New Minimum Wages 2017

CALIFORNIA    On January 1, 2017, California’s minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees will continue to pay the current minimum wage of $10 per hour.  There are a few minor exceptions.

If you have employees working in one of the following California cities (this may include temporary work assignments), the higher wage rate will be applicable.  Check frequently the Code with each City where your employees work; the rules are constantly changing.  Also, many Cities have minor exemptions.  The City of Campbell just passed its own minimum wage rate…details TBA soon.  Below is a reference chart of current minimum wage rates:

California – All Employers $10.00
  • Starting January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in California will vary depending on the size of the employer
California – Small Employers (25 or Fewer) $10.00
California – Large Employers (26 or More) $10.00
Berkeley $12.53
El Cerrito $11.60
Emeryville – Small Employers (55 or Fewer) $13.00
Emeryville – Large Employers (56 or More) $14.82
Los Angeles – Small Employers (25 or Fewer) N/A
Los Angeles – Large Employers (26 or More) $10.50
Los Angeles County – Small Employers (25 or Fewer) N/A
Los Angeles County – Large Employers (26 or More) $10.50
Mountain View $11.00
Oakland $12.55
Pasadena – Small Employers (25 or Fewer) N/A
Pasadena – Large Employers (26 or More) $10.50
Richmond $11.522
Sacramento – Small Employers (100 or Fewer) N/A
Sacramento – Large Employers (More Than 100) N/A
San Diego $10.50
San Francisco $13.00
San Jose $10.30
Sunnyvale $11.00

New San Francisco Office Location

We are pleased to announce that on August 15, 2014, the Pascal Anastasi, Esq., of the Anastasi Law Firm opened a new office location in San Francisco to better serve clients in what is known as the most beautiful city in the world…San Francisco.  The new office is conveniently located just two blocks from Union Square at 565 Geary Street, Suite 402, San Francisco, CA 94102, 415.991.0771.

The Anastasi Law Firm now has three convenient office locations to serve its important clients:  CAMPBELL serving the San Jose area, CAPITOLA, serving the Santa Cruz area, and now SAN FRANCISCO.  Our Client’s time is just as important as our time.

Call 831.475.0771 for an appointment at any of our three office locations.

Corporations New and Old: Keeping The Shield Up

Corporations formed for small and medium sized business operation have many great advantages. The primary advantage is that the shareholders (the true owners) get to protect all of their personal assets from adverse financial situations that may occur during the course of the business operations. This is known as the “corporate shield”.

This would include an uninsured or underinsured “incident”, other legal contests and business failure. Only the investment of the shareholder and the assets of the corporation would be subjected to such an unfortunate business situation. The personal assets of the shareholders would remain safe, unless….

Whether it is a new corporation or one that has been operating for many years, it is vital that diligent efforts are made to Keep the Shield Up! If you don’t, the shareholder’s assets become exposed to liability. The key is to 1) adhere to corporate formalities and 2) avoid what is known as allowing a “unity of interest” to occur.

Corporate formalities are not a big deal, but they have to be done. I have repaired countless entities formed with only the filing of the Articles — no Bylaws, no Minutes, no issuance of stock. The status of such an entity is essentially “non-existent”, and it would take any lawyer about three seconds to attack and win a judgment against the shareholders.

Corporate Minutes are not hard to do, but they need to be done. At the very least, the corporation needs to have written annual minutes summarizing the significant transactions during to the past year, re-electing officers, and approving financial reports for the company.

The unity of interest issue occurs when the shareholders fail to treat the entity as a separate, legal and distinct entity. The most common failure is when shareholder and corporate “loans” go back and forth between the two without any promissory notes or corporate minutes. If a third party looks at the actions of the shareholder and corporation and sees just one…the shield is gone. Be smart; it’s your livelihood.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS…Real or just a Label?

Attention Business Owners:
Do you have any independent contractors (IC) doing work for your company? Ask yourself honestly, is the independent contractor real or just a label? In the legal system, merely labeling a person IC if often spelled: L I A B I L I T Y. Just because “everyone is doing it” does not make it legal.

Today, one of the most litigated case types in California is IC misclassification. It is what the military would call a “target rich environment”. The IRS has converted 100,000 internal processors to field agents focused on Small Businesses. Why? The Government has found IC and tax audits of Small Businesses tends to be very…profitable.

The business owner has the burden to prove a worker is a real IC. How? Legal “Tests” are used to determine IC status. Unfortunately, there are numerous tests involving a multitude of factors and subjective factual analysis. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employment Development Department (EDD), Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) and lawyers in Civil Actions, all use slightly different tests when evaluating IC/employee status.

The State of California, Dept of Industrial Relations admits, “it is possible that the same individual may be considered an employee for purposes of one law and an independent contractor under another law.”

The consequences for misclassification are huge and include, payment of the worker’s Federal and State income tax that should have been withheld, unemployment taxes, overtime, meal periods, 100% liability for Worker’s Comp claim, liability for worker’s negligence, interest, fines, penalties, and in some cases, imprisonment.

Seriously, Independent Contractor status classification can be high-risk decision process. Is it worth it? Can you afford to be wrong? Because the potential liabilities and penalties are significant, each working relationship should be thoroughly researched and analyzed, preferably before it is established. Do not wait until it is too late. Litigation is too expensive. Be proactive. It is your business. Protect it.