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Patent Problems: Who Owns the Idea?

Know who your inventors are before you file

I have been working on a new piece of light industrial equipment for several years but had trouble with a certain aspect. I mentioned it to a colleague, who had a great idea that I was able to use. I am getting ready to patent my invention, and this colleague is now arguing that he is the co-inventor and entitled to the patent and future proceeds of the sale or use of this patent!

Mar 25, 2015 Coral Henning
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Get Up

Our tax system should make upward mobility possible for all

California has long been known as the land of opportunity, but for too many residents, opportunity is receding. Inequality continues to rise even though California has one of the most progressive tax structures in the nation. Something more is needed.

Mar 18, 2015 Robert Hertzberg

The Next Wave

10 young professionals on our radar for 2015

Momentum is shifting in the Capital Region, and young professionals are leading the charge. General skepticism is being replaced with emerging optimism and a renewed energy that’s providing the catalyst for growth and innovation across our cities.  Here are the top ten young leaders we think you should be watching. They are driving the Capital Region’s evolution, and we anticipate you’ll see them at the forefront in 2015 and decades to come.

Mar 17, 2015 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
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Social Digging

Where is the legal line when it comes to using social media to evaluate job candidates?

We’re hiring a new office manager and looking for someone trustworthy and friendly. Going through applications, we found that some of the hiring staff were able to view applicants’ Facebook profiles, either due to mutual friends or because of the applicant’s privacy settings. Are there any legal reasons not to do this? Can we raise questions during interviews based on the information we’ve learned via social media?

Feb 24, 2015 Coral Henning
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We Need to Leave Prop. 13 Alone

Raising property taxes will mean death for small business

California’s business climate is well-known for being unfriendly. CEO Magazine has rated California as the worst state in which to do business for more than eight years running.  Undoing Proposition 13’s provisions, as is currently being proposed, will make a big problem even worse by increasing taxes on the very businesses that create jobs and contribute to our economy.  

Feb 5, 2015 Jon Coupal
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Dress for Success

How can I legally amend my company's dress code?

Since starting my business in 2010, my number of full-time employees has tripled. One thing I wish I’d done in the beginning is establish a dress code. I’m worried that the relaxed atmosphere I’ve allowed does not reflect the professional competency I’m trying to project. How can I implement a dress code, and should I be worried about violating any laws when I do?

Jan 21, 2015 Coral Henning

Raise It Up

Our minimum wage should leave no one behind

Improving the minimum wage and making Sacramento a better place to do business are not mutually exclusive goals. Done properly, an increase to the minimum wage targeted at Sacramento’s working poor will strengthen the economy, benefit the entire community and help create the Sacramento that we all want.   

Jan 7, 2015 Jay Schenirer
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Sound Off on AB 1522

Paid sick leave for all — yea or nay?

Effective July 1 of this year, employees who have worked in California for 30 days or more will be entitled to paid sick leave. Is this a leap forward for workers’ rights, or will it mean death for small businesses? Tell us what you think:

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Jan 1, 2015
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Missing Moms

Can an employer require employees to return after maternity leave?

I run a small business. Twice in the past two years, I’ve had employees quit directly after taking maternity leave. Prior to their departures, it was understood that they would return to work. This has caused understandable upheaval in the office. What questions, if any, can I ask employees taking maternity or paternity leave? Can I require them to come back to work in order to take the leave? Are there any options for me to avoid this happening in the future?

Dec 8, 2014 Coral Henning
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Drop by Drop

After 81 years, microdistillers are gaining ground against Prohibition-era laws

In a makeshift distillery tucked  into a Rancho Cordova business park, Greg Baughman mashes and ferments batches of his Wheel House American Dry Gin using a still he designed and built himself, a gleaming vision of stainless steel and copper. But actually sell you a bottle? For that he needs to hire a middleman due to regulatory hurdles dating back to Prohibition.

Dec 5, 2014 Michelle Locke