The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) is pleased to present an educational workshop series on starting a worker owned and operated business venture in California. lead by bay area attorneys well familiar with the unique needs of a worker cooperative business, the tutorials will address the following:
Incorporating & Start-up Logistics
Tuesday, May 24th
This workshop will discuss the pros and cons of various legal business entities available to business owners in California. When opening a business it is important to choose the entity that best first your business’s needs in order to assure liability protection while providing the flexibility necessary for your particular business. The workshop will also address the essential documents and the filing process for a worker coop start-up including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and License & Permits. Presenter: Neil Helfman is a practicing attorney who has represented, formed, and written about, workers’ cooperatives for the last twenty-one years. Primarily areas of legal practice include business tort litigation, employment law, and construction law. Prior to practicing law was a member of five labor unions including teamsters and carpenters & joiners. Received a B.A from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, J.D. from University of San Francisco in 1985.
Raising Capital Wednesday
State and federal securities laws pose many challenges to capital raising for any business. Jenny will discuss basic legal issues governing capital raising as well as specific issues for worker coops. How can worker coops raise capital without running afoul of the law? Presenter: Jenny Kassan is an attorney and community development consultant, specializing in environmentally friendly and socially responsible ventures. Her legal practice areas include small business start-up and financing, securities regulation, nonprofit law, business agreements, real estate development, franchising, cooperatives, and assessment districts. Jenny earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Employment Law Thursday
Laws written to govern the workplace assume the employer-employee dichotomy. In worker coops, the workers are also the collective owners of the business that they are hired to work for. This unique structure offers certain benefits to worker coops not available to other business entities. At the same time, worker coops are not exempt from other workplace regulations such as wage and hour laws and the proper handling of discrimination and harassment situations. Susan will discuss the essentials of Employment Law in the Worker Coop context. Presenter: Susan Zeme has practiced employment law, on the employer side, for over 20 years. She represents employers in all kinds of matters, including preparation of policies, contracts and handbooks, advice and counsel on wage and hour, discrimination, hiring, firing and other employee issues, and she defends administrative claims and court litigation. She graduated from UCLA and Hastings College of the Law, started her practice in a large San Francisco law firm, and has had her own practice for sixteen years.