Articles/News

Oct 15 2019

Did Your Business Receive a PG&E Public Safety Power Shut-Off Notice? Don’t be in the Dark about Employee Pay during Power Outages

One of the many inconveniences of last week’s outage was the lack of clarity about which areas would be impacted and how long the power would be down. Unsure of their ability to open for business, employers may have wondered: Is it okay to tell employees to report to work even if we may be […]

Read »
Sep 25 2019

Partner David M. Jolley Joins Donahue Fitzgerald

David is a seasoned trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience. His practice focuses on commercial, consumer and financial services litigation, with an emphasis on defending businesses against class actions. He represents a wide range of clients, including large financial institutions, food and drug companies, corporate officers, high technology companies, and major sports leagues. […]

Read »
Sep 3 2019

Ninth Circuit Revives Off-the-Clock Claim Post-Troester v. Starbucks Corp.

Last year in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., the California Supreme Court held that the de minimis doctrine did not apply to claims brought under California law. In Troester, Starbucks employees were required to clock-out before conducting various closing activities. In reaching its decision, Troester rejected the 10-minute de minimis threshold as inconsistent with California law and […]

Read »
Aug 26 2019

Business Succession Considerations Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Estate and Gift Tax Considerations An important update under the Act is the adjustment made to the federal estate and gift tax exemption (the “Exemption”). The Act effectively doubled the unified federal estate and gift tax credit, with an individual’s Exemption previously set at $5 million now set at $10 million (both inflation adjusted). In […]

Read »
Aug 21 2019

New California Supreme Court Decision Holds Business Owner Cannot be Held Personally Liable on a Common Law Theory of Conversion Due to Failure to Pay Wages

The Voris decision involved a co-founder of a group of real estate investment startups who was fired after he raised financial improprieties involving his business partners.  Voris was successful in his wage claims against the business entities.  However, he was unable to collect because the start-ups were insolvent.  Voris instead attempted to obtain a recovery […]

Read »
Aug 15 2019

Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys Recognized in the Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition

OAKLAND (August 15, 2019) – Donahue Fitzgerald LLP is pleased to announce that three attorneys have been included in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America©: Dawn Newton, Franchise Law Kristin A. Pace, Tax Law Merrill J. Schwartz, Corporate Law Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as […]

Read »
Aug 12 2019

What is Happening With Minimum Wage in Emeryville?

As originally enacted in 2015, the ordinance set a lower minimum wage rate for small businesses, with all businesses beginning to pay the same CPI-indexed rate as of July 1, 2019. In response to concerns about the burden on local restaurants, earlier this year Emeryville adopted an exception for “small independent restaurants.” The exception would […]

Read »
Aug 8 2019

Considerations for Businesses With Seasonal Hiring

Sexual Harassment Training This year California expanded sexual harassment training requirements to include all employers with 5 or more employees and to require training for both supervisory and non-supervisory employees. If seasonal hiring is typical for your business or industry, seasonal employees count toward the employee threshold. Seasonal employees must receive sexual harassment training within […]

Read »
Aug 6 2019

Associate Kristoffer S. Jacob Joins Donahue Fitzgerald

Kristoffer is a litigation associate with experience in defending retailers and manufacturers of products and industrial equipment in litigation involving product liability, toxic exposures, and catastrophic injury. He assists clients in all stages of litigation including discovery, drafting motions, attending depositions, and trial preparation. Kristoffer graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and received his […]

Read »
Jul 16 2019

Tips to Hiring and Managing Employees

Classifying Workers (Independent Contractor v. Employee) Before looking for the right candidate, it’s important to first ask, “Is the worker an independent contractor or an employee?” Due to the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903, it’s become much more difficult to classify an employee as […]

Read »