Arta Wildeboer – Real Estate Professional in Canada

On the Challenging Relationship Employers Are Forced Into: “People are very sensitive about their disabilities. They’re very passionate about having their disabilities, validated having their disabilities. Kind of, just understood by their employers.

Legal woes are almost an expectation in business.  From the ins and outs of often complex laws, paired with the general lack of legal knowledge, it can make an entrepreneurs head spin and their wallet empty.

In this episode attorney Arta Wildeboer sheds light on the complexities of navigating labor disputes, the meticulous demands of the California judicial system, and the unforeseen consequences of well-intended legislation. As we navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen a sharp rise in employment litigation, Arta discusses the nuances of the state’s wage and hour laws and the judicial pushback against the overwhelming flood of small employment claims.

With personal anecdotes and expert insights, Arta also highlights common pitfalls for small business owners—like the lack of a company handbook or inadequate employee procedures—and outlines practical steps for entrepreneurs to protect their ventures through handbooks, LLCs, and crucial insurance.

From the grueling process of becoming an attorney, which included an eventful bar exam experience, to the significance of insurance and the role of attorneys and CPAs in establishing LLCs, Arta provides a comprehensive view of the legal landscape facing today’s business owners.

As we discuss how legal challenges overlap with the daily operational struggles, we uncover why managing employees effectively is more essential than ever and how employers and employees alike contribute to the complexities of the workplace.

Listen as Arta offers a few tips on how to navigate the minefield of legal challenges that being a business owner forces you to tip-toe through.


Visit Arta at:

Authentic Business Adventures Podcast

Podcast Overview:

00:00 Transition from student to lawyer was challenging.
07:59 First fender bender experience led to frustration.
11:41 California bar exam: 3 prompts, 3 hours.
19:15 Challenges of dealing with employee disabilities in companies.
23:51 Proving wrongful termination can be complex.
27:22 Mandatory lunch breaks, penalties, and employee management.
36:45 Legal protection needed, talk to attorney, CPA.
39:08 California business environment: regulation, population draws.
47:45 Southern work culture emphasizes loyalty and gratitude.
52:57 California’s strict wage laws lead to problems.
58:35 Law protects against discrimination in workplace bullying.
01:03:49 Best way to find an attorney? Referrals.
01:04:47 Choose a lawyer you’re truly comfortable with.

Podcast Transcription:

Arta Wildeboer [00:00:00]:
How how do you help a company or what what should a company be worried about? Well, you’d just be worried about anything you can get to for a long time. So

James [00:00:07]:
You have found Authentic Business Adventures, the business program that brings you the struggles, stories, and triumph and successes of business owners across the land. Downloadable audio episodes can be found in the podcast link found at drawincustomerscom. We are locally and written by the Bank of Sun Prairie. And today, we’re welcoming slash preparing to learn from ArtaWildeboer, an attorney that helps all kinds of people. And this is interesting because he’s in California, which if anybody of you any of you have actually done business in any states, including California, I feel like California has gotta be one of the worst states to actually do business in. So, anyways, Arta, welcome to the show.

Arta Wildeboer [00:00:46]:
James, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. I’m a lawyer, so I love to talk and Yeah. About myself and and stuff like that. So, yeah, it’s a great opportunity. Thank you so much.

James [00:00:56]:
Yeah. Yeah. By all means. So let’s start with you’re an attorney. You have your own practice. How how long have you had your own practice?

Arta Wildeboer [00:01:03]:
Well, I, started practicing in January of 2013. That’s when I first opened my office. I had passed the bar and got my license, at the end of 2012. And so in 2013, I I I figured I’d make a fresh start of it in January and and, put, out my shingle as they say for, solo attorneys and and started practicing. So it’s been, yeah, 11 years now.

James [00:01:25]:
Alright. Nice. And what made you decide to get into the whole legal being an attorney kind of thing?

Arta Wildeboer [00:01:32]:
Well, I mean, we always joke that, attorneys always joke we’re bad at math, so this was, like, the one thing that we could do. It was kinda like that. I I guess I, I I grew up. My parents are are I’m 1st generation. My parents are from Iran. My mom is from Iran. My dad is from Holland. They met here.

Arta Wildeboer [00:01:49]:
And, just growing up, I saw my family had a lot of trouble in business, with, just the legal aspects and signing contracts and and kinda just getting taken advantage of. And so, I I kinda wanted to to help out. That’s that’s where it started. And, you know, I just I just was very much attracted to, the ability to just go from, different industries and and take a peek at at what people are doing and and what different industries are like. And it’s a little bit like being a detective sometimes. So it’s a lot of fun, in that sense. It’s also extremely stressful.

James [00:02:23]:
I imagine so. I imagine so. So tell me, I guess I should know this, but I don’t. What does it take to be an attorney?

Arta Wildeboer [00:02:31]:
Well, you first, so I’ll I’ll just say the the general case. You have to usually have a bachelor’s degree to be able to get into law school. And there’s an entrance exam for law school called the LSAT. So, with with a bachelor’s degree, good GPA, and a decent LSAT score, you go to law school. And then, law school is typically 3 years. And, after law school, after you graduate, you take the bar exam. In most states in California, there’s a bar exam. I think a a couple states, maybe like Wisconsin, you don’t actually have to pass the bar.

Arta Wildeboer [00:03:04]:
You can just go to law school there and and you can practice. I think Kansas might be the james, but, yeah, typically, you have to pass the bar in in California, for better or worse, as one of the hardest, bar exams that there are. So, it it’s it’s got a famously low passage rate, these days, and and it’s become a little bit of a problem, but that that’s that’s generally the the process.

James [00:03:26]:
Okay. And you’re gonna help me out. Why do they call it the bar exam?

Arta Wildeboer [00:03:30]:
I think it it has to do with, in England with the barristers and the solicitors. I think, it it where they stood to address the judge was called the bar. And so now it it’s the exam to get to the bar, I guess. So that’s why it’s the bar exam. Interesting.

James [00:03:47]:
Okay. Alright.

Arta Wildeboer [00:03:48]:
That’s yes. And I might be wrong on that, but I’m I’m 99% sure that’s that’s the origin of it.

James [00:03:54]:
Or it’s just where you head right after you take it. Right?

Arta Wildeboer [00:03:57]:
Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. We in in, law school, they have these things called bar reviews, which, when you get in, you think that they’re actually, oh, you know, we’re gonna review them for the test or review for class, but, no, actually, you just go to the bar and and drink.

James [00:04:10]:
Oh, funny. That’s what college is for. So tell me a story about your process of going through school, law school, passing the bar, all that jazz.

Arta Wildeboer [00:04:19]:
Yeah. You know, I I was, you know, I would always liked school and and, writing and things like that. So it was kind of a natural progression for me to go to law school. But, going to law school was is a it was a wake up call because the writing style for, legal writing was very difficult from what my background was in history. So took me a little bit of time to understand how to write like a lawyer. And, you know, that, that that was a difficult process. And, I had interesting experience with the bar exam. I actually, you know, I I know your your podcast talks a lot about how, the, the, the path to business isn’t exactly linear.

Arta Wildeboer [00:04:56]:
You know, there’s a lot of ups. Yeah.

James [00:04:57]:

Arta Wildeboer [00:04:58]:
And so, you know, like a lot of people, I, I, I had to take the bar exam a couple times and, and had just a disastrous experience one of those times. So, I, I was taking the bar exam. I had applied applied for some accommodations, because, just, it was for medical reasons. And, and they put me in a, in a hotel. Usually when you take the bar exam, you take it in a huge convention center with, you know, 3,000 people. This is in California. Other states of course differ, but in California, it’s like 3,000 people. And, you know, there’s just a ton of people in there, but they put me in a hotel room.

Arta Wildeboer [00:05:30]:
It was just like my personal hotel room. I just asked for just small combination, like a different chair or something like that. But I guess they they did the same thing to everybody. So I was at the DoubleTree by LAX and, you sit in a hotel room where they flip the bed up and, your desk is there and they have one proctor for you. And and so on, on the 3rd day, I I was feeling pretty good. It’s a 3 day exam, 2, 3 hour blocks, of of exam taking. And, so it’s very intense. It’s about 8 18 hours, and and they’ve shortened it since they’re since then to 2 days.

Arta Wildeboer [00:06:02]:
But, back when I took it, it was 3 days. And and so you bring your own laptop, and I I was feeling pretty good. You know, 3rd day, you know, 2nd day, I with multiple choice, I was doing well. And and so I get there and I bring my laptop out and I’m ready. And I open my laptop and I see, you know, hey, 4% battery, no big deal. Just plug it in and, and go. And then so I plugged my computer in james way I did the past 2 days in the same room, and it didn’t charge. And so at that point, I was like, oh, no.

Arta Wildeboer [00:06:30]:
This is this is very bad because, you know, I type really quickly and and usually you have to, you have to write if you can’t type and and something I wasn’t used. So I said, you know what? This is okay. This happened to me in law school. I’m gonna I’m gonna write. It’s not gonna be a problem. And so I started writing, and and halfway through the morning session, my pen ran out of ink.

James [00:06:48]:
And Oh, no.

Arta Wildeboer [00:06:50]:
Yeah. And it was just like, I kind of chuckled to myself and said, you know what? You know, what else could happen? And then I was like, oh, I have a second pen. No big deal. And literally 2 sentences into writing with the second pen, that pen died as well. And I was just, I kinda just sat there with my head on my hands and, and the Proctor lady was like, hey, what’s wrong? You know, because she could tell. And I said, you know what? Both of my pens ran out of ink and she knew about the computer already. And she said, okay. You know, I’m not allowed to do this, but just use my pen.

Arta Wildeboer [00:07:17]:
So I said, okay. Thank you so much. And, you know, I have this plan now. I’m I’m gonna rush back home during lunch. I’m gonna get my other charger. I’m gonna come back. Everything’s gonna be fine. So, I I drove home and and LA traffic suddenly, there was no traffic.

Arta Wildeboer [00:07:29]:
It was like Moses had parted the Red Sea on the on the flip of my freeway and and made it home, got back, got my charger. And, on the way back, I was starving. So I decided I was gonna try to stop at McDonald’s. And, and I see McDonald’s has a line out the driveway. So I said, forget McDonald’s. I’m gonna go around. And as I’m going around to, to make a right to get back onto the main street, the guy in front of me goes at the stop sign and look left and roll forward. And then, bam, I hit the guy in front of me.

Arta Wildeboer [00:07:59]:
And and so I was like, this is like the first fender bender I’ve ever been in. And I was like, oh, well, you know, here’s a here’s a real world example of of what law school is gonna being a lawyer is gonna be like. And and so sat down, or got out of the car, argued with this guy for about, like, 20 minutes because he he was trying to keep me there to take pictures and do all this stuff and exchange insurance. It was just a little tapping. Finally, after 20 minutes, I was able to get rid of him and and go over, back to the hotel where the test was and still hadn’t eaten anything. So I sat down, had, some Asian short ribs, sticky ribs at the at the bar, which will come into play later, I promise. And, one of the things they always tell you when you’re taking a test like this during the test, like on breaks and afterwards, you should never talk about the test itself. Like, what you had done.

Arta Wildeboer [00:08:50]:
It’s in the past already. Forget about it. But, unfortunately, I got drawn into a conversation about the previous test. So now with that car accident, with the disgusting food, with with this, this is all in my head. And I I get back to the room, where where the test is taken. And, and I said, okay, got 3 more hours to go. And, I sit down. I I plug everything in.

Arta Wildeboer [00:09:10]:
I open the computer, and it didn’t work. And so all of that, you know, car accident and all that kind of stuff was was kinda for nothing. And and so I just you know, at that point, I I just sat down and and took a deep breath, went to the bathroom, threw up, the the Asian sticky ribs.

James [00:09:29]:
Oh, no.

Arta Wildeboer [00:09:31]:
Literally just barfed my guts out from from the stress. And, that was I think that was a huge moment for me at that point when I sat back down because, I had always been one of those people that, you know, as a kid, when I played video games, if if I was about to lose, you know, I I would restart. I I would never take the loss. You know? And

James [00:09:48]:
Oh, okay.

Arta Wildeboer [00:09:49]:
Yeah. Yeah. I was just just one of those people. You know, always restart it. Always get super mad if I lost and and not wanna deal with it, and and just kinda just give up. And I I sat there and I said, you know what? I’ve always been that kid. You know, and I thought about that video game example. I’ve always been that kid, but I’m gonna put a stop to it right now.

Arta Wildeboer [00:10:08]:
And and, and, you know, I might have a, a 1% chance of passing the test, but I, I’ll have a 0% chance if I leave. And so, you know, I just sat down and, and, and I just finished it and, and, and took care of it. And, and really, I, I kind of felt better about myself that I did that, but, got back to the car after the test, sat in my car for about 45 minutes, and just just in shock and shot. I couldn’t I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t do anything. I just sat there. And finally, after about 45 minutes, I drove home for half an hour. And and just out of curiosity, I I decided to see what would happen with the chargers, and both chargers worked when I got home.

Arta Wildeboer [00:10:47]:
Nice. Yes. So that that was a tough one, but, you know, I I ended up learning a lot of lessons from that. Like I said, you know, it was a make or break moment just to sit down and not not for the test because unfortunately, I didn’t pass that time. But, I ended up being so close to passing that I said, you know, with with all of that that I went through, you know, the next time is gonna be fine. And, and thankfully, you know, the next time I I did pass, but, yeah, that that was something that affected me for for a long time, kind of going through all of that and and, you know, the the car accident and the food and this and that. So, yeah, it was it was a kind of a tough journey to to get to being an attorney. And then, yeah, it just gets worse after that.

James [00:11:24]:
Oh, nice. So I’ve always been curious. What kind of questions do they have on the bar?

Arta Wildeboer [00:11:29]:

James [00:11:30]:
it scenarios? Are they just asking you, like, how can you make this one legible sentence be essentially unreadable? Or, like, how do you turn it into lawyer speak? What do you do?

Arta Wildeboer [00:11:41]:
Well, in California, you you would get, when I was taking the the bar, I think it’s similar now. You get 3 prompts, and you have 3 hours, and then you you spend as much time as you want on each prompt, but it’s better to break it down in an hour. But it gives you, about a a page of facts. So these facts could be from any different type of area of law. It could be like a landlord tenant, situation where, say, like, somebody’s renting a room from somebody and then, the person keeps turning on, the cold water in the kitchen when when the other roommate is in the shower and scalding them with hot water. You know, what do you do there? Other things is, you know, there there could be an example of, somebody dies and ends up leaving everything to their caretaker. And the the children come in and and then you have to discuss, well, was there undue influence? Is the will something that you can, rescind and and things like that. So they’ll take an area of law and and just write a fact pattern.

Arta Wildeboer [00:12:43]:
Somebody built a fence on your property, things like that. What do you do? And then, every every state has to take the MPRE, which is the multiple choice, section of the bar. And so you’ll have another fact pattern that’s probably, like, 4 or 5 sentences long, and then they give you 5 options on, on what you can do, 4 or 5 options. So think things like that. So it’s all based on on real world, situations, but you don’t use the specific law of the state. There is a kind of a a legal fiction called common law, which is kind of just from England. It’s like judge made law on on how things just were done, and and you use this kind of, legal fix in this average of what the laws are like all around the country. And and that’s that’s the law set that you use.

Arta Wildeboer [00:13:28]:
So, yeah, you don’t you don’t actually learn the specific laws of the state you’re in while you’re in law school. And so, you know, once you get out of law school, then, you know, you have to learn the the whole, body of law that that you’re gonna start practicing.

James [00:13:43]:
Interesting. So when you are writing your answer for the bar, are you citing common law? Do you have access to common law? Or you’re just like, the common law says this, or how does that work?

Arta Wildeboer [00:13:55]:
You you memorize it. You memorize the rules, for for everything. And, you know, so let’s say, you’re doing a, a torch, case and torches things like, assault and battery and kidnapping and, and, and things to another, another person’s person, I guess, is the best way. And so, yeah, you would say like if if somebody if the fact pattern is like, Bill hit gym, you know, what are what are the causes of action here? You would say, well, first, the issue is whether or not, Jim hit bill is illegal, and and his battery. And then you give the rule. You know, battery is a, is a touching, of another, without consent or that that is offensive, or harmful. And so you have to break down each element. Well, what does harmful mean? What does offensive mean? What is it touching? And so you go through those things.

Arta Wildeboer [00:14:48]:
And again, you have to have all those things memorized. And, you know, for things like easements and property law, you have to know all the different parts. And and so, it it’s a lot of memorization, but, then, yeah, then then you gotta apply the memorization. So that that’s where the the difficulty really comes in.

James [00:15:06]:
That sounds rough. That’s I’m glad to pay other people to do that, I guess.

Arta Wildeboer [00:15:12]:
Well, I’m glad

James [00:15:12]:
You’re not glad, but, yeah, I guess I’m just glad there’s other people that are willing to do that, I guess, as far as that goes.

Arta Wildeboer [00:15:19]:
Yeah. It’s a it’s a necessary evil, unfortunately.

James [00:15:23]:
So you you do a fair amount of business law and business consulting. Let’s go down that road. Tell me what are the typical things? Let’s just say top 3, top 5 things that you typically see small business owners doing as far as mistakes go, legal mistakes that could lead to big expensive problems that you’ll have to be involved in later, I guess, as far as that goes.

Arta Wildeboer [00:15:43]:
Yeah. Of course. I I think the the big thing that small business owners will forget about is having a company handbook. And, yeah, a lot of times that that’s something that that you’ll talk to a small business owner and you’ll you’ll ask about their policies and procedures and things like that, and you’ll say, okay. Well, do you have a company handbook? And most of them say no. And then, you know, I’ll do I’ll do like a, you know, if I’m at a conference and I’m speaking to some people, I’ll I’ll start out inter with a little interactive part. And I say, how many of you have a company handbook? And maybe half the small business owners will raise their hand. And then my follow-up is, well, of those who do have a company handbook, how many of you actually read it? And most nobody ever raises their hand.

Arta Wildeboer [00:16:28]:
And it it’s something that a lot of people they’ll they’ll download from their, like, payroll processor or their work comp insurance will give them a copy. And, and in the handbook, it’s supposed to be how everything works at your company, you know, discipline, late policy, bereavement policy, pregnancy, leave all these important things. You know, your, your policies on time on how long lunch is, and, and these are really important to have upfront so your employees know what to expect. Because a a big problem business owners have is that if they try to discipline one of their employees and they don’t have a company handbook that shows exactly what the discipline procedure is, you get, people like employees saying, like, wait. I didn’t know that. That’s not fair. You didn’t do that when, you know, so and so was late or you didn’t write them up. And and so it it exposes, like, inconsistency in the way that you, run your business.

Arta Wildeboer [00:17:22]:
And it it really I mean, if, well, I I won’t say it pees them up, but it it really makes employees angry when, things are done inconsistently in a business, especially when it comes to employee relations from management and ownership.

James [00:17:37]:
Yeah. You got the the rules of the game laid out. Otherwise, it’s like you’re playing a game with a 5 year old, and the 5 year old keeps changing the the rules.

Arta Wildeboer [00:17:44]:
Exactly. Exactly.

James [00:17:45]:
Like, that’s not what we’re doing. Right?

Arta Wildeboer [00:17:48]:
You’re a 100% right?

James [00:17:49]:
You got the rules laid out. Interesting. Alright. What else?

Arta Wildeboer [00:17:55]:
Clock in clock out procedures, but this is really important in California. So in California, every employee is guaranteed. If you work an 8 hour shift, you’re guaranteed 2:10 minute breaks, that are on the clock. And then you get a 1 half an hour off the clock lunch if you’re working hourly. And so what people have to do is clock out for lunch and clock back in. And if you don’t have, a full 30 minutes or, you know, your lunch is interrupted, or you can’t leave your workplace to go have lunch, that’s not considered a lunch. And you’re, you’re supposed to pay an hour penalty. Like anytime one of your employees doesn’t get a full 30 minutes for lunch.

Arta Wildeboer [00:18:33]:
And so that adds up really quickly because a lot of companies, they they don’t monitor their employees’ lunch breaks correctly. And so an employee can can leave and and have taken their lunches. They could even have our lunches, but if you don’t have that on paper showing these clock in clock outs and that they have a full 30 minutes, you’re you’re risking a lawsuit from the employee. And, you know, if you have 2 employees or something like that, you know, it’s not gonna get that expensive. You owe them an hour, of their hourly pay. But if you have, like, 500 employees and they’re all missing their lunches for 3 years or not getting full lunches, you’re in a lot of trouble at that point. You know, there’s fees and things like that. So those are probably the 2 biggest.

Arta Wildeboer [00:19:15]:
Not having a handbook and then and then the, not checking the lunches. But, I mean, that’s a that’s a full time job just having somebody check-in, check the the, clock in and out for lunches for a big company. And and it’s something that is very, very common. And I would say the the third thing that that becomes a huge problem for companies is, dealing with employees’ disabilities. You know, an employee will come to a, a business owner or a manager or supervisor or something like that and say, you know, I have, you know, asthma or something like that, or, you know, I have a back problem. I can’t sit for a certain period of time and it’s affecting my ability to do the work. And so, you know, they’ll have a doctor’s note and the doctor will make some recommendations, but at that point, it’s it’s really important for a company to sit down and and try to figure out, with the employee how to address this disability. Because if you do it the wrong way and if, if you basically get rid of somebody or fire somebody for having a disability, because it makes it say just inconvenient for you as a business owner, or, Hey, if I buy this person a chair, I’m gonna have to buy 50 other chairs for for everybody else.

Arta Wildeboer [00:20:24]:
And and, you know, this kind of stubbornness, well, the the law doesn’t doesn’t back you up on that stubbornness. And you know, that you’re gonna have a big problem going to court because, when it comes to disabilities, people are very, they’re sensitive about their disabilities. They’re very passionate about having their disabilities, validated having their disabilities, kind of, just understood by their employers. And if it’s not, that’s one of the things that that’s gonna cause them to go out and and have the energy, to wanna first look for a lawyer and then go through a lawsuit. Because, that that’s something that that really does take a lot of energy and time. And and, really only extremely motivated and and angry people are usually the ones who seek out lawyers. So, yeah, my my advice to to business owners is understand what your what your employees are having difficulty with and really try to address it and and validate what they’re saying, of course, to a point not to bend over backwards, but at least within the law, because when you have an angry employee and when you have one that doesn’t feel like they’ve been heard, those are the people who are gonna find you, find an attorney and, and sue you.

James [00:21:33]:
So tell me, I’ve always been curious about this. I guess the business that I run with the call answering service, as far as I know, for the most part, we haven’t run into it, or I know that we haven’t run into an issue like this, but I’m certain that something could happen. With states that are right to work where an employee can leave for whatever reason and employer can fire them for whatever reason. How does the employee, the angry ex employee, prove that the employer fired them because of whatever?

Arta Wildeboer [00:22:06]:
Well, yeah, that that’s a great question. It it really it it’s so dependent on on exactly what the facts are. A lot of times you’re gonna need witnesses, you know, other employees, which which can be very difficult because other employees I mean, you have work friends, but work friends doesn’t necessarily translate when, you know, your work friend is now suing the company and asking you to put your neck on the line by being a, a witness for them in a lawsuit. So that that does become very, very difficult because, you know, there’s so much circumstantial evidence when it comes to this kind of stuff.

James [00:22:39]:
So the burden of proof is on the employee that they were essentially discriminated against, or is it on the employer to prove that they didn’t discriminate?

Arta Wildeboer [00:22:48]:
No. It’s it’s initially on the employee to prove that they were discriminated against or harassed or retaliated against. So you you might have a a situation where, you, you tell your boss, Hey, listen, you know, I have, I have really bad anxiety. I’ve I’ve been diagnosed, I’m seeing a psychiatrist and, and, you know, the, the extra work that, that you’re putting on me, you know, is, is not something I can handle at the moment without some sort of accommodations. So let’s say the the conversation ends there. The boss says, okay. You know, we’re gonna talk to HR. We’re gonna talk to our our general counsel, and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Arta Wildeboer [00:23:23]:
And, and then a week later, the employee comes in 5 minutes late and they say, you’re fired. In a case like that, you know, of course, the the company is gonna argue well, you know, that, hey, they were late 5 minutes, so we had to fire them. It’s at will state. We we could fire you for any reason. And and, you know, usually absent the the situation with the, asking for accommodations for the anxiety, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. You you could tell someone like, I don’t I just don’t like you. I don’t wanna work with you. You’re fired.

Arta Wildeboer [00:23:51]:
Just like you were saying, it’s right to work at will. But if there’s a situation like a week before, where where the employee really went up to the supervisor and said they have, like, a disability, that’s gonna be likely enough evidence, you know, a week later that they got fired, that it’s tied to them talking about their disability. You know, then kinda dig a little deeper. Had they been late before? What is their discipline history, all this kind of stuff who else got fired for being late? And there’s a lot that goes into it and, and these things are of course, get very complicated, but yeah, it, it, sometimes it has to deal with a lot of circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, if you’re doing kademan hour stuff, like, you know, not the company not giving lunches to the employees for a full 30 minutes or employees missing lunches, that’s gonna be on the the clock in, clock out records. So So that that’s a little bit easier to prove because you could just look at the records and it’s like, oh, well, I see he doesn’t have a lunch on this day, this day, this day, or it was late this day. So that that’s a little bit more cut and dry and easier to do. But also the, the, the payout is a lot less because if you’re dealing with lunches and, and for one employee, you know, it might be $1,000 or something like that.

Arta Wildeboer [00:24:59]:
So, you know, it’s it’s not necessarily something that’s gonna break a company, but, those things lead to class action lawsuits. Like, if you have one employee who’s missing lunch or late for lunch, and let’s say they’re they work on a line with a 100 other people in a manufacturing plant, you’re you’re likely gonna see that one individual lawsuit get evolved into a class action because you can make the assumption that everybody else is being treated the same way. So that’s something, that that you don’t necessarily need, as as much proof, but but you’ll get asked for it. They’ll, you know, the the company will say, well, even though it’s not on paper, you know, we have 13 witnesses who who say every day we stop the line at the same time and everybody goes into the lunchroom. So, you know, that that’s the back and forth that that you’ll have on that. So, gotcha.

James [00:25:47]:
Yeah. You know, it’s interesting with the lunch thing because we we have the same rule for every employee. Right? You gotta take your 30 minute lunch if you are scheduled to work over 6 hours.

Arta Wildeboer [00:25:57]:

James [00:25:58]:
And so we’d have some employees that are just like, I’m only gonna work 6, but then they end up working 6 hours and 15 minutes. And I gotta go there and say, like, hey. We’re talking, like, fractions of a second over 6 hours means you gotta take a lunch. Yes. So we gotta schedule you for 5 and a half because you may have to take 5 extra minutes to button up your stuff. I mean, that’s the game that we gotta play. We like, you’re playing by the state’s rules or federal rules, whatever they

Arta Wildeboer [00:26:23]:
are. It’s it’s very difficult. It’s really difficult. And, you know, to be completely compliant, it’s it’s almost impossible. You can go from like a mom and pop, like shoe shining service to Amazon with, with, you know, warehouses that are like 3 miles long. And you’re gonna be able to uncover problems with, wage and hour stuff in almost every single company because it’s almost impossible, not to be, out of compliance as a business.

James [00:26:52]:
Yeah. The challenging part, I guess, that I’ve seen, and I imagine other businesses are similar, is I, as a business owner, am not actively trying to break the law. I’m trying to get the employees to follow the law, and it’s the employees that are not following the law, but I’m like, but I get in trouble for that. So I’m like, here’s the rules. We gotta follow the rules. And, employees some employees, I guess, often just take that as a recommendation, not a this has to happen kind of thing,

Arta Wildeboer [00:27:22]:
which is frustrating. And that’s a very frustrating thing for business owners, and and this is one thing that we always have to address, with with companies that do like logistics. And you have to have a manager or be a manager who is willing to tell the employee like, hey. I noticed you missed your lunch. I understand that you wanna work through lunch or whatever, but you have to take your lunch. And, and at that point in your handbook, it should say something like if employee, you know, misses their lunches, you know, they’re, they cannot miss more than a certain amount of lunches because they those lead to penalties that that you have to pay. It’s affecting the it’s like if somebody decided, well, you know, I work 20 hours overtime this week because I wanted to get my work done faster and and that’ll be benefits the company. But, you know, that that’s something you have to tell me.

Arta Wildeboer [00:28:05]:
Listen, we don’t want you working overtime. It’s not authorized. And so, yeah, you you actually would have to discipline an employee who wanted to work through lunch by telling them, listen. You know, you you have to do this. This is this is just part of it. We don’t wanna pay you an extra hours worth Right. For for

James [00:28:21]:
Typically, those employees, though, they’re not working through lunch. They’re just punched in. So Yeah. A little bit different. Yeah. Typically, the good employees, you don’t have to worry about stuff like that because that’s what part of what makes them good employees.

Arta Wildeboer [00:28:35]:
Yes. Exactly. And and, you know, you don’t wanna be a babysitter as a business owner.

James [00:28:39]:
No. That that’s one

Arta Wildeboer [00:28:41]:
of the hardest things. You know, you’re not running a kindergarten. You know, you don’t wanna check that everybody’s coloring within the lines and and, you know, you have your shoes tied and and all those kinds of things. But it because of the way that the laws are run, and and and written, it makes it really, really difficult, for businesses to to be compliant.

James [00:28:59]:
Fair. Totally fair. You know, it’s interesting. I had a business well, I guess I sold the company to him, and he would always tell me when it comes to hiring employees, he said the one rule is no projects. So if they come to you with any baggage at all, just keep, just keep looking, keep looking. Because you always have this thing like, oh, we can work around that, this whatever minor little thing, but he’s like, no, that’ll end up just destroying you or take way more time than you want it to. Or, I mean, just you can go down that rabbit hole. But yeah.

Arta Wildeboer [00:29:34]:
So Yeah. I totally agree. And those are the type of people who kind of think outside the box and and quickly think, outside the box when something goes wrong to go see an attorney. Right. You know, though they’re they’re the ones who get mad. You know, they have these ideas. They you you should run your business like this. And and, yeah, I mean, as an employee, it’s it’s not necessarily appropriate to be doing that stuff.

Arta Wildeboer [00:29:54]:
So, yeah, you you really have to look at the people and and the person and their personalities that work for you and and kind of see, like, what is gonna cause a problem for me? Is this person, you know, gonna be difficult? Is is this gonna be an issue? And and look for those red flags. Because like I said, people, they sue because they get passionate about something that they’re angry about. They feel like they they were treated unfairly, and they get very passionate. So, you know, though those are the types of things that you wanna nip in the bud and and and really just be like, listen. I’m the manager. This is how we’re doing things. I appreciate our ideas, but let’s just go with the flows. You know, we we do what the handbook says.

Arta Wildeboer [00:30:32]:
We do, exactly what what we need to do to be compliant and and not cut any corners because, the alternative of getting caught for cutting those corners is is really gonna cost your business a lot.

James [00:30:43]:
Right. Right. Tell me, are there other HR places where I mean, there’s I imagine a million. Other HR places where businesses commonly or that you see routinely make mistakes? Were you just like, oh, this was a simple error, but the repercussions sometimes for a simple error are way out of proportion?

Arta Wildeboer [00:31:03]:
You know, honestly, every single little thing in a business, can be bad. You know, every you know, just dealing with the employees is the number one thing. I think, just understanding that employees now kind of expect more of an explanation. They expect, that if they’re gonna get fired, it’s gonna be for a good reason. They, they wanna have things explained to them. They don’t just wanna kind of blindly, you know, do what the boss says. I, I, I think there, there has been a kind of a shift where, a lot of people, they don’t like the idea that there’s a hierarchy in place Mhmm. You know, at work, and and they do have a problem with that.

Arta Wildeboer [00:31:46]:
So, just being able to to talk to your employees and talk about why they’re being disciplined or what’s going on or why they need to stop doing things, has has become really, really important, in the workplace. Whereas before, you know, you would just tell someone, well, if you don’t like it, get out. But now, you know, they’re gonna get out, and the first thing they’re gonna do is look for an attorney. The attorney might not take their case, but still, I mean, you you don’t wanna deal with something like that because they could go to an attorney complaining about something small. And then let let’s say they’re, let’s say they’re a truck driver. They’re complaining about something small. Like, hey. I got fired because this guy said I was ugly, which is fine.

Arta Wildeboer [00:32:23]:
You’ve you could fire somebody and tell them that, you know, if it’s that low or, you know, I don’t like you. But you find out as the attorney when you’re talking to them that all the drivers use their personal cell phone, for for work. Like the the Oh. Call their personal cell phone. There’s 500 drivers. Well, guess what? This person who you you made angry for for something, like, completely unrelated has just told an attorney a great reason for a class action lawsuit against your company. So, yeah, I think, you know, those are the small things that could pop up that you don’t even realize that you’re doing. Like, hey.

Arta Wildeboer [00:32:55]:
What’s the big deal? I talk on the you know, I call them on their cell phone. We talk to them for 2 seconds. It’s 3 minutes. You know, it doesn’t even cost them anything extra, but that’s not how the law looks at it, unfortunately. The law looks at it as now you’re taking advantage of these employees by making them pay for a cell phone that they use for work.

James [00:33:12]:
Oh, interesting.

Arta Wildeboer [00:33:14]:
You know, when when you look at it that way, you know, it makes a lot of sense, you know, for from the loss perspective because, you know, this is a business shifting their costs onto their employee, which they shouldn’t be doing. But, you know, if if you’re just talking to somebody, you know, a man on the street and say, you know, hey. Would you sue your boss because he called you on your cell phone? 99% people would say no.

James [00:33:36]:
Right. Yeah. Oh, so you expect your boss to call you.

Arta Wildeboer [00:33:39]:
Yeah. Exactly. Hey. You know? Hey. Listen. I know you’re out, today or I know you’re off-site, but, hey. Do you know where this file is? You know, something like that. Yeah.

Arta Wildeboer [00:33:50]:
But but, again, when when in the aggregate, when when you’re calling 500 drivers or, you know, 500 people, you know, in a farm or or something like that on their own cell phones, then it becomes, something where the business is taking advantage of their employees.

James [00:34:05]:
Interesting. Interesting. Tell me, what are some of the other things you have as far as advice for entrepreneurs from a legal standpoint?

Arta Wildeboer [00:34:15]:
Well, just speak to a lawyer when when you first start. Speak to a lawyer. Find out what you need to do. It’s probably gonna cost you about, you know, maybe 250 to $500 depending where you are. But but find out, get like a checklist of of all the things that you need to do. Get a company handbook, start an LLC to make sure that you’re legally protected and and you’re not personally liable for things that go wrong with the business. Get insurance. That’s a huge one.

Arta Wildeboer [00:34:40]:
Get insurance. So many times people come in and say this and this happened to me. And I say, well, do you have insurance? No. Well, that’s that’s the thing that that people need to understand is that having a business costs a lot of money. It does. In general, you know, to protect yourself.

James [00:34:56]:
Insurance just blows my mind because we have general insurance on the business. And I’m like, the likelihood that something would happen where insurance would come into play for the a call answering business, whatever, has gotta be so minimal that every time we send that check to them, the insurance company has gotta be like, we suckered them again. Absolutely.

Arta Wildeboer [00:35:19]:
Absolutely. And and 99% of the time, that’s the case. You know, you’re you’re probably never gonna get the value out of your insurance policy that that you pay every month, but, you know, crazy things happen. I mean, one example when when I was first, first working, somebody was had sold a car, but didn’t take their name off of the, off of the title. So, of course, the the person who was driving it, they were insured. They they were insured. Their the car was insured, but the the person who originally owned the com, whose name was stolen the title, was not insured on the car. So now they were personally liable, in an accident that happened.

James [00:35:56]:
Oh, alright.

Arta Wildeboer [00:35:57]:
So things like that that you wouldn’t expect. You know, somebody a delivery guy comes to your call center and slips, because one of your employees spilled coffee, you know, that’s something that that you’re gonna have to deal with. And for an insurance company to deal with somebody going to the ER or something is not a big deal, you know, it’s not gonna cost them that much money and they’re gonna be able to to handle it. But, yeah, if if delivery guy slips and and hands you a bill for for the hospital bill and it’s, like, $15,000 for, you know, a broken arm or something like that. That’s really gonna hurt a business owner, and and you’re gonna wish that you were paying for the insurance. So Right. Yeah. Insurance is huge.

James [00:36:29]:
Fair. Tell me as far you mentioned LLCs. Can you describe, I guess, where an attorney would fit in as far as LLCs? I don’t know if s corporations, corporations, trusts. Is that attorney type stuff, or is that more accountant stuff?

Arta Wildeboer [00:36:45]:
It’s it’s both. It’s definitely both. I think, attorney will be able to help, help you understand why you need 1 in in terms of legal protection. Because if you don’t have a corporation or a or a partnership like an LLC, you’re gonna be personally liable for anything that goes wrong connected to the business. So if, if you have an LLC, you’re protected, but finding out which one is gonna benefit you the most for tax purposes, that’s something that you need to talk to a CPA about. Because there’s there’s different tax schemes, related to an S Corp versus an LLC or a C Corp, you know, different tax advantages, pass throughs, and all these things that I’m not smart enough to discuss. Because like I said, numbers are not my thing. But yeah, you, you should talk to a CPA and, and a lawyer to, to figure out the best way.

Arta Wildeboer [00:37:37]:
And and you can have a lawyer, file with the secretary of state to get an LLC, but it’s also something that people can do themselves. Alright. Bar will probably kill me for saying that, but yeah. If if you have the the the wherewithal to be able to start business, you have the wherewithal to be able to go on the secretary of state website and, and sign up for your own LLC. And and it’s usually not a big deal. And, you don’t have to find 1 sign 1 in in Delaware. You know, everybody wants a Delaware LLC and stuff like that. But in most cases, your own state is is gonna be fine to start an LLC through through your own secretary of state.

James [00:38:11]:
Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that you say that because I guess I started looking into that when, is it Tesla? Tesla was whatever registered in Delaware, and they’re moving out of there because they got upset about whatever. And I started digging into that, and it’s interesting how different states have different things. California, I think it’s $800 or something like that. It’s Yeah. Psycho where I’m in Wisconsin. It’s a $150 or something like that one time, and then annually, $20. I was like, California is annually $800.

James [00:38:45]:
Like, it’s it’s, that’s almost well, I guess, wouldn’t even say almost. That is cost prohibitive. If you have a hobby business, but you still wanna be protected or you’re not necessarily making crazy money on it or something like that. Maybe you’re just selling your little knit sweaters or whatever. Like, some of these companies might not even make revenue wise, $800.

Arta Wildeboer [00:39:08]:
Yeah. Absolutely. And and California, it it’s a very difficult place to do business because of all the regulations, but it’s also a place that draws so many people and so many tourists and and, has such a huge population that California is basically saying, like, yeah, this environment that we created for you to make money, you’re gonna have to pay into it, and you’re gonna have to pay your piece. And, cities cities like, you know, Beverly Hills is a great example. If you wanna do business in Beverly Hills, you have to bend over backwards to business in Beverly Hills because Beverly Hills is saying, we have this reputation, you know, as a city, you know, we’re rich, we’re we’re fancy, we’re elegant, we’re all this kind of stuff. And if you open a business there, you are kind of inheriting those, characteristics in your business. And Beverly Hills is saying, you’re gonna have to pay for the fact that we keep the streets clean, that, you know, the the landscaping is perfect everywhere, that crime is low, you know, all these things. And and so California is is pretty much saying the same thing.

Arta Wildeboer [00:40:08]:
Like, you know, hey. You could be in North Dakota, you know, and pay $50 for your LLC, but you’re not gonna be have having any business. And and, you know, it’s gonna be a lot different environment, in terms of the protections you have and and the things that the state will purportedly would do for you. Because getting California to do anything for you as a business owner.

James [00:40:30]:
So tell me a story if you’re let’s just say you’re doing business in California. Can you make an LLC in whatever? I don’t let’s just say Wyoming and then move on with your life? Or what what are the rules as far as making an LLC in a different state than what you’re actually either based in or doing business in or anything like that?

Arta Wildeboer [00:40:50]:
But, you know, it it does get a little bit of complicated and and the type of business and and what you’re doing. But in most cases, you’re you’re able to start an LLC in in a different, in a different state. You need to have, an agent, for, for process. So if you’re sued or or the state needs to send you an email, it can go to an address where they can reach you in that state in most most cases. But, yeah, you’re you’re free to do so. But like I said, most cases, it just makes more sense, to do it in your own state. It’s just it’s just gonna be easier.

James [00:41:22]:
Alright. Interesting. Yeah. It’s it’s a I don’t know. I just made my all season Wisconsin and just move on with my life. And I just started digging into, like, wait. Why would you do Delaware? Or why would you do New Mexico, Las Vega or I’m sorry. Not Las Vegas, but Nevada.

James [00:41:38]:
Different things. I was told even it’s interesting. We used to have payroll company. And during pandemic, we ended up having employees all over the country. And the payroll company this is all that they do. It’s just payroll and and health insurance, essentially. They I, I offered a job to an employee in or a potential employee in California, And I sent that person’s information to the the payroll company, and they’re like, yeah. No.

James [00:42:07]:
We won’t pay anybody in California. And it was one of those things like, what’s the big deal? I mean, they’re just they’re a couple 1,000 miles away. We got these people in New York, Florida, Texas, whatever. And they’re like, yeah. No. California’s got these rules. We just won’t hire work work work with anybody in California.

Arta Wildeboer [00:42:25]:
Yeah. It’s really

James [00:42:26]:
bad? Because then I had to call the girl and I’m like, Hey, I’m sorry we can’t hire you because I don’t have a way to pay you.

Arta Wildeboer [00:42:32]:
Yeah. California, they they don’t it’s almost like they don’t want to do anything with other states or have anything to do with the other states, you know, business wise, legal wise, especially legal wise. So, most states, if you pass the bar, say in New York, there it’s something called the reciprocity agreement. So if I pass the bar in New York, I’m automatically gonna be able to practice in like New Jersey, Connecticut, and and surrounding states. A lot of states have, you know, if you pass the bar in Nevada, you could practice in in New Mexico or or Arizona, but not in California. And and because California doesn’t want people passing the bar, say, in Arizona where it’s a lot easier and then com to California.

James [00:43:14]:
And then transferring. Okay.

Arta Wildeboer [00:43:16]:
So they don’t want that to happen. And and, you know, that that has been, kind of to the detriment, a little bit of, to California in certain senses. There’s not a lot of international law business here because, a lot of the international law firms are based in New York or DC, and they wanna open up an office here. But, there there’s a famous case that I think about 20 years ago, Well, famous is relative term, but, a New York firm was doing, business in California. They had a California office. They had California licensed attorneys working in that office, but they weren’t, like, home based in California, and they were doing international law with China, Japan, and they got fined $350,000,000 from the California bar. Woah. So get the heck out of here.

Arta Wildeboer [00:44:02]:
We don’t want, you know, non California firms doing business here, like that. And so, yeah, it’s it’s a very, very kind of competitive and, protectionist state, California, in a lot of ways. But, I mean, you’re still making a lot of money here despite that. Alright. You know, it’s it’s it’s it’s difficult. I mean, the the bar is high, but but the payout, can can also be, very high just because of the amount of customers and and, and just the amount of people here in opportunities.

James [00:44:33]:
Yeah. No doubt. I mean, you have incredibly nice weather. It’s pretty out there, so I totally get that. It’s just interesting. I think at the time, it was I wanna say, middle of pandemic where California was locked down. So this girl, it was she was 23, 24. I don’t know.

James [00:44:50]:
She was younger. It’s one of those, like, the state was saying, essentially, you can’t go anywhere to work, so you have to work from home. But it was also telling me, or I was being told, you can’t hire anyone from California to work from home. So I’m like, oh, this girl’s in a bad spot.

Arta Wildeboer [00:45:08]:

James [00:45:08]:
Definitely. Wants to work, and and she’s not able to. At least not from anyone that doesn’t have business in California, which was peculiar.

Arta Wildeboer [00:45:17]:
It’s I think for the payroll company, it’s just very difficult. You know, the payroll company probably was not, maybe they they didn’t weren’t licensed in California or weren’t set up there or or it was just you know, it’s too much hassle to do business there for them.

James [00:45:28]:
Yeah. It was a big yeah. They ended up giving me a list of, I think, 5 states that they wouldn’t pay people in. They’re just like, don’t, they gave me because after I was like, what do you mean you can’t can’t pay them? You’re a payroll company. This is what you do. And, they’re like, yeah. No. And they started to give a reason why, and then they gave me, I think, 4 other states.

James [00:45:52]:
But they’re like, the headache of doing business in those states is too high, and there’s plenty of other employees in other states. So there’s no need.

Arta Wildeboer [00:46:01]:
Yeah. So I can definitely see a business doing that. Yeah. Because if if you’re not in California, already, it’s just not worth setting up over here if you’re not gonna have it in a business.

James [00:46:12]:
Yeah. I think if memory serves, I believe that California is set up where you had to set up a business. So that was a $800 a year thing. And this I mean, this girl would have been part time, whatever. So, like, that $800.800 is probably a month pay for, I guess, a part time, whatever, 15, 20 hours a week, whatever.

Arta Wildeboer [00:46:32]:
And then then you’re also gonna be subject to all the California employment laws. Mhmm. Which are a lot stricter. So yeah. I mean, if I was a business owner out of the state, I would want nothing to do with the the California wage and hour and employment laws. Just

James [00:46:47]:
Yeah. It’s funny you say that because I had no idea. I didn’t even realize, I guess this is just me admitting to a little bit of ignorance here or quite a bit of ignorance. I had no idea that other states had different laws, employment laws, our wage. I mean, I figured the minimum wage, I guess, comes into play with different states, but we’re paying above that. So it’s not an issue. But the different the brakes, the lunches, the PTO, all that other stuff. I’m like, oh my gosh.

James [00:47:16]:
This is a full time job just keeping track of all that just to figure out what states we can hire people

Arta Wildeboer [00:47:23]:
in. Yeah. And and you know what? The the California system doesn’t even necessarily reflect, like a lot of the, I I guess, the values that people have in other states, I think because California is so big and there there’s just more opportunity for, the boss not to know the employees in the same way.

James [00:47:44]:

Arta Wildeboer [00:47:45]:
Because you you hear a lot like in in in the south. I, you know, I was talking to other attorneys and stuff like that. There’s there’s more of a, understanding that, you know, you’re you’re gonna help your boss if you have to stay a little bit, you know, 20, 30 minutes after to load something up, you know, in in your boss’s store or something like that. You you’re gonna do it, and you’re not gonna go ahead and sue them for that or expect them to be paying you overtime because, you know, you’re you’re thankful that you have the job and and, and, you know, you wanna help this person. And and just as a in your own moral kind of morality, you know, it’s the right thing to do, you know, just to lend somebody a hand that, that is helping you. And I, I, you know, I totally agree with that. I don’t think, you know, people should necessarily be breathing down their boss’s neck for, you know, a couple bucks of of overtime or something like that, but it it just becomes a problem on a large scale. Right.

Arta Wildeboer [00:48:37]:
So that’s what California is trying to address because, you know, California has huge employers, in Central California with agriculture, lot of logistics and drivers and shipping and, and all these different industries that have tons and tons of employees where it’s not this relationship between, you know, like a a a boss who’s like a, you know, a father figure to to a small group of employees or something like that, where, you know, these these types of, you know, we’re not gonna worry about this 20 minutes or, you know, hey. I’m gonna skip lunch today. Be becomes, you know, like a legal threat, Like in the way in California where it’s like, well, yeah, these construction workers have not been getting their lunches and have been forced to work through their lunch. You know, that’s a much different situation where they don’t wanna do that. You know, they’re they’re not looking to do that. They’ve been working for 5 hours straight. Where’s my lunch? You know, that’s a very different situation. So, you know, a lot of it is is kind of the examples that people bring up as well can really color the way that you look at the laws.

Arta Wildeboer [00:49:37]:
You know, because you can easily find examples where the employee, gets sympathy, but then switch it around and and you notice that, well, you know, employers deserve a little bit of sympathy as well. And in California, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case compared to other places.

James [00:49:50]:
That’s fair. That’s fair. It almost seems like it’s built or designed to make it an us versus them, employer versus employee. You remind me of a time this is decades ago. I was working for an alarm company, and we had installed a camera in some high school or something like that on a light pole. So we had to dig a ditch. So I’m digging this ditch, and the employer comes in his truck and throws a coworker of mine, some McDonald’s, whatever trash, the little big mac thing. And so we eat that and then we keep digging.

James [00:50:23]:
Right? So we ate for whatever 5 minutes. And I look at my paycheck and I was missing some time. And I looked and he deducted 30 minutes for lunch that day. And I’m like, dude, we were in, like, 90 degree heat digging this ditch. We never left that ditch. And he’s like, you ate lunch? I’m like, oh, this guy. So I don’t know if it was a week or two later. I just left.

Arta Wildeboer [00:50:47]:
Yeah. And and I

James [00:50:47]:
didn’t feel like suing them or anything like that over a lunch or anything, but it was one of those, like, we can be done.

Arta Wildeboer [00:50:55]:
Yeah. Absolutely. I I think you did the right thing by leaving because that’s that’s really the only other thing you can do other than sue is just kind of protest the the behavior like that because that’s what a lot of employers do. It’s like, hey, man. You know, you had your lunch. Well, I didn’t go anywhere for lunch. I

James [00:51:09]:
just Right.

Arta Wildeboer [00:51:10]:
5 minutes, you know, next to this light pole, and you were talking to me about what we’re supposed to be doing Mhmm. The next 20 minutes or the next few hours the whole time I was eating my Big Mac. How is that a lunch?

James [00:51:21]:
Yeah. So I figured, like, he thought or his in his mind. Right? He pays $5 for lunch for each of us, and then it he saves himself, whatever, 15, $20. Yeah. Each employee is probably like, oh, I should do this every day.

Arta Wildeboer [00:51:36]:
Exactly. Or they owe me how we’re you know, I owe the I’m I’m out there getting them lunch and

James [00:51:41]:
Yeah. Working so hard. That drive through.

Arta Wildeboer [00:51:45]:
Yeah. Exactly. And so yeah. And but but people really you know, employers, they will they will get very stubborn about that kind of stuff and feel like they’re owed. But, man, your employees don’t owe you anything other than the work they’re contracted to do. And, and you owe them for that time that they put in, you know, asking them for anything else, or forcing them, I should say, to do anything else. That that’s really it’s it’s inappropriate. It’s really taking advantage of people.

Arta Wildeboer [00:52:10]:
And and those kind of soft examples of of of, like like you just said, are are prevalent everywhere. And and really, you know, people are getting 1,000,000 and 1,000,000 and 1,000,000 of dollars stolen from them every year like this.

James [00:52:23]:

Arta Wildeboer [00:52:24]:
You know, and it it really adds up because you gotta think, like, there’s probably a 100 other employers just like that guy just, you know, within within 10 miles of where you were at that time. You know? Do I just And and people just kind of not wanting to say anything because they don’t wanna get fired, and they don’t wanna seem like complainers.

James [00:52:43]:
Yeah. Counter to that. I mean, there’s employees, like I said, where they just punch in and don’t necessarily work.

Arta Wildeboer [00:52:49]:
So Yeah.

James [00:52:49]:
I think it certainly cuts both ways.

Arta Wildeboer [00:52:52]:
Oh, absolutely. But no nobody is the good guy in this.

James [00:52:56]:
There’s no Right.

Arta Wildeboer [00:52:57]:
There’s no there’s no good guy. There’s no bad guy. There’s there’s nothing like that where, you know, you can say that that one side, is taking advantage of the other there’s it’s, it’s gonna be happening on, on both sides. And, you know, like in California, I guess California, the state just basically takes the hit in terms of being the bad guy, for everybody. But it’s interesting because California has these very, very strict laws on wage and hour, but, the the effect has been that they don’t get, they don’t get enforced, because yeah. What what’s happened in California is that California, the legislature made these super, super strict laws. You know, that if if, you know, the employee gets 29 minutes, you know, you have to pay them a penalty of 1 hour because they didn’t it’s not considered their full lunch. And and so, to to make this something that companies took seriously and not just tried, you know, if they got sued for $5,000, you which is such a small amount for for a big company that they could just, you know, ignore it and ignore it and ignore it because the plaintiff’s attorney probably is not gonna make a big deal over $5,000 and and, you know, put on a a huge case.

Arta Wildeboer [00:54:11]:
If if you win at trial as an employee, you’re even $1, your, attorney would be, would have the right to ask for attorney’s fees from the court. So as an attorney, I can win a case for $1 goes to the jury. The jury sides with me, you know, Hey, they missed one lunch, one time. That’s the law. And they didn’t wanna settle and pay the pay, you know, the, the hours work I can ask for say a $100,000 in attorney’s fees at that point. And that’s not what’s supposed to happen. It’s just supposed to incentivize the companies to, to settle faster, you know, when they get a $2,000, $3,000 claim. But what happened, during COVID was these laws kinda started getting what so I I would say popular, but you you started to see a lot of these lawsuits.

Arta Wildeboer [00:54:58]:
And COVID, everything slowed down. The the courts got shut down. And all of a sudden, you know, judges are seeing half their docket, which is already twice as full as it should be, is taken up by the small employment claims for like 4,000, $5,000, you know, that that are supposed to be paid quickly and they’re not going away. And so the judges don’t don’t enforce the laws that the the way they’re supposed to. And so you’ll get a situation where, I, I would be in a mediation with my client. My, my client was owed say like $35,000 in overtime, missed breaks and, and missed lunches. And, you know, by, by their account, you know, they say I never got lunch. I never, and, and we ask for the records from the company, which they’re legally required to send us, and the company won’t send the records.

Arta Wildeboer [00:55:45]:
And so you don’t have you and, you know, so you don’t have the exact numbers. And you get into a mediation and the judge says, okay. What are you asking for? Or or the the attorney, the mediator. And he’s, what are you asking for? He said, okay. Well, you know, we have $35,000 worth of, missed lunches and overtime. Well, where’s your proof? Well, they never sent us the records. Well, so you don’t have proof? Well, they didn’t send us the records. We just told you.

Arta Wildeboer [00:56:11]:
And, you know, it it’s supposed to be an assumption against the company that that my my client is telling the truth, you know, about this kind of stuff because they they now have the burden to to show that they did give the lunches. Well and then the judge will say, well, you don’t have any proof? Do you have witnesses? Well, nobody’s gonna testify in the court, you know, against the company that they’re working for. So, no, I don’t have witnesses. And I said, well, then you don’t have a case.

James [00:56:36]:

Arta Wildeboer [00:56:36]:
It’s not necessarily true. By by law, you have a case here. But but in practicality, the judges don’t wanna deal with cases. The mediators don’t wanna deal with these cases. They wanna deal with cases that are worth 250,000, $300,000 or more, you know, these small cases. So what what has happened is that there’s such a distaste from the courts and the mediators and arbitrators for these types of cases that you bring these james. And it’s just, it’s just not worth it. The they’ve, they’ve created an artificially high burden that’s higher than the burden that the law actually has, but these are the gatekeepers of the law.

Arta Wildeboer [00:57:10]:

James [00:57:11]:
Oh, gotcha. Okay.

Arta Wildeboer [00:57:12]:
You know, like I said, this is kind of it’s it’s kind of like a, like a quiet rebellion against the California legislature. The courts are saying to legislature, listen. You made these laws so broad, and and they they can catch anybody. And that’s not necessarily what the laws are supposed to do. You know, it it’s it’s it’s in a sense, it’s like speeding where, you know, it says the limit is 55, but everybody does 65, 75 because that’s just what’s normal. Everybody legally could get a ticket, but that just doesn’t happen because the courts would get completely filled up. There’s not enough cops to give everybody tickets and and just practically. So it’s it’s a similar situation with with kind of kademan hour stuff like this where the the courts themselves don’t like how the legislature has dealt with the problem.

James [00:58:02]:
Alright. Interesting.

Arta Wildeboer [00:58:04]:
Yeah. It it’s it’s it’s funny. It’s an unintended consequence. You know, they they wanted to protect these people and and ended up that the the legislative, ideas that they brought and the laws that they passed made it actually harder, for these people to get help.

James [00:58:21]:
Interesting. And so I guess when I listen to to stuff like this, I just think, what is wrong with the employee just getting a different job? You don’t like where you’re working or the rules of the game there? Just it’s not like there’s no other jobs available.

Arta Wildeboer [00:58:35]:
And and that’s what the law thinks too. The law is basically like you know, that’s why it’s at will. You know, if you don’t like what’s going on, leave because I, I get a lot of people who come in and, and say they’re being bullied at work. I’m getting bullied, getting bullied possible work environment. And, and, and that, that could be a thing if it’s based on discrimination, if you’re getting bullied because you’re Asian, that’s a problem. If you get bullied because you work too slow, you know, bullied quote unquote because you work too slow on your manage well, I’ll ask the client, well, what do you mean you’re getting bullied? Well, my my, I have to do the work of 2 people. And and my manager, he he likes the other guy better than he likes me, and they always talk to each other. And after work, they hang out and and, you know, they tell me that I work too slow and and that I’m stupid, and I don’t know what I’m doing.

Arta Wildeboer [00:59:19]:
And I say, you know what? You gotta go find a new job. There’s nothing I can do for you there. And, you know, that’s kinda how the law looks at it. Yep. This is this is a bad place to work, so go work somewhere else.

James [00:59:30]:
Yeah. For that person, take responsibility.

Arta Wildeboer [00:59:33]:
Exactly. Exactly. But the problem is in a place like California, you know, for if if you’re working, you know, you’re making $20 an hour, you’re basically paycheck to paycheck in California. If you’re living in the LA or Orange County area, if you want a 2 bedroom apartment anywhere, you know, within I would say anywhere from LA to San Diego, 2 bedroom apartment average is gonna be, like, $25100, you know, for not to be in a great place. So if you’re making $40 a year, you’re like, wait a minute. What if it takes me a month and a half to find a job? You know, you’re gonna burn through your savings and

James [01:00:07]:
Oh, sure.

Arta Wildeboer [01:00:07]:
Gonna be screwed. And and, you know, because of how expensive rent is, how expensive groceries are, how expensive insurance I mean, insurance in California for cars is skyrocketing. Home insurance costs are skyrocketing. So everything becomes so expensive that you end up kind of getting tied down to your job more than what a healthy functioning economy would would really, kind of think a a typical employee would be, tied down to their job. There there’s in practicality a lot less, you know, ability to move around to jobs because of how expensive working society, you know, that that is working in the way it’s it’s intended to work.

James [01:00:56]:
Mhmm. Interesting. Yeah. It’s a tough place. Nice place to visit.

Arta Wildeboer [01:01:00]:
Nice place to visit. Yeah. Yeah. For a few days, it’s great. You know, I I’m I’m from here. I’m kinda stuck here. So, you know, I I would not tell people to move here. And and people moving here is one of the reasons it’s it’s so expensive too, especially in LA.

Arta Wildeboer [01:01:15]:
You get a lot of people who move here for the movie industry and, you know, move to, like, certain parts of LA. And, you know, there are people overestimate how much money they’re gonna make in the future. Like, they they say, I’m gonna get to LA, you know, within a couple months, I’ll probably have a job. I’ll be making, you know, 50, 60 grand a year. Won’t be a problem for me, you know, to find a place and this and that. But, you know, a lot of times it doesn’t turn out that way. And and, you know, but these people coming in with these expectations of getting paid a lot more than than what they necessarily will on average means that there’s always somebody willing to pay this high high high rent. Because, you know, they they just don’t know better.

Arta Wildeboer [01:01:56]:
And and so LA is constantly getting an influx of people willing to pay a higher rent just to, you know, as a cost of doing business to live here.

James [01:02:07]:
Interesting. It’s a whole different world. It’s Well, I guess it’s expensive rent here too, but we don’t even know ocean next to us. So

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:15]:
You guys are you in, in Milwaukee?

James [01:02:18]:
Madison. Madison, Wisconsin. Yeah. Yeah.

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:20]:
My my son.

James [01:02:21]:
Beautiful area, but we have winter. So

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:24]:
Yeah. Yeah. You know? I I’ve been, I’ve been in Milwaukee, Mequon. I got a bunch of friends there. My, my stepdad went to, to University of Wisconsin. He was the goalie for the soccer team for a couple

James [01:02:35]:
Oh, nice. Yeah. Yeah.

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:37]:
You know,

James [01:02:37]:
it’s so interesting. I meet a lot of people and almost everyone has been to Madison partying or doing something with that regard.

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:46]:

James [01:02:46]:
Yeah. Country almost definitely say all over the country, arguably quite a bit all over the world. My Definitely definitely all over the country.

Arta Wildeboer [01:02:56]:
It’s interesting. College that we’re when in Arizona, we’re all from Milwaukee.

James [01:03:01]:
Oh, that’s funny.

Arta Wildeboer [01:03:02]:
We’ve had so many friends from Milwaukee. It’s such a great place. I do love everybody from Wisconsin. It’s just it’s just a great place. I re really, really love Wisconsin. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been a fan of the football team as well.

Arta Wildeboer [01:03:14]:
Big Veron Dane fan.

James [01:03:18]:
That’s funny. Yeah. That was a name I haven’t heard in a while. I don’t wanna keep you too long here, Arta, but I do have a quick question from a business. Let’s say I’m a small business owner. Let’s say hypothetically. Right? And I wanna find an attorney. What should small businesses small business owners be looking for? Because you there’s 50,000,000 numbers.

James [01:03:37]:
Right? You get on the Google machine, look for an attorney. How do you know what a good attorney is, or what are the questions that you ask or should ask an attorney to find out if they’re if they can offer what you’re looking for?

Arta Wildeboer [01:03:49]:
Honestly, that that is a fantastic question. And and as an attorney, we don’t realize sometimes how difficult it is for people to even start a search. Best way always, always, always is just ask people, ask people, you know, The best referrals come from former clients for attorneys. And and also I think if if I’m looking for an attorney myself, you know, to to help out, I always ask friends. You know, if if you know somebody who’s also in business, ask them who who their attorney is. And and if they like them and and what they’re like. Attorneys, their personalities, you know, run the gamut from, you know, people who are extremely tight lipped and nervous and, and don’t wanna do anything to, to kind of gun slingers, you know, who, who will just walk in the court unprepared and and just be able to well, not unprepared, but but maybe not with the 50 hours of preparation somebody else would do and just kinda wing it and are are able to carry the day with their personality. So you really have to find somebody, I would say, through referrals.

Arta Wildeboer [01:04:47]:
If you can’t do that, then through the bar association, local bar, call them and tell them you need this type of lawyer, and they’ll refer you to 1. But also don’t go with the 1st lawyer you meet if you’re not a 100% comfortable with them. There there’s ton like I said, there’s tons of different personalities that attorneys have, and and you’re gonna get a different answer, on on a question from every single attorney you talk to in in most james, I mean, with different shades. And so you you really have to work with somebody that you feel comfortable with, hire somebody that that understands what you’re trying to tell them, that takes time to listen because you’re gonna be paying them a lot of money. So you need to be with somebody that you’re very comfortable working with, and and will answer your questions and take the time and be patient. I think those are the most important things because, there there’s so much stuff to be, uncovered in, in cases that, that people don’t necessarily say right at the beginning to their attorney, because they’re not comfortable enough. And so when you’re comfortable talking to your attorney and having a relationship with them, you’re more likely to to to be open and and, and and give them the full story. Because, one thing that I really caution people against is don’t tell the attorney the story the way you want it to be.

Arta Wildeboer [01:05:58]:
Oh. Know what I mean? Because you’ll get a lot of people who have been to another attorney and they’ll they’ll tell them the whole story. And then the attorney will say, well, everything sounds good except this one thing. And then they’ll go to another attorney, and then they’ll tell them everything except that one thing because they want the attorney to take their case and to help them. But at the end of the day, that’s just gonna make things more difficult for everybody because now the attorney is gonna have to, is gonna have to, you know, pivot at at whatever point they find out about this information that that was important. So, yeah, be very upfront with your attorney. Be honest with them. It’s it’s kinda like a doctor.

Arta Wildeboer [01:06:34]:
You know, of course, you know, there there are certain things that you don’t wanna discuss with your doctor because they’re embarrassing, but it’s your doctor. What else are you gonna talk to about it? Attorney is the same thing. Everything is confidential. You know, nobody’s gonna find out about it. And, and that that’s what they’re there for. They’re they’re there to deal with difficult and embarrassing and, and situations where somebody did something stupid. Don’t worry about being judged. Just worry about finding somebody who well, I guess, who won’t judge you and will listen to your story that you feel comfortable with.

James [01:07:01]:
Fair. I love it. Edgar, Arta, thank you so much. Tell me, how can people find you?

Arta Wildeboer [01:07:08]:
I’m well, I’m on LinkedIn. ArtaWildeboer. Sounds just like it’s spelled or spelled just like it sounds, I should say. But, Arta Wildeboort, a r t a, is my first name. I’m on LinkedIn. I have a website, arda Don’t wanna plug too much. Also, I have, a podcast, so you can search my name on, on iTunes and and Apple Podcasts and Spotify will show up on there.

Arta Wildeboer [01:07:33]:
And, yeah, just Internet is the best way.

James [01:07:35]:
Nice. I love it. Thank you so much for being on the show. You shared a lot of cool information. The legal thing is so interesting because people are good at a thing. They start a business in that thing, and they forget or maybe they don’t realize that they need to know or at least know who to talk to, hire the right people as far as the back end, the legal stuff, all that jazz. Absolutely. It’s a big deal.

Arta Wildeboer [01:07:58]:
When you’re good at one thing, you know, stick to that. Let let other people do the other things. Like, you know, you wouldn’t do your your payroll or your taxes by yourself. Same thing with legal stuff. Don’t don’t do it by yourself because it’s just too much at risk.

James [01:08:11]:
Fair. I love it. Thank you so much, Erud.

Arta Wildeboer [01:08:14]:
Dave, thank you. Wonderful talking to you, and go Badgers.

James [01:08:17]:
Yeah. Right? This has been Authentic Business Adventures, the business program that brings you the struggle stories and triumphant successes of business owners across the land. We are locally underwritten by the Bank of Sun Prairie. If you’re listening or watching this on the web, if you could do us a huge favor, give us a big old thumbs up, subscribe, and of course, share it with your entrepreneurial friends, especially those that if you asked them if they had an attorney, they’d say something like, what’s an attorney? Because, they probably need it. If they don’t, they will soon. Right? My name is James Kademan, and Authentic Business Adventures is brought to you by CallsOnCall, offering call answering and receptionist services for service businesses across the country on the web at Com, of course, the Bold Business Book, a book for the entrepreneur in all of us, available wherever fine books are sold. We’d like to thank you, our wonderful listeners, as well as our guest, ArtaWildeboer, the attorney.

James [01:09:09]:
Arda, can you tell us your website one more time?

Arta Wildeboer [01:09:12]:
Sure. It’s You can find it there.

James [01:09:16]:
Oh, that’s super cool. Super easy. Right? Exactly. Past episodes can be found morning, noon, and night. That’s a podcast link found at Thank you for listening. We will see you next week. I want you to stay awesome.

James [01:09:28]:
If you do nothing else, enjoy your business.

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