Labor and Employment

Labor and Employment Tips for Startups

By Samantha E. Becker


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Here are 10 employment tips to prevent your start-up from losing ground before it gets started:

  1. Make sure you understand the differences between employees and independent contractors and follow all legal requirements when it comes to wages, benefits and terms of employment. Distinguishing employees from independent contractors is complex and fact-specific (the IRS uses a 20-factor test!) and errors can result in costly litigation down the road.
  2. Don’t classify employees as salaried to avoid paying for overtime and/or other benefits. Most employees in a company should be paid on an hourly basis and even salaried employees can later try to sue for unpaid wages and overtime, penalties, and attorneys’ fees.
  3. You cannot pay equity to avoid paying minimum wages. Make sure you pay employees for their regular and overtime hours worked based on the rates set forth by state and federal laws. (more…)

New Los Angeles Ordinance Provides for Paid Sick Leave and Increased Minimum Wages


By Brett Thomas
June 27, 2016

Joining the ranks of five other municipalities in California (including Santa Monica), the city of Los Angeles recently enacted a new paid sick leave ordinance that imposes requirements more stringent than those required under California law. The Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance (“Ordinance”) provides little time for employers to comply with its new requirements – being that it was passed on June 1 and becomes effective July 1, 2016 for most employers. As set forth in detail below, the Ordinance doubles the amount of paid sick leave an employer is required to provide and increases the group of people for whom an employee may use paid sick leave to provide care. The Ordinance also provides a schedule of minimum wage rates for employers from July 1, 2016 through the year 2022.

To enforce the new Ordinance, the city also passed the Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards Ordinance, which creates a new Office of Wage Standards (“OWS”) under the Bureau of Contract Administration that is charged with enforcing the Ordinance and establishes the framework for enforcing the Ordinance.  As of the time of this publication, the OWS has prepared draft rules and regulations implementing the Ordinance, but has yet to post the final version. (more…)

New Santa Monica Ordinance Provides for Paid Sick Leave and Increased Minimum Wages

By Anthony J. Amendola and Melvin Felton, II

Santa Monica will become the first city in Southern California and the fourth in the state to enact a municipal paid sick leave law. The city’s Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage ordinance will take effect in two phases. The first phase will commence on January 1, 2017, when most Santa Monica employees will be entitled to accrue and use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave. That amount climbs to 72 hours the following year, which is three times the amount of paid sick leave that an employee must be permitted to use annually under California’s paid sick leave law. The ordinance also provides a schedule of minimum wage rates for private sector and hotel workers from July 1, 2016 through the year 2022 and regulates service charges imposed by Santa Monica businesses.