San Diego Attorney
(619) 566-6985 or (760) 888-1227

Employment and Hiring

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Employment and Hiring

Experienced business owners know hiring employees can be a very rewarding process, but also very challenging.  On one hand, adding employees is a sign that your business is growing, and the contribution it makes to the community and to the economy is a positive experience for any business owner.  On the other hand, the challenges faced by employers in today’s business environment, especially in California, can become overwhelming.   California employers are regulated more than any other employers in the country.  There are countless labor and employment laws affecting businesses of all sizes, and they grow increasingly complex with the addition of each new employee.  Without an experienced labor and employment attorney guiding your business’ employment and hiring practices, you may quickly find your business on the wrong end of an employment dispute.

At Tailored Legal, our experienced business attorneys can help you create sound employment policies and develop safe hiring practices within your business that will minimize the risk of liability to your business for employment related matters.  Through our employment and hiring services, we can help you with areas such as:

The Hiring Process

We can review your hiring process to ensure your business is complying with California’s most restrictive equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination laws.  We will ensure your business is using all hiring documents required by both California and federal labor laws, and we will customize hiring documents for the needs of your particular business and industry.

Employee Handbooks and Manuals

Employee handbooks can be a very useful tool and are generally recommended for nearly every employer.  They help employers and employees avoid misunderstandings by setting expectations for the employment relationship and by clearly defining employment policies.  A comprehensive employee manual drafted by an experienced employment attorney will address all major employment policies, including:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policy;
  • Employment at Will;
  • Introductory or Probationary Periods;
  • Hours of Work, Overtime, and Compensation;
  • Vacation, Holidays, Sick Leave, and Paid Time Off;
  • Disability Leave;
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave;
  • Termination and Discipline;
  • Policy Against Harassment;
  • Workplace Violence;
  • Company Property, Confidential and Personal Information;
  • Blogging, Mobile Devices, Social Media and Other Technology Policies;
  • Dress and Grooming Standards;
  • Performance and Pay Review;
  • Conflicts of Interest.

A Tailored Legal attorney can help review your employment policies and your employee handbook to ensure your business is protected and your employees have the information they need to create a positive work environment.

Employees versus Independent Contractors

Employers routinely misclassify employees and independent contractors.  Sometimes the misclassification is intentional to avoid payroll taxes, while often times it is completely innocent due to a simple misunderstanding of employment laws.  Either way, the fines and penalties imposed by the Employment Development Department (EDD), the Franchise Tax Board, and the IRS can be severe.  Recently, the IRS announced it would crack down on employee misclassification so don’t let your business fall into this trap.  The fines and other penalties imposed upon your business for misclassifying an employee can be far more severe than the cost of additional employment taxes and other payroll expenses associated with the addition of one or more employees.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a 1099 employee.  In fact, the term is an oxymoron. A person engaged to provide services to your business is either an employee or an independent contractor.  Employees are paid wages from which employers are required to withhold payroll taxes, and they receive a W-2 at the end of the tax year.  Employers are generally not required to withhold any taxes from payments made to independent contractors and they issue a 1099 to the contractor at the end of the tax year.  Sometimes, the differences between an employee and an independent contractor can be subtle.  In those cases, an analysis by a competent business and employment attorney can help you avoid running into trouble with the IRS or EDD.  There is no bright line rule to distinguish between an employee and an independent contractor.  Instead, the IRS conducts a balancing test, considering such factors as:

  • Behavior and Control: Does the company have the right to control the way the worker performs his or her services?
  • Financial: Does the worker provide his or her own tools and supplies?  Is the worker reimbursed for expenses associated with his or her services?  Does the business have the right to control other financial aspects of the relationship, including how the worker is paid?
  • Type of Relationship:  Is there a contract defining the relationship between the business and the worker?  Does the worker receive benefits that are traditionally reserved for employees such as vacation pay, insurance or retirement?

The IRS will consider all of these factors when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor and your business can avoid the potential penalties and fines by addressing these issues prior to beginning a new relationship.  Compliance is always a better and cheaper long-term strategy than trying to cut costs by disregarding employment laws.  If you are uncertain whether your workers are properly classified, you should speak to Tailored Legal’s skilled employment and labor attorney today.

Employment Contracts

Many business owners think employment contracts are exclusively reserved for executives, athletes, and corporate officers.  The truth is employment contracts can be useful tools for any employment relationship, from hourly employees earning $10.00 per hour, to salary or incentive and commission based employees earning six-figure salaries.  Employment contracts define the terms of employment with each particular employee, which can minimize the cost of future employment disputes, and can eliminate some employment disputes altogether.  The most successful business owners understand the benefits of employment contracts and use them to define certain aspects of the employment relationship, including:

  • Rate of pay and other forms of compensation;
  • Hours;
  • Term or At-Will;
  • Intellectual property rights;
  • Non-Competition;
  • Non-Solicitation;
  • Protection of confidential information of the employer;
  • Protection of employer property.

At Tailored Legal, we can work with you to customize employment contracts for use with your hourly, salary, and incentive/commission based employees.   We can also review your current employment contracts to ensure they comply with current state and federal laws.   Schedule your no cost consultation with a Tailored Legal attorney today, and we will help you decide whether employment contracts are right for your business.

Employee Termination and Severance

Most employers know there is a cost to hire and a cost to fire.  Unfortunately, many employers fail to take proactive steps to minimize the cost to terminate an employee.  It is understandable – terminating an employee can implicate very complex areas of California and federal labor laws, including:

  • Pregnancy and disability;
  • Age discrimination;
  • Wrongful termination;
  • Whistleblower protection;
  • Wage and hour claims;
  • Breach of contract.

All business owners should have their employee termination practices reviewed by a competent business attorney, who can ensure compliance with the law and recommend legal tools to avoid employer liability upon termination.  At Tailored Legal, we can help you make decisions regarding the termination of a particular employee, including:

  • Determining whether terminating the employee violates the law or breaches their employment contract;
  • Negotiating the terms of the employee’s termination;
  • Determining whether severance pay should be offered;
  • Drafting a severance and release agreement that releases the employer from any liability, including wage and hour claims, related to the employment.

Contact Tailored Legal today for a no cost consultation regarding your employee termination practices.


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(760) 888-1227
3555 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
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