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California Employment Law: Split Shift Premium

California Employment Law: Split Shift Premium

One of my favorite places to go eat in the San Jose area is El Camino Mongolian BBQ. If you’re ever in the Santa Clara, CA area, stop on in. You can mention my name, if you want. (It likely won’t help you, but you can always mention my name. Ahahahahaha… okay, moving on). I was at El Camino Mongolian BBQ recently and snapped the above photo. The owners (Sunny and John) were hiring for kitchen staff. The subject of this blog post is going to be the two time ranges listed for the Kitchen help. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant — and I’m going to assume everyone reading this has — then it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that restaurant workers don’t work a normal 8 hour day. There’s a wave of people for breakfast (assuming the place offers breakfast) and then another wave for lunch and then another wave for dinner. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to shut down in the mid-afternoon (e.g. 3 PM to 5 PM) in between lunch and dinner. In California, a schedule involving a shut down period like this is called a Split Shift. Depending on their hourly wage, an employee may be entitled to additional compensation if they have to work a Split Shift. The governing law here is actually not going to be in a statute (e.g. California Labor Code) or a case, but rather it’s going to be in California regulations. These regulations are codified in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations from sections 11010 to 11170. If you see references such as “8...

Enforcement of California Powers of Attorney (CA Probate Code section 4406)

A while back, I put a video out on my Youtube channel describing what a Power of Attorney (POA) is and what it can do for you. Here it is, in case you missed it. I also posted previously on this blog about what happens to a Power of Attorney in California when you get divorced and your spouse is your POA agent. In this post, I’m going to go over what happens when a POA that has been properly signed is, nonetheless, not recognized. For sake of illustration, let’s say that your elderly mother has signed a POA naming you as her agent. Your mom wants you to manage her money (e.g. pay her bills) and to do that, you need to access her bank accounts, but your mom’s bank is refusing to cooperate with you. What do you do? The California statute that applies here is Section 4406 of the California Probate Code. One important thing to recognize first, though, is that 4406 only applies to what are called “Uniform Statutory Powers of Attorney”. What this basically means is that 4406 doesn’t apply to any random POA that gets written up, even if it’s written up properly. 4406 only applies to the specific POA that is explicitly specified in the California Probate Code (specifically, section 4401). If you have a Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney in California and it’s been properly signed by the principal (see CA Probate Code section 4121) and a third-party (e.g. a bank, like in this hypothetical) is refusing to honor it, 4406 provides for the following: The agent can sue the third-party...
California Divorce and Powers of Attorney

California Divorce and Powers of Attorney

I had a post before about what happens in California to your will after you get divorced. Many people have their spouses named in their will in some way (e.g. to be executor). In nearly all cases, I would imagine you don’t want your ex-spouse to have control over your estate when you’ve died. Today, though, I’m going to go over a similar question: what happens in California to your Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney document after you’ve gotten divorced? As with wills, many people name their spouses as their power of attorney agent or durable power of attorney agent and, as with divorces, most people likely don’t want their ex-spouses having control over them once the divorce is finally over. The relevant law here is going to be Section 4154 of the California Probate Code, section (a) of which states: “If after executing a power of attorney the principal’s marriage to the attorney-in-fact is dissolved or annulled, the principal’s designation of the former spouse as attorney-in-fact is revoked.” Section 4154(b) then goes on to say that if divorce or annulment of the marriage was the only reason why the power of attorney was revoked, then remarriage of the principal and attorney-in-fact will reinstate the power of attorney and the attorney-in-fact’s authority under it. If, however, the power of attorney was revoked for other reasons too and the principal and attorney-in-fact just happened to get divorced at the same time, then them remarrying does not reinstate the power of attorney and the attorney-in-fact’s authority. If you compare what happens to a will under section 6122 of...
California Divorce: Undisclosed Assets

California Divorce: Undisclosed Assets

This post is going to be about what happens to assets that were not previously disclosed during a California divorce case. This failure to disclose could be intentional, such as your soon-to-be ex-spouse purposely trying to hide bank accounts and other property from you. For instance, suppose you were a stay-at-home mom and your husband was the one who worked outside the home. Even though all the property the two of you acquired during the marriage is likely going to be community property to which you would be entitled to half, he might view it as all rightfully belonging to him because he was the one who went out to work for it. He might, for example, try to hide it by putting it all under his brother’s name, his elderly mother’s name, etc. The failure to disclose could also be accidental. People can be forgetful, even when they intend to be honest. Depending on your level of wealth, the length of the marriage, etc, it is possible that your soon-to-be ex-husband, for example, might forget that he had a 401K from a job he worked 20 years ago that he has never touched. Theoretically, all assets and debts should be disclosed during a divorce and each party should — in theory — have total access to all information regarding the couple’s finances. The reality, of course, is never that perfect. The fact that financial disclosure during a California divorce is voluntary and on the honor system doesn’t help either. Bottom line: if you’re involved in a California divorce and you believe your soon-to-be ex-spouse is trying to hide...
New York City Gender-Neutral Birth Certificates

New York City Gender-Neutral Birth Certificates

Yesterday, there were news stories stating that a new law went in to effect in New York on January 1, 2019 allowing for birth certificates specifying a non-binary gender (i.e. not male and not female). Here are two in particular: “New York law now allows gender-neutral birth certificates” (kcra.com; January 1, 2019)“New York Rings in New Year by Offering Gender-Neutral Birth Certificates” (dailysignal.com; January 2, 2019) The headlines are misleading for this reason: It isn’t a New York state law. Instead, the law that went in to effect yesterday is a New York City law. This law was signed by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio on October 9, 2018 and went into effect January 1, 2019. For those interested, this new law is under the Administrative Code of the City of New York. If you want to look it up yourself, it is Title 17, Section 167.1 entitled “Sex Designation on Birth Records”. As an aside for those interested, California has a law that allows for gender-neutral birth certificates also. Called the Gender Recognition Act, it was passed as California Senate Bill 179 (SB 179) in October 2017 and went in to effect January 1, 2018. At the time, it made California the first state in the US to recognize a third gender. As usual with any blog post regarding New York, I need to make clear that while I am licensed to practice law in New York state, I don’t maintain an office anywhere in the state of New York (at least as of the date of this post). As a result, I can’t practice law there...
California Divorce and Wills

California Divorce and Wills

After you get divorced, a lot of things happen automatically under California law. Many of these things have to do with estate planning. In this post, I’m going to go over how a divorce affects how California treats wills that either spouse has made. In previous posts, I’ve gone over how to make a will in California, how to disinherit your children in your California will, and how to omit your spouse in your California will. If you haven’t seen those posts, I encourage you to go take a look. The relevant law here for how a divorce affects a will is going to be in section 6122 of the California Probate Code. A very similar statute (Section 6122.1 of the California Probate Code) applies to domestic partnerships also. Under section 6122(a), the following happens automatically upon a divorce unless a will executed after the divorce provides otherwise: Disposition of property to the former spouse is revoked;Special and general powers of appointment conferred upon the former spouse are also revoked;Provisions specifying the former spouse as conservator, guardian, trustee, or executor are also revoked. In the event of a divorce, section 6122 treats the former spouse as if they had already died. In the event these spouses get remarried, however, section 6122(b) automatically reinstates/revives these same provisions of the deceased spouse’s will. As always, this post is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of how a divorce might affect your will or the will in the particular situation you are dealing with. If you are outside of California or your situation doesn’t involve California at all, likely none of...

Non-Compete Agreements in California

A topic that often arises in the context of a business is non-compete agreements. As the name should hopefully suggest, a non-compete agreement is a contract in which a party agrees not to engage in a lawful profession, trade, or business. A non-compete agreement might arise with two potential competitors agreeing to divide a particular market between them. Collusion like this is generally illegal on, among other things, federal antitrust grounds which are waaaaaay beyond the scope of this blog post. The more common scenario I encounter involving non-compete agreements is where the restriction is not voluntary. A common scenario would be where an employee works for an employer who, deep in the legalese of the papers the employee signed when they hired on, forbids the employee from either going to work for a competitor or opening up a competing business. In other words, if the employee is fired or quits, they can’t go continue in the same line of work. The vast majority of people have experience, training, etc in only one line of work so the employer’s restriction effectively means that they cannot make a living if they upset their employer. Can an employer impose restrictions like this on an employee? In California, the answer – in general – is no and it is because of Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code. Section 16600 states: Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void. As with everything in the law, of course, there...

Clerk’s Arraignments for Misdemeanors in California Criminal Court

In California, arraignments are generally the first time that a criminal defendant makes their appearance in court. Every arraignment is slightly different because no two cases and no two courts are exactly the same. If you are facing misdemeanor criminal charges in California and want to learn more about what happens at an arraignment, I have video on my Youtube channel about it. Depending on the particular court you’re in, the judge you’re in front of, etc, you may have the option of doing something called a Clerk’s Arraignment instead. It is what it sounds like — you get arraigned in front of a court clerk (i.e. a non-judge who just works for the court) as opposed to an actual judge or court commissioner. Some of you might be going ‘Whoa, what? Is that legal?’ The answer is that it is, but – in my experience at least – it is not common. I would guess that I encounter it less than 10% of the time on misdemeanor cases. All of those are on cases where the defendant has his or her own attorney (i.e. not the public defender). I have never seen a Clerk’s Arraignment done in a case where the defendant is appearing without a lawyer. If you have, leave me a comment down below. There are many reasons why a Clerk’s Arraignment might be done. One is speed. For the vast majority of misdemeanor cases, arraignment is routine and uneventful for an attorney to do. Additionally, misdemeanors are very common so it is not unusual for an attorney to wait in line for 45 or more...

California Cooks Selling Directly to the Public

It used to be that if you liked to cook, you had to open a restaurant in order to make money off of your cooking. There’s the food truck route, of course, but soon, there will be another option in California: you can sell food you make in your home kitchen directly to the public. If you’re interested in doing this, the law behind this is actually quite involved. I’ll mention some sections of the California Health and Safety Code below, but the basic idea involves the creation of something California calls a “microenterprise home kitchen operation” (CA Health and Safety Code section 113825). There are other code sections that will specify how a “microenterprise home kitchen operation” will fit in to the existing law that governs food, restaurants, food preparation, etc. And, of course, there are going to be laws that specify how microenterprise home kitchen operations will be regulated by the city or county they’re located in and several sections of the Health and Safety Code (e.g. Section 114367) will be devoted to that. Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MHKO) This will be defined in section 113825 of California’s Health and Safety Code. An MHKO has nine criteria: It doesn’t have more than one full-time employee. Family members and household members don’t count. Food is prepared, cooked, and served on the same day. Food is either (1) consumed onsite, or (2) offsite if the consumer picks the food up or is delivered Food preparation does not involved anything requiring a HACCP plan or the production, sale, or service of raw milk or milk products. HACCP stands for “Hazardous...

Female Directors on California Boards of Directors

Some of you might have heard that California recently¬†(less than 24 hours as of the time I write this)¬†passed a law that requires a certain number of directors on a corporation’s Board of Directors to be female. I’ve already gotten several inquiries about this new law and it’s been less than a day. In this post, I’m going to summarize what I think are the major pieces of the new law. It’s not going to be a comprehensive summary, of course as I cannot go over every possible aspect of any law. As always, I encourage you to do your own research, consult with your own legal counsel, etc. This new law arose as California Senate Bill 826 in the 2017-2018 regular session and does basically three things: It imposes a dual-level requirement for Boards of Directors with respect to female directors, It creates a publication requirement to disclose which companies are and are not in compliance, and It imposes fines for non-compliance. Dual-Level Requirement The news has basically described this new law as a requirement to have a certain number of female directors on a company’s Board of Directors. If you read the actual statute (California Corporations Code section 301.3), you’ll discover that there are actually two requirements, hence why I call it a “Dual-Level Requirement.” The first level is that as of the close of calendar year 2019, every corporation that has its Principal Executive Offices (PEO) in California must have at least one female director on its board. The PEO shall be determined based on what the corporation says in its annual 10-K filing to the...