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Napa, CA 94559

The business judgment rule

I’m a director of a corporation and I’m concerned about making a bad business decision on behalf of the company. Can I be held personally liable for a poor business deal? Directors of corporations owe a duty to exercise good business judgment, using the care an ordinary person would use under the same circumstances. If […]

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The new I-9 form

A year ago, I wrote a column about immigration compliance and Form I-9. Surprise! The laws on immigration compliance have changed; here’s an update on what employers need to know. To start with, there’s a new Form I-9, released March 8. You’ll know if you have the most recent form because on the bottom left-hand […]

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Storage in the cloud

I love the idea of keeping all of my documents in “the cloud.” What are the potential dangers of cloud storage for my business? When most people think of clouds, they think cumulus, stratus or maybe cirrus. Modern business owners know that cloud services are Internet tools that allow users to create, edit and store […]

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Who owns my website?

I’m having a new website developed for my business. What do I need to know before I sign a contract? These days, every business needs a website. But if you have someone develop your business’s website, do you own it — or do they? Traditional property concepts might lead  business owners to think they own […]

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Slip, trip, broke a hip?

If a customer is hurt at my business, can they sue me?  What if the accident has nothing to do with me, my business, or my employees? People get injured at businesses frequently, for many different reasons. Sometimes the business is responsible for the injury, and sometimes it’s the customer’s fault. Business owners aren’t always […]

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Reimbursable Expenses

As an employer, do I have to reimburse my employees for all of their expenses? Can I have my employees sign something that says I don’t have to reimburse them? California law requires employers to reimburse their employees for necessary expenses incurred in the course and scope of their employment. These expenses may include equipment, […]

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Detecting workers’ compensation fraud

I’m concerned about my employees potentially abusing our workers’ compensation insurance. What should I look out for? Workers’ compensation is an employee insurance benefit that covers workplace injuries. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Unfortunately, of the $10 billion in workers’ compensation claims filed in California annually, up to 30 […]

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Love at work

I have two employees who have clearly started a romantic relationship. I’m concerned about what will happen if the relationship sours, and I don’t support my employees flirting. What is the difference between innocent flirting and harassment? This can be a difficult area for employers, as sexual harassment liability can mean the end of a […]

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You break it, you bought it?

I have an employee who is constantly breaking things and routinely arrives late. Can I deduct the cost of the products from his wages? Can I deduct anything for being tardy? You can’t typically deduct wages when employees break merchandise, but it depends on how the products are being broken. If an employee accidentally breaks […]

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Recording Conversations

My business has been increasingly relying on phone-based customer service. Can I record my employees’ conversations to ensure they’re doing a good job? Businesses record communications for many different reasons, including keeping tabs on employees and for quality control. Occasionally, a party to a conversation records it to prove that someone else is lying. There […]

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