Employee Classification Issues For New Companies

There are several major issues facing all start-up companies relating to their workforce. This Newsletter shall provide a quick overview of three of these issues. Employee or Independent Contractor. Many new companies want to classify their workers as independent contractors because they believe that having independent contractors will simplify payroll administration by not having to withhold federal and state income taxes and social security and medicare taxes, save money on employment related taxes, and thatRead More…


A company’s trade secrets are valuable and often provide a business with a competitive edge. However, not all information used by a business qualifies as a trade secret. Under California law, a “trade secret” is a company’s proprietary and confidential information, including: formulas, programs, methods, techniques, processes, designs, plans, business knowledge and operational information, customer lists, financial information, and business plans.


Many employers desire to impose dress and grooming standards for their employees to ensure their employees present a clean and professional image to customers. Generally, an employer has the right to establish standards for the personal appearance of its employees, as long as the standards do not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion or race, and the standards are applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.


An employee handbook sets forth the policies of the business. Since it is given to all new employees upon starting employment, it is an important tool for establishing good communication between the company and the employee. There are many reasons for a company to have an employee handbook, including the following: Efficient Communication. An employee handbook will reduce the time that management spends answering questions from employees, since many of the answers relating to companyRead More…


Under both federal and state law, an employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee based upon national origin or ancestry. However, a recent case shows that such discrimination does not have to be based upon the employee’s physical or genetically determined characteristics such as skin color or physical traits. In El-Hakem v. BJY, Inc., the claim of discrimination was based upon the chief executive officer’s repeated use of a non-Arabic name instead of theRead More…