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  • California continues to stamp out non-competes: SB 699 and AB 1076

    On Behalf of

    What is Senate Bill 699? California is expanding its longstanding prohibition on noncompete agreements in 2024. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Senate Bill 699 prohibits employers from entering into noncompete agreements regardless of where and when the agreement was signed. AB 1076 creates a new notice requirement for employers. In other words, even if an employee—current […]

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  • Skimping on legal services can be the most expensive mistake you make

    On Behalf of

    Free or cheap online legal resources can cost you—and the price isn’t just monetary. Business owners beware: What seems like a quick shortcut could steer you into legal headaches and financial pitfalls. We’ve seen it over and over. People who cut corners on legal counsel are gambling in a space where the house always wins. […]

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  • The Perils of a Successful Business 

    On Behalf of

    Incredible growth and revenue in a business might sound like good news, right? However, as your company grows, so do your liability and legal risk. Growth presents a new set of challenges that leave your business vulnerable to lawsuits, issues with compliance, and unexpected corporate complexity. As your business grows, the issues and opportunities you […]

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  • What health issues can the DOT disqualify commercial vehicle drivers?

    On Behalf of

    One qualification of having a commercial driver’s license is being able to pass a physical exam. Because of the massive size and weight of commercial vehicles, it’s critical that these drivers can operate their rigs safely. The Department of Transportation physical is critically important for anyone who makes a living as a commercial driver.  Some medical […]

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  • How vicarious liability can impact commercial transportation firms

    On Behalf of

    Semi-truck collisions can be incredibly expensive for everyone involved. Crash victims could face severe injuries and property damage losses. A commercial driver could be at risk of injury and possibly the loss of their commercial driver’s license. Their employer could also have some degree of liability for the wreck in question. Discussions about transportation company […]

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  • What is Actual Knowledge?

    On Behalf of

    Truck drivers are never supposed to operate their vehicles while under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. If an employer has actual knowledge that this has occurred, the driver should not be allowed to work in that condition. But what does “actual knowledge” mean? This definition can be very important if there are accusations […]

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  • DOT regulations – when do you need a medical certificate?

    On Behalf of

    Driving a commercial vehicle comes with more responsibilities and regulations than personal vehicles. This includes requiring some commercial drivers to obtain a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate.  Part of DOT regulations is a certification process that is a safeguard to ensure that drivers are physically and mentally fit to operate commercial vehicles safely. But […]

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  • 3 worker behaviors transportation companies can penalize

    On Behalf of

    Transportation companies assume a lot of risk with every load that one of their drivers transports. A late delivery could result in a lower payment from a disappointed client. A violation of any of the numerous transportation laws could lead to fines against the business and possibly a driver becoming ineligible to haul loads for […]

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  • Could a truck driver’s health issues lead to a preventable crash?

    On Behalf of

    Successful transportation companies have to balance efficiency and profitability with safety. The desire to prevent collisions comes not just from concerns about a company’s reputation but also the financial responsibility the business would likely have for any crash caused by one of its drivers.  Proper training for drivers is important, as is adequate maintenance of […]

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  • When can one company enforce trademark rights against another?

    On Behalf of

    A business’s brand can draw consumers in or potentially alienate them. Organizations often invest huge amounts of money to develop a brand and market to consumers. A company’s logo or trademarked image can play an important role in setting it apart from the competition. Unfortunately, simply registering a trademark does not automatically protect a business […]

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  • Why do you need a partnership agreement?

    On Behalf of

    A partnership agreement is crucial if you’re starting a business with someone else. You need a contract that defines this new relationship and the company. However, this is a step that many people skip, simply deciding that they trust their new business partner and they don’t need to have it in writing. This is a […]

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  • What are the limits on utilizing long combination vehicles?

    On Behalf of

    Many commercial transportation companies operate with relatively small profit margins. After providing a competitive wage for their workers, investing in vehicle maintenance and paying for other operating expenses, they may have very little left over to pay out as dividends to shareholders or as profits to a business owner. Those who own or operate trucking […]

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  • Why does your website need a terms of service agreement?

    On Behalf of

    Your website is your company’s window to the world – and, in today’s business environment, it’s arguably more important than any brick-and-mortar storefront might ever be. That means that you need to make sure that you protect it (and everything on it). One of the best tools at your disposal is a terms of service (TOS) […]

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  • FMCSA to consider waivers to trucker break requirements

    On Behalf of

    In recent years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has overruled two attempts by individual states to impose stricter rules regarding rests and breaks on drivers passing through their territory. That may be about to change. The FMCSA recently announced that it will consider giving waivers when a state requests it. California and Washington […]

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  • 3 times workers could try to pursue a claim over unpaid wages

    On Behalf of

    Employers in California must carefully abide by both federal and state wage rules. Federal rules include requirements to maintain certain payroll records even after someone leaves a company, as well as minimum pay standards and overtime pay requirements. Several California laws expand on those federal rules, meaning that business is operating in California may be […]

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  • How to protect your trade secrets

    On Behalf of

    To stand out from the competition, your business needs to be unique. This is where intellectual property comes in. Trade secrets are an important part of intellectual property. They relate to unique methods, practices, designs and processes. If your trade secrets fall into the wrong hands, then years of hard work can be undone. The […]

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  • 2 types of semi-truck safety gear that are worth upgrading

    On Behalf of

    Cost management is a key component of operating a successful transportation business. After factoring in maintenance, wages and fuel expenses, some transportation companies may have relatively small profit margins. Keeping vehicle maintenance costs as low as possible is also important, although obviously maintaining a fleet and top operating condition is also crucial for safety and […]

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  • What do business owners need to know about AI’s effect on IP?

    On Behalf of

    As a business owner, it’s crucial to protect your intellectual property (IP). You must also ensure you do not infringe on anyone else’s IP rights, as doing so could prove expensive. The development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has made this even more challenging. Here’s why: AI learns from existing information AI doesn’t just pluck things out […]

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  • How to protect your company website

    On Behalf of

    Offering goods and services for a competitive price is the cornerstone of any business. This has always been the case, even before the development of the Internet. However, there is no denying that the online realm has changed the way that most businesses operate. In fact, some studies indicate that over 25% of all business activities are […]

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  • 2 ways new technology can benefit a trucking business 

    On Behalf of

    Embracing new technology in your trucking can be difficult and expensive. It might be hard to see how it will benefit you and why you need to invest. After all, things are just fine the way you’ve been doing them right?  With so much new technology and the advancements of AI on the market, it […]

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  • Will speed limiters soon be a requirement on semi-trucks?

    On Behalf of

    Both legal compliance and fleet maintenance are crucial for the financial success of a commercial transportation company. There are many federal laws that apply to commercial transportation companies, and the owners and executives operating these businesses must do their best to adhere to those regulations. Of course, federal requirements for semi-trucks and their drivers frequently […]

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  • Hours of service compliance benefits trucking companies

    On Behalf of

    The trucking world has unique challenges and regulations, including the Hours of Service limits. Designed to ensure safety on the road, these regulations stipulate the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to operate commercial vehicles, mitigating the risks of fatigue-related accidents. Trucking companies can use various methods and tools to adhere to these rules. […]

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  • How costly are ELD violations for trucking companies?

    On Behalf of

    The electronic logging device (ELD) installed in a commercial truck creates a thorough record of when a driver is at the wheel and how long they have been working during a shift. The transition away from physical log books occurred in part because of how easy it was for drivers to alter them or even […]

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  • Federal lawmakers could soon vote to improve semi-truck parking

    On Behalf of

    Although commercial vehicles represent a significant portion of the traffic on modern roads, much of the infrastructure in the United States doesn’t adequately support these large vehicles. For example, there are many rural routes and old, two-lane bridges not rated to handle the weight of commercial vehicles. There is also often a dearth of adequate […]

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  • Why being proactive about trademarks can make or break a company

    On Behalf of

    Being proactive about trademark protection can have a significant impact on the success and longevity of a company. Trademarks are vital assets that distinguish a business from its competitors and build brand recognition among consumers.  There are, ultimately, several reasons why being proactive about trademark protection can make or break a company. As a result, business owners […]

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  • How to protect your brand from “brandalism”

    On Behalf of

    Brandalism is a term used to describe the intentional defacement or alteration of a brand’s logo, tagline or other visual identity elements. This can be done in many ways, such as graffiti, unauthorized use of a brand’s logo or parody ads that mock or satirize a company’s marketing campaigns. Brandalism can damage a brand’s reputation, […]

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  • Could a side underride mandate be imminent?

    On Behalf of

    For years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated the installation of rear underride guards as a means of protecting the public from catastrophic collisions with commercial vehicles. Rear underride guards help protect motorists who accidentally strike the back end of a commercial trailer. By contrast, side underride guards serve as a way […]

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  • What to know about filing a provisional patent

    On Behalf of

    Filing a provisional patent can be an important step for inventors or businesses that want to protect their invention or product without immediately incurring the costs of a full patent application.  A provisional patent application is a temporary application that can provide you with some protection while you develop your invention or gather the necessary resources to […]

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  • What should you include in an employment agreement?

    On Behalf of

    As a business owner, you want to ensure that your employees are well taken care of and that everyone is on the same page regarding their job responsibilities. To ensure this, creating an employment agreement is crucial.  An employment agreement outlines the terms of the employee’s role and rights, such as duties and wages. It should […]

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  • 2 important considerations regarding background checks when hiring

    On Behalf of

    Hiring new drivers means accepting a certain degree of risk and potential liability, as any new employee could make major mistakes on the job. Some people have a history of making mistakes that could impact their reliability or overall safety at the wheel. A proper background check is crucial to making informed choices about whom […]

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  • Can your company slogan be protected? 

    On Behalf of

    The corporate world is competitive and your business is always looking for ways to get ahead and stay ahead. You have fair prices, quality goods and services and an honest reputation. This makes you a favorite among people within your community.  Nonetheless, you are always looking to expand and you and your team have recently […]

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  • 4 tips for keeping your trucking company safe

    On Behalf of

    Due to their size, weight and the load they carry, trucks can cause accidents. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) develops data-driven regulations and educates motor carriers on safety measures to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities involving trucks.  Nonetheless, you should also ensure that your company is safe. Here are four tips that […]

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  • How to prepare for an upcoming DOT audit

    On Behalf of

    If you employ CMD drivers that you move property or passengers, drive a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds and follow the set FMCSA regulations, you know DOT audits are part of the landscape.  While this is true, they can still be stressful. After all, failing this audit may cause issues […]

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  • 2 causes of unpaid overtime claims

    On Behalf of

    As an employer and business owner, you must follow federal and state employment laws. By failing to comply with these laws, your business could face many legal and financial repercussions. For example, your employees likely have the right to overtime pay, which increases to one and one-half of what you already pay them. You likely don’t […]

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  • Do you need a reason to terminate an employee?

    On Behalf of

    If you inform one of your employees that you are firing them and the following day will be their final one with the company, they may be frustrated. They may claim that you need to have a reason or that you need to give them advance warning. But is any of this true? California is […]

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  • Setting a safety standard for the trucking industry

    On Behalf of

    If you work in the trucking industry, you already know you must follow the rules set by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). These rules were created to keep everyone on the roads safe. One of the most discussed requirements is abiding by the FMCSA hours of service (HOS) regulations. Understanding the HOS The HOS sets […]

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  • 2 kinds of cameras that can help protect transportation companies

    On Behalf of

    Most specialized safety equipment utilized by commercial transportation companies is necessary to comply with federal law. You need to have federally-compliant underride guards on all of the trailers your company uses, for example. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are another example of safety equipment that companies must install in their fleet vehicles to comply with federal law. There […]

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  • 2 kinds of cameras that can help protect transportation companies

    On Behalf of

    Most specialized safety equipment utilized by commercial transportation companies is necessary to comply with federal law. You need to have federally-compliant underride guards on all of the trailers your company uses, for example. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are another example of safety equipment that companies must install in their fleet vehicles to comply with federal law. There […]

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  • Why your logo is worth protecting

    On Behalf of

    There are very few markets that remain untapped. This doesn’t mean you cannot succeed in your chosen sector, but it does mean that you need to stand out from the crowd. One of the most simple, yet effective, ways to do this is through your logo. A logo may not sound like a big deal, […]

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  • Why your logo is worth protecting

    On Behalf of

    There are very few markets that remain untapped. This doesn’t mean you cannot succeed in your chosen sector, but it does mean that you need to stand out from the crowd. One of the most simple, yet effective, ways to do this is through your logo. A logo may not sound like a big deal, […]

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  • California’s pay transparency law took effect Jan. 1

    On Behalf of

    Being a responsible California employer means keeping up with a steady stream of new laws – most enacted to protect the rights of employees. By staying in compliance with these laws, you can help protect your business from costly and time-consuming litigation. An important new law took effect Jan. 1 of the new year. It […]

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  • California’s pay transparency law took effect Jan. 1

    On Behalf of

    Being a responsible California employer means keeping up with a steady stream of new laws – most enacted to protect the rights of employees. By staying in compliance with these laws, you can help protect your business from costly and time-consuming litigation. An important new law took effect Jan. 1 of the new year. It […]

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  • What the FMCSA just decided about hair tests

    On Behalf of

    Substance abuse disorders are a major safety concern for motor carrier companies. Workers who drink or use drugs are often not forthcoming about those habits and could easily cause expensive crashes while on the job. Transportation businesses may end up facing large insurance claims or sometimes even civil lawsuits if one of their drivers comes […]

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  • What should you include in a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

    On Behalf of

    Businesses use Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to protect confidential and important information from landing in the wrong hands. Basically, an NDA establishes how two parties (like employers and employees or business partners) will interact with the confidential information. However, for an NDA to be enforceable, it must contain certain elements. Besides naming the parties involved, here […]

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  • Protect your intellectual property with these simple methods

    On Behalf of

    An original idea, invention or trade secret can set your business apart, increase its value and give it a competitive edge. However, as your market competition grows, so does the risk of intellectual property (IP) theft.  Basically, intellectual property theft happens when your business’ crucial information, ideas, inventions, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property is […]

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  • Non-solicitation agreements can protect your client list

    On Behalf of

    It could take years of networking and relationship-building to create a client list that never fails you. You have a roster of businesses or individuals that want the services or goods that your company has to provide, and these same clients have consistently patronized your business for years. It is only natural to want to […]

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  • Common reasons why insurance companies deny car accident claims

    On Behalf of

    People who are hurt in a car accident often must figure out how to pursue the liable party for damages and part of this involves dealing with the insurance company.  While you might think that you have a valid claim, it is not uncommon for car insurance companies to dispute and, at times, successfully deny […]

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  • 3 steps to avoiding intellectual property disputes

    On Behalf of

    As a business, you need to protect your intellectual property and take care not to infringe on anyone else’s property rights. A failure to do either could lead to a complex dispute and preventing problems is generally far easier than resolving them. Here are three steps you can take: Check who holds the rights when […]

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  • Could edits and annotations draw attention to carrier practices?

    On Behalf of

    Legal compliance for freight carriers often requires substantial investments. Companies need to purchase and maintain special equipment and may even need to hire regulatory specialists who help ensure the company and all of its drivers remain in compliance with all federal transportation rules, like the Hours of Service rules. The transition to electronic logging devices […]

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  • 3 serious concerns related to worker misclassification claims

    On Behalf of

    Your business has a lot of operating costs that it cannot control and others that it can take special steps to minimize. Employment costs are one of the biggest regular expenses your organization has to cover, and there are numerous ways that you might reduce those expenses. Classifying some employees as independent contractors might seem […]

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  • How do you deal with a copycat competitor? 

    On Behalf of

    There are very few markets that remain completely untapped. This means that whatever line of business you enter, it can be tricky to make it. It’s certainly possible though, with the right methods, technology and branding. These unique components of your business comprise part of your intellectual property. You have ownership rights to this and […]

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  • Are there risks for the FMCSA under-21 program

    On Behalf of

    Recent years have discovered issues with the supply chain in the trucking industry. In order to keep the nation moving, officials are seeking solutions that were previously dismissed. Specifically, a new proposal would allow younger commercial drivers to cross state lines. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking to […]

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  • 3 types of intellectual property rights

    On Behalf of

    If you have a business idea such as a name, invention or symbol, it helps to seek legal protection for your work. In so doing, you will establish rightful ownership while preventing unlawful use or abuse of your property. There are several ways to protect your intellectual property, and identifying the right type of protection is very […]

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  • Protecting a growing business from employee harassment claims

    On Behalf of

    As your company grows, you will need more workers to meet the demand for the services or goods you provide. Increasing demand will eventually mean that you need to hire more workers. Each of those new employees will increase the chances of conflict among your staff members. When you only have a few employees, you […]

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  • Protecting your company logo

    On Behalf of

    The services that your company provides are key to its success. Pricing, quality and timely delivery can all boost your reputation significantly. You’ve also got to think about marketing and branding too. One of the more recognizable aspects of any successful company is its logo. You’ve had your new logo designed, you’re happy with it, […]

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  • Do you have to pay truck drivers overtime?

    On Behalf of

    General overtime pay for most employees is time and a half. An employee who is making $20 an hour would begin making $30 an hour for overtime, for instance. In California, that starts after the eighth hour of work in a day or the fortieth hour of work in a week.  Under federal law, it […]

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  • Big changes in trucking for 2022

    On Behalf of

    Running a trucking company, you need to know about the big changes that happen in the industry. In 2022, there are some significant changes that you might see that could impact your business. Of the most significant changes, one of them is that CDL trainees may be subject to the entry-level driving training (ELDT) rule. […]

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  • How can you protect your trade secrets? 

    On Behalf of

    You’ve been developing a business strategy for years now and it has recently come to fruition. The foundation of your business is founded upon your unique methods, designs and processes. In other words, your trade secrets are the key to the success of your company. The corporate world is highly protected and you’re worried about […]

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  • 3 signs of a bad business partner

    On Behalf of

    Building a business can be rewarding, refreshing and change the future for millions – but it’s not accomplished without a ton of work. That’s why many business owners divide the work between themselves and a business partner.  Having a business partner at your side can have many perks: a wider range of skills, broader connections, responsibility […]

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  • Will self-driving trucks have hour limits?

    On Behalf of

    Currently, semi-trucks have a lot of different limits and regulations that must be followed. One of the most influential is the fact that drivers are limited on the number of hours that they can spend on the road. Breaks are mandated because it’s dangerous to have fatigued truckers behind the wheel. But there has been […]

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  • Can you prevent your employees from internally recruiting?

    On Behalf of

    Each new skilled worker that you add to your team will help grow your company’s operations. Unfortunately, when they decide to part ways with your business, their actions could cause significant financial issues for the company. Former employees can become your worst competitors and can do real harm to your company’s operations. A former worker […]

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  • Can you tell employees they have to give notice before they quit? 

    On Behalf of

    For years, employees who wanted to quit working at your company have given you two weeks’ notice. However, you just had someone walk off the job with no notice whatsoever, and it really created a lot of problems for the business. As a result, you informed the rest of the employees that everyone would need […]

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  • Understanding trucking’s hours of service regulations

    On Behalf of

    In the trucking industry, drivers must follow the rules outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding hours of service (HOS). This specifies the maximum number of hours a driver can be on the road, rest period lengths and more to ensure drivers aren’t driving while fatigued.  Learn more about the latest update […]

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  • Simple oversights could lead to tip pool violations

    On Behalf of

    Tip pools are not allowed in all states, but they are in California. An employer can choose to use a tip pool and make all the employees combine their tips at the end of the night. The tips are then split evenly between those employees. As a business owner, you may be interested in using […]

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  • Why you could find yourself accused of trademark dilution 

    On Behalf of

    Many trademark infringement cases don’t involve outright theft of a trademark. Responsible companies don’t try anything that obvious. A more common scenario involves a type of infringement known as “dilution.”  Often, those who end up as defendants in these cases had no intention of infringing on another company’s trademark. However, companies that are protective of […]

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  • Will you need to install anti-speeding units in your semi-trucks?

    On Behalf of

    The transportation industry offers competitive wages even for those who may not have much of an education. Trucking is one of the better paid blue-collar professions, and running a transportation company can be a lucrative option for those with the resources to start a company and purchase vehicles for a commercial fleet. Keeping those vehicles […]

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  • 3 ways businesses open themselves up to unpaid overtime claims

    On Behalf of

    As a California employer, one of your first and most important responsibilities is to comply with not just federal employment laws but also California employment laws. Many of those laws will have financial implications for your business. The right to overtime wages, for example, can drastically increase what it costs for you to staff your […]

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  • Getting photos off the internet could land you in trouble

    On Behalf of

    Grabbing a photo off the web is usually about as easy as hitting “right-click” with your cursor and saving it to your computer. People do it all the time with memes and other interesting things they see. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because an image or photo isn’t watermarked that it’s […]

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  • Does the use of your copyrighted creation fall under fair use?

    On Behalf of

    Your original creative works or works that you commissioned or purchased for your business are your private property. You have copyright protection when you publish those original creations or when you register them with the United States Copyright Office. Generally, you will then have control over how other people use your creation. If you discover […]

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  • Research shows the ELD mandate came before increased crash rates

    On Behalf of

    Electronic logging devices (ELDs) have been available for the better part of two decades. Some of the largest motor carriers in the country began using them in the aughts. However, smaller companies and owner-operators continued to use manual logbooks to track their time on the road. The federal government has effectively phased out written logbooks […]

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  • How do electronic logging devices help trucking companies?

    On Behalf of

    Nearly all semitrucks need to have an electronic logging device to remain in compliance with current laws. While some trucking companies might have balked at the cost when the requirement first began, there’s no doubt that these devices can greatly benefit the business when they’re used properly. One of the most important things that trucking companies must […]

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  • When is employee fault grounds for denying a workers’ comp claim?

    On Behalf of

    Employers generally have responsibilities when a worker gets hurt on the job in California. Whether you self-insure or pay for an outside policy, workers’ compensation in California is a no-fault program. It doesn’t matter who is to blame for the incident that causes a work injury. The workers typically get benefits regardless of fault. They […]

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  • When do you have to allow workers to take unpaid leave?

    On Behalf of

    Companies operating in California need to comply with federal laws, as well as more demanding California state employment laws. Federal employment laws extend certain rights to your workers, and sometimes California passes laws that expand on those rights. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) establishes federal rules that allow workers to take unpaid leave. […]

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  • Trucking regulations require close attention from companies

    On Behalf of

    Trucking regulations are there to keep people safe, but what happens when truckers are faced with unfair circumstances? Trucking groups have been petitioning the Department of Transportation for more truck parking because there are not enough places where they can pull over safely on the road. Distracted driving, drowsy driving and other issues are against […]

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