The Grady Firm, P.C. attends the 4th Annual EB-5 Conference in Los Angeles

Jennifer Grady, Esq. with Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Jennifer Grady, Esq. with Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

The Grady Firm, P.C. attended the 4th annual EB-5 Conference in Los Angeles hosted by EB5 Investors Magazine on August 2-3, 2015 at the sold out Hyatt Century Plaza in Century City. Five hundred regional centers, attorneys, and EB-5 program stakeholders attended the event.  The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides opportunities for qualified foreign nationals to achieve permanent legal residency in the U.S. through an investment in an USCIS-approved project that will generate at least ten full-time jobs in the United States.   Continue reading

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Changes to California Paid Sick Leave Requirements on July 13, 2015

sick leaveBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

The new Paid Sick Leave law that went into effect in California on July 1, 2015 was already amended less than two weeks after it took effect on July 1, 2105. This means that employers may have to revisit, and most likely update their paid leave policies and Employee Handbooks.

An employer must individually notify all employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 of changes to terms and conditions of employment that relate to paid sick leave within 7 days of the actual change. Information concerning any new or previously existing paid sick leave program that includes information required to be given to each employee by Labor Code section 2810.5(a), must be provided to all employees. A revised DLSE notice form may be used for providing individual notice to these existing employees unless the employer chooses an authorized alternative method. Continue reading

July 2015 Updates to California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Posting Requirements

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

On July 1, 2015, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing made significant amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Now, all private employers with 50 or more employees in at least 20 workweeks in a year and within a 75-mile radius will have to update their leave policies and posted notices, as well as train supervisors and managers in order to comply with the regulations. Employers also include government entities and joint employers or successor in interest to a covered employer.

The purpose of the amendments is to incorporate those of the federal regulations in the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), but there are still some differences in the state law. Continue reading

July Ushers in New Paid Sick Leave Requirements for California Employers

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

sick leaveOn July 1, 2015, a new law affecting millions of Californians went into effect requiring that employers – both public and private – provide paid sick leave to all their employees. Under the new law, employers will have to modify or update existing paid sick leave or time off policies, as well as payroll, recordkeeping, and employee notice procedures.

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 thirty (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 (or few) 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 thirty (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, which results in no carryover requirements. Click HERE for the full text of the new law. Continue reading

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Changes for “Outdoor Places of Employment” in Effect May 1, 2015

waterBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Employers with potential heat-related exposures are reminded that Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standards were changed effective May 1, 2015. California employers at “all outdoor places of employment” are required to take steps to prevent heat illness in relation to training, water, shade, and planning in their business practices. There are additional requirements for certain industries during periods of high heat (over 95°F or above). Continue reading

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Speak at Just People and Start-up Chile in Santiago: How to Do Business and Live in the US Legally

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

JustPeople

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.

Continue reading

Changes to California Employment Laws in 2015 that Every Employer Should Know

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

California-State-Capitol1The 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

Continue reading

Can’t I Just Hire an Intern? What Employers Need to Know to Stay Compliant With California Law

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

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. Donates to “Reading Open Minds” Charity

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Reading Opens Minds LogoThe 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.

New Laws Limit the Scope and Privacy of Arbitration in California Starting January 1, 2015

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo ANCA Western Region

Photo ANCA Western Region

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

New Laws for California Employers in 2015

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

The California legislature has passed numerous laws that will take effect January 1, or July 1, 2015.  Employers must revise their policies to reflect the new laws.  We have provided a summary of these new laws below.   Continue reading

Increases in IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2015

© Jennifer Grady

© Jennifer Grady

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.

The Grady Firm Now Offers Customized Record-Keeping Forms for Employers

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

personnel files pic

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

The Grady Firm to Attend EB-5 Market Exchange Conference in San Francisco, October 22-24, 2014

Photo Credit: http://marketplace.iiusa.org/collections/2014-eb-5-international-investment-economic-development-forum-san-francisco-ca

Photo Credit: http://iiusa.org

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

Canadian Immigration Policy Turns Against Investor-Based Immigration, Leading to More Opportunities for Foreign Investors in the United States

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

 A report in the Hong Kong media led to the downfall of the world’s most popular investor-based visa program in Canada, leaving thousands of foreign investors out in the cold. According to an article published in Forbes magazine on February 13, 2014, the Canadian government announced the immediate cancellation of the popular investor visa program after the highly publicized report stated that “the country’s investor visa program had become an express lane for wealthy Chinese hoping to secure overseas residency”. The cancellation of the program meant that 65,000 pending applications, including 45,500 of which were submitted by individuals from Mainland China, were immediately eliminated.

In a statement made on the evening of February 11, 2014, the Canadian government announced the termination of both the Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) program. In 2011, approximately 10,000 immigrants entered Canada through the IIP, while almost 1,000 entered through the EN program. Continue reading