Workers comp can be a source of challenge and frustration for many California employers, especially as it relates to premiums and claims. Two sources of information that employers can refer to in order to gain a better understanding of the current state of the market for workers’ compensation insurance are the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), and The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB). THE DWC is a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations, a government entity. The WCIRB is a private association consisting of the companies licensed in California to provide workers’ compensation insurance.
Working in corporate America used to be the goal, but nowadays for many Californians, the 9 to 5 is no longer the preferred form of employment. Indeed, more and more entrepreneurs are venturing out to work for themselves. For some, that means joining together with family to start a small business. And while starting a family business definitely has its perks, such as working with people you trust, a family business also has its inherent vulnerabilities.
The oft-ignored vulnerabilities specific to a family business are financially and legally related. Many times, family members take a more casual approach to forming the business, thinking contracts and paperwork can come later, if ever. Unfortunately, this approach can place all involved at risk down the road.Details
The payment of wages to employees in California is governed by the California Labor Code and regulations promulgated by the Industrial Welfare Commission. These laws and regulations are enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. These laws set forth the basic standards for minimum wage, overtime, tips, meal and rest breaks, and time worked. …Details
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are civil lawsuits or countersuits usually brought by corporations or government entities against individuals or organizations for the purpose of chilling or preventing certain speech or behavior. SLAPPs generally involve claims of defamation, libel, slander, interference with prospective economic advantage, malicious prosecution, and/or abuse of process. Typically a SLAPP…Details
Check your pay stubs for compliance with California Labor Code Section 226.
The latest trend in lawsuits against employers revolves around violations of CA Labor Code section 226 (the pay stub statute). Under previous law, if an employee, or class of employees, wanted to pursue a claim for violation of section 226, they had to prove they suffered an actual injury as a result of an incomplete pay stub. Recently, section 226 was amended to effectively eliminate any requirement that an employee prove injury. Injury is now presumed if the itemized wage statement fails to provide the required information.Details
An insurance carrier and a policyholder have a contractual relationship. The policyholder pays premiums in exchange for insurance coverage for certain events and losses as set forth in the policy. Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance carrier unreasonably fails to investigate or pay a covered loss, which happens more often than one might think. …Details
California law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits to an employee who sustains a work-related injury and/or illness and covers payments for medical expenses and replacement income during the time when the employee is off work. As long as the business has at least one (1) employee, even a temporary…Details
In a perfect world, when two parties come to a meeting of the minds, the complete and final agreement is memorialized in the written document. Legally speaking, contracts do not have to be written (although for many reasons, written agreements are preferred), but when they are, the written contract should fully represent the parties’ agreement. After all, a written contract is legally enforceable. If one party fails to fulfill the terms of the contract, the other party may sue for compliance, or performance. This type of lawsuit is called a breach of contract.
When considering a breach of contract case, a court will first look to the written contract. Absent certain exceptions, the written contract is the only evidence the court has to determine whether or not the parties complied with the terms of the agreement. Occasionally, however, one party decides down the road that all the terms of the agreement were not included in the written document and wishes to introduce evidence of prior oral or written agreements to alter the terms of the existing contract. Here is where the “parol evidence” rule comes into effect.
Parol Evidence RuleDetails
An ongoing issue for many California employers relates to minimum wage laws. Often, businesses violate wage and hour laws without knowing it. Unfortunately, ignorance is not a defense should a disgruntled employee decide to take legal action against you. California minimum wage Although there are some exceptions, almost all employees in California must be paid…Details
With summer just around the corner, many businesses are looking forward to the inexpensive and/or free labor provided by unpaid interns. What many businesses may not know is that courts are cracking down on what businesses are able to ‘get away’ with in terms of unpaid internships, as more and more unpaid interns file related complaints and class actions against their employers. Unpaid internships are generally a hot topic in employment law, and indeed, a slew of recent class action lawsuits filed on the matter show things are not changing any time soon. How can a California business be prepared?
What is an intern?
An intern is a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience. Meeting federal and state standards for an internship is often not an easy task for a California employer, as certain conditions must be met.Details