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Serial ADA Plaintiff Theresa Brooke Returns to Arizona

Posted By Dawn Anderson, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, Friday, July 7, 2017

 By: Lindsay Leavitt Attorney, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.

Serial plaintiff Theresa Brooke is back in Arizona filing more ADA accessibility lawsuits.  Arizona hotel owners will remember that it was Theresa Brooke who, in 2015, opened the floodgates of accessibility lawsuits—she personally sued more than 100 hotels for failing to install wheelchair accessible pool lifts. For the past eighteen months she and her counsel, Peter K. Strojnik, have been touring California filing hundreds of “pool lift” lawsuits. She ran into problems, however, when California courts questioned her standing to file her lawsuits because she never actually visited the hotels (and therefore did not personally encounter the barriers to accessibility).

With her latest set of ADA lawsuits, Theresa Brooke attempts to get around the standing requirements by alleging that the websites of the defendant hotels (all based in the Denver area) do not allow her to reserve wheelchair accessible rooms online. This is a novel argument—and, if successful, could theoretically allow Theresa Brooke to sue hotels all across the country without personally visiting any of them. Theresa Brooke’s lawsuits are also unique because website accessibility lawsuits are typically brought by a person with visual or hearing impairments. Theresa Brooke has neither.

Theresa Brooke’s first-of-its-kind lawsuits raise a number of legal issues. For example, does the U.S. District Court of Arizona have specific personal jurisdiction over these Denver-area hotels? Courts have generally declined to assert personal jurisdiction solely on the basis of web advertising and instead look to see whether the defendants has more active contacts with a forum.

Regarding the substance of her allegations, whether websites are places of “public accommodation” for ADA purposes is a hot topic right now and courts within the Ninth Circuit have issued rulings on both sides of the argument.  Theresa Brooke’s lawsuits, however, raise a more narrow issue—she is able to access the hotel websites, but allegedly cannot reserve a wheelchair accessible room on the website. As someone who has defended more than 300 ADA lawsuits over the past 24 months—including more than two dozen filed by Theresa Brooke—this is a unique issue and one that I haven’t seen addressed by any court. That being said, the usual ADA defenses of standing, mootness, etc., will still apply to these cases and could be successful.

Accordingly, the first step a business defendant should do after receiving a lawsuit from Ms. Brook is to contact a capable and experienced ADA defense attorney.  

_______________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Leavitt represents and advises small and mid-size businesses in employment, landlord/tenant, and general litigation matters. He often serves as a de facto general counsel to business owners, providing practical advice on a variety of legal issues. Mr. Leavitt's appreciation for small businesses is due, in part, to his own family's entrepreneurialism. His father, brother and wife are all small business owners, providing him with first-hand knowledge of the issues small businesses face, enabling him to better provide clients with real-world and cost-effective solutions. Mr. Leavitt also serves as Chair of the firm’s Food, Beverage, and Hospitality industry group.

Mr. Leavitt can be reached at  602.262.5825 or lleavitt@jsslaw.com.

 

 

Tags:  ADA  Arizona  arizona small business  small business 

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Why Positivity Matters

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Thursday, May 25, 2017

 

3 Tips for Staying Positive as an Entrepreneur

You know those people that always seem SO happy? I am talking always peppy, always smiling, and always nice. If that is not your typical demeanor, you have probably found yourself wondering how they keep it up. Surely not everything is always going well for them, and we all know that bad times are inevitable. It is easy to tell others how helpful it is to be positive when everything is going well. Why wouldn’t it be easy to be positive when you are in a position of success? You are achieving your goals, so you can easily be positive about at least that. However, we know that you are not always going to be in a place where you can see the growth that is occurring.

So how can you stay positive during those times that feel more like a valley than a mountaintop? Let’s explore some practical ways to practice positivity in your everyday life.

  1. Don’t let the little things slide by. When we fail to see the little things that are going our way, we can quickly fall into a state of negativity. Especially as an entrepreneur, those little tasks that you complete throughout the day snowball into significant, life-changing advances in your career. If you find yourself bored by the monotony of your daily agenda, do something to change it up that excites you. Not everything is going to be sunshine and roses. Nobody expects that. You do have the ability, however, to find the greater meaning and potential in the little things.
  2. Disassociate with negativity. Once you have reached adulthood, you don’t really hear anything about the power of peer pressure, but do not be fooled by thinking it no longer exists. Simply by nature, we tend to take on the characteristics of those we choose to associate with. This also applies to business. If the people you network with do not maintain the level of positivity that you need to thrive, it may be time to find new connections. Find business role models to look up to that produce an atmosphere of good energy and respect for others. Not only will this immediately raise your game, but it will also help you to model that same type of energy in your company.
  3. Gain the knowledge you need to succeed. Speaking of raising your game, there is nothing that will boost you up as an entrepreneur like accessing resources that provide you with applicable information for your company. Finding the right business coach to lead you in the right direction can certainly keep you from falling into a place of negativity. By having someone there to keep you focused or redirect your focus to a new area, you can train yourself to be more positive about your business. Another great way to increase your knowledge is by attending events that connect you with successful people. Fast Inc. Network’s Business Accelerators can provide you with instant connections with some of the most successful and positive entrepreneurs.

Sign Up Today for the Fast Inc. Network Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizonawww.fastincnetwork.com/june2017

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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  business owners  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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Why I Consider Daymond John My Personal Mentor…Though We Haven't Even Met

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Monday, May 8, 2017

Published by Carrie Luxem

Most of us have at least one person who we look up to and strive to be more like. Sometimes this connection is sparked because of shared, similar backgrounds or because we admire how someone has catapulted themselves through adversity to realize their personal or professional dreams.

My own list of mentors runs the gamut. From the deep admiration for my brother for overcoming addiction to the super-fangirling of Pitbull for his business acumen and educational endeavors, it's time to add another one to the list.

Daymond John. Business mogul extraordinaire, Shark Tank panelist, and branding genius. His story has had a deep and lasting impact on how I view myself, my business, and the world…and we haven't even met. Yet (more on that later).

His Early Age Entrepreneurialism

Daymond began cultivating his entrepreneurial spirit well before many of his peers. Starting in first grade with his custom pencil business and eventually shifting to handing out flyers and waiting tables before hitting it big with FUBU, Daymond seemed to innately comprehend the level of hustle and go-gettedness required for success

Looking back, his history shows us that it's okay to try different things — with various levels of success and failure — until we find exactly what suits our talents, skills, and interests.

Where we connect: Growing up, I always had business on the mind, launching multiple companies starting in elementary school. From cleaning windows for local restaurants to designing balloon arches for Home Depot to coordinating job fair events, I pushed until my true niche was found with Restaurant HR Group.

His Dedication to Struggling Entrepreneurs

Throughout his time on Shark Tank, Daymond has interacted with hundreds (if not, thousands) of entrepreneurs. And while not every entrepreneur has received an offer or a deal, Daymond frequently shares at least a tidbit of fundamental advice with the departing business owner. Whether that is a quick suggestion to redesign the packaging or the encouragement to come back again in a year because the idea is too premature, these simple words of wisdom can be enough to breathe life back into the struggling entrepreneur.

And he doesn't stop there. Between his books and keynote note speaker appearances, Daymond continually shares his decades of knowledge with others, breaking it down into applicable steps for entrepreneurs around the world to follow.

Where we connect: While I'm certainly not to his level of influence or knowledge (yet!), I do regularly share advice with other business owners through my role at Restaurant HR Group. Between face-to-face meetings, trainings and seminars, and publishing content online, lifting up other entrepreneurs has become a daily, rewarding venture.

His Ability to Overcome Adversity  

Growing up in a single parent household following his parents' divorce at age 10, Daymond took on additional responsibility at a young age. Instead of letting that muddy and narrow his view of the world, he used it as initiative to explore his options and opportunities and dream big instead. And eventually, FUBU and a string of other successful endeavors came to fruition.

Diagnosed with the vague term "learning disability" early on in his education, Daymond struggled with reading and writing but found math to be a breeze. While he wasn't officially diagnosed with dyslexia until adulthood, he found a workaround to his troubles by enrolling in a business co-op program which alternated his studies between classroom time and the First Boston investment bank in Manhattan. This view of real world business at play only further solidified his passion for business.

Where we connect: My parents divorced when I was 10 years old as well. Despite the turmoil created during that time, I chose to stay focused on my eclectic mix of business dealings. Business, like life, is pretty much never smooth sailing. Overcoming those obstacles and finding ways to turn them into treasure is where it's at. Thank you, Daymond, for that invaluable lesson.

His Branding Genius

Have I mentioned that Daymond is an absolute branding genius?!? After successfully launching FUBU by identifying an untouched market in the highly competitive fashion industry, he learned early on that you have to narrowly define your market and identify their top needs and wants. Daymond's other branding advice centers around commonsense practices, such as keeping the message simple, always controlling your brand's image, and making transparency a top priority. 

Where we connect: While I can't claim to have gone from zero to $300+ million like Daymond, I have managed to build a multimillion dollar company from the ground up…and I have only just begun! Daymond's experience represents my ultimate stretch goal and pushes me to better define my business and target market each day.  

Meeting Your Mentors

If you had the opportunity to meet one of your celebrity mentors face-to-face, would you go for it?

Well, if I can sort out some scheduling conflicts, then I just may be able to say yes to that question! Recently, I found out about an incredible event that's happening from June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Fast Inc. Network is hosting an Accelerate Your Business conference (click on the link below to learn more about this event!) and is offering exclusive VIP access to Daymond John, complete with a meet and greet! Plus, there are master classes to attend, hours of small group learning sessions, and the ability to network with other likeminded entrepreneurs.

If you're as inspired by the work of Daymond John as I am, you can check out all of the details and register for this incredible event here >> https://bg322.isrefer.com/go/event/Carrie/.   

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for more HR and leadership insights. Or check out my new website, carrieluxem.com, to learn more about my vision to impact the restaurant industry.

Who else considers Daymond John a mentor? What specifically do you admire about him?

 

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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  business services  entrepreneur  small business 

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Building the Perfect Team

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Friday, May 5, 2017

As small businesses look to grow and expand, hiring becomes part of the game. As a business owner, it’s often tempting to do everything yourself. But trust me, with the perfect team in place you’ll be able to scale and grow in a more sustainable and successful way.

Without sugarcoating it, there is a risk for failure when you bring new people into the fold.

Entrepreneurs are great at the thing they’ve created a business around, but they aren’t always as savvy when it comes to managing and hiring the right people. That’s why when I work with businesses; I emphasize the importance of finding the people who fit the culture, especially during the early hiring process.

With the perfect team in place and a commitment to creating synergy with that team, you gain access to growth. The biggest asset you have is your people, so building a high-performing team is one of the most effective mechanisms for growing your company. But how do you find those people?

Define Your Core Values

First, be truly committed to what your business is up to. What is your mission and what are your core values? Before you jump into hiring, you need to know what you stand for before someone else can stand for that with you.

Hiring for Culture

From there, you can look at what attributes and personality traits are most in line with your brand and develop a hiring strategy around that. Remember, you can always teach tangible skills, you can’t teach attitude and personality.

Pay Attention to Personality Types

As far as personality goes, there is a type of person that thrives in a startup culture. That person is hungry and eager to learn and grow. The person who displays initiative and is willing to take risks will prosper in the fast-paced entrepreneurial culture. Unlike traditional corporate positions, look for people who seek forgiveness and instead of asking for permission. Opinionated individuals who are willing to take a stand for their beliefs are the kind of employees who will stand up for your company and its mission.  

Keep Going!

Hiring isn’t easy. You might strike out a few times and have employees that don’t fit your culture or mesh with your core values. Don’t give up. Having a team and employees who keep you accountable, push you, and generate new ideas will make your business successful and help it grow for years to come!

To learn more about how you can hire the right people and build the perfect team, join me at the Fast. Inc. Business Accelerator in Phoenix from June 7-9. Register now at www.fastincnetwork.com/june2017.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Scava is a lawyer and the COO of Fully Accountable, an accounting, finance and human resources full-service and software solution for small businesses. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and hire the right people on their team; she speaks at events as a Culture Expert.

 


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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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Say Goodbye to Glass Ceilings

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Thursday, May 4, 2017

Everybody has been there. We set out to achieve our goals, and thanks to hard work and focus, those goals become a reality. We place ourselves in a bubble of success that appears to be long-lasting, and we think this is it. This is what my business does.  It is easy for us to become comfortable in our niche because more than likely it was the “bread and butter” from which the success of the company launched. However, nothing great ever came from a place of comfort. Nobody says I was so comfortable with where I was that I sprang forth this great new idea.

When Thomas Edison first invented the light bulb, it can be assumed that he was not determined to be innovative because he was completely comfortable with using a lantern as a light source for the rest of his life.

Great things come from motivated people who want more because where they are is not enough.

But what if there is more to the story? What if your business could plow through the glass ceilings that burned-out entrepreneurs place themselves under?

The first step in the process of breaking through those glass ceilings is to come to the understanding that your business does not have to keep doing what it has always done simply because it is a comfortable routine. Have you ever noticed that celebrities are continually re-branding themselves? They know that in their world, attention equals money. They cannot expect to keep the attention of their viewers forever by simply doing what they always have done. Just like notoriety, businesses have an expiration date if they do not do what it takes to keep things fresh.

Once a business owner has come to the realization that it is time to reach further, they have to locate the people who can take them where they want to be.  Connections can often be a greater resource than personal knowledge. Why place the load entirely on your shoulders when you can draw ideas from some of the greatest business minds out there. This concept of masterminding to reach success can exponentially grow your business. Founders of Fast Inc. Network, Kim and Lisha, discovered this to be the greatest truth when searching for growth opportunities in their 16-year- old business. By reaching out of isolation, they were able to 10x their business by busting through the glass ceilings that were limiting their success. This is just one example of the success that follows when you decide as a business owner that you are ready to get out of the rut, chase new goals, and destroy those glass ceilings that are holding you down.

Let us help you discover the success that exists beyond what is holding your business back.  Join us at the Fast Inc. Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ! Register at www.fastincnetwork.com/june2017.

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Tags:  arizona  arizona small business  business development  business owner  entrepreneur  small business 

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Arizona Bank Competes With Major Online Fast Loan Companies

Posted By Julie Smith, Horizon Community Bank, Monday, May 1, 2017

Horizon Community Bank fights unfair “wild west” internet lending practices and brings B2B lending local

Online quick loans can be a catch-22 for the average small business, balancing extremely fast funding with a painful downside: interest that can run thirty percent or more and, in many cases, a complete lack of regulation to protect borrowers.

It’s a simple solution for the busy entrepreneur or business owner with little time for the complex paperwork and lengthy waiting period that conventional funding requires, however, trouble can creep in once there’s a signature on the dotted line. Most online lenders are not regulated like a bank, so they aren’t held to the same laws and protections banks are required to follow.

Locally owned and operated Horizon Community Bank wants to address this issue and has launched an alternative to those who need an easy, fast business line of credit. Like any online loan product, the application process results in a fast decision and funding within 48 hours. Unlike non-bank lenders, though, borrowers can trust in the same regulations and federal compliance oversight that protect any banking transaction.

“By partnering a simple online quick loan product with a brick-and-mortar bank you can trust, we’re blending the best of both worlds. Online quick loans can be a bit of a Wild West environment, leaving borrowers out in the cold when questions or issues arise. The lack of regulation and compliance can come as a nasty surprise,” says Horizon Community Bank President & CEO Jerry Ernst.

“We have branches all over the state of Arizona, providing the in-person relationships and customer service that only a local community bank can provide, with branches a borrower can visit when they need business banking expertise. It’s a win-win.”

Borrowers can request a line of credit up to $50,000 at interest ranging from 15 to 18 percent, with a one-year term that automatically resets if more funds are used. For those who qualify for the loan, a lower interest rate is offered if the borrower opens a checking account at Horizon Community Bank, enabling automatic payments. Business are required to have an existing business checking account (at any bank) to qualify, along with an appropriate credit score. Learn more at http://www.horizoncommunitybank.com/az-business-banking/apply-business-loan/.

 

About HCB

Horizon Community Bank is a locally owned and operated FDIC insured commercial bank with branches in Fort Mohave, Lake Havasu City, Mesa, Parker and Quartzsite. It has almost 80 employees and provides high-touch, customized financial services to those in the healthcare, transportation, real estate, and technology industries, as well as general commercial and consumer services. Horizon Community Bank is a subsidiary of holding company Horizon Bancorp, Inc.

Tags:  arizona  business fundingsmall business  business lending 

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Small Business Talk with Shark Tank Participants

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

In partnership with Cox Business and Cox Communications, blogger, Diana Elizabeth, reported her takeaway from this year's AZ Small Biz Con.  Read the full article and watch her video report here.  

 

Diana Elizabeth Blog

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Last week, in partnership with Cox Communications and Cox Business, I attended the Arizona SmallBiz Con 16, held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It was part of SBA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and was a day full of information, practical advice, awards, breakout sessions and networking.

Arm Chair Discussion with Shark Tank Participants

I’m going to assume you watch ABC’s Shark Tank like the 48% of the over 2,000 American consumers polled by Cox Business, who claim it was their favorite small business reality show!

The Mr. and I can hardly do much in moderation so we DVR it and binge watch – you may recall the Veteran episode that featured two Arizona veteran run businesses – Bottle Breachera beer and wine bottle opener that’s a 50 caliber ammunition, and Major Mom, an organizing company. This is when I say, oh my goodness look, celebrities!

The day kicked off with an armchair discussion, seen above. Eli of Bottle Breacher and Angela of Major Mom talked about the journey of their businesses and challenges along the way.

Eli and his wife Jen (a UofA grad) started selling their creative bottle openers on Etsy. After popularity began to soar, Eli sold his motorcycle for a laser engraver and it increased his sales in one month by 2.5x! It allowed him to personalize the bottle openers which were a hit for wedding gifts – like groomsmen.

Angela was in the real estate business until it tanked and realized after waiting tables she decided she wanted to start an organizing business. She took a SBA emerging leaders course, learned her numbers. She remembered hearing, “If you are not profitable then you are not a business, you are a hobby.”

A few takeaways

  • There are over 100,000 small businesses in Arizona (small businesses are 20 employees or under)
  • Since appearing on Shark Tank, Bottle Breacher has made over $8 million. Buying a laser engraver helped enter wedding business.
  • “Work as hard as you did to become (US service) if you apply that to business, you will be successful,” said Eli to fellow veterans in the audience.
  • Angela, aka Major Mom practices good time management and blocks her schedule from 6-8 am and 3-6 pm for kid time. There are some circumstances she’ll break away but typically not to keep her focus on her family.

Continue reading the full blog post here.  

 

 

 

Tags:  Arizona  entrepreneur  networking  small business 

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Arizona Battles Gender Pay Gap Through Local Efforts

Posted By Rick Murray, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

Read original article here, published by Cronkite News. 

The U.S. women’s national soccer team has won three of the seven FIFA world cups. It has taken home the Olympic gold all but once since 1996. It is the No. 1 team in the world, according to FIFA.

The men’s team, on the other hand, hasn’t won either competition and doesn’t rank in FIFA’s Top 20 teams.

But the women get paid less than the men.

In February, five members of the women’s national team filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the U.S. Soccer Federation claiming wage discrimination. The news sparked a national dialogue about equal compensation for equal work.

But the headlines were just the latest in a battle that has raged for decades.

Women earned 82.5 percent of men’s weekly median earnings in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Arizona, women who were full-time salary workers earned $669 per week, 80.9 percent of a man’s weekly earnings. However, one local expert described the dip as a “blip” and said historically, the state does better than the national average when it comes to paying women an equal wage.

Experts said it will take time, but people at the federal, state and local levels are working to close the gender wage gap completely.

Jenny Poon, founder of the business collaborative group CO+HOOTS, said she thinks the time has come for the gap to finally be extinguished altogether. She is one of the people working locally to focus on the issue.

“It’s already been 50 years since we’ve passed legislation that says women should receive equal pay for equal work, but we still have this struggle,” she said. “That’s crazy. Fifty years later, and we’re still talking about this. It’s because we haven’t fought hard enough for this to be a universal norm.”

Why is there a pay gap?

According to a national survey from CareerBuilder that polled 3,200 workers and 220 human- resource managers in 2015, only 35 percent of female respondents believed there was equal pay in the workforce.

“I hate that people say that it’s just a matter of time because it really doesn’t just happen,” Poon said. “Just because we are moving (in the right) direction doesn’t mean it’s a set course.”

Arizona Small Business Association CEO Rick Murray said that a big reason why the gap still exists is because of women’s general reluctance to ask for a raise.

“A lot of it is on this education process of helping women understand their opportunity when they have one,” Murray said. “It’s OK to ask for the same wage, and that it’s not going to affect their employment statuses either. A lot of that education has to happen at the grassroots level.”

A 2013 survey conducted by LinkedIn indicated that only 26 percent of the women who responded asked for a raise, but 75 percent of those who did ask actually received a raise.

Experts have cited other reasons as well: Women often work in fields that pay less. One Harvard University economics professor told NPR that women often seek out jobs that offer more flexibility, which can reduce their income. And then, there’s outright discrimination.

Poon also said women are generally the first to sacrifice.

“In the family, at home – moms are usually first to sacrifice if anything needs sacrificing, and that often carries over into work as well,” she said. “Often times, women choose to take a lesser payment. They choose to – maybe not intentionally – they choose to essentially give up more than typical people would, and as a result, they get paid less.”

Poon and Murray said a variety of factors play into how employers pay their employees, including experience, education levels and longevity at a company – and those can play a role why they pay women less.

Poon said she wants to specifically address the wage gap when it comes to minorities. African American and Hispanic women earned 36 and 46 percent less than white men in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“(The wage gap) been a problem since the beginning of time just because the roles the women have played versus men in society,” Murray said. “I think it’s just a generational issue. We as a society are just playing through that and have seen the importance of women in the workforce and how important it is that we pay everybody equitability.”

On average, women in the U.S. earn 82.5 percent of what males earn every year. When broken down by ethnicity, the difference is much more defined.

Why is Arizona’s gap smaller?

Since 1997, Arizona has traditionally had a smaller gap compared to the national average. But in 2014, its gap was below the 82.5 percent clip across the country. However, Murray sees that number as just a blip.

Murray said Arizona generally has more equitable pay because the state’s big industries don’t involve as much physical labor and offers more opportunities in technology-based jobs.

“Technology knows no gender,” Murray said. “I think we really have a lot of technology-based type of businesses, and I think that that certainly plays a factor.”

There are an estimated 132,000 high-tech jobs in Arizona, according to a TechAmerica Cyberstates report.

However, the National Partnership for Women and Families maintains that the wage gap exists no matter the industry or occupation.

There are industries where women excel in terms of pay. Monster, a job-search website, highlighted five careers that pay equal – or even higher – wages for women: systems engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, videographer and computer repair technician.

Arizona’s ratio reached a high of 88.7 percent in 2006 before dipping to a low of 76 percent in 2009 since the data for the states became available in 1997.

“It’s an evolving process, and it’s just a matter of time before we won’t see (a gap),” Murray said. “It’ll really be based on experience and skill rather than whether you’re a female or male.”

What’s happening to decrease the gap?

People at several levels are making efforts to close the gap.

Federal efforts: The EEOC announced a new initiative to attack the pay gap and other gender disparities. It will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide a report featuring earnings by gender, race and ethnicity.

“The initiative is designed to elicit greater transparency about pay practices and to allow the EEOC to target where there may be potential discrimination,” said Pavneet Uppal, regional managing partner at Fisher & Phillips in Phoenix.

Uppal said if the proposal proceeds as scheduled, the rulemaking process will conclude in September, and employers would have to submit the requested data in September 2017.

State efforts: Earlier this year, state Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, introduced Senate Bill 1436, which would have allowed businesses to obtain a certification indicating that they pay equally for equal work.

“There’s no way for businesses to proactively demonstrate that they do this,” Hobbs said. “I would think if you’re an employer, you might want something like that because it would protect you in a lawsuit.”

The bill died during this legislative session. However, Hobbs said she will reintroduce it in the next session.

City efforts: In March 2015, Vice Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council unanimously passed the Equal Pay Ordinance.

Although the proposal did not create new regulations, it changed city’s nondiscrimination ordinance and increased educational efforts. The ordinance included a caveat stating employers can pay men and women differently if the pay is based on a variety of factors, not based on gender.

Gallego said she and Phoenix’s Equal Pay Task Force are focused on educating women on why and how to ask for raises.

“(The wage gap) isn’t intentional the way it might’ve been 50 years ago,” Gallego said. “Sometimes, just through many factors, including the fault of the person in the job themselves, it’s not high on people’s priority lists.”

Tempe and Tucson officials also have announced efforts to draft their own equal pay for equal work ordinances, according to azcentral.com

Other efforts: Poon founded CO+HOOTS to create a collaborative space for entrepreneurs and other businesspeople. On April 11, it launched a small business scaling program to educate female business owners and women in general.

“The better educated a woman business owner is, the more successful her business is, the more confidence she gains to pay herself standard or higher rates,” Poon said in a statement. “And once women understand where they stand financially, they can pay themselves reasonably. If this could happen with every female entrepreneur, our economy would soar.”

The program aims to educate female small business owners through training opportunities, technical assistance and mentorship opportunities.

“It takes a lot of people actively making progress toward that and actively creating initiatives to help the pay parity to keep up forward momentum, and that doesn’t mean the people on the ground saying, ‘we want this to happen,’” she said. “It means actually putting in legislation, passing legislation, that supports this.

“We have the excitement. There’s enough people that believe this should be a thing, but what it comes down to is, we can talk about it as much as we want, but if there’s actually nobody there holding us accountable, it’s going to continue to (fall short).”

 

Tags:  Arizona  business  Employees  employment 

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Working Overtime to Eliminate Jobs

Posted By Rick Murray, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

Original article sent by Glenn Hammer, The Arizona Chamber of Commerce

 

This White House is hell-bent on short-circuiting any economic recovery.


The Obama administration recently released a new rule on overtime pay that continues the administration’s commitment to making job creation more expensive and cumbersome. Give the president credit; he’s nothing if not consistent.


The new rule dramatically raises the salary threshold for workers who will be eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The salary cap under the new rule has gone up more than 100 percent, from $23,600 annually to $47,476 annually, so employers will now face a huge increase in the number of workers eligible for overtime pay.


Grab the aspirin, because this is another bureaucratic headache for the HR department. Employers should break out the calculators, print out some timesheets and install a time clock, because they will be tracking the hours of employees that previously were exempt from overtime rules.

 

What’s not made clear in the rule is how employers are supposed to foot the bill for the new mandate. Much like the administration’s push for a big minimum wage hike, there’s plenty of magical thinking here. The Department of Labor would have Americans believe that companies are secretly flush with cash and just need the heavy hand of government to pry it loose.


So how what options do employers have? They’re not good ones for job creators or their employees.


Employers could cut their workers’ base pay to compensate for the new overtime pay. That’s hardly the raise for the middle class that the administration touted. But don’t worry, says the White House, at least you’ll have more time to spend with your family. Thanks, Mr. President! 


Or maybe you’re close to the new salary threshold. You might see a raise so your employer can avoid the new rule, but you could also see your benefits cut since only 10 percent of benefits can be calculated as part of your salary.


Or maybe your employer will reclassify you as an hourly worker. So much for that flexibility you once enjoyed.


Employers will also need to prepare to see the wage threshold readjusted upwards every three years based on the 40th percentile of wages in the lowest geographic wage region of the country, which is currently the South. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the midst of a boom or bust economy, employers’ payroll costs will likely go up.


Given the uncertainty in the presidential campaign, we can’t bank on the next occupant of the White House eliminating this new regulation. Congress could employ the Congressional Review Act or pass the Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which would roll back the new rule, but each effort would be met with a presidential veto. Still, it’s worth Capitol Hill shining a bright light on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue’s constant anti-job agenda.


Any new overtime rule should be focused on worker flexibility, ease of implementation and economic growth. The nation’s overtime regulations deserve a thorough review, but employers should have a seat at the table. 


Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry


The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona's competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. http://www.azchamber.com/.  









 

Tags:  Arizona  entrepreneur  jobs  small business 

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109 Best Resources for Starting a Small Business in Arizona

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

By: March 7, 2016 

I have always believed that to become an efficient and successful entrepreneur (hard work, passion, and commitment aside) you need to be savvy. Using solid resources can make a huge difference from how your business will fare in the long term.

That said, here are the 110 best resources for starting a business in Arizona collected to help bring your great idea to life. It’s important to start off on the right foot when starting a business in Arizona, so be sure to only use the resources that are right for you.

 

1) Arizona Small Business Resource Guide

The Arizona District Office of the SBA has published a pdf guide that provides comprehensive information on how to start a business in Arizona. Every step of the startup process is tackled and discussed. Rules and state policies, permit and licensing requirements, business taxes, funding options and important links are also included in the guide.

2) Arizona District Office of the SBA

The website of the Arizona District Office of the SBA is a wealth of information when starting a business. Every resource you need as a new entrepreneur, the AZ SBA District Office has it. Most importantly, it keeps you updated on all the latest small business events to help you network and take advantage of opportunities.

3) Arizona Small Business Association

From a vast collection of business resources to speed networking to various business events, the ASBA is a great resource to look into. When you become an ASBA member, you get access to a plethora of services to manage and operate your business. You’ll also get group discounts, advertising, and mentoring.

4) Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority is truly an authority when it comes to providing small business services. With specialized programs to help small businesses, getting started with the help of the resources in the Arizona Commerce Authority is a great option if you are a first time entrepreneur or veteran.

5) ACA Checklist Program

Another vital resource from the Arizona Commerce Authority that you should look when starting a business in Arizona is its ACA Checklist Program. This free online checklist program guides you in starting, growing and operating an Arizona business. Quick links as to some helpful resources for your business are also included.

View the full list and article here
Original article by Startup Savant 

 

Tags:  Arizona  business resources  entrepreneur  small business 

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