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Harvey Sohnen
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Harvey Sohnen’s Answers

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  • New Company Registration.

    Dear Attorney's, I am thinking to register a company in USA. I am thinking to start INC types of company but I am alone to now in the company is it possible to have INC company starting with 1 person or it's required to have multiple man...

    Harvey’s Answer

    There are a lot of pros and cons of different forms of organization. It's too complicated for a format like this to give you a good answer.

    I suggest you go to your local library and look at the book entitled "How to Form Your Own Corporation" published by Nolo Press. There is a great chart that explains the pluses and minuses of INCs, LLC and other business forms at pages 26 through 30.

    Price? Different lawyers charge different prices for formation of INCs and LLCs. Like anything else, shop around based on price and reputation.

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  • Can I be legally fired from a job for "calling in sick" because of an injury or sickness that results from the nature of my work

    I don't want to lose my job due to being "unfit" for the tasks, and I've neglected treating my injuries b/c I don't want to give my employer any reason to fire me if I have to take off work to recover. I already have to take off work at least once...

    Harvey’s Answer

    You understandably do not identify your diagnosis in this forum. It certainly sounds possible that your condition is a disability covered by the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA"). In order for that law to provide you with legal protection, your employer must have a certain number of employees working within a fifty mile radius of your job site and you must have worked a certain number of hours in the last year. If you are covered by this law, you may be entitled to intermittent family leave to cover your time off for these illnesses.

    I suggest you go over the particulars with an attorney and assess whether you have a right to intermittent leave to address your situation.

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  • What is legally required to substantiate a hostile work environment claim, and what are appropriate methods to remedy situation?

    A person who is not an employee but is a "regular" at my workplace has recently become very hostile towards me. He aggressively taunts me, pursues me when I try to walk away, makes false allegations (read: delusional) about my behavior and stateme...

    Harvey’s Answer

    Some things to consider from this point on:

    1. Making a written record to the company of ongoing incidents and requesting that the company take prompt and appropriate action action each time there is a further incident.
    2. Evaluating whether you have enough to go to court and get a restraining order/injunction about these incidents of harassment.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Sohnen & Kelly

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  • Is working 12 hours without a break and then going back in 6 hours later to work another 8 hours no break illegal?

    I work at a bingo hall and I was offered another job somewhere else to be a manager at another bingo hall running different hours the my first job. I was getting burned out . my weekends are crazy.Saturday I work from 4pm-4am and come back the nex...

    Harvey’s Answer

    Sounds like these are two different companies running competing bingo halls.

    At any given job, you are entitled to rest breaks and meal breaks.

    The rule on rest breaks is you get one ten minute paid rest break for every four hours on that job, "or major fraction thereof"

    The rule on meal breaks is you get one half hour unpaid meal break if the work day exceeds five hours, and two, if it exceeds ten hours. Sometimes employers try to get employees to sign "waivers" and "on duty meal period agreements' to lessen these requirements, but there is no indication uin your question that you signed anything like that.

    If the employer does not follow these rules, there are a host of financial consequences to the employer which are a bit too involved to describe in an email.

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  • What can I do about not being paid my hourly for a month now?

    I started a new job a month ago and haven't received my hourly pay rate for a month now. They are saying it is because ownership of the hotel is changing but I don't understand why that should affect their employees payroll checks. I am supposed t...

    Harvey’s Answer

    Avvo Email - Have no legal fearThe employer is subject to penalties for failing to make timely payments of wages, but this raises a concern greater than that, that you might never be paid those wages. Timely payment of wages is a basic part of employment, and unfortunately, events like you describe often end badly for the employees. Seek legal advice from an employment lawyer in your community without delay.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Law Office of Sohnen & Kelly
    2 Theatre Square, Suite 230
    Orinda, CA 94563
    tele: (925) 258-9300
    fax: (925) 258-9315
    www.sohnenandkelly.com

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  • What are my options at this point? Notice of Appeal filed on Labor Commissioner's ODA, but the employee did not respond

    A former independent contractor filed a wage claim against me with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (CA) and, due to my failure to appear at the hearing, was deemed an employee and awarded nearly $10,000 in unpaid wages, interest and pe...

    Harvey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As long as the case is still pending, you won't get the money you posted for your bond back. You will need to contact the court and request that the matter be set for hearing to bring the matter to a conclusion. Perhaps you can also have the court set a settlement conference. If the claimant has lost interest in pursuing this and fails to show at the settlement conference, the court might enter a favorable order for you without it going to trial. From your description, it sounds like the DLSE legal department is not representing the claimant, but if they are, perhaps you can discuss getting this resolved with them.

    If there is a trial on this appeal, you should get an attorney to represent you.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Law Offices of Sohnen & Kelly
    925-258-9300

    Sent from my iPad

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  • Can a manager clock you out on a break even though i never took one?

    i work at a buffet as a line cook numerous times i work over 6 hours with no break due to the fact management does not provide someone to cover my break. i looked at my hours sheet and it said a manager clocked me out for a break even though i nev...

    Harvey’s Answer

    Avvo Email - Have no legal fearYour description gives some significant indications that the employer may be violating California meal period and rest break laws. The employer is required to (1) provide you with a half hour off-duty unpaid meal period in any day when you work more than five hours, (2) is required to authorize and permit paid rest breaks for a net ten minutes per four hours of work or major fraction thereof. Also, (3) the employer must maintain accurate daily records of your work hours including your meal periods. Sounds like this may be three strikes! You may wish to seek some legal advice about what your legal remedies are from a lawyer in your community.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Law Office of Sohnen & Kelly
    2 Theatre Square, Suite 230
    Orinda, CA 94563
    tele: (925) 258-9300
    fax: (925) 258-9315
    www.sohnen&kelly.com

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  • Can my employer in California terminate me because I returned to work three days late due to the loss of a family member?

    I was granted time off to go back home (out of the country) to take care of my ailing mother. Upon her passing, I requested 3 extra days off. My employer told my wife via phone that it was ok. Upon returning to work, I was terminated because I ret...

    Harvey’s Answer

    While an effort was made to pass a bereavement law, it was vetoed by Governor Brown. California does not now have a state statute providing for bereavement leave. Some employers have written bereavement leave policies- you should check to see if your former employer had one.

    Regardless of whether the employer had a written policy, as you describe the situation, it sounds like it would be worth your while to meet with an employment attorney at your earliest opportunity to go over the facts of your situation in detail, to evaluate whether you have a viable breach of contract claim. Also, remember to apply for unemployment benefits.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Law Offices of Sohnen & Kelly
    2 Theatre Square, Suite 230
    Orinda, CA 94563-3346
    tel: 925-258-9300
    fax:925-258-9315
    hsohnen@sohnenandkelly.com
    www.sohnenandkelly.com

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  • Is it legal to be demoted in California for missing work due to a non-work related injury?

    My husband stocks dairy at work. He recently strained his back and was taken out of work for a little more than a week. When he gave his supervisor his sick note he expressed concern that he couldn't have him missing work and may have to take away...

    Harvey’s Answer

    Your nutshell description of this issue sounds like a possible threatened violation of the California Family Rights Act, (and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act) depending on whether your husband has been employed for more than a year, his record of other absences within the last year, and if there are at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of where your husband works. If these laws do not cover the situation, there may be other applicable disability discrimination laws that do apply. It would be wise for your husband to consult with an attorney about the best way to protect himself.

    Harvey Sohnen
    Law Offices of Sohnen & Kelly
    2 Theatre Square, Suite 230
    Orinda, CA 94563
    925-258-9300
    www.sohnenandkelly.com

    See question