A Beautiful Soul

dads-store-closing-031I cannot believe you are gone. No more ” Papa loves you.”  No more hugs. No more music distribution. No more Ziba Music. Selfishness reigns my body, and I just want you back. But you went on your terms. In your hometown while celebrating your 50th anniversary with the love of your life. You taught me what romantic love is. I got the love of music from you. You never ever missed an opportunity to tell us how you felt.

When I think about it, I got to spend the most of time with you Papa. You supported every stupid or exciting idea I had. From promoting parties, making cds, or just buying titles for the store. You were the first to hug me when I decided to practice law. You always smiled when I called you Padre. I was the one of the few who could borrow your car or a video from the your music room, and you wouldn’t complain.

These are the things that are flashing in mind, as I sit here in tears, reflecting on what a great father you were. You never held back your feelings. There is so much of you in me, but you were always the better man. Always smiling. Always making others laugh. Always finding my friends who you liked and ensuring you talked to them.

They say you find the good qualities when someone passes, but for that I am glad we got to share them before you left. My last hug and kiss from you was in London where we all were. These are the things that flash through me. Your never-ending smile. Your enjoyment of retirement to the fullest.  Your naps. Your walks. Your burning cds and then USBs for us. You shared your joy with us. For that, I am forever grateful.

I miss you, Papa.



Does Being Salaried Mean No Overtime? Legal Reasons #23

labor-law-300x225More often than not, many assume that because they are salaried, they are not entitled to overtime.  Because it is highly litigated, understanding the distinction between exempt and nonexempt employees is critical. Generally, exempt employees are your key personnel who possess management and decision-making responsibilities.

Always assume employees are nonexempt unless they clearly meet the job duties of an exempt position and will earn at least two times the current minimum wage on a monthly basis. I

An exempt employee is normally an executive, administrative or professional employee. Other exempt employee types include some inside and outside salespeople. All other employees generally fall under the nonexempt category. All nonexempt employees are covered by the state and federal wage and hour laws. To avoid paying overtime premiums, an employee must be exempt from the overtime requirements of both state and federal law.

Job Title Irrelevant to Employee Status

Job titles alone do not designate an employee as exempt or nonexempt. An employee with an impressive job title may not qualify as an exempt employee if his/her actual duties do not meet the exemption requirements. An employee who performs routine bookkeeping tasks does not become an exempt employee when given the title “controller” rather than “bookkeeper.” Giving an employee the title of “store manager” does not make him/her exempt if he/she opens or closes the store alone, serves customers, maintains merchandise displays and performs the work of a retail clerk.

Salary Requirements for Exempt Employees

Exempt employees generally must earn a minimum monthly salary of no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment, and the salary must be a pre-determined sum. There are different rules for some employees, such as physicians, computer professionals and outside salespersons. However, placing an employee on a salary does not exempt that employee from wage and hour laws. A nonexempt employee placed on a “salary” earns overtime just as hourly wage earners do.

The following topics describe some of the more important issues you should consider regarding an exempt employee’s salary.

Minimum Salary for Exempt Employees

The minimum monthly salary for most exempt executive, administrative and professional employees is no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment — $3,466.67 per month effective January 1, 2016. To calculate this amount, multiply the state minimum wage by the number of hours a full-time employee works in one year. Divide the result by 12 months.

The California minimum wage rate increased to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016. The exemptminimum salary requirement is based on the current state minimum wage, not any applicable local minimum wage

The minimum salary calculation is:

  • California minimum wage = $10.00/hour
  • Number of hours a full-time employee works in a week = 40
  • Number of weeks in a year = 52
  • Number of hours a full-time employee works in a year = 40 x 52 = 2,080
  • Minimum annual salary for a full-time exempt employee beginning January 1, 2016 = $10.00 x 2 = $20 x 2,080 = $41,600
  • Minimum monthly salary for a full-time exempt employee beginning January 1, 2016 = $41,600 ÷ 12 = $3,466.67


Breathing Easy

take-a-breath-and-let-the-rest-come-easy-quoteBeen a few days back from London, and it hit me how crazy the past month has been. From two weddings, to moving, to being out of the country, there hasn’t been much time to reflect or do my habits of meditating, and working out or even going to work regularly.  For a while, I indulged in feeling guilting until it began to feel suffocating. I realized that I had this fear of slipping back into gaining weight and over thinking things or disappointing co-workers and clients,.  I paused, and really focused that this was a temporary break not me taking a step back.

Sometimes, I make up scenarios in my head that are way worse than reality, and I now get to take a pause, ground myself, and trust that I will always head back to my chosen path. I get to trust myself, but more important, I get to accept that nothing is in my control and I can waste time bemoaning how the present is, or accept for what it: now.

So I take a breath. Take it in. And trust that it will all work out. It always has.


DO’s After An Car Accident: Legal Reasons #22

  1. Make a police report after an accident, unless the damages are minimal. If practical, do not move your car until the police arrive at the scene.
  2. Get the following information from the other driver: his name, address, driver’s license number, home phone, work phone, cell phone, vehicle license plate, insurance company’s name and policy number. (Look at his driver’s license for verification).
  3. Get the following information from all witnesses at the scene: their names, addresses and telephone numbers. Do not rely on the police to get this information. Take photos of the damage to your car and of the accident scene. It is important to take pictures from different angles, and before any repairs are made.
  4. Notify the DMV. In California, the DMV must be notified of any accident where there has been (1) an injury (no matter how small), (2) death, or (3) property damage in excess of $750. ** CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE DMV SR1 REPORT**. This must be filled out, printed and mailed to the DMV within 10 days of the date of your accident, regardless of whether the accident occurred on public or private property. (Please note that your insurance company is not obligated to file this report for you.)
  5. If you were injured, it is extremely important that you see a medical provider immediately. People who wait days, weeks or even months before seeing a doctor jeopardize their claim. Insurance companies will frequently deny claims or make extremely low settlement offers in cases where there has been a significant gap in time between the accident and the date of first medical treatment.
  6. If you experience continued pain as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to compensation for all pain and suffering you are expected to endure in the future.
  7. Notify your insurance company of the accident even if the other party is at fault. if you have collision coverage, then have your own insurance company cover damages to your vehicle, for the following reasons: (1) your company owes you a duty to promptly and fairly settle your property damage in good faith. However, the other parties insurance company has no such duty and can drag its feet in responding to your demand and make low ball offers. (2) If the other party is at fault, your insurance company will be able to get your deductible back from the other party. And if you were not at fault, using your collision coverage will not effect your insurance rates.
  8. Assuming the accident was the fault of the other driver, his insurance company is responsible for the reasonable cost of a rental vehicle for a reasonable period of time while your car is being repaired. Numerous issues come up when dealing with the other person’s carrier. If your own policy has rental car reimbursement coverage, check your policy. (Please note that when you rent your vehicle that the insurance company will not reimburse you for any extra insurance or collision deductible waivers which you purchase from the car rental.)
  9. Keep a diary of all your injuries, pain and emotional feelings. Remember that this information will fade from your memory with the passage of time. And your case may not settle for months, so the diary will be beneficial to refresh your memory of what type of pain and emotional distress you experienced after your accident. Tell friends and family about the pain that you are experience, but do not discuss the details of the accident with them.
  10. Remember that in California you are entitled to recover lost wages for the time you were off work, even if you used your sick pay or received other disability benefits.
  11. Keep all records, physical evidence or photos, and submit them to your personal injury attorney.

Amazing Moments

memory-moment-quotes-text-true-favim-com-304955As I sit in the sunny London (never thought I would say that), I am grateful for the laugh filled moments that I have had so far. There is a bit of tug in my heart to head home (in 2 days) yet more than it is with some awe that I realize what amazing family I have. The moments shared will definitely become part of retelling the time we came for my parents 50th anniversary and my cousin’s 50th birthday (both amazing functions).

Yet more than anything else, it is with gratitude and love that I see now that my extended family ensures we get together more often, share more laughs, more moments to think about so we have more memories together. I am truly blessed to have people in my life who wish to be part of it and who go above and beyond to ensure that our loved ones have the best things in life.

Already the sunlight glances off the keyboard, and I am struck with London’s beauty but more than I am grateful for these amazing moments.