California Job Interviews: Be Careful What You Ask For
California Job Interviews: Be Careful What You Ask For

When employers interview job candidates, they appropriately focus on questions that will obtain information they need to hire the right person. However, they must also be sure that they do not ask questions that are prohibited under California law and that can potentially lead to lawsuits including those for discrimination. California employers with five or more employees are covered by the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) which prohibits discrimination based upon age, ancestry, color marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical disability, religion, sex or sexual orientation, and military status. (Employers with fewer than five employees should also... READ MORE

Considering a Franchise? Do your Research First!

By Brian H. Cole, Franchise and Distribution Law For anyone considering starting a new business, there are many advantages to buying a franchise. Some of the most important are the guidance and training provided by the franchisor. The franchisor can help choose a location, provide guidance on the necessary equipment and inventory needed, and conduct a training class that compresses what could otherwise be a long period of trial-and-error learning into a class (or series of classes). But before buying any franchise, it is critical to evaluate the franchise opportunity to be certain that it’s the best option. There are... READ MORE

Employer Covid-19 Vaccination Mandate: Handling Religious Exemptions

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has provided guidance on handling employee requests for exemptions from the Covid-19 vaccination mandate noting that employees must inform their employer of their request for exemption if there is a conflict between their “sincerely held religious belief” and the employer’s Covid-19 vaccination requirement.  Employers should provide information to employees about the application procedures and who to contact to request religious accommodation. Employers should assume that such a request is based on a sincerely held religious belief, but if an objective basis is held for questioning the sincerity of the request or belief, employers may... READ MORE

Does your small business qualify for a home office tax deduction?

Certain home expenses may be deducted on your tax return if you’re running a business from home. While these deductions may not be applicable to everyone who has been working from home during the pandemic (such as employees), there are a few areas to bring up with your CPA or tax advisor when filing your 2021 taxes. First, the home office tax deduction is available to both homeowners and renters, and certain expenses such as mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, depreciation and rent may be deducted. However, there are certain specific requirements that taxpayers must meet to claim home... READ MORE

When Did You Last Look at Your Business Plan?

Running a business is challenging enough despite the additional complications that can come with unforeseen circumstances whether that be a pandemic or sudden need to pivot quickly. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has long noted that 80% of businesses survive the first year, but almost half of the businesses fail by year five. Why is this? Why Many Small Businesses Fail The reason that these small businesses fail, first and foremost, is directly related to lack of business planning. Over the past several years, Chase Law Group has worked with entrepreneurs and small business owners from the time they start... READ MORE

Top 5 Considerations When Buying a Franchise

By Admin February 10, 2021    Category: Business Law

Top 5 Considerations When Buying a Franchise

Article written by Brian H. Cole, Associate Attorney, Chase Law Group, P.C. Have you ever considered looking into buying a franchise? There are many attractive aspects of this particular business model. Generally speaking, a franchise has an infrastructure already established to help owners and managers run the day-to-day operations, plus a known franchise has built-in brand equity. These are huge benefits for a business owner. On the other hand, like any business, there is a considerable amount of work, employee management, customer service and marketing efforts that the owner or manager will still need to take on and often follow... READ MORE

Building Your Roadmap: The Basics of a Small Business Plan

Your business plan is a roadmap to your business’ success. It is the basis—the foundation—for creating a business that will beat out those SBA statistics, that will survive beyond year one and beyond. For you, the business plan is your guideline. For potential investors or venture capital providers, your business is insight. People who are considering whether to invest are going to be looking for an exhaustive outline of where you plan to take the business and how. And although banks and investors may have specific requirements when it comes to what’s in your business plan, below you will find... READ MORE

Be Prepared for California Family Rights Act Leave Beginning January 1, 2021

Last month’s blog post and newsletter set forth new employment laws coming in 2021, including SB 1382 which provides that effective January 1, 2021, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) will be expanded to apply to smaller employers (with 5 to 49 employees) and not just employers with 50 or more employees.  The following sets forth basic information related to CFRA leave.  You should consult with an employment attorney to discuss any questions you have about implementing a CFRA policy at your organization and to ensure that you are in compliance with this complex law. What is CFRA and Who... READ MORE

SB 1159

By DeAnn Chase November 30, 2020    Category: Business Law

SB 1159

Article written by Gabriela Lamond, Associate Attorney, Chase Law Group, P.C. SB 1159 became effective on September 17, 2020 and created three (3) different rebuttable presumptions with respect to an employee’s claim that he/she contracted COVID-19 at the workplace.  The third presumption, which only applies to employers with five (5) or more employees, also imposes additional employee tracking and reporting requirements. Additionally, SB 1159 requires that employees must exhaust any special COVID-19 related sick leave benefits before receiving any temporary disability benefits, however, employees are not required to exhaust any regular sick leave benefits. 1. March 19 – July 5, 2020... READ MORE

AB 685

By DeAnn Chase November 20, 2020    Category: Business Law

AB 685

Article written by Gabriela Lamond, Associate Attorney, Chase Law Group, P.C.  On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom approved of changes to the California Labor Code with respect to an employer’s tracking, reporting, and record-keeping requirements for COVID-19, as well as new rebuttable presumptions for employees submitting workers’ compensation and disability benefits claims related to COVID-19.  These changes were presented in California Assembly Bill 685 (AB 685) and California Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159). Effective January 1, 2021, AB 685 imposes new COVID-19 notice, reporting and record-keeping requirements for California employers. Notice Requirements for Potential COVID-19 Exposure If an employer receives notice... READ MORE