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Huntington Beach Law Blog

Wage theft runs into the billions

Wage theft does not top the list of concerns for most employers or employees. Nevertheless, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that 2.4 million workers in the ten most populous states lose $8 billion in combined income annually. That amounts to about one-third of all property theft each year. This averages to be about $64 per worker per week for an annual total of $3,300. Here in California, the Department of Labor claims there are 372,000 minimum wage violations each week.

What is wage theft?

Federal rules involving overtime to change

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized new rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime. The federal agency determined that most workers who fall under the FLSA qualify for overtime when they work over 40 hours per week. This change will increase the number of workers eligible for overtime by an estimated 1.3 million employees here in the U.S.

This is the first change in overtime rules since 2004, and it looked upon as merely an update of the rules to keep them in-step with the current economy and pay practices.

5 options for dealing with a breach of partnership agreement

When you started your California business, you may have labored over whom to bring on as partners. Partnerships may have provided capital you did not have, connections to others in your industry, know-how and experience, and additional help with the nuts and bolts of running the company. Whether you are working with a single partner or several, you probably found out quickly that it is not always easy.

If you are now dealing with a partner who is violating the agreement you made in the beginning of the business relationship, you may be facing some difficult decisions. Now, it may be easier to see the wisdom in creating a partnership contract. If your contract is solidly drafted, it may provide options for resolving the dispute with your partner.

Business-vendor partnerships take work

Many businesses work closely with vendors these days. Typical examples are customer support, repairs and manufacturing. The arrangement is laid out in a contract, but vendors may not follow through, either because of a mistake or by choice.

This breakdown in the relationship can affect a company’s ability to function. However, the business may be able to avoid these disputes by building and maintaining a strong working relationship with its vendor.

Deceptive trade practices in California

Every state has laws regarding deceptive trade practices. Mainly, these address businesses or individuals who sell goods or services while falsely representing what the consumers purchases. These torts are considered an offense against the general public and can lead to criminal prosecution by the state’s attorney general, district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor. The prosecution can bring their complaint or act upon the claim of a person, association, corporation, board, or officer who is injured or damaged by this deception. Plaintiffs should not take action unless government entities refuse to.

Common examples

Cybersecurity still a significant concern

Chubb Limited is one of the leading players in the global insurance market. It offers a wide array of insurance products and continues to be a thought leader. Now according to its Third Annual Cyber Report, there should be much concern by businesses over the status of their cybersecurity. It notes that hackers or cyber breaches concern eight in 10 Americans, but this concern is undercut by employee complacency.

The report states that only 41% of Americans use cybersecurity software, and only 31% regularly change their passwords. These statistics are mostly the same as they were in 2018. While it is not an employer’s responsibility to police the security of employee’s digital data, but Chubb is quick to point out that complacency at home can carry over to the workplace.

How broken contracts impact businesses

Businesses need several tools to be successful. These include financial resources, technology, quality customer service, and stable leadership. While all of them are important, it is the relationship a company builds with others that help determine its long-term prosperity.

Those relationships can often be strengthened through legal contracts. However, a broken contract can put any organization in a tough position by wasting both parties time and money. It also can affect the long-term viability of a business.

Employers: How to keep bullying out of your business

One of the most important things you can do for your employees is provide a workplace safe from harassment, discrimination and retaliation. For this reason, you need to make sure that bullying does not become a part of your workplace culture.

Figuring out how to do that may require some research. Below are some ways you can make your employees feel as though you value them and want to ensure they are protected from bullying. Doing so may not only accomplish those goals, but could also spare your company from litigation from a bullied employee.

Addressing frivolous lawsuits

Frivolous lawsuits are the last thing any small business wants to deal with. Unfortunately, any owner can be susceptible to them – and it can be a big headache for everyone involved. It just goes to show that no matter how strategic and careful an organization is, it can still be subject to petty litigation.

Luckily, most frivolous litigation cases are empty threats. The people filing suit are often dissatisfied customers acting like yard bullies who are just looking to pick a fight. However, that doesn’t mean they will not win the case.

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