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What To Know When Terminating: Legal Reasons #17

downloadRecently I have helped several former employees who were laid off but were not given their final wages which included the hours they had worked just before being laid off, earned Paid Time Off, and commissions.  Many employers do not realize that waiting time penalties attach daily up to 30 days if wages are owed after the final pay.

If you terminate an employee or lay him/her off with no specific return date within the normal pay period, all wages and accrued vacation earned but unpaid are due and payable immediately. It is not acceptable to ask or require an employee to wait until the next regular payday for his/her final wages. You cannot withhold a final paycheck. It is illegal to withhold a final paycheck to induce the former employee to:

  • Return tools, uniforms, mobile devices, laptop computers, keys or any other items belonging to you.
  • Pay back money that he/she owes to you.
  • Turn in expense reimbursement forms.

Payment Due at Time of Discharge

The California Labor Code requires that employees receive all earned and unpaid wages at the time of termination from employment. If they do not, you can be assessed waiting time penalties. In Smith v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the California Supreme Court ruled that neither length of employment nor reason for termination changes this requirement.

Not Just Another Weekend

IMG_1224A gloom sits outside my bay window. A gray sky blankets the waking day. Hear and there,  I hear muffled chirps of birds as if telling the day to wake up. It is an amazing Monday! The kind where nothing can hold the shine inside me as I reflect upon the weekend. It began on Friday when my beautiful niece performed at her first official gig. As I sat there enthralled to her beautiful voice, I couldn’t help get teary eyed as I remembered holding her in my hands, playing with her endlessly, teaching her to say “Boys are Bad.”  The little girl whose hugs and kisses always melted me is now a woman, and I could not feel prouder. With each number, she grew up in front of me (I even tried to ignore that most of her songs were about heartbreak), and it hit me that not only did I just witness an extraordinary friday, I got to see my niece as an adult.

A sunny Saturday. The kind where the sun peeks in through the windows inviting you to wake up. 7am. Part of me wanted to lay back, but then again it was that voice that always told me to keep sleeping, to do it another time, to just sleep in since it ‘s Saturday. And then suddenly the sleep disappeared. Another voice. Get. Up. Now. Oh. What. The. Fuck. Go. For. It. Anyway. And so I did. I went running, and the other voice got tinier and tinier. Then the best part of Saturday came. Brunch with my beautiful wife at Old Vine in Irvine. I wish I told her how beautiful she looked. Her bright eyes glowed in the sun. I marveled at the fact that she woke up looking great. I wished I told her my running stream of thoughts. But still it was a great saturday.

Then came Sunday. I finished the first draft of a personal essay (new records for finishing 5000 words). I ended up working for a bit at Topanga, but it also gave me an opportunity to connect with a great friend. Lately, I see opportunities where before life looked like obstacles. I ended my weekend with Load Out for MITT where  I got to experience other’s energy and help as I knew how. So today’s gray morning gets to see my shine. Today, I get to be me. Today, I look for more opportunities. Happy Monday!

What Will Be My Legacy?

1417255825-1188b8d99692f8a1c13fa42de7f3f0f6The morning quiet is precious to me. It is the only time I am with my unfiltered words, thoughts, and emotions. The only time when the sound of my mind takes over the quiet of the house. Where I reflect, and prepare myself for a new a day, and decide what kind of person I wish to be. Each day I have a choice to be a better person. Each day a beginning of the person I can be. Each 24 hour period where I can leave behind my mistakes and start over on creating connection and legacy.

It is not a time for regret, but one of acceptance of the past. I do worry, and I do beat myself up, but not for long because self-pity serves no purpose. It is also a time for checking in with myself to ground myself, to know that there is so much I cannot control, and it is OK.   That first hour is most precious as I go into action and know that I am living my purpose, that I miss loved ones, and that in the end, all will be OK. To needlessly worry about things I cannot change is just a recipe for feeling bad and out of control.

So I sit back, enjoy the quiet, give my thanks to life, a quick I love you to Papa and that he is missed, and I begin my day towards my legacy. What that will be is solely up to me. I create that. Each day is a choice, and I must remember that. Because there will be many, many days where I will not shine, will not be the best version of me, but I just need the other days to outweigh those. And in the end, that’s all that matters.

When You Dont Need A Lawyer:Legal Reasons #29

robert-mankoff-excuse-me-does-this-joke-need-a-lawyer-new-yorker-cartoonOkay, this may sound strange coming from me, and against my self-interest. The reality is that are many instances when getting a lawyer is not only not helpful, but can make things worse. Recently. I came across a divorce matter where husband and wife do not speak to each other, and use their attorneys as their communication device, which at an average rate of $350 an hour, is great for the lawyers, but not so great for the parties.

While I am not suggesting that you never get an attorney, it really does come down to whether what you are looking for can be solved by giving it time, being calm, present and empathetic. A lawyer should not be first choice for all matters, but there are times it is advisable. When dealing with insurance companies, or any agencies that affect your rights, it is imperative you have knowledgeable counsel. But if your friend borrows $1000 and never returns, that more of a non lawyer situation.

As my old law school teacher said, you can always sue, the real question is will you win?

Quiet Reflections

download-1The last few days were a mixed bag of gratitude, sadness and reflection on what I want from my life. It became clear to me that as we celebrate major milestones, there will be a missing space that my father filled in.  The year draws to an end, and I am determined to learn from it and create new values and lessons for my life. THe good news is that I can do it. The bad is that there will always be something lacking or unexpected happening. The keyword for me is acceptance.

Being present, acceptance, healthy in all aspects of my life are my goals for next year and my life. Because without of those, my life becomes chaotic, and a gaps come up in my relationships with loved ones. And ultimately, for me, that’s the most important thing because if you don’t have your loved ones by your side, then what do you have really?

I am beyond blessed in other aspects of my life, yet there is a constant nagging in my heart and mind that there is more I can do. Not for money or fame, but being in service to others. There are so many to connect to, and honestly the scariest part also is being vulnerable which requires baring my soul and thoughts to others as they occur. I spent too much time trying to organize them, but more than not, they end up staying buried and coming up at the worst times possible.

So practicing quiet reflection on a daily basis has become my new mantra. Wish me luck!

Social Silence

untitled1Last few weeks, I am trying something that I have done in the past with great results, but then I go back to it. I deleted all social media apps from my fun, and the relief I felt is hard to describe.  The firehose of negativity suddenly dimmed in my social media life, and I cannot tell you how light and relieved I feel.  That’s not to say I am not going on Facebook, but since its now only desktop based, I check it in the mornings and then am done for the rest of the day. It feels like a controlled fire where it’s manageable, and I am less inclined to feel overwhelmed with the deluge of information and mindless scrolling.

The main benefit is to be stop being annoyed at those who post a lot. That negative conversation has gone from my head. I don’t know if this is avoidance or getting less attached to the phone which because now I only have Words with Friends, and can only look at it so often when there is not social media, no real distraction. The other benefit, less picking up of the phone during conversations with others,  let capturing of activities for others to see how much “fun” I am having. Less ignoring others to look at my phone.

The urge to look at the phone fades, and to interact with others increases. It is not a perfect solution, but it’s one that works for me. The lightness I feel daily is hard to explain except to say that I no longer feel I carry the burden to know everything about others or events. I get to focus on what matters to me for now.  And that’s enough.

What Do I Need a Lawyer For?: Legal Reasons #28

courage-is-the-most-important-attribute-of-a-lawyer-quote-1I get that as a question from many in a somewhat joking manner, but really the undertone is always the same. What can a lawyer do that a laymen not do?  Well, to be fair, I can see the logic in that question, but in the realm of personal injury, family and employment law, knowledge and experience play a key role in ensuring you are not taken advantage. The reality is that Insurance companies notoriously count on non-represented parties to be unaware of what they are actually owned.

In the context of family law, if you have significant assets such as a house or a partner who suddenly empties out the bank accounts before leaving, it is important to have a lawyer to ensure you are able to recover or have your interests defended.

In employment law, if you are an employer in California, it is important to have someone who can update you on the new changes in the law such as recent suitable seating law or the fact on discharge, an employee must be paid all wages due.  Most employees are not aware of the penalties due to them because of improper payment.

So while it may look to you that a lawyer may be overkill, more often  than not, it will be well worth your time to give one a call. Our offices offers free consultations, and even if it’s a small claim, you at least, may get to know if you have a claim, and its potential worth.

Continual Review

quotes-about-moving-forward-0001-6One of the things I have found that works for me is continual review of my vision, goals and ideas. It is easy to set up goals, much, harder to keep at them.  I find that it takes work to ensure you can keep goals. Daily reminders, an accountability buddy and weekly reviews set me up to know what’s working and what’s not.  It is not a whining session or one where I beat myself up when I cannot get to a goal or its below than what I stated, but rather a quick look at what’s working, what’s not and why.

Saying I forgot, I found, is a sign of resistance and fixable when I look at the underlying reasons usually not setting myself to win by not having a reminder or not being prepared for unexpected things.  The other is when I continually do not get to the number I wanted i.e working out 5 days a week. There is no more beating myself up. It is what it is. The fact I got to any number is good. Reviewing continually is not continually beating myself up. There is no right or wrong. Just what is working, and what is not.

The goal is to always move forward, and for that I am truly proud of myself.

Fitness Fairy

l2110756225-1No such thing, now get your ass out there and do something! I know I do this all the time. I fantasize I am back to 190lbs, can dead lift 500 lbs, and have a 6 pack. Yet there is never a plan present to make it happen just thought lazy, delicious thoughts that make me feel warm and fuzzy until I take off my shirt and realized that my 6 pack is buried under a mound of fat. Yet, that’s OK too. You see, while it’s good to have goals, it is not good to berate yourself or that I am not there already.

Slow and steady. Take for example, I went on a great hike with a good friend where we connected and made plans for next year to do more things like this. The bonus was I got to spend quality time with a friend! And that’s what it comes down to. No more needing a fitness fairy to give me a body I don’t need. Just a healthy lifestyle that allows me to enjoy life with limited injury and illness. This is not to say I am giving up on those goals, but that either way I am OK as long as I am working on them and doing things.

I no longer set goals that overwhelm me or make me feel less of a person. There is plenty of time and forgiveness in my goals because what’s the point if I don’t feel good about myself. To that end, this is my list for how I will end 2016. While some of these do not look like fitness, I included emotional and psychological because they make me feel good.

  1. drink 64 oz of water daily 
  2. Work out 5 days a week
  3. Drink on weekends only
  4. Get down to 205lbs
  5. Eat fruit daily
  6. Meditate daily
  7. Write 300 words daily
  8. Call to connect with 2 people weekly
  9. Date night
  10. Write weekly legal blog 
  11. Hike monthly
  12. Do one run before end of year 
  13. Try new activity before end of year.

What does your list look like?

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