Fenton & Keller Welcomes the Following New Attorneys

Samuel Beiderwell

Samuel most recently worked as a research attorney at Monterey County Superior Court, and prior to that, he worked as a judicial law clerk at Los Angeles Superior Court. Sam’s primary area of practice is business transactions. CLICK FOR BIO.

Bradley Levang

Bradley has over 15 years’ experience representing clients before various federal and state courts, appellate courts, and also administrative agencies. Brad’s practice focuses on employment law litigation and counseling, and general civil and business litigation. CLICK FOR BIO.

Ashley Cameron

Ashley most recently worked for a local, private criminal defense firm.  Ashley’s primary areas of practice are civil litigation, employment law, trust and estate litigation, and business litigation. CLICK FOR BIO.

CalSavers: Retirement Planning Made Easy

CalSavers: Retirement Planning Made Easy
By Susannah L. Ashton

What is CalSavers? As of July 1, 2019, employers may begin registering with the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (“CalSavers” or the “Program”), an IRA designed to benefit employees whose employers do not to offer traditional retirement plan programs.  With minimal action required and no fees or liability for employers, CalSavers is a simple and effective way for employees to save money and plan for the future.

CalSavers is designed to make it easier for employees to save by lowering the barriers that often keep people from doing so: enrollment is automatic and contributions are made through payroll deductions.  Once enrolled, the money saved belongs solely to the employees and accounts can move freely with employees from one job to the next.  CalSavers is not sponsored by the employer, meaning the employer is not responsible nor liable.  Employers’ only responsibilities under CalSavers are limited to registering for the Program, providing employee information to the Program Administrator, and remitting employee contributions through payroll deductions.

Who has to participate in CalSavers? CalSavers is mandated for all private employers in California, both for-profit and non-profit entities, that do not already sponsor a retirement plan for their business and who have more than five full- or part-time employees over the age of 18 (with at least one employee working in the state) (“Eligible Employers”).  However, employers who maintain or contribute to a Tax-Qualified Retirement Plan which qualifies for favorable federal income tax treatment, regardless of whether all employees are eligible for the Plan, or employers who have fewer than five employees are prohibited from participating in the Program.  Note that an employer-provided payroll deduction IRA program that does not provide for automatic enrollment is not a Tax-Qualified Retirement Plan.

If you are an employer who is required to participate in CalSavers, what do you need to do? Prior to their mandatory participation date, employers must log on to the CalSavers site to either register online or certify their exemption from CalSavers by stating that their business already maintains a retirement plan.  The effective dates are based on the employer’s number of employees:

Effective Date Number of Employees
June 30, 2020 More than 100 employees
June 30, 2021 More than 50 employees
June 30, 2022 More than 5 employees


An employer’s number of employees is the average number of employees as reported to the California Employment Development Department for the quarter ending December 31 and the previous three quarters of available data.

How do employees enroll in CalSavers? Existing employees of Participating Employers must be enrolled within 30 days after the employer registers with the Program and employees who are hired after the employer registers will be automatically enrolled within 30 days of their date of hire or date of eligibility.  Although eligible employees will be automatically enrolled, participation in the CalSavers program is voluntary, and employees may choose to opt out at any time.

What happens to employers who do not comply with CalSavers? Employers who, without good cause, fail to allow their eligible employees to participate in CalSavers, on or before 90 days after service of notice of its failure to comply, shall pay a penalty of $250 per eligible employee if noncompliance extends 90 days or more after the notice, and if found to be in noncompliance 180 days or more after the notice, an additional penalty of $500 per eligible employee.

What else do employers need to do? On each payroll date, the employer must deduct and transfer each participating employee’s contribution to the CalSavers Administrator at the applicable contribution rate for each participating employee.  All compensation must be remitted as soon as administratively possible, not to exceed seven business days from the date of deduction.  Employers may add their own payroll service provider as a delegate to help perform the employer facilitation duties on employers’ behalf.

When providing information to employees, employers are required to remain neutral about their employees’ participation in CalSavers.  The regulations expressly preclude employers from requiring, endorsing, encouraging, prohibiting, restricting, or discouraging employee participation in the Program, or from providing any advice or direction regarding any employee decision about the Program (e.g., investment choices, contribution rate, etc.).

In order to maintain neutrality, the Program will provide an email template at the time of registration that employers may share with employees to inform them that CalSavers will reach out to them.  The employee can then communicate with CalSavers directly to get further information and to answer any questions they may have.  Further, Exempt Employers who wish to inform employees who are ineligible for an employer-sponsored retirement plan about any rights or benefits with CalSavers are encouraged to contact CalSavers directly for guidance.

Employers’ only other ongoing responsibility is to ensure the Employee Information Packet is delivered during each open enrollment period to all eligible employees who are not participating employees (including those who have previously opted out).


For more information, employers are encouraged to visit the CalSavers website at https://www.calsavers.com/.



New Year, New Laws Seminar 2020

Date: January 29 OR February 4

  • Registration begins at 8:00 AM
  • Seminar begins at 8:30 AM


Red Lion Hotel (Formerly Bay Park Hotel)
1425 Munras Ave,
Monterey, CA 93940

Fenton & Keller is hosting its annual New Year, New Laws Seminar designed to provide practical information for business owners, HR managers, payroll managers, and anyone who handles personnel issues, about new employment laws and workplace compliance issues in 2020. 

Presenters: Elizabeth Leitzinger and Bradley Levang

Registration Required.

Register for this Seminar

Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Training Now Required for All California Employers

In September 2018, Governor Brown signed SB 1343, which expands mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to require California businesses with five or more employees (including temporary and seasonal employees) to provide sexual harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020.  Importantly, employers must count independent contractors in determining if they have five or more employees, and even if the employees or contractors work at different locations or all work or reside outside of California, they must be counted.

New regulations published by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing require that employees be trained during the calendar year 2019, so employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained before January 1, 2020.  Supervisors must receive at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training, and non-supervisory employees must receive at least 1 hour of training.  Training of supervisors must occur within six months of the individual becoming a supervisor, and then once every two (2) years.

Please contact Fenton & Keller if you would like to schedule sexual harassment prevention training at your worksite.   Fenton & Keller will also be offering legally compliant sexual harassment prevention training for supervisory and non-supervisory employees in English on March 1, 2019 and in Spanish on February 27, 2019.  For more information visit www.fentonkeller.com, email cstoll@fentonkeller.com, or call 831-373-1241.

Article written by Marco Lucido.

Sara Boyns Named 2018 Businesswoman of the Year

Picture of Sara BoynsOn January 15, 2019 the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce announced that Sara Boyns is receiving the Chamber’s Businesswoman of the Year Award. The Chamber’s announcement states, “Sara Boyns is at the forefront of Fenton & Keller’s efforts at inclusiveness, having served as a mentor and inspiration to young leaders in our community. Throughout her years in executive roles as a Fenton & Keller partner and attorney, she has taken every opportunity to share the wisdom and experience she has gained to help other associates build fulfilling careers. Sara has mentored other women executives through decisions about changing roles and client responsibilities, managing workloads and forging relationships with their male peers.”
Sara was raised on the Monterey Peninsula and attended local public schools, the University of Utah, and Monterey College of Law. She has been practicing in Monterey for over 30 years, focusing on assisting employers with employment law compliance and defense of claims. Sara’s community involvement includes Leadership Monterey Peninsula (class of 1985), teaching Legal Writing at Monterey College of Law, serving on the Boards of Lyceum of Monterey County, Monterey County Women Lawyers Association, Barristers, Monterey County Bar Association, Central Coast Human Resources Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Hospice Giving Foundation Golf Scramble committee. Sara currently serves on the Fund Development Committee of Girls Inc. of the Central Coast.
Sara’s newspaper article, Workplace Law, published every two weeks in the Monterey Herald, provides readers with information regarding current employment law issues, new developments in the law, and best practices for employers. Sara regularly provides interactive training on sexual harassment prevention, managing employee performance issues, new laws, and legal considerations involved with hiring in-home caregivers. Sara’s practice has expanded to include independent investigations of workplace harassment and discrimination claims.
Sara particularly enjoys her role as grandmother to Cassadee, age 4, and spending time with her husband Casey, daughter Marisa and her son Christopher.
Read more about Sara Boyns on her attorney page.

Gladys Rodriguez-Morales Joins Fenton & Keller

Picture of Gladys Rodriguez-MoralesThe shareholders of Fenton & Keller are pleased to announce that Gladys Rodriguez-Morales has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Gladys’ practice focuses on assisting both employees and employers in all areas of labor and employment law matters including wage and hour issues, termination, discrimination, and retaliation. Gladys' practice also includes representing clients in general civil litigation matters.
Prior to joining Fenton & Keller, Gladys worked for a local law firm representing employees in various labor and employment law matters where she gained valuable experience litigating large wage and hour class action lawsuits. Gladys’ past experience representing employees gives her a unique perspective when it comes to representing and counseling employers.
Gladys is fluent in Spanish and having grown up on the Central Coast, she has strong ties to the local Spanish speaking community.
Read more about Gladys at her attorney page.

Marco A. Lucido Joins Fenton & Keller

Marco A. Lucido PictureThe shareholders of Fenton & Keller are pleased to announce that Marco A. Lucido has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Marco’s practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation, including labor and employment law and general business litigation. Prior to joining Fenton & Keller, Marco worked as a paralegal for one of the preeminent political law, government law, and lobbying firms in the country, serving a national clientele that included leading businesses, non-profits, trade associations, individuals, unions and public agencies. During law school Marco clerked with the California Attorney General’s office where he submitted criminal appellate briefs and argued before the California Court of Appeal. He also externed for the United States Attorney’s office and the Honorable James M. Lorenz while he competed in several intramural and national moot court competitions as a member of the USD Law Appellate Moot Court Board. As a Pacific Grove native, Marco is excited to work with individuals and businesses on the Monterey Peninsula.

Read more about Marco on his Profile Page.