Show Them the Money! California Employer Responsibility for Payday, Overtime, and Wage Statements

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

California employers are required to follow the following state and federal laws regarding paydays, final paychecks, overtime, and wage statements. As failure to do so can result in significant penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees, employers must ensure that they are in compliance with the applicable laws below.

I. PAYDAY

payday word circle marked on a calendar

Employees must be paid wages at least twice per calendar month on specific days, as established by company policy. Pursuant to California Labor Code § 207, the regular pay day schedule must be posted in a conspicuous/obvious place on a notice showing the time, day, and location of payment.

Wages earned between the 1st and 15th days of the month must be paid by the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed. Wages earned between the 16th and the last day of the month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. Labor Code § 204(a). Continue reading

TN Visa for Canadian and Mexican Professionals under NAFTA

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

North America.jpgAs part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), citizens of Mexico and Canada have an additional immigration option available to them that is easier and faster to obtain that many other work visas. Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Since 1994, NAFTA has created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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For Australians Searching for an Alternative to the Competitive H-1B Visa, the E-3 Specialty Occupation Visa May Be the Answer

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

E-3 visas were created for nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia for temporary employment in specialty occupations.

AustraliaFor citizens of Australia, E-3 visa is an alternative to the competitive H-1B visa.  This specialty occupation visa, which was created by law by President Bush in 2005 in Section 501 of the REAL ID Act, is solely for for nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia.  Eligibility for the E-3 visa requires (1) theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields, and (2) at least the attainment of a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Unlike the H-1B, which is only available for three years, with an optional three year renewal, the E-3 visa is available for up to two years per extension, and has no maximum number of extensions (with some exceptions).  It can therefore be renewed indefinitely as long as the visa holder continues to meet the visa requirements. Continue reading

Is Your Business in Compliance with California’s Sexual Harassment Training and Posting Requirements?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

sexualharassment-425x277.jpgSexual Harassment claims are on the rise and can cost employers significantly in terms of time, money, and lost productivity. According to the EEOC, over 1,700 complaints of discrimination based on sex (pregnancy or sexual harassment) were filed in California in 2014. When there is a sexual harassment claim, both sides can lose–in addition to the social, economic, and psychological effects suffered by victims of harassment, these complaints cost employers millions of dollars in legal fees and lost opportunities. Continue reading

The Grady Firm to Host Seminar on Expanding to the US in Vancouver January 20, 2016

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After a successful and productive engagement with Vancouver Start Up Week in September, California-based business and immigration attorney, Jennifer Grady Esq., is returning to Vancouver in January 2016. During her visit, Jennifer will be attending the BC Tech Summit, and will will also be meeting with entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and people interested in expanding their business into the United States.

On Wednesday, January 20, Jennifer will be hosting a “meet and greet” happy hour and informative seminar on the legal and business issues that Canadian entrepreneurs must consider when doing business in the United States. On January 20th and 21st, she will be offering one-on-one meetings with individuals and companies that would like to learn more about the issues that face their particular industries and backgrounds when expanding abroad.

Please join Jennifer and fellow entrepreneurs on January 20 for a an evening of wine, socializing, and information!

Presentation: “How to Expand Your Business to the Largest Consumer Economy in the World”
Wine and Appetizers Provided

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia

Limited seating available; RSVP here (email afogerty@gradyfirm.com) by January 15.

View More: http://elyanaphotography.pass.us/jenniferOne-on-One Meetings and Consultations
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, and
Thursday, January 21, 2016.

To reserve an appointment, call (323) 450-9010, or fill out a Contact Request Form. Read more about Jennifer and the firm on our website.

 

Decreased IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2016

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© Jennifer Grady

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. The rates show a significant decrease from last year’s rates.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

 

  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015;
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

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Starting or Growing Your Business in California? Check out these state and local tax incentives

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Los Angeles (c) Jennifer Grady

For the entrepreneur beginning the process of establishing a Startup, one of the primary considerations is its location. It is crucial to evaluate the location, incentives available to the company, and the resources available when planning for the future success of the company.

The State of California, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles County have a variety of incentive programs available to both small and large businesses. While incentives should not be the only reason why one should consider a location, incentives may be one of many factors that could help lead to a final location decision.

Incentive programs typically fall into two categories: legislated and discretionary. State and federal legislated incentives are “on the books” and available to any business that meets stated criteria. Discretionary incentives are customized and provided by certain cities and only for specific projects on a case-by-case basis. In almost every case, discretionary incentives come into play when a community is trying to attract a large business operation that brings significant investment into that community and will have a substantial impact on jobs created.

The Los Angeles County 2015/2016 Business Incentives and Resources Guide describes the federal, state and local business incentives; employee training; business assistance; financial assistance; and additional “green” resources that can help you locate to L.A. County and/or grow your business here. Read below for a sampling of the state level and local tax incentives for 2016.

To learn more about the pros and cons of moving your Startup to Silicon Valley, read this article.

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Changes to CA Minimum Wage Will Impact Employers’ Budgets for 2016- Are You Prepared?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

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California’s minimum wage will increase again on Jan. 1, 2016

With just a few weeks until the end of 2015, employers are rapidly approaching the statutory California minimum wage increase set to take place on January 1, 2016.  This increase means that employers must review their monthly and annual expenses to determine how the salary increase will affect their overall budget, and how it may impact the wages of workers that are already earning more than the minimum wage.  Continue reading

5 Secrets to Preparing a Successful H-1B Application

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

H-1B visaOne of the most notorious way for foreign professionals to obtain a visa and even a Green Card in the US is through an H-1B visa, which requires sponsorship by the professional’s employer, and can be granted for three years with one additional three year renewal. The H-1B allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, and requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

However, with great benefits comes great competition. The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Due to the United States’ stability in an increasingly unstable world, in 2015, 233,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, a significant increase over 2014 (172,500 applications), and nearly double the applicants from two years ago Lottery Balls(124,000). Because the average applicant with a bachelor’s degree has only a 27% chance of making the quota, it is essential to not only meet the requirements and have an outstanding application, but to first make it into the H-1B lottery. Continue reading

New Employer Notices and Increased Minimum Wage for 2016 in California

Give-me-a-raiseIn continuing the increase the minimum wage at a steady pace, California will increase the minimum wage again to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016.

However, certain cities and counties will have higher minimum wages.  For example, As of July 1, 2016, the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles will increase to $10.50 per hour, with annual increases from up to $12 (2017), $13.25 (2018), $14.25 (2019) and $15 per hour by 2020.

The minimum wage in San Francisco will increase to $13 per hour on July 1, 2o16, and will increase by a dollar per year thereafter.  San Diego will hike its minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017, a measure it passed last August despite a veto from the city’s mayor.

With the new laws, California requires that employers update their mandated employment notice, even if they have only one employee. Employers are required to post two (2) notices to their employees:

  1.  A poster containing State and Federal Labor Law Information, available for purchase here; and
  2. An industry-specific wage order, available for free.

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California Cities and Counties “Ban the Box” That Asks About Criminal History on Job Applications

jobapplicationIt’s a familiar box on any job application. “Check here if you have ever been convicted of a crime in a court of law.” But is it legal?

Recent US Census results illustrate that as many as 70 million American adults have a criminal record of some kind. In California, as many as 1 in 4 adults has an arrest or conviction in their history. Employers are reluctant to hire individuals with such a background, even though they may otherwise be well-qualified. Supporters of the so-called “Ban the Box” movement, which would remove application screening questions pertaining to an individual’s criminal history, aim to level the playing field between job-seekers. Continue reading

The Grady Firm Participated in Vancouver Startup Week and Spoke to the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

Equity Crowdfunding Panel & Networking with FrontFundr

Equity Crowdfunding Panel & Networking with FrontFundr at The Profile Coworking venue

From September 21-24, 2015, The Grady Firm bridged connections between the US and its northern neighbors at Vancouver Startup Week.  Now in its second year, the week-long Startup Week brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five+ days to build momentum and opportunity around Vancouver’s unique entrepreneurial identity.  Established companies, investors, service providers, incubators, talent developers, and of course innovation companies themselves participated in panel discussions, awards ceremonies, showcases and parties in an attempt to foster the Startup community in Vancouver.

Jennifer Grady, the firm’s founder, met with innovative entrepreneurs at the following events throughout the week:

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The Grady Firm Joins the Roster for LA Innovation Week as Presenter on Startup Legal Issues & Solutions #LAIW2015

Los Angeles Innovation Week 2015 Launches With More Than 100 Events, Exhibiting LA’s Global Leadership in Innovation

LAIW#The Grady Firm, PC has been selected as a presenter at Los Angeles Innovation Week, a countywide celebration of the breadth of innovation and creativity within Los Angeles sponsored by LA Metro, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and the Los Angeles Times. From clean tech, to gaming, to aerospace, digital media, and beyond, Los Angeles is a leading global center for innovation and entrepreneurship rooted in boundless creativity and diversity.  Other hosts of Innovation Week events include Cross Campus, Microsoft, WeWork, Apple, ExpertDojo, and YouTube Space LA.

On Tuesday, October 20, Jennifer Grady will be addressing entrepreneurs with ways to protect their innovative small businesses thorough The Top 10 Tools Business Owners Need to Know From a Business and Employment Law Attorney.”  The presentation will take place from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at The Grady Firm headquarters in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Continue reading

$11 Million Awarded in Job Training Funds to Employers by California Employment Training Panel

California-State-Capitol1SACRAMENTO – On September 25, 2015, the State of California’s Employment Training Panel approved more than $11 million to train more than 12,880 workers throughout California.  In total, the panel approved 42 training contracts aimed at supporting job creation and retention while increasing opportunities for workers through the development of job skills and training. The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs.

The ETP was created in 1982 by the California State Legislature and is funded by California employers through a special payroll tax.  There are millions of dollars in this account accessible to employers each year. The ETP is a funding agency, not a training agency; therefore employers can determine their own training needs and who provides their training.

“These training contracts are significant economic development tools for businesses and their employees,” said Stewart Knox, the Employment Training Panel’s Executive Director. “Workers receive job training for well-paying jobs, and businesses can grow their workforce and revenue.”

Apply Now for the Diversity Visa Lottery for the Chance to Obtain a Green Card (Lottery Open Oct. 1 to Nov. 3, 2015)

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Lottery BallsStarting October 1, 2015, and until November 3, 2015, applicants from eligible countries can apply for a chance to win a Green Card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2017, 50,000 Diversity Visas  (DVs) will be available.
There are no USCIS filing fees to register for the DV program. (*Be weary of potential scams from “notarios” or immigration agents and consultants).

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