Practical advice. Flat rates. Plain language.


by

We discuss the recent California Labor Commission ruling that an Uber driver is an employee, not an independent contractor, and the effect on business.

The California Labor Commission recently ruled that a San Francisco Uber driver is an employee, not an independent contractor. This ruling, which came to light last Tuesday when Uber filed an appeal, could have major ramifications. The debate over whether on-demand laborers should be classified as employees or independent contractors has been going on for a few years now fueled by the explosive growth of companies such as Uber and Lyft. And regulators in different states are sure to look at this ruling when they have to make a decision on the issue.

The case that was before the California Labor Commission involves a San Francisco driver, Barbara Ann Berwick, who worked for Uber from July to September 2014. She had…

Read More

independent contractor

by

A new Washington statute changes Washington Social Media Law and the way your business manages and monitors employees' online and social media presence.

The Washington social media law landscape changed recently with the passage of a new bill aimed at protecting employees from social media overreach. The new Washington “Social Media Statute” (RCW 49.44.200) presents a few challenges for businesses and entrepreneurs, especially those that may want to gain access to an employee’s personal or a “contested” social media account.  The statute adds new regulations that make it significantly more difficult to monitor an employee or applicant’s personal social media activity. Employers should understand their obligations under this new statute, and what it means for their social media policies.

Prohibited Activities

The statute makes it unlawful for an employer to “request, require, or otherwise coerce an employee or applicant to disclose login information for the…

Read More

Social Media- Beware of Edge

by

In this blog post we discuss how contingent contracts can be an important tool in reaching agreements, allocating risk, and aligning interests.

When you are negotiating an agreement, there are all sorts of ways contract discussions can break down. Often when negotiations become difficult, a contingent contract is a compromise that can lead to a mutually beneficial resolution.

What Is a Contingent Contract?

A contingent contract is an agreement in which the parties to the contract agree to different obligations depending on a future event. A common example is a non-discretionary performance bonus for an employee or manager. A simple provision awarding a non-discretionary bonus might look something like:

If Company Sells X number of units or more of Product Y in 2014, Employee will receive an additional $100,000 in compensation, payable on March 1st, 2015.

In this example, the Company agrees to provide the Employee…

Read More

Seattle Zoning Map

by

This post discusses agency relationships and who is liable when acting on behalf of the business with authority and who is liable for acting on behalf of the business without authority.

The term “acting on behalf of“ is often used when signing documents for a business transaction and when talking about liability for the actions of employees and owners. In legal terms, we talk about this concept as an “agency relationship.” In an agency relationship, the agent is acting for the principal in some fashion. The extent of each parties’ liability for an act is based on whether an agency relationship was in fact created and the scope of the agent’s authority to act. 

What is an Agency Relationship?

An agency relationship is a legal relationship between two parties that permits one of those parties to act on behalf of the other party. The acting party is referred to as the “agent”, and…

Read More

Bound when acting on behalf of

by

This post discusses how to collect the money your business is owed and avoid legal disputes relating to collection.

One of the first conflicts that often comes with any new business, and one conflict that is ongoing for nearly every business, is how to collect what the business is owed. A proper collections process will help you get paid more often and more quickly, and it creates a solid record to give you more leverage when you do find your business in a dispute. If you properly design your collections process, it will help ensure you get paid.

To prevent accounts receivable problems, you’ll need to understand where the problems come from. Here are general descriptions of the most common collections issues: 

You aren’t sufficiently clear in your agreement, so your customers dispute the amount owed or the date the…

Read More

Ducks in a Row

by

iVLG News Roundup includes regional and national news, including declines in U.S. jobs, auto sales gaining momentum, and Madoff trustee cashing in.

National News

Trustee in Madoff Case Cashing In
A recent article posted by The New York Times pointed out that Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee that is seeking to recover funds for the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, is making around $850 an hour. Thought of initially as a modern-day Robin Hood, advocating for those poor individuals who were taken advantage of, Picard has obtained nearly $554 million in legal  and other fees.

Thus far, Picard has reached settlement deals worth nearly $9 billion, but the Madoff victims have only seen $330 million of that money because many of the settlement deals have been challenged in court. As far as Picard’s fees, the good news is that the fees do not come out of the Madoff…

Read More


by

The JOBS Bill & Securities Laws

Senate and House Approve Major Overhauls of Federal Securities Law
This week the house and senate JOBS bills were reconciled and H.R. 3606 was sent to the president to be signed into law. The White House has publicly supported the bill, and is expected to sign the bill soon. The 22 page bill has seven different titles, each of which is intended to make it easier for companies to raise money.

Title I “Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies” creates reduced reporting obligations for “emerging growth companies,” a newly defined classification of businesses. These reduced filing and reporting obligations mean that only the largest companies will have to fully comply with the burdensome filing and…

Read More


by

Today, the use of freelance contractors is more and more popular.Today’s post will provide tips for managing your independent contractors.

Today, the use of independent contractors is becoming more and more prevalent. As jobs began to disappear in 2008, unemployed professionals decided to jump into the freelance waters and try their luck. As business try to stay lean, they have substituted a large staff of employees with independent contractors from a variety of industries. The nature of independent contractors involves work done outside the office, which can be difficult to oversee. Today’s post is aimed at giving you tips for how to manage your independent contractors.

Take Time to Hire the Right Person
Many of issues that business owners face when working with independent contractors can be avoided by taking more time during the hiring process. Instead of hiring the first…

Read More


by

In addition to providing stable jobs, worker cooperatives offer asset-building opportunities for workers of all income levels.

Today’s post is going to digress from discussing the standard business model and introduce you to a different form of running a business: the worker cooperative. These organizations come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Below you’ll learn what a worker cooperative is, their existence in the US, how they are different than conventional businesses, and the benefits of this form of business.

What is a Worker Cooperative?
A worker cooperative is an organization that is owned and managed by its worker-owners. There are two important characteristics of worker cooperatives: the workers invest in and own the business, and the decision-making is democratic, generally adhering to the principle of “one worker-one vote” since all shares of the cooperative are held by the workers, each owning…

Read More


by

SOPA Update

We caught you up to date on all of the recent SOPA developments in yesterday’s post, but there’s more news today. A handful of websites including Wikipedia shutdown their services today in protest of SOPA. Others, like Google, took a milder approach in illustrating solidarity in opposition to SOPA. Google replaced the image of its name with a black box blocking out the image. It seems like the protests have been effective as SOPA is finally getting the national media attention it deserves, and many supporters have reversed position on the bills today including Senators (who supported SOPA’s sister bill in the Senate-PIPA) Rubio, Boozman, Hatch, Blunt, and Inhofe, and Representatives Quayle, and Holden. SOPA news was at a…

Read More