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952 School St. Ste 280
Napa, CA 94559

Unequal pay for equal work?

Dear Mary, One of my workers recently raised concerns that she is being paid less than her male counterpart. They have similar positions and the same amount of experience, but different job titles. Should I be concerned? Under the Equal Pay Act, employers are prohibited from paying employees of one sex at a lower rate than […]

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Online Reviews

Dear Mary, I recently found out that a customer left a bad review of my company on a review website. Is there anything I can do about it? As a business owner, it can be daunting to know that customers can post reviews of your business at any time, with very little oversight by the host […]

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Texting at work

Dear Mary, Lately, I’ve been cracking down on employees goofing off at work. Is it OK for me to ban text messaging at the office? What if I use a cellphone jammer? I understand your concern that text messaging may be harming the productivity of your company’s employees. Still, have you considered the repercussions of […]

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Just work it out

Dear Mary, My business partner and I can’t seem to agree, and he’s threatening to sue me. How much does going to court cost and how long does it take? Reader, I have a better prospect for you to consider. It’s not that I don’t enjoy litigation, but I can almost guarantee that you won’t enjoy […]

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Unemployment claims

Dear Mary, I recently fired an employee and received a notice from EDD that he is claiming unemployment. I don’t know if they are entitled to unemployment or not. What do I do? To be eligible for unemployment benefits, an individual must be: out of work due to no fault of their own; physically able to […]

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Are working interviews legal?

Dear Mary, My store is growing, and I’m currently advertising a position for a sales clerk. A regular job interview isn’t going to show me whether someone is a good match. Can I use “working interviews” instead? That way, I can see if they work well and get some free labor while I’m at it. It […]

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Liability Waivers

Dear Mary, My business provides a somewhat dangerous service and I require everyone to sign a liability waiver before they participate. A friend recently told me that liability waivers aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Is that true? Liability waivers are signed releases in which people give up certain rights in exchange for the services […]

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Dealing with service animals

Dear Mary, I have a “no pet” policy in my store, and recently someone came in with a dog and claimed it was a service animal. It didn’t have a special vest and she didn’t have any paperwork to show that it was a service animal. If someone says their dog is a service animal, do […]

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Mega-millions, or mega headache?

Dear Mary, We have a lottery pool at our business where once a week everyone chips in a dollar and someone goes out and buys tickets. The idea is that if we win, we would split the prize money equally between employees. Is this a legally binding arrangement? A good friend of mine from law school […]

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Immigration Compliance

Dear Mary, I am about to hire someone from Canada. Do I need to file a Form I-9? As an employer, what do I need to know about complying with immigration and nondiscrimination laws? As you can imagine, a broad range of immigration law issues arise when an employer wants to hire non-U.S. citizens. Regardless of […]

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