Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Stretching My Mind With Gratitude

This weekend, I got a chance to go to two holiday parties, a brunch with my old leadership group and then ended the night with family time with my cousins. It was a great reminder that when I open myself up to new experiences, new relationships form, and older ones get stronger. I joined BNI out of a fear of public speaking and networking and my crossfit gym because of my fear of free weights. Thanks to the Legacy Program of MITT, I got a chance to reunited with my old friends, and it energized me to do more for 2018!

The previous week I attended my writer’s critique group holiday party where it re-energized my commitment to continue writing and begin submitting my work to contests. I realize now that it takes work to be part of so many things, but they all serve me in so many ways. I got a chance to volunteer much more than previous years, and I am grateful that I have adopted the attitude of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

I want to live a life of transformation and giving back. I want intimate time with loved ones, but most of all I want to live a life of my creation that is not filled with regret, doubt and resentment.  Yes, there are rough days. Days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, or even facing my fears. But it is on those days when I get up that I am better for it. Failure is an option, but it doesn’t have to be the default choice.

Happy Monday!

employment law, Legal

New California Labor Laws for 2018

Here are some of the more significant labor laws that take effect on January 1, 2018:

Conviction History of Applicants (AB 1008)

A number of other states have already enacted what is popularly known as “ban-the-box” laws, which limit an employers’ ability to review and consider a job applicant’s prior criminal conviction history.  The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has now been amended to prohibit employers with five or more workers from:

  • Including on any application for employment questions that seek the disclosure of an applicant’s conviction history before making a conditional offer of employment to the applicant.
  • To inquire into, or consider the conviction history of the applicant, including any inquiry about conviction history on any employment application, until after the employer has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant.
  • To consider, distribute, or disseminate certain information while conducting a conviction history background check in connection with any application for employment


Salary Inquiry Limits – Applicant’s Prior Salary History (AB 168) 

AB 168 enacts Labor Code section 432.3, which prohibits California employers from asking job applicants about their salary history, including any benefits and other compensation information from previous employment.

While California employers cannot currently use an applicant’s prior salary to justify any disparity in compensation, the inclusion of section 432.3 now keeps employers asking about salary history when interviewing, or making a job offer to applicants. If an applicant voluntarily provides their salary history, then an employer can use that information for salary consideration.  Section 432.3 also requires employers to provide the pay scale of a position to an applicant, which makes California the first state to do so.

New Parent Leave Act (SB 63)

The “New Parent Leave Act,” extends CFRA rights to employees working at locations with at least 20 employees within a 75 mile radius. The California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) had already provided child bonding parental leave to employees at companies with 50 or more employees. This has now been expanded to small businesses with the recent California Senate Bill 63.

Essentially the same as the California Family Rights Act, the bill establishes that an employee must have at least 12 months of service with a covered employer. The employee must have at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period in order to take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The purpose of the leave is to allow an employee time to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. 

Immigration Worker Protection Act (AB 450)

Assembly Bill 450, “the Immigration Worker Protection Act”, prohibits employers from allowing federal immigration enforcement officials to access non-public areas of a work place without a judicial warrant. Governor Brown recently signed legislation limiting the coordination between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration officials. AB 450 was drafted to mirror this effort.

The Act also prohibits an employer from voluntarily allowing an immigration enforcement agent to access, review or obtain employee records without a court order or subpoena. The Act provides the following exceptions to this prohibition:

  • Employment Eligibility Verification forms and other documents for which a Notice of Inspection has been provided to the employer.
  • Instances where federal law requires employers to provide access to records.

If employees are to be subject to an agency’s inspection the Act requires employers to provide sufficient notice that must also meet specific content requirements in order to be compliant.

Harassment Training on Gender Identity, Expression & Sexual Orientation (SB 396)

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits the harassment of an employee directly by the employer or indirectly by agents of the employer with the employer’s knowledge.  Senate Bill 396 amends Sections 12950 and 12950.1 of the Government Code, and Sections 14005 and 14012 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to employment.

SB 396 requires California employers with 50 or more employees to expand their mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to include the topics of “gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.” This training, which is conducted biennially for supervisory and managerial employees, must include practical examples to address such harassment. Employers must also post a DFEH-approved poster for all employees to review regarding transgender rights.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Last Month of 2017

It’s so strange to think that in a few short weeks, 2017 will be in the history books.  I spent some time thinking of what worked and what didn’t, and how some things happened that I never could have imagined. In some ways, it will be impossible to not think of 2017 as we lost my aunt who spread so much joy and sunshine when she came in. It is easy to wallow in grief, yet neither my father and her would stand for it.

I looked at my declarations, and I have to say I got better in some ways, but not so much in others. Which just tells me that I get to work not harder but smarter. Too often, it’s easy to give reasons why something didn’t happen, but more often than not, it came down to choices. I chose fear and avoidance when being present and calm would have served me better. I chose procrastination when action was the way to go. I chose avoidance and denial when confrontation and discussion would have moved things along. Yet while the negative stays close at hand, I am much happier in my positive efforts.

I gave of myself till it hurt. I stretched myself in ways I never imagine. I did uncomfortable things to move my vision along. I acknowledged when I did not follow through. I got better at some things, and not at others. And you know what, it’s okay. It’s okay. It gives me reason to look forward to ending 2017 on a strong note and beginning 2018 with purpose and passion!

Happy Monday.



Negligence, DUIs in California: Legal Reasons #61

f you were injured in a DUI-related accident in California you may be able to pursue damages from the intoxicated driver through a personal injury lawsuit. Most DUI-related personal injury claims are filed on the basis of the negligence of the intoxicated driver. The claim, however, will depend on whether the intoxicated driver was charged with Driving Under the Influence.

Negligence Per Se. If the driver that caused your accident was arrested for and/or charged with driving under the influence, your lawsuit for damages will be based on negligence per se. Negligence per se means:

  • The driver violated a statute, ordinance, or public regulation;
  • The violation was the proximate cause of the injury or death in question; and
  • The injury or death resulted from behavior that the statute, ordinance, or public regulation was designed to prevent.

An arrest for and/or charge of DUI in California does most of the groundwork for a civil suit for damages. The first prong of the required elements is taken care of by the arrest and/or DUI charges. The victim must prove that the injuries sustained – or live(s) lost – are a direct result of the driver getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Damages in DUI Personal Injury Cases

Victims of drunk driving accident cases can file a personal injury claim to recover damages for their injuries. Additionally, families of victims who were killed in drunk driving accidents may file wrongful death lawsuits to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one. Damages are generally broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are those awarded for calculable, verifiable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the victim and/or his or her family. These often include medical expenses, surgery, rehabilitation, hospital bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, and funeral costs.

Non-economic damages are those awarded for injuries that are hard to value. Non-economic damages may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages for Driving Under the Influence in California

Punitive damages are generally not available in California personal injury cases. However, the state has carved out an exception for drunk driving personal injury lawsuits. In a 1979 cause, the California Supreme Court heldthat punitive damages may be “recoverable from an intoxicated automobile driver, because the person who voluntarily drinks and does drugs knowing they will drive demonstrates a conscious and deliberate disregard of the safety of other persons.”


Food For Thought, Inpsiration

Resistance is Futile

It’s funny how time changes perspective, but it’s not just time, but also shifting out of my shit. When I actually step back and see how  much I resist something that is good for me, good things begin to happen. Part of my resistance to change is that I have many things I have taken on, and I wish to ensure I can still do them. It hit me that those are all choices, and if I still choose them I just get to do them in a different matter or at a different time. When I shifted, suddenly things got easier. The pressure on my chest eased, and then I wonder what the hell was I fighting so hard for anyway.

It hits me that as I stretch and become comfortable being uncomfortable, change is inevitable and resistance is futile. Life will be never the same as always especially when I want to live a life of vision and transformation. So I go back to acceptance, and I realize I have a strong team around me that won’t let me fall no matter how much I fight them because they seem in my greatness when I am wallowing in my shittiness.

Happy Monday.

P.S: I Love You. You know who you all are!


Why You May Need an Attorney: Legal Reasons #60

Whether you need an attorney to start your business depends in large part on what legal type of business you are starting. The simpler the business, the less need for an attorney. Let’s look at the various business legal types:

Sole proprietorship – This business type doesn’t require you to register with a state. You probably don’t need an attorney to start this business type, since no specific paperwork is required, outside of any local business licenses. 

Partnership or LLC – These business types must register with a state. Other documents must be prepared, like a partnership agreement or LLC operating agreement. You may be able to register online with your state or use an online service to register your business. If your business is at all complicate, it’s a good idea to use an attorney to help you start these business types.

Corporation or S Corporation – These businesses must register with a state, must prepare bylaws and other documents, and have a more complicated ownership structure. You almost certainly need to use an attorney to help you start these business types. (Note: The S corporation starts as a corporation then elects S corporation status.)

  • If you are being sued, it’s too late. Most small businesses put off hiring a lawyer until the sheriff is standing at the door serving them with a summons. Bad mistake. The time to hook up with a good business lawyer is before you are sued. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it’s too late–the problem has already occurred, and it’s just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, attorneys’ fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved.