SANTIAGO, CHILE- Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. will be speaking to Chilean entrepreneurs on February 20th, 2015 from 11 am to 12 pm at JustPeople in Las Condes, Santiago de Chile. She will present a seminar on the practical aspects of achieving the American Dream by living and doing business in the United States, and will provide practical examples from a business and immigration law perspective. In addition, Ms. Grady will be joined by Mariana Noli, Esq., an intellectual property attorney based out of San Diego, CA and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The California Legislature was quite active in 2014, resulting in several substantial changes to the law for 2015 that are employee-friendly. Employers should take note of the changes to the law described below.
I. CHANGES TO WAGE AND LABOR LAWS
1. Minimum Wage Increases
The minimum wage increased statewide, with even higher increases in particular cities:
- California’s minimum wage of $9.00 will increase again to $10.00 on January 1, 2016;
- San Francisco wages will increase to $11.05 on January 1, 2015; then to $12.25 in May; wages will increase every year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 in 2018;
- Oakland will increase to $12.25 on March 2, 2015;
- San Diego will increase to $9.75 on January 1, 2015;
- Note: exempt employees must meet new minimum wage laws
Internship programs provide great benefits to businesses and interns alike, but employers must comply with both California and Federal laws in order to avoid potential lawsuits and fines.
To clarify, a person hired as an unpaid intern must (1) be a student enrolled in an accredited academic program and receive academic credit for the internship, or (2) be enrolled in a program that provides training and is approved by a public agency. If the intern is not part of an accredited program, the employer must pay the intern at least minimum wage for all hours worked. Continue reading
The Grady Firm, P.C. is proud to support the good work of Reading Opens Minds, a charity promoting community and literacy by bringing the joy of reading and sharing to disadvantaged populations and at-risk youth through book clubs in county jails, halfway houses, clinics and schools in the Los Angeles area. The organization provides new books and facilitates weekly, bi-monthly or monthly club meetings where members’ opinions and insights are heard and valued.
The Grady Firm attorneys agree with Reading Open Minds’ philosophy that the shared experience of reading and discussion encourages a stronger sense of self-worth, empathy and community, while supporting higher literacy levels. Reading Opens Minds provides new books and facilitates weekly, bi-monthly or monthly club meetings where members’ opinions and insights are heard and valued.
The Grady Firm made its donation through Process Green, and will continue to make this donation annually. Its attorneys will also act as volunteers during the after school program for middle school and high school students. To learn more about donating or volunteering for this organization, visit the Reading Opens Minds website.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aiming to restrict the reach of arbitration agreements, starting January 2015. The bills have the effect of chilling arbitration by making it a less attractive option for employers and making it less private.
1. Private Arbitration Providers Must Publish Quarterly Matter Details Online re Consumer Arbitrations
After January 1, 2015, AB 802 will have the effect of reducing the privacy of arbitration by requiring major arbitration providers such as JAMS and AAA to publish at least quarterly on their websites detailed information concerning consumer matters they have abritrated. Continue reading
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck will be:
-57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
-23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
-14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business expense reimbursement rates have increased 1.5 cents from 56 cents per mile in 2014. The medical and moving expense rates will decrease one-half cent from the 2014 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
For more information, visit the IRS website.
California enacted numerous new laws in 2014 that continue to make it more challenging for employers to comply with California employment law.
To take out some of the guesswork that employers and Human Resources managers face as they try to run their businesses, The Grady Firm, P.C. has created a package of over fifteen (15) customized forms and checklists to ensure that employers are properly documenting their procedures before hiring, at the time of hire, during employment, and at termination. Continue reading
A new law now requires that California employers reimburse employees for use of their personal cell phone for mandatory business purposes, as decided by the California Appellate Court in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. The ruling affects millions of employers who must update their company policies in order to stay compliant with the new law. Continue reading
On November 14, 2014, the attorneys from The Grady Firm, P.C. met with over 60 entrepreneurs and small business owners at the second annual Be Great Fest at Los Angeles Center Studios. The all-day event featured presentations by keynote speakers from game-changing companies such as Shoe Dazzle, Nordstrom.com, Playboy, Legal Zoom, and The Honest Company. Continue reading
On April 1, 2015, 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, 2015. USCIS limits the number of petitions it will accept to 65,000, and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of petitions submitted to USCIS. Last year, on April 7, 2014, USCIS announced that it reached the statutory cap of 65,000 within the first week of the acceptance period. This year, the cap will likely be reached within the first few days of the April 1 opening.
For those wishing to file an H-1B petition, it is strongly advised that the application materials be received by USCIS exactly on April 1, 2014 to ensure that an application falls within the 65,000 cap. Note that petitions received before April 1, or after April 5, will most likely be rejected by USCIS. Continue reading
The Grady Firm will be hosting a booth at the largest entrepreneur festival in Los Angeles on Friday, November 14 at the 2nd annual Be Great Fest. We will be joining more than 5,000 entrepreneurs for a day of panel presentations, networking, and inspiration. Stop by to meet us at Booth #13 for some tasty snacks, to set up a consultation, or to enter to win raffle prizes!
Speakers include the CEOs of ShoeDazzle, LegalZoom, Playboy, The Honest Company, and the Founder of Nordstrom.com.
Jennifer Grady, Esq., founding attorney of The Grady Firm, P.C. will attend the fourth annual EB-5 Market Exchange in San Francisco on October 22-24, 2014, hosted by IIUSA. The exchange is the industry’s largest annual gathering of business-focused EB-5 professionals and will draw over 500 attendees for a week of business development, industry education, and Program Advocacy.
International investment and economic development professionals from all over the world gather to network, do business, and learn from over 80 speakers and experts, which will include former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of California State Assembly Willie Brown; Honorable Congressman Aaron Schock; and Honorable Gary Locke, Former U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Governor of Washington. Continue reading
Starting on July 1, 2015, a new law affecting millions of Californians will require that employers – both public and private – provide paid sick leave to all their employees. The “Healthy, Workplace, Healthy Families Act” (AB-1522) signed into effect by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. applies to all employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a year. The law defines “employer” as any person employing another under any appointment or contract of hire” regardless of how many employees they have, and covers employees whether they are full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary. Specifically, the new provision provides that employees who work 30 or more days within a year from commencement of their employment will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.
Employees become entitled to their sick leave beginning on the ninetieth (90th) date of employment. However, an employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours—or three (3) days—in each year of employment. Click HERE for the full text of the new law. Continue reading
On September 12, 2014, Jennifer Grady, Esq. will be counseling Green business owners as part of the Pay It Forward Labs Super Mentor area at the Green Festival at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The PIF Labs Super Mentor area will feature experts from all fields of business from 2:00-6:00 p.m. Attendees who are interested in speaking with the mentors can schedule a time to speak with them at the PIF Labs designated area of the event. The festival is a three-day event that takes place from September 12-14, 2014.
For a full list of speakers, click here.
Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. provides business, employment, and immigration counsel to entrepreneurs, and is the preeminent “pre-nup attorney” for business owners. As the founder of The Grady Firm, P.C., a full-service business law firm; Ignite Startup School, an online platform that teaches entrepreneurs how to start and grow their businesses; and the Women Entrepreneurs Club, she is well-versed in all aspects of entrepreneurship. Ms. Grady is also a certified Mediator and is fluent in Spanish. Continue reading