• ‘INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR’ classification (1099) law now stipulates a ‘legal presumption’ that ALL workers, unless professionally Licensed, are Employees, irrespective of written agreements. To escape the presumption, workers must now satisfy all three legislated tests: (1) Contractually and factually free from control of the hiring entity; (2) Performing duties outside the usual course of the hiring business; and (3) Providing customary services of the same nature to other hiring entities.
  • HAIRSTYLE IS NOW PROTECTED. Employers (and public schools) must comply with ‘grooming policies.’ It is now unlawful to discriminate against hairstyles that “disproportionately affect persons of color. Race will now include traits historically associated such as braids, locks & twists.”
  • MINIMUM STATE WAGE is now $13/hr if over 25 employees; otherwise $12/hr – and increased by CITY rates.


  • POST-YEAR-END RESIGNATIONS ARE NOT UNCOMMON and, beyond disappointing, can be hugely disruptive. The manner in which Management handles this challenge usually has a material impact on other employees, so appropriate response generally involves: (1) Not taking their decision personally (Millennials especially change jobs all the time) and not ‘burning bridges’; (2) Keeping communication open and positively focused on opportunities both for the employee, and for the company to enhance business values & culture; (3) Never patronizing, bad-mouthing or otherwise disparaging the person, since other employees are watching and expecting Management to demonstrate how they themselves are valued; (4) Acknowledging the departure with some type of farewell and wishing them well. But remember that “in the minefield of the modern workplace, offence can be in the mind of the listener… Use caution in wording, since anything can be misconstrued, taken negatively and create risk of workplace legal action.”  [IN THE BLACK.COM – 12/1/19]
  • A DISTURBING PROPHECY FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS: “At the core of modern history lies a remarkable pattern. Over the past five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era – a ‘Turning’ – every generation or so, where people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, nation and future… (1) The first Turning is an upbeat era of institutions and weakening individualism, when the old values regime decays; In America this was after WWII; (2) second Turning is an awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when civic order comes under attack from a new values regime…with aggressive moralism about the country’s future and culture wars raging (the 60s hippies); (3) third Turning becomes an unraveling, a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions, with hostility toward the corruption of civic life – those who’d trusted the nation now growing old & dying while a new crop of young adults are without allegiance (millennials); (4) the fourth Turning is a crisis – a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of old civic order with a new one.” Does stage 4 sound familiar – the very survival of the nation feeling at stake? Authors of this scenario suggest the likelihood that “sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression & WWII.”  Powerful, well-documented material – well worth your read! [THE FOURTH TURNING – Strauss & Howe]
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY HAS NOW DECLINED 3 YEARS STRAIGHT FOR WORKING MIDDLE-AGED AMERICANS 45 – 65. Until now, over six decades, the U.S. Expectancy had risen to 79 – highest in the world – but several factors have led to a mortality increase reflecting a “uniquely American problem not seen in other countries… drug overdoses, the opioid epidemic, alcohol abuse, suicides, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic stress (especially in economically-distressed communities). Something about life in America is responsible.” [REUTERS – 12/1/19]
  • ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE MOST EFFECTIVE AT RUNNING THEIR COMPANIES for optimal profitability with minimal risk often utilize a team of independent experts to focus on strategic issues — as distinct from the operational issues with which management routinely deals. The underlying objective of an ADVISORY BOARD is to provide a process where owner/management can obtain broad and reality-based perspective & feedback to best avoid ‘not knowing what they don’t know,’ and best ensure that broad alternatives and risks are considered before critical business decisions get made. Since an Advisory Board role does not carry direct responsibility or liability for company actions, consultants are often more deeply involved than Directors, with capacity for faster and more responsive support. DCG has decades of expertise in Board structure and execution, on an exceptionally cost-effective basis. Call Dennis for courtesy consultation.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:   “Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.” – Benjamin Franklin 

    The oldest known art gallery has been discovered in Indonesia and estimated at 40,000 years, depicting pigs, dwarf buffalo, and figures that appear to be human.

    Get ready for “Urban Air Mobility” this year – i.e. a flying car!  BlackFly, a Silicon Valley firm, will be selling a single-seater with 30-mile range, which conforms to ‘ultralight aircraft’ rules so that no pilot’s license is required.