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February 2015 Archives

How to Set and Conquer Your 2015 Money Goals

Laying out a financial plan can be daunting, and the overwhelming nature of financial planning can convince many people, not to do it. However, the reality is that those who commit to a plan are around twenty percent more successful at improving their financial state.

Low Prices Smooth Path for Carbon Add-On in California

Are you enjoying the falling prices at the pump? Prices may be set to rise as California moves to place more restrictions on carbon emissions. California has a cap and trade program in effect that has numerous restrictions on carbon emissions but as of January 1, California's cap and trade program expanded to include gasoline and diesel. As the umbrella of the cap and trade program widens, it will cost oil companies more money that will ultimately get passed down onto the consumer.

Growth Surges in Silicon Valley, but Tech Talent Pool Limited

Tech is powering the Silicon Valley's economic recovery, but a lack of educated workers may be bottlenecking that recovery. This could be a devastating problem for the region as tech related businesses compose over thirty-three percent of the financial power of the Silicon Valley. Much of this growth comes from start-ups that require a new workforce full of highly technologically educated employees. However, the Bay Area is proving incapable of producing the massive amounts of these candidates.

Your “Independent Contractor” Clause Just Got Less Relevant

Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex and as such multiple companies are used to perform single projects. Often, a large construction company will be the primary contractor on a project but hire a variety of specialized subcontractors. However, the main contracting entity does not like to be held liable for the actions of its many subcontractors. To avoid liability, the prime contractor usually has an agreement with the subcontractors that states that they are responsible for carrying out their portion of the project within the confines of the law.

Kaiser Mental Health Workers Are On Strike

Kaiser may again be violating the rights of its mental health patients. In 2013, the California Department of Managed Health Care found that Kaiser was intentionally understaffing its psychiatry department. That finding led to a $4 million fine that the health care giant was forced to pay. While that amount is miniscule to Kaiser, they may again be in violation of California law. More than 2,500 mental health workers are striking for better quality of care for their patients. The workers on strike range from therapist and psychologists to psychiatric nurses and social workers.

Spear Phishing: A Bigger Concern in 2015

Banks are trying to make it harder for hackers to get into mobile banking accounts, yet that does not mean your bank account is any safer. Hackers are always trying to find another way around restrictions that may be easier. For 2015, our lawyers fear that hackers will engage in banker employee fraud. Bank employees have credentials to much larger swaths of client information than individual users and so the reward is larger while the difficulty may be similar.

Biggest Tech Trends for 2015

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show begins, and we can expect to see gadgets that connect reality with technology. You can be sure that virtual reality, home automation, and tech-laden cars will all be on display. Virtual reality headsets and other wearable technology will definitely be big draws while Nest and other home automation technologies traverse the boundaries between reality and tech.

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