Volunteers Cause Winery Woes

vinyardVolunteers and for-profit businesses shouldn’t be served together. That lesson has proved to be fatal for a small California winery. Continue reading

You Don’t Own Me—Is it Employer or Employee Social Media Content?

187962221The following is a guest blog post by Olga Savage of Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Olga primarily represents employers in labor and employment law matters.

Many employers have implemented employment contracts and policies that specifically provide that the employer owns all developments, technological or otherwise, by employees during their employment. But what happens when employees have pre-employment social media accounts that they use to develop business during their employment? And what happens when an employee uses his or her pre-existing social media account to market, advertise, and/or develop business for his or her employer? Continue reading

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

485226707The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law issues, and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

The workplace has certainly been affected by the explosion of social media. Courts and administrative agencies are grappling with complex issues involving employee personal privacy, harassment, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, and union-organizing efforts in the age of social media. Although the rules are far from clear, there is some guidance for employers out there. Continue reading

Get Your Vacation Policy Right, and Then Relax!

455144299Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by improperly handling paid vacation. Here’s an overview of pitfalls and a checklist for employers to get their vacation policy right. Continue reading

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

460413025You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business? Continue reading

Avoid Apple’s Legal Headaches Over Final Paychecks

465694967In the recently certified class action against Apple for wage and hour law violations, one of the plaintiffs’ allegations is that employees who quit or were dismissed weren’t given final paychecks in a timely manner as required by law. This is such an avoidable problem for employers! California has stringent requirements on the manner and time for payment of an employee’s final wages—all employers need to do is follow them.
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Should You Go on the Offense Against a Wrongful Termination Plaintiff?

493444849When sued by a former employee for wrongful termination, many employers feel that the best defense is a strong offense and want to attack back with a cross-complaint. But is this a good game plan? Continue reading

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