New Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Companies with Independent Contractors

Companies desire to hire independent contractors rather than employees to save money on overtime pay, payroll taxes, and unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance, just to name a few benefits.  But are companies taking advantage by misclassifying workers? Ride sharing and food delivery are a few of the big industries that retain independent contractors, but also within the tech industry, companies can independently contract software programmers, graphic designers, digital marketers and pretty much any kind of service-based freelancer. With technology making our world more interconnected, independent work is only getting easier and therefore the need for an employer to consult with a labor lawyer is more important than ever.

A new court ruling is dramatically changing the rules for how to determine whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor.  So if you employ or are thinking about hiring independent contractors, our employment attorney can ensure you’re compliant with the most current labor laws. The Supreme Court ruling on April 30 (Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, No. S222732) is more clearly defining how workers are classified as employees or independent contractors.  In order to be considered an independent contractor, a worker must be ‘free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work.’ Based on this ruling, workers whose employers are directly connected to their work (such as drivers connected to passengers through ride sharing companies) cannot be classified as independent contractors and rather should be considered employees.  This ruling seems to be directed at companies such as Uber and Lyft.

While companies save on financial obligations by retaining independent contractors, the legal responsibilities are crucial and penalties for misclassification can be severe. There are both civil and criminal penalties against companies and their owners/operators who wrongly classify an employee as an independent contractor.

Our full-service labor law office can not only help you understand whether any of your workers should be considered employees or independent contractors but can also ensure you have the proper contracts and documentation in place to retain your workers. With over 20 years of employment law experience, our labor lawyer is an expert in California labor laws.

Businesses in Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, or Newark, CA, can call to schedule a consultation with our employment attorney before hiring to understand how to legally employ independent contractors.

contractor vs employee, independent contractors

Business Dissolution To Come For Flash Memory Technology Moguls

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporationposted in Sales & Dissolutions on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

NAND technology is a type of memory or storage system that does not require power to retain data as opposed to random access memory, wherein all data is lost upon computer shutdown. For years, Micron and Intel companies have performed as joint forces in development and promotion of non-volatile flash memory technology. It may come as a shock for many California readers to learn the two entities have announced their planned business dissolution. 

The long-term partnership that is currently heading for business dissolutioncarries numerous implications for the world of technology. As it stands, most smart phones, tablets, personal computers and other devices heavily rely on NAND technology for data storage needs. Micron and Intel say they will finish working on 3D NAND technology slated for release in 2019.

Once the project is complete, the two businesses will part ways. In joint ventures of this nature, each entity typically provides specific strengths and specialized efforts to the centrally focused project. This means when two forces separate, each will likely have to compensate for the loss of the other.

Not many business owners would dissolve a successful, long-standing partnership without careful consideration. Profitability may be at risk. It is also conceivable that there may be additional expenses incurred in trying to fill in the gaps created by the absence of a former business alliance. This is why experienced  business owners in California and beyond usually consult with experienced business and commercial law attorneys before taking any definitive action to separate from a long-term partner.

business dissolution

Contract Dispute May Render Group Of Elderly People Homeless

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

A group of families in another state are highly concerned about a contentious battle that remains ongoing between a Medicaid insurance provider and an assisted living and care facility. The situation involves a contract dispute that is negatively affecting elderly members of the families who happen to live in the assisted living facility. In essence, they’ve been told that if the problem is not resolved by a particular date, they will have to vacate their residences. Some readers in California may relate to the situation.

Younger family members of the residents have expressed their concerns, saying the notices those affected received in the mail were akin to possible evictions. Spokespeople for the nursing facility say they want nothing more than to peacefully and swiftly resolve the issues at hand so they can continue providing the highest level of quality care they have always provided for their residents. The central focus of the contract dispute between the personal care home and the insurance company has to do with residential rates.

The daughter of a 91-year-old resident says she’s very worried her mother will have to move far away from her if the current problem is not resolved soon. There are approximately 70 elderly residents who would be in similar circumstances if the nursing home and insurance company don’t achieve an agreeable solution. This situation is a prime example of how contract disagreements between specific parties often impact others who may not be directly involved in a particular contract.

A business and commercial law attorney can be a great asset when a negotiation problem or contract disagreement arises. An experienced attorney who is well versed in California business laws can advise a client as to what the most viable option available might be to get things back on track in the least stressful manner possible. Anyone in Florida concerned about a current contract problem can seek support by requesting a meeting with a commercial law attorney.

Contract Disputes, medicare

Quick Action And Negotiation May Solve Contract Dispute, Early On

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporationposted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

Many people in California enjoy traveling by bicycle. In fact, San Francisco is a prime location for businesses catering to bicyclists, such as Ford GoBike, a bike sharing program that allows travelers to access bicycles inexpensively for personal travel throughout the city. This particular company says it has an exclusive contract with the city; unfortunately, a contract dispute has apparently arisen once word got out that the city’s transportation agency is planning to forge a deal with a Ford GoBike competitor. 

In an effort to mitigate the contract dispute before things get out of hand, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has initiated a dispute resolutions process. The MTC bases its actions on the threat of legal action regarding Ford GoBike’s allegations that the city is breaching an existing agreement. The MTC said that it has received word that the city plans to enter a contract with another bike share program; therefore, it believes problem solving techniques may help diffuse a potentially acrimonious situation if Ford GoBike decides to take the matter to court.

A notable factor in the situation is that Ford GoBike bore complete financial impact when it started its bike share program in the city. The company’s willingness to foot the entire bill (with no cost to the public) was primarily based on the agreement that it would have exclusive rights to running such a business in the city. Some say, if left unresolved, this situation could have a ripple effect in other regions.

Generally speaking, California company owners who work closely with experienced legal representation are often able to overcome their contract-related disagreements sooner than those who try to handle their own problems. A good place to start when seeking guidance about a particular issue is to request a meeting with an experienced business and commercial law attorney. It is better for the bottom line in the long-run if a dispute is resolved in as timely a manner as possible.

arbitration, Contract Disputes, negotiation

Attorneys Know How To Word Things To Avoid A Contract Dispute

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Business people in California and throughout the nation often enter written agreements with one or more parties to secure services, employment and/or other commercial transactions. When a contract dispute arises, it can cause immediate and long-lasting negative repercussions, including productivity delays and economic losses. Terminology used within a particular contract is often essential to the success of the agreement; therefore, it’s typically best to allow an experienced attorney to review a proposal before signing anything.

An business and commercial law attorney understands the importance of choosing words carefully when drafting a prospective agreement that will become legally enforceable. One or two words can make all the difference regarding each party’s obligations and responsibilities contained therein. To prevent a contract dispute, it’s crucial to make sure all parties understand and agree upon the chosen terms and phrases placed in writing.

Wording happens to be a main issue in a current contract disagreement in another state. The situation involves a group of educators who serve at least 13,000 students in their area. They want administrators to change contract terminology pertaining to employee transfers. They’re also fighting for an increase in long-term pay as their current starting pay is satisfactory, but they make nearly $5,000 or so less than area counterparts once they hit the 10-year mark.

Hiring a business and commercial law attorney to negotiate on one’s behalf and aggressively pursue all options available toward a favorable outcome is a smart move many California business people make. Those who hope to avoid a contentious dispute understand that experienced representation is often a key factor in achieving their goals. An attorney can provide many contract services, from actually drafting a proposal on a client’s behalf, to reviewing a prospective agreement or litigating a particular issue as needed.

Need help with contract reviews, creation, or representation? Please contact the Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, serving businesses in Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, or Newark, CA.

Contract Disputes, contract wording

Aggressive Representation May Help Resolve Contract Disputes

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

Successful California business owners may relate to a recent disagreement that iPhone maker, Apple had with Finnish company, Nokia. The contract dispute has reportedly ended, but not without a struggle. Often, such situations can be diffused when a savvy business owner understands the importance of hiring aggressive legal assistance to negotiate (or litigate, if necessary) a solution.

The central focus of the Apple versus Nokia contract dispute was intellectual property. Apple told Nokia it would no longer pay for use of its patents. Apple also claimed Nokia committed extortion.

Nokia said many of Apple’s products, including iPhones, tablets and other electronic devices, contained its patented property and that Apple needed to pay for what it uses. When these types of disagreements arise, and a lot of money is at stake, tempers can become quite heated in court. Both sides are obviously trying to protect their own interests.

That’s where keen insight and experience can come in handy. A California attorney who knows the ins and outs of contract litigation can protect a business owner’s rights without compromising the bottom line. Those who wish to obtain the best results in the least amount of time possible typically hire aggressive representation to act on their behalves. Regardless of whether a particular business owner is fighting against accusations or is attempting to right a wrong that’s been committed against his or her company, retaining the help of a business and commercial law attorney is often a crucial factor in obtaining a successful outcome.

Contract Disputes, contract representation

Planning Ahead For A Successful Business Merger

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Mergers & Acquisitions on Friday, May 26, 2017.

Many people in California and throughout the United States are foregoing college educations to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s a rather controversial topic with advocates and naysayers on both sides. Both choices often lead to business ownership, and owning a business often leads to an eventual business merger. Thorough research and careful planning can set the stage for successful expansion.

When considering a business merger, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost is the fact that once the deal is finalized, a new company exists. Therefore, it’s important to think things through and make well-informed decisions so the outcome will provide the greatest chances for increased business success.

A successful business manager who now coaches CEOs and entrepreneurs advises anyone considering merging with another company or acquiring additional business assets to remember several things. First, it’s important to maintain a work ethic and start-up plan that sets the stage for complete integration and successful mergers. It also helps to be aware of the estimated value and potential costs of a proposed merge.

Many California business mergers fail to boost shareholder returns. This is another reason it’s crucial to thoroughly research a plan and check for possible flaws ahead of time. A business and commercial law attorney can provide many services that assist business owners as they navigate the mergers and acquisition process. From reviewing a proposed plan and making suggestions where changes may be needed to negotiating terms and agreements with other companies’ leaders, aligning oneself with experienced legal representation is often a key to success.

business planning, buy a business, merge a business

Incorporating in Another State Might Be Good Business Planning

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Business Formation & Planning on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Many California residents are currently developing goals for various types of business endeavors. This type of business planning typically involves many challenges and important decisions, such as whether to incorporate a company. Recent news suggests one state may be better than others when incorporating a business.

When business planning, it’s crucial to remember that it’s not necessary to incorporate a business in one’s home state. Incorporation can take place in another state where a business does not have an actual physical location. It is often necessary, however, to choose a Registered Agent in the incorporating state to receive notices from that jurisdiction’s Secretary of State regarding one’s business.

At the top of the list for best states in which to incorporate a business is Delaware. Obviously far from California’s west coast, many successful businesses choose Delaware as their corporate home. Delaware business owners are shielded from personal liability in certain business situations, which may have something to do with it ranking number one in at least eight different studies regarding best legal systems in the nation conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Many affluent business owners say another main benefit of incorporating in the small state of Delaware is that the process of incorporation there is highly affordable. An annual LLC fee is only $300 regardless of company size or capital. An experienced business planning attorney can provide sound counsel and clarification of all laws pertaining to incorporating in a state, whether in California or a jurisdiction outside a business owner’s home residence.

Business Formation & Planning, incorporation

Always Good to Think Ahead When Selling a Business in California

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Sales & Dissolutions on Friday, October 21, 2016.

One can imagine the tremendous feeling of satisfaction that accompanies building a successful California business from the ground up. For many business owners, there comes a time when it appears that selling a business is the next logical step to take. However, as such endeavors may present various types of challenges, it is typically best to think ahead before diving in. 

An important topic to ponder when considering selling a business is that of potential taxes on the income. There is no set tax rate for money earned through a business sale; various factors determine how much the government gets. In addition to personal income, state of residence and purchase price allocation all play into how much tax will be owed.

Patience may indeed be a virtue when it comes to deciding whether to place a business up for sale. If a business has not been up and running for an extended period of time, some say it is best to wait before selling. Potential buyers are reportedly often more attracted to businesses that have long-standing success and well-established histories.

Anyone thinking about selling a particular business in California may also want to consider what the future might hold with regard to the personal and professional journey. For many, spending every waking moment of their recent pasts working to create and maintain successful businesses leaves them suddenly at a loss when it comes to deciding what to do next in life. Crafting a solid plan is advisable. In fact, a business and commercial law attorney is often able to assist company owners throughout the process of a sale, as well as in creating new business plans.

Source: alleywatch.com, “What to Know Before Selling Your Business“, Mark Daoust, Oct. 10, 2016

If your business is contemplating or already involved in the purchase, sale or merger of another business, please contact the Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai. We provide professional business legal services for clients in Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, or Newark, CA,

business planning, Sales & Dissolutions, sell a business in california

Problems Often Arise if Contract Disputes Go Unresolved

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, July 29, 2016.

California business owners are undoubtedly not strangers to various challenges that arise when the terms of a signed agreement are not honored or another type of disagreement erupts in between signature parties. If left unresolved, a contract dispute can cause lasting and devastating negative effects for business owners and workers alike. In a recent situation in another state, a business relationship that has been in effect for 30 years is coming to an end because of a contract disagreement.

The collaboration between a university research center and a state’s mental health facilities has been functioning for three decades. During that time, researchers say they created a new system for treating those with mental illnesses. In order to implement the plan, the researchers would offer training to mental health workers at many of the state community mental health centers. The recent contract dispute will apparently cause that cooperative effort to cease.

One spokesperson for the state said that changes in the contract were needed to ensure that Medicaid funds used to support the research center’s efforts were being spent appropriately. A research center spokesperson responded by saying that the center could not accept the offer made by the state because of certain provisions in the offer. Reportedly, there was a deadline for contract resolution in place and that has since passed. 

Due to the fact that the contract issues were not resolved, the business and community efforts between the two entities will now come to an end. Many people have been laid off from their jobs. The research center is being closed. To avoid similar outcomes, a California business owner may want to act alongside a skilled business attorney who has experience negotiating contract disputes and who has achieved successful results for others.

Source: kmuw.org, “Mental Health Contract Dispute Sparks Criticism Of Brownback Policies“, Jim Mclean, July 13, 2016

Contract Disputes

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