Computer Screen to the Silver Screen

YouTube is not just a hotbed for cat videos or pranks, it's also a career starter. As an entrepreneur focused firm, we believe in the power of taking your career goals into your own hands. Nothing offers that power more than the web for content creators. YouTube stars Jenn McCalister and Lauren Luthringshausen are the latest mini-screen celebrities turned Hollywood starlets, in the upcoming film Bad Night. Check out this article from Kernel Magazine discussing how some of the "big guys" are starting to pay attention to the talent pool that YouTube fosters.

If you are ready to launch your own YouTube channel or have a web series in production, contact The Rad Firm, APC to make sure all of your legal ducks are in a row. 

LAX to Allow Uber and Lyft

As the less-expensive alternative to taxis, Uber and Lyft have taken over immediate transportation industry yet still are not allowed to pick up passengers from LAX.  All this could change though, as early as next month. Click here, to find out more about what this could mean for Uber and Lyft.

Are you in the Uber or Lyft industry and need advice about anything employment related? Feel free to give us a call.

The Highest Minimum

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Tuesday's LA council vote to increase the minimum wage marked a sea change for LA's employees. Despite, facing one of the hottest, and hardest, rental markets in the country, and the fact that as many as 50 percent (!) of employees make less than $15 per hour, LA workers will  now have the pleasure of having one of the highest minimum wages in the country.

Well, until San Francisco raises theirs in retaliation, that is. 

While the ordinance is an unquestioned victory for LA's workers, union reps, and, let's face it -- politicians -- we don't yet know how it will affect Los Angeles' economy. My guess is that some industries will tend to hire less and that more of LA workers will conform to part time schedules. These predictions are rather conservative and are intended to follow hiring trends we've been seeing for years now. Though they are tempting to believe,  reports on Los Angeles' coming economic demise or  future "hiring ice ages" are probably vastly overstated. 

Businesses are going to want to stay in Los Angeles even at a high cost. Los Angeles offers better shipping to Asia, good access to talented workers through it's two elite universities, and access to industries, garment manufacturing for example, that are not found virtually anywhere else in the country. Regardless, while $15 does seem a bit high to pay and the fear over indexing wages to inflation maybe real (though, I must point out, the US actually had negative inflation very recently), it is not even the highest or most insurmountable potential expense facing business owners as they evaluate whether they can stay in this market  -- that would be rent.

While the potential economics are still up in the air, the courthouses can expect  a very different story. We know that with the acceptance of a $15 minimum wage by 2020, certain employment regulations will be the focus of intense litigation. Expect the topic of tipped employees, who face different  laws from a standard employer-employee relationship, to become a hot button issue as the minimum wage changes. However, until we see the mountain of cases build, our predictions is just a bit of educated speculation.

If you are a business owner needing expertise on hiring employees the correct way, or an employee who feels they have been wronged by their employer, please do not hesitate to call us at 310-461-3766 for a free consultation.

 

 

Four Reasons Why Santa Monica's AirBnB Law Misses the Mark

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

In Santa Monica's continued war against it's tech focused future, the battle against AirBnB holds particular importance because Santa Monica is Los Angeles' ground zero for how the city will handle tomorrow's influx of new residents. Last week, Santa Monica's city council approved an AirBnB law which completely ignores the issues facing tenants and landlords who use the service.

The law is one of the most restrictive short term rental laws in the nation. AirBnB listings  will now only  be allowed for homeowners. In effect, the city council has potentially created a coup at the cost of landlords and tenants.

Below are our top 4 reasons why Santa Monica's law, which will reduce the reported 1,700 listings to just 400, misses the mark. 

1. Homeowners don't need as much help. 

Santa Monica's newest restrictions show an anti-tennant streak that ignores the reason why landlords and tenants rent on AirBnB: namely, the need for extra money. SaMo's location by the beach makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in town, while it's beaches make living a premium. That demand coupled with Santa Monica's recent blows to it's own rent control laws have made rents skyrocket. And if you've noticed, wages have not exactly followed the same trend. 

By contrast, homeownership in Santa Monica is much more closed off, where prices at the bottom of the most recent recession still out of reach for many wannabe buyers. In the ensuing years, demand has only increased along prices. Santa Monica needs to face that the fiscal challenges for homeowners are just different than the ones faced by renters. 

Tenants who rent out apartments on AirBnB are usually trying to make their rent. Taking away potential revenue just because they can't afford a condo is just unfair.

2. Santa Monica needs more development.

One of the reasons Santa Monica is so popular is because the amount of supply in Santa Monica, which has been tightly regulated for years, is well below the constant demand level. Tourist often find all hotel rooms vacant in both Santa Monica and the area around it,  despite most hotel rooms costing around twice as much as an AirBnB listing. Despite a continued housing crisis for wannabe tenants and a crunch for hotel rooms, the city council has done next to nothing to alleviate the problem. 

3. Homeowners will now be make a fortune off the site.  

Perhaps the most unsettling development, Santa Monica's homeowners will not just benefit from reduced supply, but benefit extremely. Santa Monica is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the entire world for AirBnB, and it's continued prominence allowed AirBnB landlords to charge well beyond what you could in other parts of the city. With almost 75 percent of listings about to come off the market and no new supply of vacation units coming, it's very likely the sky may be the limit for what a homeowner can charge when Santa Monica's hotels get booked up.

This is a gross misrepresentation of AirBnB's original goal to provide income for city dwellers, and the potential for investors to buy, flip and then rent out may price more buyers out of Santa Monica's already pricey housing market. That is a complete net negative. 

4. What Santa Monica needs is registration and a cap on listings. 

While landlords in Santa Monica abusing the system is to blame for the new law, a different law altogether would've fixed the problem without potentially creating the ones I outlined above. If Santa Monica is truly interested in protecting rental prices, than what is needed is not a ban on rental units becoming AirBnB listings, but a compromise which would allow landlords to reap benefits without turning apartment buildings into hotels.

That compromise would be to simply have landlords register with a hard cap for the number of listings they can have, with a very high fee associated for violation. Such a resolution would allow landlords to reap benefits of short term rentals without the need to mass evict tenants. Most importantly, it would protect tenants that have become landlords out of necessity and rig the game in their favor, which is a win for the people who are often the biggest victims of Santa Monica's housing crisis. 

The Perils of Periscope and Meerkat for Content Creators

Logos owned by Meerkat and Periscope.

Logos owned by Meerkat and Periscope.

Meerkat and Periscope are attempting to make live streaming fashionable. Despite reservations about poor quality video and grainy user footage, showcasing life in real time is unquestionably the next popular trend in social media. Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Don't forget-- It wasn't that long ago that cellphone cameras were ubiquitous with low resolution photos, before their quality rivaled that of high-end cameras. It is only a matter of time before Meerkat and Periscope offers the premium viewing quality audiences have grown to expect from visual media. Unfortunately when there's a popular trend, someone is going to figure out how to game the system. In the case of Meerkat and Periscope, it's Internet Pirates. 

Are Meerkat and Periscope going to evolve as the preferred method of internet pirates? Generally, as in the case with YouTube, a take down notice is sent from a copyright owner and Youtube then removes the content. The owner of the channel who posted the video can then submit a response to explain why the video should be put back up. Studios and other large corporate content creators have entire departments dedicated to sending take-down notices to YouTube. Independent content creators, don't have the time or money to sit on YouTube, let alone Periscope or Meerkat to scan for piracy. Here are 3 hurdles independent content creators may need to overcome to try and stop the livestreaming of unowned content beyond the companies requesting users to report infractions. 

1) The Digital Millennium Copyright Act currently doesn't apply to live streamed content, only content redistributed. 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is hardly a favorite legislation of internet piracy advocates. For much of the 21st century, it has been the act which empowers the US government to take down popular piracy sites in the name of content creators. 

One problem: the DMCA only applies to content that is recorded for redistribution for illegal means. In the case of Meerkat and Periscope, users are never recording content, yet the threat of illegal redistribution is equal to that of sites which host illegally recorded content. 

2) It's going to be difficult to prove that a user is sharing content illegally. 

Proving that a user is hosting illegal shared content may be of extreme difficulty due to current technological limitations.* As preferred in any case which goes to court nowadays, photo and video evidence can sway a jury or judge in ways simple argumentation may not. This is where an issue may erupt with these platforms, as any user who seeks to protect their rights will probably need to find a way to record content not meant for recording in order to prove that someone is illegally distributing content they do not own. Doesn't that sound like a chicken and egg situation? We think so.

3) We can't just rely on users.

Meerkat and Periscope's response has been to listen to user requests for copyright infringements. Once receiving word of a violation, the app shuts the offending user down in an attempt to curtail the damage already done. Both Meerkat and Periscope are operating on blind faith of users stepping up, which leaves a potential for abuse by users and the problem of illegally streamed content not being found by systems administrators. If the apps are focusing on users to step up, that is a surefire way to understand that current law is insufficient.

* Update June 23, 2015: Persicope began allowing replays of the live streams for 24 hours after the stream ends. 

 

Are We In A Housing Crisis? Facts to Consider

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.Com/en

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.Com/en

Every law school class is famous for it's fact patterns. This is a list of facts strategically placed in long winded paragraphs where students must determine an argument best suited to a third party's goal. Here at the Rad Firm, we pride ourselves on being monitors of SoCal's housing market. 

While we consider ourselves lucky to put together and win cases for our clients real estate and employment needs, in addition to our other developed areas of expertise, we believe in giving our most enthusiastic followers a little window into how we think.

So are we in a housing crisis? Well, you be the judge:

  • Since 2000, Los Angeles' home prices have risen 126.36 percent according to S&P's housing indices.
  • Not coincidentally, LA is only adding 187 new houses per 100,000 new residents. That's the lowest in the nation according to Zillow.
  • Los Angeles residents have the highest percentage of income which goes to rent, at 48.2%.
  • Hollywood's pulling the permits on the Sunset and Gordon complex after tenants moved in has made developers raise questions over whether or not SoCal is worth the risk.
  • LA's fund for affordable housing has decreased significantly since 2010.
  • The number of sales continues to fall for Real Estate firms, with the most recent January showing that firms are selling 21% less housing than they were a year ago. More info here

Do you have an opinion on the current market today? If so, leave your comment below!

Are you a victim of NIMBY's hurting your landlord business? or do you need help getting your tenant out? call us at (310) 461-3766 for a free consultation. Fresh takes, forward thinking and effective representation is guaranteed.

 

Start-up workers sue to be classified as "employees"

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

It's not just Uber and Lyft feeling heat from workers in the startup world. Homejoy, an app inspired to be the Uber of affordable home cleaning, saw a lawsuit filed by workers alleging that they were improperly listed as contractors. 

The dispute over proper use of an independent contractor and an employee is nothing new. Many companies rely on contractors to keep expenses low.  When contractors are utilized correctly, they can keep a company running smoothly and efficiently.

However, this designation comes with a trade off -- companies may not have anywhere near as much control over a contractor's service, and the contractor can decide on when they want to work. It is apparent from reading plaintiff Diana Ventura's complaint that the startup founders may not have understood the concept of "employee" vs. "contractor" to the letter of the law.

From Diana Ventura's complaint:

"Cleaners are unable to provide any additional information before jobs are assigned. For example, a Cleaner cannot tell Homejoy that while she may have picked different zip codes or cities as part of her territory, she only wants to stay within one zip code, or within one small part of a zip code, each day. Instead, if a Cleaner chooses Oakland and San Francisco as part of her territory, Homejoy alone determines whether the cleaner will stay in Oakland on a given day, stay in San Francisco on a given day, or travel in between the two cities multiple times on a given day. Furthermore, Cleaners cannot tell Homejoy whether they want a little or a lot of down time between each job, or each job start time or end time. Cleaners cannot tell Homejoy how much driving they prefer to do, whether the jobs need to be near public transportation, whether the Cleaners prefer to be stuck in rush hour traffic or instead on routes that are reverse commutes, how many jobs the Cleaners want to perform each day, or whether or not they want to return to a previous customer."

You can read the full story here

If you or anyone you know is victim of the dreaded Contractor vs. Employee debate, call the Rad Firm APC now at (310) 461-3766

Legally Blurred

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Did you hear through the grapevine that Marvin Gaye destroyed the music industry? In the LA Superior Court’s decision for Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Marvin Gaye Estate, popular music's landscape changed when a landmark jury decision deemed Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was less considered outright plagiarism, a unique ruling with deep ramifications.

Here are 5 ways to avoid making the mistakes of the “Blurred Lines” creators.

Don’t skirt the 1909 Copyright Law.

One of the more interesting aspects of the case, the use of the 1909 copyright law allowed lawyers from both sides to question experts on the replication of sheet music, a direct departure from the 1978 version of the law, which allows juries to base opinions more on the actual recording.  

In effect, this law allowed lawyers to boil down the song to it’s essential elements, such as it’s drum pattern or it’s bassline. Juries were subjected to stripped down midi versions of the track to prove the similarities in the two songs constructions. Because of “Blurred Lines” seventies-ish feel and outright cribbing from musicians like Marvin Gaye, its likeness to “Got to Give it up” is undeniable. Written out, the similarities registered as a direct homage -- something the jury registered as plagiarism because the other elements of blurred lines which differ were not discussed.

Always list writers credits.

Perhaps this would’ve avoided the expensive litigation. Listing a writer, even if tangential, is essential to creating correct compensation for artists. Both in the Marvin Gaye case and in Sam Smith’s recent controversy with Tom Petty, issuing writing credits preempting release would’ve likely avoided the controversy entirely, but at the cost of the artists creating the new work, who would willingly divide any royalties.

Unfortunately for artists committed to creating new music and receiving profit, the above solution is a matter of dollars and cents that does not work in their favor. But the fact is, an artist, label or publishing company would likely pay more through the court than they would otherwise by giving up a portion of the credit when registering the song. In the case around Tom Petty challenging Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” for belief that Mr. Smith’s melodies were too similar to Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” Tom Petty’s team took home a heartbreaking 12.5% of the song’s royalties without a jury, a much higher percentage than if he was listed by Smith’s team before.  

Ignore the influence question

One of the most damning aspects of Blurred Lines vs. Gaye Family Estate is the use of an interview where Pharrell and Thicke explained the level of influence Gaye had on the creation of “Blurred Lines.” While famous musicians are accustomed to answering questions about which artists they enjoy privately in the media, the use of interview material is common practice in jury trials. Add in a particularly talented lawyer, and all that publicity you spent building up your song can easily be turned against you.

One way to make it harder on a jury is to make the jury determine if whether or not the song in question sounds alike. In the “Blurred Lines” case, the plaintiff’s lawyer continually referred to to the recorded interview, severely weakening Bridgeport’s case that other influence on “Blurred Lines” may have been just as powerful. As this jury was largely not made up of musicology experts, they likely looked elsewhere in the trial’s testimony to establish if indeed the similarities between “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give it Up” required compensation of damages. Even though many pop songs sound incredibly similar to each other -- please refer to work of mashup artists like Girl Talk -- the lawyer’s ability to successfully argue that other influences may have contributed equally or greater was severely limited due to Thicke’s and William’s own admissions.

Avoid the jury

Say you’ve created a song which cribs a hit from before 1978 you never were aware of and you’ve just entered lawsuit. Now imagine that the offended musicians are seeking damages because they believe a melody you wrote is much too similar. Your best scenario is to avoid the jury entirely, because any damages awarded by lawsuit will likely be more than if awarded by settlement.

Always write original music.

The easiest way to avoid paying damages, writing music that is as original as possible will avoid lawsuits with older musicians entirely. While every artist works differently and carries different interests and influences, creating more original works that do not use other people’s melodies (as much as possible, of course) will keep your influences or their related estates from suing you.

While none of these proscribed efforts will keep you entirely clear besides point number 5, following these simple recommendations will keep you from making the mistakes that Pharrell and Thicke made. Perhaps it’s just best to avoid Marvin Gaye as an influence completely, lest your chart conquering hit ends up the subject of an incredibly expensive legal battle by the emboldened family.

And if you’re the subject of one of these incoming suits, please do not hesitate to call an attorney -- not unless you want to be subject of these legally “Blurred Lines” yourself.

 

4 Things You Didn't Know About the Ellis Act

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com/en

Much has been written about the Ellis Act -- that it is the mother of all gentrifiers, a law which is ruining San Francisco, but what  actually is this law all about? Here is a guide to help you understand the Ellis Act and what it means for local landlords.

1) It was established so that landlords can go out of business.

Far from being an anti-tenant law, California State Legislature passed the Ellis Act in 1986 to solve a much more mundane problem: How can a landlord take his property out of business short of selling their property? Up to the year the legislation passed, many landlords were forced to go out of business and lose their property when facing bankruptcy. The Ellis Act allows landlords who intended to demolish their property find an easy, somewhat cheap way to relocate tenants to create better a housing situation. It’s only been in recent years that Landlords stopped using the law as justification to meet city health codes and instead turn profits in California's booming condo market.

2) It contains major loopholes in the landlord’s favor.

The main source of controversy, landlords in San Francisco have used Ellis Act loopholes, such as it having no time provisions or requirements for landlords to have owned building. This lack of requirements allows many landlords to buy properties in San Francisco on speculation, creating the most recent uptick in evictions.

3) Downtown Santa Monica has already been hit.

While San Franciscans are the acts most vocal opponents, Downtown Santa Monica has already been hit, and there is evidence that the trend is moving deeper into the west side, where the crunch for condos is creating huge gains for select former landlords. Please refer to the graph which was originally published by Curbed LA, posted below to see the percentage of rent controlled units in Santa Monica.

Graph courtesy of Curbed LA

Graph courtesy of Curbed LA

4) Los Angeles’ rent control provisions supercede the Ellis Act

While much of the controversy in Los Angeles centers in the westside, Los Angeles’ tenants are also subject to the Ellis Act, as it is state legislation. However, Los Angeles has some of the most restrictive rental control laws in the nation. Accordingly, after a landlord applies the Ellis Act to kick out a rent control tenant, any housing subject to the act will continue to be rent controlled up to 5 years after the fact, even if the landlord chooses demolition. That of course applies, only if the building stays in the rental market. However, Los Angeles has another loophole: It is very difficult to get the correct approval for a new structure for any property, much less one built many, many years ago. That's why many downtown landlords steer clear of the act altogether.

If you or anyone you know is facing an eviction as result of the Ellis Act, or wants to remove rent control tenants in Santa Monica, please seek an attorney. If you don’t want to be stranded on Ellis Act island, then give the Rad Firm a call.

 

A New Take On Uber

There is no way around it; entrepreneurs have to be creative. One entrepreneur created opportunity for himself when he turned his Uber gig into a way to get the word out about his real passion. Gavin Escolar came to the United States to start his jewelry business and ended up as an Uber driver to make an income. Gavin soon learned that his Uber car provided the perfect showroom for his jewelry. 

Gavin, based in San Francisco, found his passengers often asked him questions about himself during the drive. When Gavin mentioned his jewelry business, his passengers would ask for a business card to learn more. Gavin took it one step further and began to wear some of the jewelery in his line such as bracelets, so his passengers could see the jewelry in person. Gavin currently has brochures in the car for his passengers to peruse during the drive. Gavin went from using Uber to pay the bills to using the service to meet and connect with potential customers for his company. Last year, between Uber and his jewelry sales, Gavin made $252,000. 

The best part, Uber is completely on board, stating it helps to fuel their mission to support local economies. 

To learn more about Gavin's story, click here

What do you think about Gavin's ingenuity? 

Santa Monica Landlord Learns There is No Silver Bullet to Oust Rent Controlled Tenants

Landlord, WIB Holdings, LLC found out first-hand on February 4th that there is no easy way to evict a rent-controlled tenant.  WIB sought to evict their low-income tenant, Paul Aron from his abode for which he was paying well below market value (about $1000 less to be exact).  The theory of the case was that Aron violated his rental agreement by making unsanctioned upgrades to his unit.  A Santa Monica jury ruled unanimously that Paul Aron, was entitled to remain in his home and to top it off, the City of Santa Monica is suing the landlord for harassment of its tenants.  

The various rent stabilization ordinances that dot Los Angeles County cities provide a safe haven for renters and a potential nightmare for landlords.  One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is how to increase their property values by removing low-paying tenants and replacing them with tenants willing to pay the current market value.  Our most common answer?  There is no silver bullet.

It is imperative that when you purchase a property, you consider the weight that rent control can play in diminishing your property's value.  Low rental income can decimate a cap rate making an income purchase a money drain.   If one does choose to take the risk, it is almost certain that he or she will end up paying dividends in either relocation fees or attorney's fees.

If you own a property under rent control and are looking at possibilities for eviction, be sure to contact The Rad Firm, APC at (310) 461-3766.  Our attorneys will help you carefully weigh your options to decide on the move that will work best to maintain the value of your investment.

For more information on the case that inspired this article, click here.

Golf Caddies Bring Class Action Against PGA Tour

ODin /Flickr

ODin/Flickr

Golf caddies have brought a class action against Professional Golfers' Association Tour (PGA) for being forced to wear the logos of corporate sponsors without compensation. While the caddies are not hired by the PGA Tour, the caddies are required by the PGA to wear bibs that have corporate sponsor's logos on them. The complaint alleges that the PGA Tour makes $50 Million annually from the logo laden bibs. 

The complaint also alleges that golfers, the ones who actually hire the caddies, have been contacted to determine if they would agree not to terminate caddies who refused to wear the bib. 

You can check out the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California here.  

Has Cord-Cutting Finally Hit Its Stride

Scott Swigart /Flickr

The concept of cutting the cable cord has been an ever-growing trend over the past few years. As a cord-cutter myself, I enjoy the freedom to watch content when and where I choose for a much lower price than traditional cable. Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime have all become staples in the cord-cutter repertoire. Traditional content providers are finally understanding that cord-cutting is more than a passing phase. In late 2014, HBO announced that it would be offering subscriptions to its popular HBO GO app for users without the requisite cable subscription, and cord-cutters rejoiced. 

Dish Network became the most recent and interesting company to jump on the bandwagon when it announced its new app Sling TV in January 2015 . Sling TV allows cord-cutters to pay $20/month to have access to a bundle of cable channels. These 12 channels include CNN, ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, TBS, ABC Family, TNT, HGTV, and Food Network.  Users are only allowed to watch channels live and are not able to pause or rewind. The app is currently compatible with iOS, Android and Roku platforms. There are additional packages of channels that can be purchased for an additional $5. 

I'm interested to see how and if Sling TV takes off. I applaud Dish Network for actually paying attention to trends in the industry. Albeit a bit late, it's still the first of the cable/satellite providers to do so. The biggest drawback it seems is the inability to play shows when the user wants to. 

What do you think? Will Sling TV save Dish Network as the cord-cutting trend continues to grow?  

New Wage and Hour Legislation Proposed for NFL Cheerleaders

Keith Allison /Flickr

The Super Bowl may be over but there is a new battle brewing in the NFL, this time in Sacramento. Everyone knows NFL players make plenty of money. What people may not be so aware of is that the cheerleaders are often paid less than minimum wage to cheer those teams on. In an effort to change that, on Friday January 30, 2015, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced legislation to ensure that professional cheerleaders are paid at least minimum wage in the state of California. This proposed legislation would apply to all professional cheerleaders, not just those for the NFL but the NBA as well. You can check out Assemblywoman Gonzalez's proposal here

What do you think? 

California's New Paid Sick Leave: What Does It Really Mean?

Effective July 1, 2015 California's newest employment game changer goes into effect. AB 1522, the "Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act" requires all employers, public and private, to provide paid sick leave to employees. 

Any employee who has worked 30 days or more within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick leave. This new law applies to full-time, part-time or even temporary employees. Once an employee has worked the requisite 30 days within a year, they are entitled to 1 hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked. 

Employers are able to wait until the employee has worked 90 days to become fully entitled to use paid sick leave that has been accrued. Employers are also able to cap the total number of paid sick hours an employee may take consecutively to 24 hours, or 3 full days. 

"Employee" has also been defined within the bill to exclude certain employees, including:

  • Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement providing paid sick leave, premium overtime, and hourly rates equaling not less than 30% more than the state minimum wage.
  • Employees exempt from overtime wage by statute or under the Industrial Welfare Commission.
  • An employee directly employed by the state or any political subdivision, including city, county, city and county, or special district. 

If you have any questions regarding California's new paid sick leave law give The Rad Firm, APC a call at 310-461-3766.

Section 8 Housing: Good Investment or Money Drain?

Section 8 is a government subsidized program that provides payment of rental housing assistance to private landlords on behalf of lower-income tenants.  This means that, provided your property qualifies upon inspection, you can be guaranteed payment of a significant portion of the rent each month from the government.  While Section 8 Housing may seem risky due to the financial state of its beneficiaries, it can be a good source of profit when aligned with a proper business model. 

The Bigger Pockets Blog tackled common myths associated with Section 8 Housing in a January 16, 2015 article.  Click here for the full text article.  As you can see, there are some important pros to consider when deciding upon accepting a Section 8 tenant.

Of course, wherever there are pros, there are most certainly cons.  It is important to note that Section 8 advisors may not always be as responsive as desired when it comes to troublesome tenants.  As a result, there is a high likelihood that a troublesome tenant will land in eviction.  Evictions of Section 8 tenants require additional service of the suit upon the tenant's advisor thereby costing you more money.  Also, if the tenant obtains an attorney, you will likely end up settling to give them time to move their voucher to a new location - a process that takes 90 days.

For more information regarding Section 8 tenants, please give The Rad Firm, APC a call at 310-461-3766.