Articles Posted in Employment

AdobeStock_333866940-300x200The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020.  It includes provisions that are helpful to individuals who find themselves laid off by their employers during this unprecedented time.

The law adds an additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits from the federal government on top of whatever benefits one would be entitled under state law.  In California, that means individuals could receive up to $1,050 per week, from the date the CARES Act was signed up until July 31, 2020.

The CARES Act also provides for one-time payments to individuals and families.  Individuals making $75,000 per year or less can expect a payment of $1,200.  Married couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000 can expect $2,400, in addition to a $500 payment for each child.  The amounts paid out decrease depending on how much one earns and completely phase-out for individuals earning more than $99,000 and married couples earning more than $198,000.

AdobeStock_328389408-300x183In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. federal government passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at softening the economic distress suffered by American businesses and individuals.  The massive stimulus package authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

When can you apply?

Starting Friday, April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other specified expenses through Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders.  Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive similar loans.

Covid-19-Adobe-Stock-Photo-300x171In response to the unprecedented challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, several Federal and State laws have been passed to assist businesses during these difficult times.  Some cities have enacted ordinances, and certain companies have announced programs to assist their customers in dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 virus.  These programs include:

Federal Programs

  • The Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck-Protection-Program-300x156The U.S. Business Administration (“SBA”) has implemented the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides $349 billion in administered loan and loan forgiveness relief to small businesses in financial need.  Small businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible to participate in the program, in addition to sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals.  The Paycheck Protection Program offers loans up to $10 million for business expenses including payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and certain group health plan fees.  Business that elect to participate in the program are not required to provide collateral or show that their financial hardship is related to the COVID-19 crisis.  The Paycheck Protection Program offers a 6-month grace period in which lenders are obligated to defer loan payments.  Further, business that use their loan on payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities in the 8-week span after the loan is funded can be forgiven up to the full amount of the loan.  This forgiven amount is considered taxable income.  The Paycheck Protection Program will expire on June 30, 2020.

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To schedule your consultation with one of our San Jose business attorneys, call Structure Law Group, LLP today at 408-441-7500 or contact us online.

 

AdobeStock_330935716-300x169Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential businesses have been shut down, resulting in an unprecedented economic downfall for many employers.  In efforts to provide relief for employers, the government has passed the CARES Act, which will allow employers to save costs by deferring their Social Security payroll tax (6.2%) payments.  This deferral period applies to employee wages accrued between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  Once the deferral period has passed, the employer will be obligated to pay the “deferred amounts” to the U.S. Treasury in two installments.  The first half of the deferred amount of payroll taxes will be due on December 31, 2021, while the remaining half will be due on December 31, 2022.  The CARES Act also applies to all employers regardless of their sizes, including individuals who are self-employed.  The only exception is employers who have already received Small Business Act loans that are forgiven under the Cares Act.  These employers do not qualify for the payroll tax deferral.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Silicon Valley Business Attorney

Contact Structure Law Group at (408) 441-7500. Our experienced Silicon Valley business lawyers know how to prevent business disputes and proactively address other business issues.

AdobeStock_332772649-300x200In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has agreed to disburse Emergency Economic Injury Grants of up to $10,000 to companies experiencing financial struggles.  Small business owners that apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan are eligible to receive the grants, which do not need to be repaid.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that provide crucial economic support to businesses dealing with loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

Companies that apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be provided immediate economic relief by the $10,000 economic injury grant.  Sole proprietors, landlords, vendors and self-employed contractors are all considered small businesses eligible to apply for the disaster loan.

AdobeStock_238081258-300x200Employee relations can create complicated legal issues for any California company. Hiring, daily operations, performance reviews, and termination all create situations in which your company or your employee may face impaired legal rights. By clearing stating each party’s rights and responsibilities in a written document that is freely available to all employees, your company can reduce the likelihood of legal disputes. The experienced employment attorneys at Structure Law Group have helped many California companies reduce their employment liability by writing employee handbooks. Call (408) 441-7500 to schedule your consultation today.

Here are three common mistakes employers make when drafting an employee handbook:

  • Not updating it to reflect changes in employment law.

AdobeStock_107108541-300x199Twenty years ago, the term “social media” meant an AOL instant message chat that likely wasn’t addressed in your employee handbook. But today, social media policies are workplace handbook essentials. Your employees may promote your company in one tweet while supporting viewpoints contrary to your corporate policies in the next. Use of social media platforms on work-based systems and networks is also a point of contention for many employers. In some rare instances, employees throughout the nation have even used social media on employer-supplied computers to conduct illegal activities.  Issues arise in Court because social media posts are not treated any differently than any other documentary evidence in a case, and all documents—unlike person-to-person conversations, live forever and can be spun and taken out of context.

Given the fast-evolving social media landscape, social media policies are no longer really optional if employers want to have a well-run businesses. You have the right to regulate your employees’ use of work-based systems.  An experienced California employment lawyer at Structure Law Group, LLP can help you draft employment agreements to protect you from potential social media disasters.

Defining Social Media in Your Employee Handbook

AdobeStock_152432443-300x200Human resources is a growing industry primarily because of the complicated federal, state, and local employment laws applicable to all businesses. From tax withholding and worker’s compensation insurance to non-discriminant hiring practices and immigration considerations, the hiring process can quickly overwhelm a business. The following specifications highlight the primary employment law considerations applicable to any growing companies. Although this list will be helpful, you should contact a qualified employment law attorney in your local jurisdiction as soon as you identify the need to hire employees, as there are even laws that apply to the advertising process.

Insurance Requirements

Companies consisting only of contractors and non-employee owners are not subject to the same health, disability, unemployment, liability, and worker’s compensation insurance requirements applicable to “employers.” While carrying liability insurance, such as renters or property insurance, is always a best practice and may be required by local law, federal and state law requires employers to carry the following insurance:

AdobeStock_125549643-300x200Employee benefits can be goods, services, or deferred compensation provided to employees in addition to wages. Federal law governs certain mandatory employee benefits, such as sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), while other benefits are voluntary perks of employment. In addition to the minimum requirements required by federal law, many states, including California require additional benefits.

For example, California requires employers to pay into or carry short-term disability insurance. Understanding mandatory employee benefits and the laws governing the same are crucial to starting a business in California. Business of all sizes that fail to adhere to federal and state employee benefits regulations may face costly litigation and/or tax penalties.

Types of Employee Benefits  

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