Santa Monica, CA Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect on July 1, 2016

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On April 28, 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a mandatory minimum wage increase to $10.50 per hour, which will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Santa Monica’s new ordinance mirrors the minimum wage laws adopted by Los Angeles earlier this year. Continue reading

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California Employers: Prepare for New Overtime Rules Effective December 1, 2016

numbers-time-watch-white.pexelsOn May 18, 2016, President Obama  and Secretary  Perez announced the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, to the disappointment of many employers.  The new rule, which will automatically provide overtime pay protections to over four million  workers within its first year of implementation, goes into effect on December 1, 2016.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015 (80 FR 38515) and invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov by September 4, 2015. The Department received over 270,000 comments in response to the NPRM from a variety of interested stakeholders. The feedback the Department received helped shape the Final Rule. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

The Grady Firm, P.C. Celebrates Its Third Anniversary With Expansion Across California and Latin America

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On March 19, 2015, The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrates its third anniversary. Founded in 2012 by Jennifer Grady, Esq. as a one-woman firm dedicated to serving the legal and business counseling needs of entrepreneurs, the firm has evolved into a one-stop shop for business owners with a team of eight attorneys specializing in business, employment, litigation, immigration, and international business law.

The Los Angeles office located at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

The Los Angeles office in Miracle Mile

The firm has offices throughout California, in its Los Angeles Headquarters in the museum district of Miracle Mile; the Financial District of San Francisco; and the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. Most recently, The Grady Firm will be partnering with a law firm in Guadalajara, Mexico, in order to establish a link between businesses in the United States and Mexico, and open its first office abroad.

Presenting to Startup Chile

Ms. Grady speaking to entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile

This year, the firm expanded globally by pursuing international business opportunities in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico by acting as the liaison for international Startups wishing to expand their market reach to the United States. To that end, Ms. Grady attended the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco in October; gave a presentation to a community of international entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile, a government-funded incubator in Santiago de Chile; and established relationships with Argentinian, Mexican, and Swedish investors intending to open new businesses in the United States.

Ambassador Locke

With Ambassador Locke, former US Ambassador to China, at the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco

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

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

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Fair Chance Ordinance, Creating New Requirements for Employers During the Hiring Process

San Francisco City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty images.

San Francisco City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty images.

by Gayane Khechoomian

As of August 13, 2014, San Francisco businesses with 20 or more employees are required to review an individual’s qualifications before inquiring about that person’s arrest and conviction record(s) and related information.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance (“FCO”) requiring that employers limit the use of criminal history information and follow certain procedures and restrictions when inquiring about and using conviction history information.

Specifically, the ordinance outlines (1) which criminal arrest and conviction records cannot be used during the hiring process, (2) when employers can ask about criminal arrests and convictions, and (3) what interactive process the employer must engage in with regard to the individual’s arrest and conviction record.

In addition, employers covered by the FCO must include in all job ads or solicitations a statement that the employer will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the FCO.

The ordinance covers all jobs temporary, seasonal, part-time, contract, contingent, and commission-based. It also covers those who do work through a temporary or employment agency, and educational or vocational training.

Read more here.

The Grady Firm. P.C. attorneys provide employment document drafting and legal counsel for business owners and Human Resources Managers.  To learn how we may be able to assist you, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with our attorneys here, or call (323) 450-9010.

What Types of Lending Options are Available to help Entrepreneurs Start and Grow Their Businesses?

PERSONAL LOANS, BANK LOANS, AND SBA LOANS

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Tristan Younghaus, Esq.

Starting a business can be an exciting, yet costly endeavor. Entrepreneurs need startup capital to cover the cost of living expenses, salaries, overhead, legal fees, filing fees, marketing/advertising, shipping costs, and even production costs. There are numerous funding options available, from interest free loans to venture capital. In this two part series, we will explore the various options that are available for small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this blog, we will discuss loans/gifts from family and friends, bank loans, and Small Business Administration loans. The next posting will explore government grants, venture capital, and crowdfunding.

1. Loans/Gifts From Family and Friends

ImageOne of the most common places entrepreneurs begin when searching for funding is by soliciting loans from family and friends. These personal loans are not considered to be a “loan” by the Internal Revenue Service unless the terms of the agreement are stated in writing, (i.e. by stating the loan amount and the interest rate to be paid). Otherwise, after January 1, 2013, the IRS considers the money given to be a gift, and subject to the Federal Gift Tax, if the loan amount is over $14,000.

For borrowers, it may be most advantageous to have the terms of the loan written loosely, and to set proper expectations for all parties involved. For example, in order to preserve the integrity of the personal relationship, the borrower should make it clear that the loan should actually be considered a “gift” in the lender’s mind, and that the lender maintain the expectation that it may never be paid back. This is due to the high likelihood that the money will not be recouped. The borrower may want to avoid memorializing a specific date of repayment, with terms such as, “borrower to pay back loan when monthly income is greater than $10,000.00,” or whenever a reasonable amount is reached. 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

Mileage Rates Reimbursement Rates to Decrease by Half a Cent on January 1, 2014

© Jennifer Grady

© Jennifer Grady

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

-56 cents per mile for business miles driven
-23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
-14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 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 and Women Entrepreurs Club Attended Next Generation Startups Conference for Female Entrepreneurs

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Marybeth Miceli, Michelle Fields, John Phillips, DimpleThakkar, and Marissa Vicario discuss the pros and cons of owning your own business

 

On October 17, 2013, Jennifer Grady of The Grady Firm, and members of the Women Entrepreneurs Club, attended the Next Generation Startups Conference: “Young Women Building New Business,” in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of new business in our economy, but there continue to be challenges in starting up a business, growing an operation, and increasing market share.

This live event, which featured panelists in financial planning, wellness, social media, journalism, small business, and engineering, provided the audience with gems of information about the highs and lows of starting and succeeding in your own business.  After the presentation, audience members were able to receive advice from the distinguished panelists.

Watch the full presentation online, starting October 22: http://www.nextgeneration.tv/?cmd=mpg&mpid=663

Speakers Included:

Here is a preview of the conference: http://bit.ly/19YCyIH