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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
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Do Millennials Hate Government?

Assemblymember Matt Dababneh on how he appeals to young voters

With membership in both major political parties in freefall, it should come as no surprise that Dems and Republicans are trying desperately to get the attention of millennials, America’s 82-million strong contingent of mostly 20-somethings. But all the shiny bells, whistles and “we get you” come-ons don’t seem to be doing much good. Millennials remain the prettiest girl not at the party.

Jul 9, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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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

Minimum Wage: In Support of the Working Poor

Letting the minimum wage remain stagnate is inhumane and bad for our communities

When the economy serves people by allowing them to earn money, they can invest money back into the economy, thereby increasing economic health for everyone. We want an economy where full-time workers are self-sufficient and not dependent on government aid to supplement their wages. We want an economy that works for us. But here is a glimpse of our reality:

Jul 6, 2015 Bishop Esley Simmons
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Can You Change Your Mind?

As the minimum wage debate heats up, both sides need to remain open-minded

When was the last time you changed your way of thinking on a major issue? Have you ever? In April of this year, “This American Life” ran a story called “The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind.”In the story’s introduction, Ira Glass asks the question: “When it comes to major issues — like climate change, gun control, abortion rights … do you know anybody that has changed their mind?”

Jul 1, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Just How Much Can You Trust HR?

Complaint-logging and confidentiality

I’ve noticed some of my coworkers becoming quite relaxed about their work schedules. I’d like to speak to HR and have the issue reported anonymously to management, as I would not want to alienate my coworkers and be known as a snitch. Can I ask my HR rep to keep the conversation confidential?

Jun 17, 2015 Coral Henning

Legacy in Waiting

If Mayor Johnson moves on, just what will he leave behind?

I think Mayor Johnson is ready to move on. He has been a big fish in our small pond long enough. The grand opening of the arena in October 2016 will likely be his public farewell, a metaphorical victory lap. Cuts ribbon. Drops mic.Take my prediction with a grain of salt. But if 2016 is his last year in office, how will he be remembered as mayor?

Jun 10, 2015 Thomas Dodson

A Voice for Millions

Acuity with Jeannine English

Jeannine English assumed the office of AARP president in June 2014. Previously, she chaired the AARP National Policy Council and served as president of AARP California. This year, she’ll be directing the organization in advocating on behalf of its 37 million members.

May 28, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Hand to Mouth

The laws and ethics of dying by starvation

Can people who are cognitively intact today decide to put into place directives stating that, if they ever develop advanced Alzheimer’s disease in the future, they want to go without food and water? Can someone forbid their future caregivers and nursing home aides from extending that spoon, as Don Reynolds puts it, if Alzheimer’s strips them of their selves?

May 26, 2015 Anita Creamer
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How to Handle the Office Bully

What are your rights?

My coworker is very aggressive towards me. I have reported this to my supervisor twice in the past, but nothing has changed. It’s getting to the point where I have constant anxiety about being in the office with her and feel if this continues I’ll be driven to quit my job, which I love. Is there any legal recourse I can take?

May 6, 2015 Coral Henning
Bernadette Austin, project manager, Domus Development; and Meea Kang, president and founding partner, Domus Development

Cracking the Glass

Local leaders weigh in on the state of gender equality in the workplace

Focusing on four sectors — STEM, justice, development and investment — we rounded up some of the city’s key leaders: a district attorney, a med school dean, the head of an FBI office and enough CEOs to rival “Shark Tank,” to get their take on how women are perceived in their industries, how that perception has changed over time and what it will take to truly reach parity.

May 5, 2015 Jeff Wilser
Design by Lily Therens; elements from Shutterstock

Groves & Fishes

There is water war brewing between farmers and fisherman

Facing epic drought conditions, Gov. Jerry Brown called this month for mandatory cutbacks on urban water use statewide. But the ag industry, which uses 80 percent of the state’s water, is exempted. This decision has struck a cord with environmentalists and fishermen who fear the drought will compromise aquatic species — and their livelihoods.

Apr 20, 2015 Alastair Bland
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Show Me the Money

Just because the workload increased doesn’t mean your pay will

I was originally hired for a position that requires me to be in office, working with clients already retained by my company to ensure their contract deliverables are on track. Three months after hire, I was asked to also start working to bring on new clients as well (without commission), something that was not part of my original job description. What happens when the job description and or responsibilities are changed without a change in wage?

Apr 13, 2015 Coral Henning
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Mind If I Push You Around?

Poll: Tell us your thoughts on bullying in the workplace

The Workplace Bullying Institute would like to see legislation put in place to protect employees from abusive coworkers or bosses. The California State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management says legislation would leave too much room for subjective analysis. What do you think?

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Mar 31, 2015