Jennifer Grady, Esq. Launches Ignite Startup School Featuring Courses, Webinars, and Custom Legal Services for Entrepreneurs

Startup School Hosts Classes for Entrepreneurs

ImageIgnite Startup School is scheduled to host its first class, Startup School 101: The Practical Aspects of Running a Business, on April 23, 2014 from 4-6pm in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles. The Course, which is limited to 12 participants, will provide students with real world examples and practical tips for starting and growing a business. Subsequently, Ignite Startup School will host Startup School 102: The Legal Aspects of Running a Business on May 1, 2014 from 4-6 p.m.; Startup School 103: What California Employers Need to Know to be Compliant with State and Federal Labor Laws on May 7, 2014 from 12-2 p.m.; and Startup School 104: Business Succession Planning and Asset Protection on May 14, 2014. Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Is Proud to Be a Strategic Partner for the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach on May 19 and 20, 2014

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The Grady Firm, P.C., has just signed on as a Strategic Partner for the 28th Annual California Women’s Leadership Conference (CWC) at the Long Beach Convention Center on May 19 and 20, 2014! The CWC is the longest-running, and largest, women’s conference in the United States!  Sign up for General Admission or get your group together for a tableContinue reading

Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. to speak on Women & Entrepreneurship Panel at the 8th Annual West Hollywood Women’ s Leadership Conference on April 5, 2014

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Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. Founder of The Grady Firm and the Women Entrepreneurs Club (WEC), will be a panelist on Women and Entrepreneurship at the Eighth Annual West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference on April 5, 2014. She will be providing practical, detailed advice for women entrepreneurs based on her experience as a Startup attorney, law firm owner, and WEC President. Continue reading

As Canada Eliminates its Immigrant Investor Program, International Investors Shift Their Focus to the US for Economic and Residency Opportunities

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

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Canada terminates investor visa program

In a statement made on the evening of February 11, 2014, the Canadian government announced that it intends to terminate both the Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) program by abolishing it from the 2014 federal budget.  In doing so, it plans to eliminate 66,000 backlogged applications and refund $2 million in filing fees.  In 2011, approximately 10,000 immigrants entered Canada through the IIP, while almost 1,000 entered through the EN program.  In recent years, it has taken an average of 54 months to issue investor visas, and even longer for entrepreneur visas.  It would take an estimated six years to process the backlogged applications. Continue reading

The April 1 Deadline to Submit H1-B Petitions is Rapidly Approaching: Prepare Your Application by the End of This Month to Avoid Waiting Until Next Year to File

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

ImageOn April 1, 2014, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B specialty occupation visas.  Approved applications will allow a foreign national to commence employment in the new fiscal new year, which starts on October 1, 2014.  Continue reading

12 Tips for Effective E-Mail Communication

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

ImageWhile emails can provide us with the means to communicate with more people in a single day than ever before, they can also be a huge time-waster and permanent record of our blunders.  Read below for 12 ways to communicate more effectively through email.

Efficiency

1. At the beginning of the day, scan your inbox for urgent messages, and only respond to the ones that are most important or time-sensitive.  Spend the rest of the time you would waste on reading junk mail to prioritize your day.  This way, you will start your day with focus and motivation. Continue reading

First Same-Sex Couple Receives Green Card in Post-DOMA Landscape

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Same-sex couple immigrant receives Green Card through marriage

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

The Supreme Courtof the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, 2013.  Now the federal government must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples with regard to federal benefits, which includes immigration law relief.

Since July 2013, immigrant beneficiaries of petitions filed by their same-sex U.S. citizen spouse have finally been able to obtain a Green Card, which grants them status as a Legal Permanent Resident and a path to U.S. citizenship.

Some of The Grady Firm clients have benefited from the change in this law and have been able to file an immediate relative Green Card petition and adjust their status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident.

Learn more about Janet and Marisa from Long Beach, California. Continue reading

Apply for a Specialty Occupation H1-B Visa by April 1, 2014 to Avoid Waiting Another Year and a Half to Work in the U.S.

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Apply for an H1-B visa by April 1, 2014 to meet USCIS deadlines

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and science. Under the H1-B visa, a U.S. company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years (three years initially, plus an additional 3-year extension).  Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the H1-B visa holder with an H-4 visa. Continue reading

What Should You Include in Written Warnings to Employees?

Original Source: Southland Data Processing  (SDP) website: http://bza.me/?9JERA7

Signing a contractIn order to strengthen your defense against an employee-initiated action, you must include a well-drafted memo in an employee’s personnel file at the time of any incident.  Most written warnings and disciplinary memos are inadequate because they fail to include several very important elements.

Whether you have to defend against an undeserved unemployment insurance claim or against a wrongful discharge lawsuit, you want to include the following items in warning and disciplinary memos: Continue reading

How to Obtain a Raise or Promotion

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Everyone wants a raise, but not everyone gets one.  Earning a promotion often coveted, but not always achieved.  In order to achieve a raise or promotion this year, you need to think about what sets you apart from the competition and puts you in good graces with your employer.

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Think of the value you bring to the table when asking for a raise

In order to obtain a raise or promotion, frame your thinking in terms of what value you bring to your employer.  Rather than tell your boss you want a raise because you need more money (and thus making your problem your employer’s problem), think back on what you have contributed to the company.  Revisit your prior performance reviews to determine whether you are meeting the mark or continue to fall short of what your boss asked of you. Dust off your job description to see whether you are completing all your tasks or going over and above the original scope of your position.

If you never had an annual review, you may want to request one and ask your boss what concrete steps you would need to take to earn a raise or promotion. Then talk about what steps you need to take to earn that position, and outline short-term, midterm, and long-term goals so that you can be sure to get there.  Keep track of all important tasks you did to reach those goals, and provide them in written form to your employer before your next review. That way, when it’s time for your employer to evaluate you, he or she will see the tangible steps you took towards earning a promotion. Continue reading

4 Ways to Acquire and Retain Customers In Any Industry

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How will you make more money this year?

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Now that January has come to an end, you know by now whether you are on your way to achieving your New Year’s resolutions, or whether they are already a thing of the past.  Life happens.  You’re busy.  We’ve all been there.  But if you want to achieve your goals, you have to keep them active in your mind and on your calendar.

If “making more money” is one of your goals for this year, determine what “more money” means to you.  Then identify how to obtain it, whether it is by earning a promotion, notoriety, or repeat customers. This post will discuss ways to acquire and retain customers to increase sales.  Other posts in this series discuss (1) earning recognition in your industry; and (2) obtaining a raise or promotion.

Acquiring and Retaining Customers

Whether you are the owner of a business, or the member of a sales team, acquiring new customers and retaining current ones is essential to the success of every company.  This means that you will need to divide your time between securing new business, and maintaining relevance with the business you already have. Continue reading

3 Ways to Set and Achieve Physical Fitness Goals While Adding Enjoyment to Your Life

Imageby Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Why do we dread New Year’s resolutions? Because they remind us of the goals we never achieved? That we are one year older?  Or maybe because we set the same vague, non-serious goal every year, and hope that this year will be the one we magically achieve it...only to abandon the entire idea before January is over?

For those of you who identify with this struggle, I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the bad news first: you will not achieve your goals through the mere hope and wish that this year will finally be the year you make some overdue changes in your life.  There is no magic diet pill that will help you take and keep the weight off.  You will not consume fewer calories by breaking cookies into smaller pieces.  Continue reading

Is Your Employment and Labor Law Poster Up to Date?

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

In California, all employers must meet workplace posting obligations.  Fortunately, workplace postings are usually available at no cost from the requiring agency.  The Department of Industrial Relations requires employers to post information related to wages, hours and working conditions in an area frequented by employees where it may be easily read during the workday. Additional posting requirements apply to some workplaces.

To ensure that your Employment and Labor Law Posters reflect changes in the law effective January 1, 2014, you may want to order the latest version of the poster from the requiring agency, or a company that specializes in all-in-one posters. 

The following changes took place in 2013:

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)- updated February 2013;
  • California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Notice to Employees- updated May 2013;
  • Whistleblower Protection- updated July 2013;
  • Cal OSHA- updated July 2013;
  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Discrimination & Harassment- updated November 2013;
  • Employment Development Department (EDD) Unemployment Compensation- updated November 2013;
  • Effective July 1, 2014, California’s minimum wage increased to $9.00 an hour.

For a list of available safety and health postings, visit the Cal/OSHA publications page.

How to Plan for Health Care Reform in 2013 and 2014 and Avoid Penalties

by Adam Minow, CPA

ImageIn the coming months, many Americans will need to make a decision regarding their health care insurance.  This decision is being prompted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed into law in 2010, which is also commonly referred to as Health Care Reform or Obamacare. Individuals who do not obtain health insurance coverage by March 31, 2014 may face penalties of up to 1.0% of their income in 2014 (the “Individual Mandate”).  Those penalties increase to up to 2.5% of income in 2016.  The Individual Mandate generally applies to self-employed individuals, unemployed individuals and individuals who are not already covered by another qualifying plan, including employer-sponsored plans, Medicare and COBRA. Continue reading