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San Francisco Education Law Blog

Which type of partnership should you choose?

When you're starting a new business, choosing the right entity type is important. You can choose a variety of entities: corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), nonprofits, partnerships or even sole proprietorships. If you don't choose, your entity type will default to the entity most advantageous to the state.

Partnerships are organizations with more than one major contributor to the business. Partners can provide money, property, ideas or other benefits to the business. The way the company is managed, along with who gets a share of the profits and who can be held liable for business losses depends on the type of partnership.

Federal judge: 40-year newspaper carrier is legally an employee

Under California law, the question of whether someone is an employee or a contractor is a legal one. Your employer doesn’t just get to pick whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. To be considered an independent contractor, you have to have significant control over the details of doing your job.

Employees are not only entitled to employer-sponsored benefits like healthcare and life insurance, but they are also entitled to job protections such as:

  • Employer-paid payroll taxes
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Reimbursement for business-related expenses
  • The minimum wage and overtime premium

Supreme Court: LGBTQ employees are protected by Title VII

In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that the language of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination "because of sex" applies to sexual minorities, including people who are gay or openly transgender. Therefore, it is now illegal nationwide to discriminate against these people.

Until this decision, it was still presumptively legal to fire people for being gay, lesbian or transgender in 28 states. The Trump administration, opposing the position of its own EEOC, argued that Title VII could not protect gay and transgender people because Congress had not intended that result when it passed the law in 1964.

What options do you have after a breach of contract?

Unexpected events can lead one party or another to breach their contracts. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering what legal rights and options you may have. When a contract dispute arises, you can try to resolve it through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation. Whatever method of dispute resolution you use, you should consider the expected outcome in litigation.

What are the main types of corporations you could choose from?

If you are starting your own business, you may be weighing the type of entity you should choose. One of those options is the corporation, but what type is best for you?

Choosing the right type of business entity is a personal choice. It depends in part on how you want to run your business, in part on your tolerance for risk, and in part on how you would be taxed. There are pros and cons to consider with each type.

Is Facebook failing its Black employees and users?

Diversity is about more than fairness. It is also about helping your company build relationships with a diverse audience and customer base. Without sufficient diversity inside the company, it’s hard to draw in users of color, and mistakes can easily be made that will alienate them.

Recently, a Black employee of Facebook filed a complaint with the EEOC. It is the first step towards a class-action lawsuit against the company, if the class is approved by a judge. The employee claims that Facebook discriminates against Black employees in hiring and in the opportunities it affords Black employees.

1.5 Sexual harassment claims filed each day vs. federal agencies

The federal government is America's largest employer with nearly 2,000 agencies. Unfortunately, the federal workplace is far from immune from harassment complaints. Like other employers, it saw a surge in complaints after the #MeToo movement ramped up. Both sexual and non-sexual harassment complaints rose between FY 2015 and FY 2018, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receiving as many as 1.5 reports, on average, per day.

According to a new report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, there were 29,657 harassment complaints over that period. Of those, 2.257 involved specifically sexual harassment. However, it is widely believed that sexual harassment is underreported, so the numbers may be even larger.

Does the California FEHA prohibit retaliation after complaints?

Yes. Whenever an employee makes a good faith complaint of discrimination, employers are prohibited by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act from retaliating against the employee. This also includes workers who assist others in making such a complaint, opposing any FEHA violation, or even complaining of actions that turn out not to be prohibited by the FEHA, as long as the complaint was made in good faith.

In the vast majority of cases, in other words, the FEHA prohibits employer retaliation after an employee engages in legally protected activity. This is similar to federal anti-discrimination laws, which also prohibit retaliation.

6 key areas where students have rights at school

Students in American schools have constitutional rights. It is true that there are areas where their rights are not as protected as those of adults, but the courts have laid out substantial, protectable rights in many areas. Students generally have the right to a safe, free, appropriate education.

Here are six areas where students' rights are protected:

How is disability defined under California's equal access laws?

When it comes to ensuring equal access for people with disabilities, California has three major laws:

  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act
  • The Unruh Civil Rights Act
  • The Disabled Persons Act

These laws apply to businesses, employers and housing providers and require them to make reasonable accommodations to allow equal access for anyone with a covered disability. California law is generally broader than similar laws at the federal level.

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