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Westminster Law Blog

What are my workers’ compensation obligations to my employees?

Laws are nuanced when it comes to your employees’ rights and protections. Providing workers’ compensation insurance is an important aspect of employer law that you and other California business owners need to understand.

As FindLaw explains, most companies in California and elsewhere are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance, with few exceptions that would make a company exempt – for instance, owning a very small company with fewer than four employees or solely staffing independent contractors, rather than those classified as legitimate employees. An independent contractor, as you may know, is someone who provides his or her services to a company independently and is considered self-employed.

How motorcyclists should prepare for the roads in the spring

April and May are some of the most popular times for motorcyclists in California to take the covers off their bikes and hit the highways for the first time of the year. The temperatures are warmer, the daylight is longer and there is less snow and ice covering the streets.

Unfortunately, spring can also be a very easy time to get in a high impact motor vehicle accident. Even though there aren’t usually as many vehicle crashes as there are in winter and summer, motorcycle owners shouldn’t have a false sense of security when they take their rides out for a spin. Here are some factors that riders should check before taking off:

Should you withdraw your 401k allotment right now?

While certainly a good deal of the effort that goes into divorce proceedings in Westminster addresses your past with your ex-spouse, the main goal of is to help both of you prepare for the futures that you face without each other. One important element to consider when pondering this is how you might best leverage the assets afforded to you during your property division proceedings to support yourself. If one of these assets is funds from your ex-spouse's 401k, then you will want to carefully contemplate the many options available you when dealing with them. 

This is due to that fact that funds from a retirement account are often treated differently than regular assets. Special tax considerations accompany 401k accounts in particular. As taxes are deferred on these funds, you will want to consider whether it is advantageous for you to withdraw them right now. Typically, a 10 percent tax penalty is levied any time funds are withdrawn from a 401k prior to a recipient reaching the age of retirement. However, divorce is one of the rare scenarios where this does not apply. According to information shared by CNBC, when the court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in your case, that order stipulates that you are able to access retirement fund immediately without the threat of a tax penalty. Keep in mind, however, that you will have to pay income tax on whatever you do withdraw. 

Advance directives explained

Most view estate planning as being limited to you stipulating how you want your assets dispersed to your designated beneficiaries in Westminster once you pass on. Yet another important element to the process is planning out how you wished to be cared for before you die. Many that we here at The Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen $ Associates work with may wish to avoid the pain and suffering that can accompany an extended illness, preferring to instead instruct caretakers to not take extraordinary measures in order to extend their lives. If you share the same desire, then you will want to state that in the form of an advance directive. 

Advance directives are predetermined instructions that you create for healthcare providers that dictate how you wish to be treated in certain situations. Many choose to create them in lieu of assigning another power of attorney. Their basic purpose is to communicate your desires regarding your medical care if you are unable to do so yourself. Your advance directives are included in your medical record so that clinicians can see them whenever you present for treatment. 

What to include in an employment contract

As the owner, manager or senior executive of a California business, you will likely, at some point, need to establish guidelines that will protect your company and the worker, should the relationship not work out. One effective method of doing so involves crafting a carefully worded employment contract that covers any number of areas relating to a new hire’s employment. At the Law Firm of Lan Quoc Nguyen & Associates, we are well-versed in the various areas that most employment contracts cover, and we have helped many people in your shoes draft employment contracts that fit their needs.

According to Inc., one thing you must be sure to include in your employment contract is an overview of what you expect from the employee as well as language describing how you plan to compensate this person for work performed. Once you have an overview of the position and compensation in place, you will likely also want to devote some attention to including non-compete and non-solicit clauses.

50 vehicles involved in pileup near Gorman

Many in Westminster might think that car accidents are relatively simple matters for authorities to resolve: one party causes a collision that in turn effects a handful of others. Yet oftentimes the investigation into the cause of an accident is rarely that simple. When multiple vehicles are involved, sometimes it may be difficult to discover who actually was in fault. There may be instances in such occasions where multiple parties are to blame. Thus, assigning liability is often a very difficult matter. 

That is, however, the exact task that has been laid at the feet of law enforcement officials in Gorman after a massive multi-car pileup shut down southbound traffic on the I-5 freeway. While an investigation into the accident is still ongoing, officials believe that two separate crashes were what caused the melee. The exact cause of those initial collisions has yet to be discovered, yet it was reported that visibility may have been low due to fog. Officials estimate that as many as 50 cars were involved in the pileup, with an additional 100 ending up stuck between the two crash sites. While reports were that several vehicles were severely (with one even catching fire), amazingly only one critical injury case was reported (that of a young child). Several others suffered minor injuries, while a horse being towed by a vehicle involved in the accident was killed. 

Common excuses for not having an estate plan

Setting up a will or trust isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience. To many Californians, an estate plan is a sign that they are going to die soon or that it won’t be long until they are much older and can barely function on their own.

It’s all right if you fear death, it’s natural for many humans to feel the same way. What isn’t ok is not having something in place that makes sure your valuable possessions go to your loved ones. Unfortunately, less than half of American adults lack a will or living trust and risk not having their assets distributed the way they want.

How can whiplash impact my health?

Drivers in must obey traffic laws and show courtesy towards other motorists. Negligence behind the wheel can easily lead to injuries like whiplash, which can have a range of serious effects depending on the severity of the accident. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on whiplash, including how it can be treated.

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end car accident, you could be at risk for developing this condition. While symptoms usually present within a few hours after the accident, it could also be days or even weeks before you notice issues. Symptoms of whiplash include pain and stiffness in the neck, and these symptoms can make it difficult to move. Other symptoms include dizziness, a feeling of numbness in the arms, headaches, pain in the shoulders, and excessiveness tiredness. You may also experience blurred vision or ringing in the ears.

What should I include in my business partnership agreement?

Every business partnership in Westminster, California is different. Because of this, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding what each partnership agreement must entail. Even so, having even a standard partnership agreement in place helps to make things easier as you set up a business, operate it together and if the partnership dissolves.

Business partnership agreements often do not cover all the important topics, because there are some issues on which partners disagree or do not feel comfortable discussing. This is all the more reason to tackle them. Here are four of the main ones you may want to include in your agreement.

Determining whether alimony should be paid

When a couple in Westminster chooses to get a divorce, both parties might assume that one side will automatically be awarded alimony. Yet that is not always the case. Alimony is only meant to be a means of assistance to help a financially disadvantaged spouse get back on their feet. In this particular context, "financially disadvantaged" means not able to secure gainful employment (or employment that offers an income that would allow them to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed while married). Thus, court reviews several factors when deciding whether the awarding of spousal support is warranted. 

According to Section 4320 of the California Family Code, these factors include: 

  • The needs of each party based on the standard of living achieved during the marriage
  • The assets and liabilities of each party after the division of marital property 
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The immediate tax obligations of each party
  • Whether or not domestic abuse occurred during the marriage
  • How the expectation of a parent returning to work might affect their obligations to care for their kids. 

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