Though we are a California based firm, through our membership association of over 190 independent highly-rated law firms worldwide, we provide clients with representation throughout the US and the world.
Representing Businesses and Their Owners
Since its inception, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP has focused its practice to provide a full range of services to businesses and their owners.
A Commitment to the Community
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP believes it’s not enough to merely provide exceptional service and advice to our clients. We also have a duty to serve the community.
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CALSAVERS: A NEW KIND OF RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN FOR CALIFORNIA OH, AND IT’S MANDATORY
Read and download the article HERE. CALSAVERS: A NEW KIND OF RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN FOR CALIFORNIA OH, AND IT’S MANDATORY By the Firm’s Labor & Employment Group To assist the 7 million-plus California employees whose employers have not established a retirement savings plan, the state has launched CalSavers, a mandatory statewide retirement savings program. Oregon and Illinois have already established similar plans. CalSavers is being phased in with a series of deadlines for enrollment based on company size with the final deadline, for companies with between 5 and 50 employees, June 30. What is CalSavers? In response to a lack of retirement savings, CalSavers ensures that nearly all working Californians can make easy, consistent payroll contributions. It offers limited simple investment options, including default settings designed to promote long-term savings. The program is intended to deliver progressively lower administrative fees over time, as economies of scale take effect. Who Should Register for CalSavers? Both nonprofit and for-profit employers are required to register for CalSavers if they have at least five California-based employees and don’t sponsor at least one of these qualified retirement plans: 401(a) – Qualified Plan (including profit-sharing plans and defined benefit plans) 401(k) plans (including multiple employer plans or pooled employer plans) 403(a) – Qualified Annuity Plan or 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan 408(k) – Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans 408(p) – Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRA Plan Payroll deduction IRAs with automatic enrollment Employers offering one of these qualified plans will, however, still be required to register, but can indicate their exempt status and opt out of CalSavers. Penalties for Not Registering for CalSavers There are significant penalties for employer noncompliance – absent good cause, they’re penalized $250 per eligible employee for the first 90 days after receiving notice of their failure to comply. The penalty rises to $500 per eligible employee if they’re not in compliance 180 days after receiving notice. Registering for CalSavers CalSavers is designed to be simple, straightforward, and require as little administrative cost or involvement from employers as possible. Employers cannot contribute to employee accounts, provide investment guidance, or encourage or discourage participation in the program. Employers are also not charged any maintenance fees. They are also not responsible for providing information about the program, processing distributions, or administering employee accounts. State law also protects employers from liability for employee participation in the program, including investment decisions and results. Employers are responsible for registering for CalSavers, and providing basic information for eligible employees, including name, date of birth, Social Security Number or ITIN, and contact information, and handling payroll deductions for contributions with each paycheck. They are also permitted to delegate employee facilitation to a payroll service. Special regulations cover certain categories of multiparty employers. For employers who use temporary services or a leasing employer, the temporary services/leasing employer is the eligible employer. Employers who contract with a professional employer organization (PEO) are the eligible employer, not the PEO. And for a motion picture production company that uses a motion picture payroll services company, the production company is the eligible employer. What Happens After Registration? Once employee information is provided, CalSavers will contact employees directly to provide information on how the program works, opening an account, or opting out. However, it’s important to note that enrollment is the default outcome. If an employee does nothing within 30 days of being contacted by CalSavers, they are automatically enrolled with default saving settings. If they want to make changes or opt out, they must contact CalSavers. CalSavers offers materials and sample emails for employers to inform employees about the program. This material is optional, but employers are not permitted to take a position on the program when discussing it with employees. In other words, an employer cannot attempt to convince employees not to sign up, hoping to save the company money. Once an employee is registered in CalSavers, the employer is responsible for deducting and remitting their contributions each pay period. Employers are also responsible for adding new eligible employees to the program within 30 days of their date of hire or eligibility. What are the Eligibility Requirements? Eligibility requirements are minimal. Employees must be at least eighteen, with a bank account, and are eligible to participate from the first day they’re hired. There are no requirements for hours worked or tenure with their employer. For 2022, the contribution limit is $6,000 for employees under the age of 50. For employees over 50, it’s $7,000. Who Is Responsible for Tracking the Amounts Contributed? Employees are also responsible for tracking their own annual contribution limits across all the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) they maintain, including CalSavers account. CalSavers will notify employees when their account is close to reaching the federal annual contribution limits for an IRA and will tell employers to end contributions when the limit is reached. However, CalSavers can’t track additional retirement plans and won’t factor those into this calculation. Conclusion Many employers are reluctant to create a qualified retirement program for their employees and some employees are not comfortable saving through such a program because they need every dollar. Unfortunately, social security is not enough so CalSavers will help those employers who cannot afford their own program and employees who need to save for their own retirement because Uncle Sam may not pay enough to retire comfortably. It is thus important for all employers to comply with these new requirements. The Labor and Employment Practice Group advises employers of all sizes on laws that impact their business and represents them in disputes arising from the employer/employee relationship. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Greg Norys, head of the Labor and Employment Practice Group, at (559) 248-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org the article
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The New Year Brings with it New Changes to Labor and Employment Laws that Employers Need to Know
Read and download the article HERE THE NEW YEAR BRINGS WITH IT NEW CHANGES TO LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS THAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW By Steven C. Clark The California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom have been busy this past year passing legislation which will directly affect California employers and employees. Below are some of the new laws that became effective January 1, 2022 (unless otherwise specified), which change or modify California’s labor and employment landscape. AB 1003: Wage Theft Can Be Grand Theft. Current law makes the violation of specific wage and gratuity provisions a misdemeanor in addition to providing for civil penalties and remedies. However, Assembly Bill 1003 now amends the definition of “grand theft” in the Penal Code to include intentional wage theft, punishable either as a misdemeanor or a felony. The new law provides that grand theft includes: • the intentional theft of wages in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee, or • $2,350 in the aggregate from two or more employees, • by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period, • for purposes of the new law, independent contractors are considered employees. AB 1033: The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) now applies to Parent-in-Laws. Current law makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period for family care and medical leave. It defines family care and medical leave to include, among other things, leave to care for a parent. AB 1033 will amend the California Family Rights Act to include protection for employees caring for a parent-in-law. AB 1023: Requirement for Public Works Contractors to Furnish Pay Records and Penalties for Failure. AB 1023 revises the requirement that contractors or subcontractors working on public works projects provide certain payroll records to the labor commissioner and requires: • that contractors are required to furnish records, in electronic format, every 30 days while work is being performed on the project, and • within 30 days after the final day of work, and • a failure to provide the records results in a penalty of $100 per day, not to exceed $5,000 per project. SB 62: Prohibits Garment Manufacturers from Paying Employees at Piece Rate. Senate Bill 62 provides for amendment of the Labor Code to prohibit, with certain noted exceptions, employers from paying employees engaged in garment manufacturing by the piece or unit, or by the piece rate. This bill also provides that anyone who contracts for the manufacture of garments is a guarantor for the unpaid wages and overtime of the workers making their garments, regardless of how many layers of contracting the person may use. This is intended to prevent someone from escaping liability by contracting with someone else, who in turn hires a subcontractor to perform the manufacturing operations. SB 606: OSHA’s Enforcement Powers are expanded. SB 606 expands OSHA’s enforcement authority by creating new violation categories: “enterprise-wide” and “egregious” violations. Further, it also establishes a rebuttable presumption that a violation committed by an employer that has multiple worksites is considered to be enterprise-wide if the employer has a written policy or procedure that violates OSHA’s provisions. AB 654 (Effective October 5, 2021): Employee COVID-19 Exposure Notification. AB 654 amends existing law requiring employers to provide notification to employees who may have been in close contact at work with a person infected with COVID-19 by expanding some of the type of employers which are exempt from the requirement. SB 807: Extension of Employer Record Retention Requirement to Four Years. SB 807 makes procedural changes to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s enforcement procedures. For employers, it extends the file-retention requirement from two years to four years for specified employment-related records, including applications and personnel files. There are separate retention requirements which apply when a complaint has been filed with the DFEH. SB 807 also tolls the deadline for the DFEH to file a civil action pursuant to the FEHA while a mandatory or voluntary dispute resolution is pending. As might be expected, more laws were enacted than set forth above, which we believe were those most likely to affect our clients. If you have any questions regarding any of the above new laws, or any other question regarding labor and employment laws affecting your business, call Gregory J. Norys or Steven C. Clark in our labor and employment department at (559) 248-4820 or (800) 891-8362 or by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The author, Steven C. Clark, is a seasoned trial lawyer who represents businesses and their owners in a wide variety of litigation including business, professional liability, casualty claims, labor and employment, construction and real estate. He has handled numerous court and jury trials, binding arbitrations and mediations. He is a member of the Fresno County Bar and Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He can be reached at (559) 248-4820 or (800) 891-8362 or by e-mail to email@example.com. © Coleman & Horowitt, LLP, 2022 About the Firm: Established in 1994, Coleman & Horowitt is a state-wide law firm focused on delivering responsive and value driven service and preventive law. The firm represents businesses and their owners in matters involving transactions, litigation, agriculture & environmental regulation and litigation, intellectual property, real estate, estate planning and probate. The Firm has been recognized as a “Top Law Firm” (Martindale Hubbell) and a “Go-To” Law Firm (Corporate Counsel). From six offices in California, and the Firm’s membership in Primerus, a national and international society of highly rated law firms (www.primerus.com), the Firm has helped individuals and businesses solve their most difficult legal problems. For more information, see www.ch-law.com and www.Primerus.com. Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide the reader with general information regarding current legal issues. It is not to be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for the need to seek competent legal advice on specific legal matters. This publication is not meant to serve as a solicitation of business. To the extent that this may be considered as advertising, then it is expressly identified as such.view the article
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WHY YOU SHOULD NOT REFILE A PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION
Read and download the article HERE WHY YOU SHOULD NOT REFILE A PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION By Bryan C. Gusman When applying for a patent, a provisional application essentially saves an applicant’s spot in line for examination for one year at a lower cost than a non-provisional. The applicant may then either file a non-provisional or refile a provisional application. Although filing a provisional may be tempting due to the lower cost than filing a non-provisional, the applicant runs the risk their application is rejected due to a previously made public disclosure. Under the USPTO’s first to file system, the most important date is the date of filing. By choosing to refile a provisional, the applicant has effectively moved their date of filing and, as a consequence, exposed their application to a host of problems. First, the applicant cannot save their same spot in line twice with the USPTO. Upon refiling a provisional application, the applicant cannot claim priority to a previously filed provisional. Consequently, the refiled provisional has moved the effective filing date to the date of the refiled provisional. Second, prior art before the filing date of the second application can be used against the applicant. Prior art refers to publications or public disclosures that occurred before the effective filing date of the application and which an examiner may cite against a patent application for an invention. Finally, the filing date may fall outside of the grace period for either a public disclosure or a publication. The grace period allows applicants to prevent their own publications or disclosures from being cited against their application for one year from the date the public disclosure is made if the applicant files their application during that year. For example, if an inventor filed a provisional on July 29, 2021, but published a paper on March 9, 2021, disclosing subject matter of the applied for invention, the grace period is triggered as of the date the paper is published, which would end on March 9, 2022. Thus, if the applicant later refiles a provisional on July 29, 2022, the filing date would fall outside of the grace period as the grace period ends on March 9, 2022. Consequently, an examiner could cite it against the inventor’s patent application. In another example, if an inventor files a provisional on July 29, 2021, but spoke at a public seminar regarding the invention on December 7, 2021, the grace period is triggered, which would end on December 7, 2022. If the applicant refiles a provisional on July 29, 2022, the filing would fall inside the grace period, as it ends after the date of filing. Although filing a subsequent provisional application is not recommended, it is possible, but the applicant runs the risk that the grace period for their public disclosures will end before the subsequent provisional is filed. If you are interested in filing an application for a patent and are concerned about a disclosure affecting your application, you should seek the advice of a registered patent attorneys. The author, Bryan C. Gusman, a registered patent attorney, is an associate who works in the intellectual property practice group where he provides representation to clients in prosecution of and enforcement of patent applications, filing, maintenance and enforcement of copyright and trademark applications. Bryan works primarily out of the Firm’s Fresno office but is available state-wide. He received a B.S. in manufacturing engineering from California Polytechnic University, Pomona and his law degree from Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles. Bryan is a member of the Fresno Bar Association, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Bryan can be reached at (559) 248-4820 or (800) 891-8362 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. © Coleman & Horowitt, LLP, 2022 About the Firm: Established in 1994, Coleman & Horowitt is a state-wide law firm focused on delivering responsive and value driven service and preventive law. The firm represents businesses and their owners in matters involving transactions, litigation, agriculture & environmental regulation and litigation, intellectual property, real estate, estate planning and probate. The Firm has been recognized as a “Top Law Firm” (Martindale Hubbell) and a “Go-To” Law Firm (Corporate Counsel). From six offices in California, and the Firm’s membership in Primerus, a national and international society of highly rated law firms (www.primerus.com), the Firm has helped individuals and businesses solve their most difficult legal problems. For more information, see www.ch-law.com and www.Primerus.com. Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide the reader with general information regarding current legal issues. It is not to be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for the need to seek competent legal advice on specific legal matters. This publication is not meant to serve as a solicitation of business. To the extent that this may be considered as advertising, then it is expressly identified as such.view the article
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Coleman & Horowitt Attorney, Russ Reynolds, Secures Victory Before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Read & Download the story here In a recent decision, In re Hutchinson, ___ F.3rd ___, 2021 DJDAR 10838 (9th Cir. 2021), the Court affirmed the Bankruptcy Court and the Ninth Circuit BAP holding that a debtor may not attempt to avoid a penalty portion of a tax lien if a trustee takes action to do so, and if the trustee is successful, the value of the avoided lien is recovered for the benefit of the estate, not the debtor. Read about it HEREview the article
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Coleman & Horowitt, LLP Super Lawyers 2021
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP is pleased to announce that 10 of our attorneys have been named 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Darryl J. Horowitt has been selected for the 15th year in a row for his outstanding work in business litigation. He has also been named on the “Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers®” list for 5 years. David J. Weiland was selected for a 13th year for his excellent work in construction litigation. Eliot S. Nahigian has been honored as a top rated Super Lawyer for a 12th year noting his work in estate planning & probate law. Earning recognition for their work in business litigation are C. Fredrick Meine III, APC and Russell W. Reynolds. Sherrie M. Flynn has been recognized for her outstanding work as an intellectual property attorney and Thomas H. Armstrong was selected again for his top rated work in bankruptcy. Sheryl D. Noel was selected again for her noteworthy skills as a creditor debtor rights attorney. Craig A. Tristao, a top rated environmental litigation attorney, and Gregory J. Norys, a top rated real estate attorney, have also gained recognition as Rising Stars in recent years. Every year, Super Lawyers® conducts a peer review of lawyers and names the top 5% as Super Lawyers® and 2.5% of young lawyers as Rising Stars®. Selections are based on 12 indicators, including peer recognition and professional achievement in legal practice. Coleman & Horowitt, LLP has established itself as a “Go-To” law firm for businesses and their owners. The reason is simple – all of our lawyers, including our Super Lawyers®, go above and beyond for our clients. For more information on our Super Lawyers®, visit the website here. About the Firm: Established in 1994, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP is a state-wide law firm focused on delivering responsive and value driven service and preventive law to businesses and their owners. The firm represents clients in virtually all areas affecting businesses and their owners, including transactions, litigation, agriculture and environmental regulation and litigation, intellectual property, real estate, estate planning and probate. The Firm has been recognized as a “Top Law Firm” (Martindale Hubbell) and a “Go-To” Law Firm (Corporate Counsel). From six offices in California, and the Firm’s membership in Primerus, a national and international society of highly rated law firms (www.primerus.com), the Firm has helped individuals and businesses solve their most difficult legal problems. For more information, see www.ch-law.com and www.Primerus.com. Get in touch: Call (559) 248-4820 Email email@example.com Website www.ch-law.comview the article
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Coleman & Horowitt, LLP was established in 1994 by William H. Coleman and Darryl J. Horowitt.