect from the moment the first employee commences employment. If the business is a start-up, insurance coverage must be obtained before the…

One of the toughest tasks for an HR manager or business owner is managing risk to prevent lawsuits. Employers may unintentionally violate employment laws and never realize the risk they create for the company. Trying to provide some flexibility for an employee, saving money for the company, or just being nice are all ways that…

Many times employers improperly classify their employees as independent contractors so they, the employers, do not have to pay payroll taxes, the minimum wage or overtime, comply with other wage and hour law requirements such as providing meal periods and rest breaks, or reimburse their workers for business expenses incurred in performing their jobs. Moreover,…

Under California law (which is much more generous to employees than federal law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, and 10 minutes breaks for every 4 hours you work. There are other requirements…

BOTTLED PROTECTION POINTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS Independent Contractor or Employee? Bottled Protection Points provide tips for the business owner to contemplate and, if applicable, implement into his or her everyday operation. The Protection Points span the three interwoven areas of Business Law–Asset Protection; Estate Planning Protection; and Employment Law–all important considerations for the knowledgeable entrepreneur. Many times employers improperly…

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