Santa Ana Business Law Blog

Some supervisors may handle harassment claims poorly

Some California employers may not be sufficiently prepared to deal with allegations of bullying, discrimination, bias and harassment. According to a report by pelotonRPM, a company that develops workplace training, many leaders and managers are falling short when employees report these issues to them.

The company gathered its data from virtual role-playing scenarios with leaders and managers. It found that more than one-third failed to follow up with questions that might identify whether anyone had witnessed the incident reported. More than half failed to discuss the company's policy on harassment, discrimination or retaliation. There was no effort to ask questions or repeat and confirm details and facts for 41%, and 30% did not discuss whether there would be an investigation or what the next steps would be. One-quarter failed to say that the matter would go to human resources.

Overcoming obstacles to a California liquor license

Restaurants, bars and other California businesses know that obtaining and maintaining their liquor licenses are critical to the success of their enterprises. There is a range of city, state and federal laws that can affect liquor license eligibility, and understanding these regulations can help companies have an easier time navigating the rules. In some cases, they may want to buy or transfer an existing license from another firm. If you want to obtain or protect a California liquor license, it can be important to stay up to date on changes to state law on cabaret licenses, entertainment permits and liquor sales.

Under California law, the state retains an exclusive authority to regulate the manufacturing, sales, transportation and purchase of alcoholic drinks. This means a wide range of companies, from delivery firms and golf courses to restaurants, may need to be concerned about how these regulations affect their ability to offer alcohol to patrons. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act lays out specific provisions that address businesses' ability to obtain the required permits. The experienced lawyers at Blake and Ayaz have represented numerous bars, liquor stores, gas stations, clubs and wholesalers to help them successfully secure the permits that they need.

Business owners need to classify workers correctly

Most businesses in California need to hire workers at some point. When choosing who to hire, employers may want to consider the type of work they need done and for how long.

For shorter projects, sometimes an independent contractor is the better choice, while for steady work, an employee may be the way to go. Whatever owners decide, they must classify and treat each appropriately or face stiff financial consequences.

What California restaurant owners should know about gratuity

It takes courage, knowledge and sweat equity to open and run a restaurant. Whether it’s understanding consumer demands, gaining capital, crafting the perfect menu or hiring the right employees, achieving success can be a constant uphill battle. It’s no wonder why 60% of new restaurants fail in their first year of operation.

Labor costs can be expensive, but restaurant workers are necessary when it comes to producing quality meals and engaging diners. Because of this, it’s important to make sure food staff are compensated properly, and that restaurant owners follow California’s tip and gratuity laws.

A unique approach to hiring could optimize benefits for everyone

When companies in California are looking to hire more employees, they often turn their attention to candidates who fit the mold for the ultimate contributor. While this outlook can provide businesses with qualified employees who are capable of being productive, in some cases this narrow focus can prevent them from recognizing candidates who have a lot to offer. 

One company shared their perspective about how they are transitioning their approach for hiring new workers by opening their options to candidates who are often underestimated in a general search for promising employees. A movement created by the company is designed to provide economic opportunities to workers who were traditionally passed over because of a lack of desirable qualifications. This win-win strategy enables the company to access nontraditional talent that provides diversity and unique ideas, as well as ways of thinking, while also allowing individuals a valuable employment opportunity. 

California dram shop laws relieve pressure on bar owners

By one estimate, 36% to 53% of small businesses are involved in litigation in any given year. California bar owners, especially, have plenty of reasons to lose sleep. Some think they've discovered why it's called the "bar exam." If you're starting a business where alcohol is served, consider a relationship with a law firm experienced in licensing, employment requirements, real estate, mediation, contracts and more.

But know this. Getting sued every time a customer drives away isn't your biggest worry in California.

What are some common parts of an employment contract?

When you are interviewing for various job opportunities in California, chances are you have done your research to find something that caters to your career goals and enables you to progress toward your overall vision. However, once you have narrowed your options and it is time to make a decision, you may be asked to sign an employment contract. This important agreement serves as a protection for both yourself and your employer, and it is imperative that you are aware of some of the things that may be discussed in the document. 

Before you are required to sign an employment contract, you have the option of negotiating the terms and conditions within reason. It is in your best interest to read through the contract thoroughly to identify areas of concern that may have you wanting to discuss your thoughts. Make note of these areas and come up with a realistic and fair counterargument to what is proposed. 

How California works to reduce underage drinking

According to NBC Bay Area, a recent survey showed that the top way California teens obtain alcoholic beverages illegally was through shoulder tapping. This means that a minor uses an adult decoy at the legal drinking age to purchase them liquor, often while they stand just outside the store. Roughly one in 10 drinking-age adults agree to purchase the liquor when approached by minors.

Law enforcement agencies now employ their own decoys to prevent underage drinking. One method the agencies use is to send a minor who is a decoy into the stores. When clerks do not check IDs, they may receive citations or get arrested. Using this method, law enforcement agencies arrested 3,200 people in 2018.

Can I fight back against mandatory worker agreements?

CNN reports that when one law student got a job offer from a prestigious California law firm in Silicon Valley, she was asked to sign some unusual documents. This included signing over her right to participate in a class action lawsuit against her employer. She also signed a non-disclosure agreement. Believing she did not have room to bargain as a new graduate, she did not at first raise any objections.

After a few months, she started to think back to these agreements, especially in light of the #MeToo movement and what that could mean if she were ever a victim. Her only option in that instance would be to pursue reparations through arbitration in a private setting. While often faster and cheaper for both sides, it nonetheless helps to silence victims and keeps wrongdoings out of the news.

California tackles barriers to work faced by trans people

According to the National Public Radio, the unemployment rate of transgender people are double the national average. To combat this, California restaurants set up America’s first large-scale program to bring more transgender people back into the workforce. The program started with a trans woman who has provided employment to trans people at her restaurants for seven years.

She bought her first El Pollo Loco franchise in 1988 before her transition. By the end of her transition in 2004, she owned six restaurants all across California. In 2012, she hired a trans employee and learned from them how difficult it was to find employment. This completely changed her recruitment process. Of roughly 150 employees, up to 10% are now transgender.

Put the insight and integrity of Blake & Ayaz on your side today. We are ready to serve you. Call 714-667-7171 or send an email now.

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Santa Ana, CA 92706

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