As of January 1, 2016, any individual who is an owner, director, officer, or managing agent of an employer may be held liable as the employer if he or she violates, or causes to be violated, wage and hour provisions. Cal. Lab. Code § 558.1. The California Supreme Court has defined "managing agent" as an employee who "exercise[s] substantial discretionary authority over significant aspects of a corporation's business." White v. Ultramar, 21 Cal. 4th 563, 577.
Retaining trade secrets and preventing employee poaching can be particularly difficult in highly competitive industries such as California's tech industry. One area of technology where competition is quickly rising is the connected fitness market, which provides wearable products for monitoring health.
If you're an employer whose employees travel around to provide services in various locations, then you may have software for keeping track of employees' travel times and expenses. A lawsuit recently filed in California raises the question of how far employers can go in tracking their employees' whereabouts.
In California's highly competitive tech industry, it can be difficult for smaller and mid-sized companies to compete with the likes of Google and Apple. Large companies that have dominated for years tend to absorb much of the local talent, while smaller startups in Silicon Valley struggle to get a leg up. Sometimes you have to get out of the Bay Area to expand your tech business footprint.
If you've been keeping up with business news, then you're probably aware of the rise of on-demand companies that provide anything from in-home massages to grocery delivery. Some people have called the phenomenon the "1099 economy" because most of these services are provided by independent contractors -- not company employees -- and a company fills out a 1099 MISC form when it hires a contractor.
California law does not require that employees be given paid or unpaid vacation time, though many employers choose to offer these benefits in order to attract and retain employees and remain competitive in the labor market. While providing vacation time is not mandatory, if an employer chooses to offer paid vacation, then state employment law requires the employer to abide by certain rules regarding how the employee is paid for time off.
Back in August 2014 we discussed some of the details of a potential supermarket merger of Safeway and Albertsons. The deal was approved by shareholders last year, and more recently the merger was cleared by the Federal Trade Commission.
Everyone wants job security, and people may assume that executives have plenty of it. That is not necessarily the case, however, as executives can be hit with job loss for any number of reasons. Maybe share prices drop, or the company merges or is bought. Maybe there is a push for a change in business culture. These things happen, and they happen often.
Employment contracts for high-level employees typically have to address a wide variety of issues, including base salary, stock options, bonuses, benefit plans and non-compete provisions. It is in the best interests of the employee and the employer to ensure that the employment agreement is carefully drafted and can stand up to scrutiny. Otherwise, both parties may find themselves in costly litigation.