September 2013
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AFWA Silicon Valley Chapter #103 and upcoming events.
 Date: 9/24/2013 
 Doors Open: 6:00pm 
 Location: Biltmore Hotel 
  2151 Laurelwood Road 
  Santa Clara, CA 95054 
 Presentation: Employment Law
   Cost:Day of Event at the Door 
  $40 members 
  $50 guests 
Discount rate, register and pay using Paypal here 
  $35 members 
  $45 guests 


Jeanine D. DeBacker 
Employment Law Update
Jeanine D. DeBacker                                       

If you have employees or you are an employee...

you don't want to miss out on this! Register Here


Jeanine DeBacker uses her courtroom experience to help employers prevent lawsuits through well-crafted policies, staff training and informal dispute resolution.  Jeanine counsels businesses on human resources, employment and employee benefit issues.  


Her practice focuses on representing employers in all areas of employment and benefits law, including wage and hour claims, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, collective bargaining issues, trade secrets and other employment-related claims.  She represents both public and private employers in administrative proceedings, class actions, civil litigation, mediation and arbitrations, and federal and state appeals.

Jeanine assists clients in creating and implementing workplace policies and procedures, conducting harassment investigations, and counseling on employee performance management, including corrective actions and terminations.  Jeanine often presents customized, on-site training programs for clients on a variety of human resources issues and offers effective anti-harassment trainings.


Jeanine, a member of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists, counsels clients with regard to their pension and welfare plans.  She advises clients with regard to ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, COBRA, HIPAA and other relevant laws.  Jeanine represents plans in litigation and before government agencies.  She works with clients regarding plan administration, qualification, compliance and participant communication.


<To register with Paypal, click here>


(click on the topic to be linked directly)

Retailer Employment Practices Under Fire This Labor Day
Millennials Have Nothing To Celebrate When It Comes To      
San Francisco Giants to Pay Employees $545,000 in Back Wages, 
2013 New Laws Affecting California Employers

In last month's meeting, we were honored to have Professor Annette Nellen, J.D., C.P.A of San Jose State's College of Business speak with us about the many facets of Infrastructure Ethics. September's speaker will be Jeanine DeBacker who chairs the Employment Law practice at Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel.  Jeanine is a litigator whose knowledge and experience make her a compelling speaker on the topic of Employment Law Updates. 


When thinking about where ethics and employment law intersect, the art of being judicious comes to mind. 

                                                                                                                       Julia Becklund


 I have learned a fair amount from my current manager about being          

judicious; specifically, about gathering enough information to be able to employ good judgment.  His viewpoint is that if you practice active listening and allow the person speaking to provide details, facts will emerge that can give you better insight. I decided to put this to the test and practice active listening in a recent encounter. 


I had come across a neighbor in the same business complex, who had said to me, "I hurt my shoulder when moving heavy boxes from one shelf to another.  I asked a co-worker if the company had Workers Compensation Insurance, and was told that we do not."  At first, I was sympathetic to my neighbor's plight but, following my manager's advice, I allowed my neighbor to share more details. 

I asked, "When did this accident happen?"


My neighbor continued on, saying, "It happened last week. I don't want to see a doctor, but I have been working very hard to get caught up, so I can stay home for two days this week." After hearing more of my neighbor's details, I was less sympathetic, knowing a Labor Day weekend was approaching, but still did not have enough information to pass judgment. By taking the time to let those details emerge, I was able to avoid making any quick assumptions.


Active listening helps provide better insight and so do the speakers at our monthly meetings. The speakers that come to our meetings are a great resource, helping us develop perspective and a greater understanding of people and our industry.  I am thankful for the meetings as they provide insight that make us better people.  After our meetings, I frequently think of a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., which is a "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."


I have heard Jeanine speak in the past and she is very dynamic, with knowledge covering the many areas of Employment Law. I cannot wait to see Janine at the upcoming meeting and hope you all can join us. 



2013 Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference

October 20-23, 2013

Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, IN

AFWA 2013 Conference updated 9.7.2013
Don't miss this opportunity to network with other women in accounting and finance from across the country. Join us this fall in Indianapolis and learn from leading experts on ways to develop a variety of your skills. The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference will be loaded with opportunities for networking, leadership development, education and fun!

You should attend if you are...
  • Responsible for monitoring developments in accounting, taxation and finance
  • Responsible for the quality and profitability of your company or firm
  • Supervising and/or training accounting and finance staff
  • Interested in developing a network of outstanding professionals.
  • Ready to promote your company or product in today's marketplace
  • A beginner or veteran, with or without a degree, in private or public accounting, finance or academia

What will you learn at the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference?

  • The latest technical developments in accounting, auditing, finance, tax, management, leadership, government and industry, including e-commerce, and budgeting and accounting software applications
  • Motivational strategies that work
  • Methods for effective management of people and the marketplace
  • Effective means of identifying and responding to economic problems
  • Valuable leadership techniques
  • Means for achieving effective communication
  • Professional contacts in a variety of industries
Click here to view the schedule at a glance and download our 2013 Preliminary Conference Brochure today!

Hotel Accommodations:  For hotel reservations at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, please call 1-888-421-1442 no later than September 27, 2013 and be sure to mention "Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance" to receive the group rate of $159/night. 
Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities: Click here to view the sponsorship prospectus. Please contact Kathy Bradley, Director, Fundraising & Partnerships at AFWA's National Office, 703-506-3265 or for more information.

Contact Us: For any conference-related questions, please email or call 703-506-3265.

 Click here for more information about the Annual Conference.

SEPTEMBER NEWSAccountability

Retailer Employment Practices Under Fire This Labor Day
August 2013

August is usually a quiet news month...everyone's supposed to be on vacation. This year is clearly the exception to the rule. Along with the latest drama in Syria (totally out of scope for me), it seems the confluence of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech inWashington, DC., the US Labor Day holiday, and the impending ramp up of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare has created a Petri dish of dissatisfied people and companies - especially in Retail.  And in this Petri dish some retailers stand out by bucking a difficult trend.


Let's take a look at a laundry list of activities.


On August 29, fast food workers in more than fifty cities around the US participated in strikes and demonstrations over their low wages.  They are requesting $15 an hour in wages and the right to unionize.  These work actions have been going on for more than a month, but are now receiving national attention.


Millennials Have Nothing To Celebrate 
When It Comes To Employment
By Evan Feinberg
September 2013

Labor Day has come and gone, but Millennials had nothing to celebrate. Summer 2013 was an unemployment nightmare-too many young adults spent it sitting on the couch thanks to the federal government's war on our employability. 
Our crisis is unmistakable. Over the past four months, the unemployment rate for 18-29 year-olds has averaged nearly 12 percent. When you factor in those who have just given up and stopped looking for jobs altogether, our unemployment rate rises to over 16 percent-or more than twice the national unemployment rate. 

San Francisco Giants to Pay Employees 
$545,000 in Back Wages, Damages
from HR Watchdog: CalChamber's Employment Law Updates
September 2013

People may not think of sports teams as "employers," but sports teams must follow the same rules that regular employers follow - or face the consequences.


A U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigation determined that the San Francisco Giants baseball team failed to properly pay 74 workers over a three-year period, and the Major League Baseball team will pay$544,715 in back wages and other damages to those employees.


DOL investigators from the Wage and Hour Division found violations of the minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The violations affected a range of employees in the organization at the major and minor league levels, including clubhouse assistants and managers.

<Read More>

2013 New Laws 
Affecting California Employers
from CalChamber's HRCalifornia

Several new employment laws will affect California employers' day-to-day operations and policies in 2013. This white paper identifies some of the noteworthy new laws from the California Legislature. 

There have been significant changes in key areas, such as anti-discrimination protections, employee access to personnel records and employer access to personal social media accounts. Other laws relate to specific industries, such as farm labor contractors and temporary services employers.   


 <Read More> 



Chair: Tawnya Schwartz

There is an excellent line-up of programs for the Silicon Valley Chapter this year, and most of them qualify for CPE!  Check out the line-up as we have engaged some dynamic and outstanding speakers.

September 2013
Employment Law Update

 October 2013
Leadership Skills 

November 2013
Obama Care

December 2013
No Membership Meeting

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014
Spring Gala

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

Chair: Eileen Perry


  • All Levels of Accounting & Finance
  • Bookkeepers
  • Corporate Accounting Finance
  • Public Accounting
  • Management & Educators
  • Recruiters

If you would like to join the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA, follow the link to our National website.


Please feel free to complete the application or forward a copy to someone you think would benefit from joining our Chapter.




  • Prestigious status of professional affiliation
  • National contacts for networking and professional information
  • Forum for CPE
  • Scholarships
  • Leadership opportunities in supportive arena
  • Subscription to Accountability e-newsletter 
  • National and regional conferences at a discounted rate
  • Access to Career Center
  • Access to AFWA's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups and National online membership directory
  • Discounted membership to the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA)
  • Discounted products and services through affiliation agreements
    • CPA review courses, CCH tax & accounting books, Long Term Care Insurance and Bank of America credit card.

Hospitality Chair: Amrit Dhaliwal
CPE Chair: Nicole Tran

Reservation and cancellation policy:Reservations or cancellations are requested by noon on the Friday preceding each meeting.  Email to reserve or cancel. The goal is an accurate count for the hotel.  Unreserved members (not guests) incur a surcharge of $5.00.


Reserved members or guests who are no-shows will be billed if not cancelled by noon the preceding Friday. We do want you to come to the meetings and reservations are helpful but if you have to cancel let us know beforehand to avoid incurring the cost of the meal. WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AT THE DOOR.


Volunteers are always welcome at our monthly membership meetings. Lend a helping hand to make our monthly events and meetings even more interesting while building a great network and forming new relationships.


CPE credit is available for participating in any of our qualified programs.  See Nicole for more details in person at the meeting or email her at NICOLETRANNT@GMAIL.COM.

Chair: Edronda Guiriba

We have changed our newsletter! Like the new look? Be sure to send us some feedback.

The newsletter is prepared and distributed on a monthly basis.  Visit our web site at  If this Chapter does not have your e-mail address, please contact Edronda at


We encourage our membership to submit articles of interest for our monthly newsletter.  Please make your submission under the following criteria...

  • Prepared as a Microsoft Word document
  • Photos in JPEG format
  • captions are okay, no imbedded text, please
  • 600 words or less


July 23, 2013 Board meeting. From left to right: Eileen Perry, Edronda Guiriba, Amrit Dhaliwal, Julia Becklund, Sabrina Pacheco (back), Nicole Letellier, Sue Stokke, Nicole Sheets, Nicole Tran, Monika Miles. Missing: Tawnya Schwartz


Julia Becklund


Nicole Letellier


Nicole Sheets


Sabrina Pacheco

Past President:

Sue Stokke

Hospitality Chair:

Amrit Dhaliwal

CPE Compliance:

Nicole Tran

Newsletter Editor:

Edronda Guiriba

Membership Chair:

Eileen Perry

Program Chair:

Tawnya Schwartz


Scholarship Chair:

Monika Miles





Click here for more info about the Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors. 

There are four sponsor levels of contribution established for the scholarship fund.
Sponsorship up to $150.00  
Sponsorship up to $300.00 
Sponsorship up to $500.00 
Sponsorship over $500.00 
Sponsor letter and form available. 
Share the information! 
See Monika Miles for more details. 
 Founded in 1938, AFWA/ASWA provides women in accounting and finance the leadership, education and networking opportunities needed to achieve their career goals. Celebrating 75 years as the only organization that solely represents the interest of women in the entire accounting and finance community. The organization's mission is to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full personal,
professional and economic potential and to contribute to the future development of their profession.