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952 School St., Ste 280 Napa, CA 94559

Act now!

With the holidays coming up, I think this might be the year that I try out a promotion or giveaway to boost sales. Are there any legal requirements I should know about “Black Friday” promotions and sales? Promotions and giveaways are a great way to encourage sales and bring in new customers. You must adhere […]

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Regulating Employee Lifestyles

I’m sending a few of my employees to Reno for a work conference. I don’t want them to “indulge” and have it reflect poorly on my business. Can I regulate their activities at the conference if they’re technically not at work? You can really only regulate your employees’ private activities in or out of the […]

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Copyright or copywrong?

I found a beautiful photo of a vineyard scene on someone’s personal blog. I think it would look great on my own website. Can I copy and paste it if the original site doesn’t say something like “may not be reproduced”? Copyright protects tangible “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other […]

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Trademark Infringement

I’m picking out a name for my new business. Should I be worried about violating another company’s trademark? When you’re picking a new business or product name, it’s critical to do your due diligence. Before you pick a name, do a Google search for similar names, and then search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office […]

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Lactation accommodation

I have an employee who just had a baby and asked me about lactation at the office. Am I supposed to provide a private place for lactation? California encourages employers to support and encourage breastfeeding and to accommodate employees who are lactating. However, employers are often unaware of the needs of lactating employees and how […]

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Withholding wages

I received something in the mail saying an employee owes someone money, and they want to take it out of his wages. How much am I supposed to withhold? When someone has a judgment or court order against them, the creditor can request a levy against wages, often called a wage garnishment, which continues until […]

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Rubber checks

I received a check from a customer that was returned for insufficient funds. What can I do? Should I hire a collection agency to go after them? If the check does not exceed $10,000, the best way to handle it may be filing a small claims action. Under certain circumstances, California Civil Code Section 1719 […]

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What happens if you get sued?

I own a business and was recently served papers that say I’m being sued. What should I do? Being sued is the worst. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and really stressful. Taking certain steps can improve your business’s chances of coming out relatively unscathed. First, pay attention and be proactive. If someone sends you a cease-and-desist letter […]

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Work uniforms

I’m thinking about making my employees wear uniforms. Can I do that? Do I have to pay for them? Uniforms can be a great way for your customers to identify your employees. They can also be a quintessential part of your company’s marketing and branding strategy. Uniforms can also serve as a reminder to employees […]

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Workplace searches: it’s in the bag

I suspect one of my employees may have stolen another employee’s property. Can I search her purse, or is she protected by “unreasonable searches and seizures” under the Constitution? Constitutional rights are often misunderstood. The U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches by the government, not a private employer. Private employers acting as such are not subject […]

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