Strictly Business

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  1. Holly Culhane

    HOLLY CULHANE: Hazy marijuana policies endanger employers, workers

    BY HOLLY CULHANE Contributing columnist
    Monday, Apr 21 2014 01:00 PM

    It's not surprising that businesses and their employees are in a bit of a haze over recent legislative and voter-approved moves to legalize marijuana use.

    About 20 states, including California, have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. And in 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington went a step further by legalizing "recreational" use, as well.

    These actions place states in conflict with federal laws, which still regard marijuana as an illegal drug. They also created confusion in the workplace, including in Kern County.

    An increasing number of local business owners and managers are asking: Can we still enforce zero-tolerance drug policies and require a drug-free workplace? Like other human resources specialists, I...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Easter and business are all about the Peeps

    The symbols of this season, the unleavened bread, the bunnies and the eggs, boil down to a celebration of life for a large portion of the people on earth. This time of year, Jews celebrate a new life in a promised land, following their...

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    PAUL ANDERSON: When spring cleaning, don't forget your finances

    Around springtime, my garage begins to show signs of needing organizing after having a winter of items haphazardly moved to the garage, sometimes barely leaving us room to park and walk into the house. Spring cleaning gives us the...

  4. Steven Van Metre 11-10.JPG

    STEVEN VAN METRE: Beware -- Uncle Sam can collect on a decades-old debt

    We expect to occasionally hit a chuck hole as we travel the road through life. But Congress created a giant crater to swallow us up when it allowed a line to be quietly slipped into the 2008 Farm Bill that empowers the federal government...

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    ROBIN PAGGI: Effectively handling angry customers

    In customer service workshops I conduct, I include information on how to effectively handle an angry customer. I'm knowledgeable about the subject because of research I've done, and because I have at times been an angry customer and I know...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Concentrate on right issues to earn wealth, leisure

    The warming weather and waning winter distract students from their studies. The lure of leisure can also affect a teacher's concentration. Most business owners lack the luxury of extended vacations because they too are distracted from what...

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    STEVEN VAN METRE: Long-term care insurance may be bad investment

    A long-time client, who I will call Fred, walked into my office the other day. He was clearly distraught. In 2010, Fred retired at the age of 65 from the blue-collar government job he had held for 30 years. He receives about $50,000 a...

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    RUSS ALLRED: 60 days in paradise first test of business succession

    Perhaps your paradise is in Europe or Asia, high in the Sierra Nevadas or the depths of Death Valley. You may find heaven on the beaches of Cancun or the heart of New York city. Wherever you find Eden, it should be in your business plan to...

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    ROBIN PAGGI: Keep severances and settlements confidential

    If you give departing employees any kind of severance or settlement, it's a good idea to have them sign a confidentiality agreement on their way out the door. Such agreements prevent former employees from discussing the amount of the...

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    RUSS ALLRED: What wins? Business offense, or defense?

    What wins wars and games, offense or defense? The answer depends on what general or coach you ask. The question is similar in business. What will make you the most money, marketing or accounting? The truthful response in all three...

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    RUSS ALLRED: Don't strain at changes at your business

    David Bowie sang "Changes," a ballad about how everything evolves, though we refuse to see the changes in ourselves. Because the passing of time alters a business, it is appropriate to review your founding documents before they cause your...

  12. Holly Culhane

    HOLLY CULHANE: Do your policies include anti-bullying?

    When we hear about bullying, often our thoughts conjure up the image of a young kid being harassed by an older boy on a school yard. But we have read too many tragic stories that demonstrate the problem is much more widespread, complex and...

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    ROBIN PAGGI: Hire, retain most valuable employees

    Like many people, I enjoy being in my 50s. Why is being 50ish so fabulous? According to numerous articles on the subject and my own experience, it's generally because one is old enough to have gained valuable knowledge and experience, but...

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