Our Printer is Going Green(er)

Commerce Printing turns to solar power with plenty of downtown real estate — on their roof

Commerce Printing, located on 12th and C streets in Sacramento, has been printing Comstock’s magazine for roughly 16 years. As a business publication, we take pride in being the city’s only major magazine to be printed locally. But there’s another reason we’re proud of our long-standing relationship with the company: its commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

Sep 30, 2016 Robin Epley

Dilemma of the Month: Terminated for Breaking Company Policy

I was recently let go from a job due to accessing information on our system that I had been taught was allowed. HIPAA guidelines show no issue with getting this information because it was requested. I did break a policy (that I was unaware of), and the company did not wish to discuss the matter further.

Sep 22, 2016 Suzanne Lucas

Dilemma of the Month: New Overtime Laws

I’m a business owner in California and I’m worried about the impact of the new overtime wage rules in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. How can I best prepare my business for the changes caused by the regulations?

Jul 18, 2016 Suzanne Lucas
(Design by Sara Bogovich; elements from Shutterstock)

Dilemma of The Month: Fragrance in the Work Place

I recently developed a sensitivity to fragrances. I get headaches, suffer from vertigo and generally feel awful. My boss allowed me to post signs that say “Fragrance-Free Zone,” but some people persist in wearing fragrances. I’m non-exempt and can’t work from home: Part of my job is to take notes in meetings, and the biggest fragrance offenders are in these meetings. What can I do?

Jun 3, 2016 Suzanne Lucas
Inside the control room of California ISO, headquartered in Folsom.

Will the Mega-Grid Get Built?

Cal-ISO maps out the prospects for a single power grid for the West — but skeptics want to know who will run it.

Cal-ISO is one of 38 system operators for the geographic area that covers everything west of the eastern boundaries of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. That compares with six system operators responsible for most of the rest of the country. “The divided operation of the western grid is not unlike having a bus with 38 drivers.”

Jul 12, 2016 Steven Yoder
From left: Anna Zwieniecka, Jessica Wong and Peiman Aminabadi spray a harmless strain of E. coli on cantaloupe crops at a UC Davis test field. (Photos by Sena Christian)

Watching What You Eat

UC Davis scientists work to ensure safety of U.S. food supply

Within the past year alone, dozens of foodborne disease outbreaks have impacted the U.S. food supply, implicating all sorts of ingredients. Contaminated cucumbers have been blamed, along with tomatoes, cilantro, pork, turkey, tuna and raw milk. Cases have also occurred at the food-service level, often because employees failed to wash their hands.

Jun 16, 2016 Sena Christian
(Shutterstock)

Don’t Wait to Create Social Media Guidelines

One misstep can spell disaster for your business

Social media is like quicksand. From afar it looks innocent, but one misstep posting the wrong image or making an improper comment can sink your reputation faster than you thought possible. Additionally, while social media can be a powerful tool to reach clients, get media attention and share promotions with your audience, managing it all can be time consuming.

Jun 7, 2016 Kelly Azevedo
J-E Paino runs the Ruhstaller beer label. (Photo by Joan Cusick)

Status Check: Legacy Crop

In 2015, we reported on the exciting new changes J-E Paino hoped to bring to Dixon with his Ruhstaller beer label (“Legacy Crop” by Allison Joy, April 2015). The 8.5-acre hop yard and farm and outdoor tasting room in Dixon, however, had their power turned off in April following a long-running disagreement with Solano County. We talked with Paino and county officials about Ruhstaller’s future.

Jun 1, 2016 Robin Epley

Independent Contractors and the Threats They Pose

Know the risks before you hire

Knowing the difference between employees and independent contractors becomes imperative when an injured customer or client decides to sue. When it comes to making the decision of hiring an independent contractor, do yourself and your business a favor: Do your research and protect yourself. Or, even better, consult with your lawyer.

May 23, 2016 Frank  Radoslovich
(iStock)

Dilemma of the Month: When a Personal Matter Gets Professional

The less you trust your boss, the more honest you need to be

I am an exempt employee and have been working at my company for just under three years. I recently had a serious medical issue that required me to terminate a pregnancy for my own health. I’ve now had three doctor visits in comparatively short succession, and my supervisor is asking why. Since this is an incredibly personal matter, I’m wondering how much I am required to disclose?

Mar 3, 2016 Suzanne Lucas

How to Exit Gracefully

4 tips for leaving a job on good terms

Long gone are the days of employees spending 40 years in service to the same company. Some experts now say that you should plan to change employment every three to five years to continue to advance and grow. Whenever it comes time to leave your job, you’ll want to make a graceful exit both as a professional courtesy and in consideration of your reputation.

Feb 29, 2016 Kelly Azevedo