(Shutterstock)

I’m Exempt — What Does That Mean?

If you feel you're owed flexibility, you're wrong

I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee,  I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?

Dec 3, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
(Shutterstock)

Exempt Versus NonExempt: Why You Need to Know the Difference

Misclassifying could cost your business megabucks

You have 10 seconds to name the key differences that determine if an employee is exempt or nonexempt. Ready, set, go.​ Oh, you couldn’t do it? Color me surprised. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, not knowing the difference between the two is doing yourself a huge disservice, and, as an employer, can land you in some hot – scalding hot – water.

Nov 6, 2015 Frank  Radoslovich
(Shutterstock)

Age Discrimination Is Widespread in U.S. Job Market, Study Finds

Discrimination, rather than lack of skills, may help to explain why older workers have longer periods of unemployment duration. Long periods of unemployment — six months or longer — have been one of the lasting problems in the wake of the 2007-2009 recession, the biggest downturn since the 1930s. What’s more, the bias worsens when gender is considered.”

Oct 27, 2015 Steve Matthews
(Shutterstock)

Forget Raises: Employers Lean on Health Benefits to Retain Workers

Wages are still stagnant, yet employers have found something else to help attract and retain employees: health-care benefits. A good insurance plan has become a more vital tool than ever for hiring, according to a recent survey from the Society of Human Resources.

Oct 22, 2015 Rebecca Greenfield

Strictly Professional

For the next generation, family-business survival rests squarely on formalized governance

There’s an old saying about family businesses: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Grandpa hustles and creates the business,Dad takes the baton and then Junior goes down with the ship. According to the Family Firm Institute, just 30 percent of family businesses survive into their second generation, and only 10 percent make it to their third. Why do these firms fail?

Sep 22, 2015 Jeff Wilser
(Shutterstock)

A Tall Order

Tree maintenance is a must for property owners

The sickening, wooden crack of a falling tree can strike fear into the hearts of property owners. Maybe that’s true for anyone within a certain radius of the falling tree, but property owners have a more specific concern: They could be liable for thousands of dollars in damage to cars, or even lives. 

Aug 19, 2015 Robin Epley

Sick Leave Switches

How does the new law impact household employees?

I am a working single mom, and about six months ago I hired a nanny to help around the house on days I work late or the occasional weekend. Until now I’ve paid an hourly wage for hours worked, and I’m wondering how California’s new sick leave act will impact how I pay my nanny?

Aug 14, 2015 Coral Henning

What Makes You Want to Kill Your Coworkers?

Let us know which bad habits are the worst

Unfortunately, you cannot participate in this poll, because your browser is not enabled for Javascript and/or cookies.
(Shutterstock)

Can I Be Written Up For This?

What to do when your conduct is questioned

Recently my boss went out of town. Upon her return, she called me and my co-worker into her office to tell us that our HR person emailed her while she was out and said someone in the office complained about us being too loud. Yes, we were joking and laughing, but no one came to me to complain or ask that we lower our voices. Still, my supervisor told me the incident is going on my record. I feel like I’m in kindergarten even asking for advice on this, but can I really be written up for talking loudly?

Aug 10, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
(Elements from Shutterstock)

To Serve or Not to Serve

How do all of these Californians get out of jury duty?

Hi Law Librarian, I recently came across a study that claims one in five Californians fail to report for jury duty. It made me wonder, what are the ramifications for ignoring a summons? Also, are there legal ways to avoid serving? ​During our busiest times, my boss prohibits us from taking time off. Plus, I get paid based on the hours I work, so if I miss work, either my income will take a hit for the week or I will have to use up my scarce vacation days.

Jul 13, 2015 Coral Henning
(Shutterstock)

Keeping IT Confidential

Which data is opened and which stays closed

“It’s not secret data,” says West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “It’s already held by the government; the data sets are all subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not private, confidential data. It’s already open to the public, but it’s just not in any usable form.”

Jul 9, 2015 Allison Joy
(elements from Shutterstock)

Be Careful How You Classify

How to avoid wage litigation in the age of the $10 hour

For California labor lawyers, the 2012 Brinker v. Superior Court ruling was something akin to Brown v. Board or Roe v. Wade. In a case involving meal and rest breaks for hourly employees, the court ruled that businesses must have a policy giving workers those breaks — but they don’t have to ensure that staff actually take them. It seemed like near-total victory for business.

Jul 8, 2015 Steven Yoder