NOTICE: RELAUNCHING OF WEBSITE – WWW.HAWAIIESQUIRE.COM

Dear clients, readers, and friends I am letting you know that starting next week I will begin migrating content from http://www.hawaiiesquire.wordpress.com to http://www.hawaiiesquire.com. This represents a disruption in my posting schedule and you will not see new content from me on both sites (old and new) for 2 weeks.

While I realize that may seem simple, I assure you that my friends in the tech community have long advised that I do this and my awesome IT and web management crew are working hard to do it as soon as possible. Expect to see a better user experience, which means more resources and content to be useful for small business and startup owners.

In the meantime, please continue following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, as I will be doing frequent updates through those social media avenues – I will be doing another speaking event soon, so please follow, as it will be a good one.

Finally, I would like to say that wordpress.com has been a great home to my website and blog for over a year. I highly recommend those of you starting a business to do a blog and a website if you are not savvy enough, and start here, as they make it easy and accessible. It has definitely made my practice better and gives me a unique voice in the crowded field of legal services.

So I will see you all soon again and please favorite, bookmark, subscribe, or just write a note to yourself to in the future go to www.hawaiiesquire.com.

Mahalo!

-RKH

Last Post of 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012

thanks to all who visited and supported this site - hope 2012 is just as good or better!

Aloha Everyone!

Hope you are having an awesome Friday for this last aloha Friday of 2011. I just wanted to take the time, as I close out for the day to wish you all a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and for a start of a good New Year. In addition, I would like to thank all my friends, acquaintances, clients, readers, supporters, and yes even my Twitter followers for making 2011 a good start for me.

Storytelling in 2011 

I appreciate getting to know you all in the various settings that I have and welcome meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends whether it be in social media, IRL networking, or for coffee. Also thank you for allowing me to tell you all my story and journey of an attorney that loves the intersection of law, business, and politics in the realm of small business and startups.

Past Highlights 

I would like to highlight thanks to all of you for the positive feedback regarding this site and my services. In particular, I would like to continue to make this site a place a resource for small businesses and startups navigating transactional and compliance issues. Thus from this 2011 you will continue to see posts series like the following:

Because I care about the Hawaii community and am finding that I meet new people of this great state via social media I will continue to do special write-ups on:

New Features for 2012 

Although like all good growing businesses, their ideas change and grow I will be rolling out new features and ways to get information into struggling business owners’ hands. In fact, I’ll admit that being an attorney who just started going solo there were times I wish there were resources for me, and there were, but I will continue to try to deliver information to the people who want its and need it. I would like to thank various people and organizations that have given me feedback before I talk about my 2012 features.

First the Thank Yous

Thank you to my friends at Off-Menu Catering, all of you give so much support and thoughtful feed back to carry me through continuing to serve small business.

Thank you to The Greenhouse: Innovation Hub and in particular Doc Rock (@docrock) and John Garcia (@johngarcia) for creativity and inspiration, Jill (@swamwine) of SWAM, Danny (@wangchungs) of Wang Chung’s, and Shawn of Small Business Planning Hawaii (@SBPHawaii) for bouncing ideas off of to deliver services and information to small business owners. Melissa Chang (@Melissa808), Jennifer Lieu (@jlieu), and Capsun Poe (@capsun) always guiding lights for social media use.

Mahalo to the Young Lawyers Division, HSBA, and Leadership Institute for providing guidance to an attorney.  To fellow attorneys Wayne J. Chi and Scott C. Suzuki thank you for doing talks with me, some more planned in the future! To William (@alohastartups) of Alohastartups.com, much thanks as you are providing a great resource for startups in Hawaii and I am excited for the plan in 2012. However, I think I still owe you a post from 2011! Thanks to Rechung (@TheBoxJelly) of The Box Jelly for providing a space for legal talks and helping Hawaii coworkers.

Finally, thank you to Marcus Landsberg, a fellow Hawaii attorney that has helped out and set down this path of being a solo practitioner like me and showing that solo does not mean alone.

. . . Back to New Features of 2012

Ok, enough with the thank yous and let me get to the new features that you readers can look forward to from me in 2012 for this site in particular:

  • PODCASTS – that’s right Hawaii small business owners, no worries if you cannot make it down to one of my talks! I will be providing portions of them for you to watch in your store or at home.
  • One-sheets – simple pdfs talking about one particular issue for you to download, print, and share.
  • Newsletter – I am not sure what the frequency will be, but definitely watch your e-mail inboxes!
  • REVAMP of blog and website – I will be shifting gears and making sure that I deliver to you content in a more user-friendly style!

That’s it for this year! Have fun and be safe this New Year’s Eve and see you in 2012 (Year of the Dragon!).

-RKH

New Law in the Brief: Act 206 Protecting Domestic Violence Victims in the Workplace

Today’s New Law in the Brief focuses on a serious new law that helps out people in an unfortunate situation.Act 206 is aimed at creating a protected status for those who have been a victim of domestic violence. Some of you are probably are questioning the need for such a thing because a) you thought this was a already protected status or b) thought what kind of employer fires someone for being the victim of abuse.

Sadly, that was not the case in the State of Hawaii and it was only this year that an employer is prevented from discriminating against those who have been victims. You may ask who is callous enough to fire a woman who is being beaten? Well, the sad truth is that actually is the case and this news post from The Maui News shows this to be the case (and discusses the new law as well).

The Specifics of Law

Act 206 will go into effect next year, January 1, 2012.

The law will protect victims of domestic or sexual violence from employers discriminating against them from status. In general, it aims to prevent wrongful termination or suspension, as was the cast in the Maui News story. However, for the victim to be availed this protection the employer has to be notified from the victim or have actual knowledge. Furthermore, the employer must make reasonable accommodations for the victim, so long as it does cause an undue hardship. The law is very much fashioned similar to the ADA.

The employer is allowed to request verification of an employee’s continued status. In many cases, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is issued and does end at some point or the victim’s persecutor is put away, and thus the need for protection ends.

Finally, the law also creates a civil remedy (money) for employee-victims denied their reasonable accommodation under the law.

Reasonable Accommodations for Victim-Employees

The law offers up some reasonable accommodation measures that an employer should do to help the victim-employee and they are as follows:

(1) Changing the contact information, such as telephone numbers, fax numbers, or electronic-mail addresses, of the employee;
(2) Screening the telephone calls of the employee;
(3) Restructuring the job functions of the employee;
(4) Changing the work location of the employee;
(5) Installing locks and other security devices; and
(6) Allowing the employee to work flexible hours;

provided that an employer shall not be required to make the reasonable accommodations if they cause undue hardship on the work operations of the employer.

See Act 206.

An employer may have to do all of these or some of these, but remember the standard is “reasonable” accommodation, thus whatever is necessary to protect the victim-employee and make them feel safe should be implemented to the employer’s ability without it impacting their operations.

If an employer is already experienced in handling ADA reasonable accommodations many of these changes and the kind of process you have to go through should seem familiar. However, the slight difference here is you are kind of protecting the identity and safety of the victim, so that the person harming them cannot find and harass them. Also when handling this kind of situation, remember your obligation to keep a safe work environment for ALL your employees.

Thanks for following my New Law in the Brief posts. Law in the Brief will be going from regular posting to special posting until next year. This does not mean there are no new laws in Hawaii. In fact, there are a 235 Acts from this past legislative session. You can check them out here.

Just click Law in the Brief, to see the past posts.

As always, don’t forget to “Subscribe” to this blawg do so by clicking the little orange button up in the right-hand corner of the page.

*Disclaimer: This post discusses general legal issues, but does not constitute legal advice in any respect. No reader should act or refrain from acting based on information contained herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Ryan K. Hew, Attorney At Law, LLLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this post.