Monday, January 28, 2008

Interview Questions Employers Shouldn't Ask Job Applicants

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- "Why aren't you married yet?" "Would you join a church to get a job?" Those are just two examples of questions job seekers said hiring managers asked them in a job interview, according to a new survey of more than 3,000 job seekers and 1,000 hiring managers worldwide by Development Dimensions International and Monster, the career-resource arm of Monster Worldwide.
Others included "Are you happy in your relationship?" "Who is your favorite Beatle?" and "What is your perception of the painting in our lobby?"

The survey findings are "a wake-up call for organizations that this is happening behind closed doors when the applicant is face to face with their potential boss," said Scott Erker, DDI's senior vice president of selection solutions. DDI is a human-resource consulting company in Pittsburgh.

Questions pertaining to family status or religion can easily venture into illegal territory under antidiscrimination laws. That means potentially exposing the company to litigation -- and hindering the firm's efforts to find talented workers....
Don't ask, don't tell: Questions employers shouldn't ask -- and job seekers should avoid answering, Andrea Coombes, CBS Marketwatch, January 28, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

California Minimum Wage for 2008 Increases to $8.00 Per Hour

As mentioned here last year, California's minimum wage increased to $8.00 per hour, effective January 1st, 2008. The 2008 rate represents a 6.7% increase over the old (2007) minimum wage, which was $7.50 per hour.

Some employees are exempt from the minimum wage law.

Others are covered by a higher wage law: San Francisco increased its minimum wage to $9.36, also effective January 1, 2008.

The federal minimum wage for those employees not covered by state or local minimum wage laws, remains at $5.85, until July 24, 2008, at which time it will increase to $6.55, and then $7.24 a year later.

Updated California work place posters for employers can be found here:

City of Los Angeles Business License Tax Returns

City of Los Angeles Business License Tax Returns are due by the end of February of the year following the subject tax year. There are several exemptions, the most important of which being, that for businesses that register and file their tax returns on time, there is no tax. So it is extremely important to file, or have your accountant file, the return on time.

Online filing is available for renewals only on the City of Los Angeles Office of Finance web site:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS' standard mileage rate for calendar year 2008 business miles has been increased to 50.5 cents per mile driven, up from 48.5 cents per mile in 2007.

See below for more complete information:
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2008 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile; the standard rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Runzheimer International, an independent contractor, conducted the study for the IRS.

The mileage rate for charitable miles is set by law.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle, for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
IRS Announces 2007 Standard Mileage Rates,, posted November 27, 2007

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New 2008 California Notary Block

Effective today, January 1, 2008, all legal documents to be notarized in California must use the following notary block:

State of California
County of ___________

On ______________________ before me, (here insert name and title of the officer), personally appeared __________________ who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

Signature ____________________________ (Seal)

Reference: California Civil Code Section 1189
California notary block PDF format; California Secretary of State

California power of attorneys also now require a thumb print upon execution.