Helping You Move In The Right Direction

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Many organizations have been focusing on diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives. Companies are making DEI a top priority in California and around the country. Employees and customers look at a company’s thoughtful and impactful corporate response. DEI tools have expanded into leadership, organizational and legal departments as well. Several new risks to customers and employees have hurt company reputations and brands.

Collected data under DEI umbrella

Diversity, equality and inclusion strategies rely on policies and practices in all aspects of the business. DEI affects all recruiting, training, development and promotion of employees. Comprehensive diversity, equality and inclusion strategies collect, store, transfer and use personal data of applicants and employees. DEI-related data include veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity and gender identity.

The antidiscrimination laws and DEI-related data collection requirements

Employers with over 100 employees have to submit a DEI-related data report by March 31st. Collecting personal identifiers for applicants isn’t required by the law but is often a policy of businesses. Federal courts look at the collected data from the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates entities such as home loan banks by collecting personal data.

Security and privacy implications of DEI-related data

Companies use, transfer, store and collect personal data from applicants and employees. Antidiscrimination laws consider privacy restrictions for select data. The California Consumer Privacy Act has been imposing a broad range of requirements for personal information collection since Jan. 1, 2020. The CPRA includes retention periods of personal information with the notice of collection. Businesses can’t retaliate against employees or independent contractors for exercising the consumer’s rights. The information needs to be voluntary, and the employee should explain the purpose of collection. The questions should be clear, and they should guarantee the confidentiality of the data.

Mass data breaches and phishing scams make implementing security safeguards important. Data security legislation is changing in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. laws protect specific information during a security breach, but not DEI data. Employees are likely to take part in DEI when a company takes the security of personal information seriously. Businesses need to know what DEI-related data they collect and where they store data.

Going into a hostile work environment each day is never easy, and it can lead to intense mental and emotional trauma if not addressed and/or remedied immediately. If you feel as if you are working in a hostile work environment, it is important to protect yourself legally, especially if you are living in the State of California.

What is a hostile work environment?

The term “hostile” can be extremely subjective, as one individual may feel hostile in an environment where others feel completely welcomed and relaxed. In order for a workplace to qualify as “hostile,” discrimination must violate one or more of the following legal acts:

– The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
– The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
– Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

If you believe your workplace is currently violating one of the acts above, you may require additional legal counsel for your particular situation and case to prove the need for more diversity and inclusion.

Examples of a hostile work environment

Defining a hostile work environment is not always simple or straightforward, as individuals tend to interpret various actions and words of others differently from one another. However, some of the most prevalent examples of a hostile work environment that are likely to trigger additional movements for more diversity and inclusion include:

– An employee or an individual in a position of power making sexual comments or jokes that may be deemed offensive due to gender, race, or religion
– A boss or individual in charge makes homophobic/racist/or sexist remarks to staff and other individuals in places of power with no remorse/guilt/shame

If you are being harassed or discriminated against in your own workplace, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel and guidance. The right legal team can help you to better identify and address any discrimination you are facing while working towards improving the workplace for all of your co-workers altogether.

When you operate a California business, it pays to keep your workers happy and comfortable. Part of doing so involves making your workplace a safe and inviting place to be. Yet, certain circumstances have the potential to create an uncomfortable or hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is one such circumstance. So, it often benefits you in the long run – both financially and otherwise – to offer sexual harassment training to your workforce.

Why might you want to consider offering sexual harassment training in your place of business?

It helps you avoid litigation

More than ever, employees are aware of their rights when it comes to speaking up about harassment. In the wake of the #metoo movement, companies paid out an additional $22.5 million in monetary damages over the year prior. Litigation is expensive, but providing sexual harassment training may help you avoid it.

It helps minimize absenteeism

Many employees who are subject to, or who witness, sexual harassment at work find it difficult to return to work each day. This has the potential to breed absenteeism. Productivity decreases when employees fail to show up, and this also means other workers must pick up the slack, which may lead to unnecessary complications and resentment.

It raises morale

Your workers want to feel as if you care about them and want them to feel comfortable in your place of business. By offering sexual harassment training, you are showing them you prioritize maintaining an environment where workers feel safe and included.

There are clear benefits that come with offering sexual harassment training, even if it has not yet been an issue in your business environment.

Lots.

That might easily serve as a shorthand answer to today’s above-posed blog headline query. Indeed, when it comes to making a selection concerning the type of structure a new commercial enterprise should assume, a business principal has a wide menu of choices.

And it pays – both figuratively and literally – to get it right.

We reference business entity selection on our website at the established Bay Area [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-2″]. We stress therein that entrepreneurs’ attention necessarily focuses on both “small details and big-picture planning.”

The combined micro and macro approach to business matters is likely nowhere more on display than with entity choice. How an enterprise will be set up and organized is a fundamental and first-step concern for any owner. Is power sharing contemplated? Will family members be involved? Are tax considerations a top-tier concern? What about liability?

Business structure: multiple formation options to consider

An in-depth online overview of business structures and entity choice underscores the large number and varied types of organizational possibilities that exist. Notwithstanding the sheer variety, that primer points out that business creators often narrow their choices significantly, emphasizing these select models:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Closely held business
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability company
  • Corporation

Each of those possibilities offer pros and cons that link with a principal’s specific needs. If minimizing personal liability is a major concern, for example, LLC and corporate forms offer distinct advantages over other entity structures. Conversely, individuals highly concerned with preserving autonomy and decision-making powers might want to focus more closely upon a sole proprietorship or other closely run business.

Matters like taxation, raising capital and distributing profits and losses are also centrally important to many business creators.

The bottom line concerning entity formation stresses timeliness and proper due diligence. A proven business law attorney can provide sound and tailored advice that promotes an entrepreneur’s likelihood of success from the outset.

California has unquestionably stood tall as a beacon of hope and new opportunities for vast numbers of Americans for decades.

The state commands the country’s largest and most diverse population. The California economy spotlights a breadth and depth unrivaled virtually anywhere else on earth. Indeed, many estimates posit that California’s business might is on par with that of the world’s most productive nations.

When commercial entrepreneurs, would-be start-up owners and established company principals think of the state’s unique business dynamism, their thoughts often turn to Northern California.

Specifically one broad and richly varied region, which we spotlight on our website at the [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-2″]. We stress therein that, “Few places equal the Bay Area when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Our firm’s principal attorney has helped business clients kindle that spirit and launch successful enterprises for more than 30 years. The on-point and results-oriented legal guidance and representation we provide to business actors and entities across a broad spectrum comprehensively addresses matters ranging from formation to dissolution and succession planning.

Among other things, we help company principals determine what type of business entity will best promote opportunity and sustained profitability. We closely assist clients in negotiations and with drafting tightly crafted and tailored contracts. We help business principals deal proactively and effectively with wide-ranging labor law concerns. We mediate disputes and, when necessary, help resolve them through forceful litigation.

The bottom line: Our representation promotes clients’ best interests across a virtual universe of commercial challenges and opportunities.

We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to discuss the proven and impassioned work we do on behalf of a valued and diverse clientele.

Business owners often feel they need to walk on eggshells. That’s because the potential for lawsuits are everywhere. Whether it’s over employees, binding contracts or accusations from customers, litigation can leave businesses financially battered and bruised.

Because of these risks, many businesses are now turning to alternative dispute resolution as a more timely and affordable method of handling disagreements.

Litigation can damage finances and relationships

No matter how a conflict starts, settling matters in the courtroom can be stressful and expensive for both parties. As court proceedings can take a long time and the attorney fees increase, disputants may end up feeling more resentful of one another after proceedings are done.

Looking at other options

Alternative dispute resolution comes in several forms, but the two primary methods are mediation and arbitration. In mediation, parties talk out their disputes with a neutral moderator in hopes of forming an amicable agreement. In arbitration, disputants express their frustrations about one another with an arbitrator. Once the arbitrator gathers information from both parties, they can present an award based on the evidence.

Benefits of ADR

These are some advantages of using alternative dispute resolution:

  • Saves the business time by avoiding long hours in the courtroom.
  • Saves the business money as mediation and arbitration costs can be more affordable.
  • It can give businesses more control over the case and outcome of the dispute instead of leaving it up to a judge.
  • It can save the business from damaging relationships vital to its operation. However, the circumstances may differ based on the dispute.

ADR can save businesses time and money

Businesses thrive on a combination of sweat equity, relationship building and profits. When businesses use a less hostile approach to settle disputes, they can reach an agreement and keep operations running smoothly. If you’re a business and are currently considering litigation, talk to an attorney to see if alternative dispute resolution works for your situation.