• Good Morning Palo Alto


    "Fake News" - First Amendment, Free Speech and the Media

    Click Here to Register 

         What does the term “fake news” really mean? The term became a common phrase during the 2016 election, most often used by Donald Trump as candidate and president, but now is used expansively in both political and media discussions. Journalists, social media outlets, politicians and the general public seem to use the phrase with various meanings and implications, so it's hard to determine its true impact on media, politicians and society at large.


         What can or should be done about it? What is the responsibility of traditional and social media? How does the 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech limit potential remedies? And do tech companies bear responsibility for containing it, and can they do so without bias or improper censorship?

    Join a panel of experts in media, politics and law as we address these questions and more. Hosted by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce as part of its ongoing Public Policy Forums to help Chamber members and the public understand and engage in key issues impacting the business sector. This forum is generously sponsored by the ACLU-NC Midpen division.



    Victoria Baranatsky - Lawyer, journalist, and general counsel at The Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation’s first nonprofit investigative journalism organization.

    David Snyder - Lawyer, journalist, and Executive Director of the First Amendment Coalition, an award-winning, nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government, and public participation in civic affairs.

    Moderator: Bill Johnson - CEO, Embarcadero Media, and Publisher, Palo Alto Weekly

    Open to the Public

    $15 Chamber members $20 Non-members

    Check-in & lunch available at 11:45am, Program to begin at 12:00pm

    Pre-registration required by Tuesday, January. Space is limited to 100 so register early!

    Questions? Contact the Chamber at 650-324-3121 or info@paloaltochamber.com


    Presenting Sponsor

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  • New Law for Employers New Law for Employers


    The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.

    The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.

    The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

    If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.

    Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.

    Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.

    1. Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
    2. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
    3. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
    4. Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
    5. Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster

    courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

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