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Lisa P. Mak Leads AABA Gala in Honoring Community and AAPI Legal Luminaries

Lisa P. Mak Leads AABA Gala in Honoring Community and AAPI Legal Luminaries

The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA), one of the largest Asian American bar associations in the nation, held its 46th Annual Gala on March 30, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Minami Tamaki LLP was proud to be a Title Sponsor for the gala this year. Minami Tamaki LLP Associate Lisa P. Mak is serving this year as President of AABA.

Some of the Minami Tamaki LLP attorneys and staff at the AABA gala (from left): Katie Chan; Lisa P. Mak; Jack W. Lee (retired); Donald K. Tamaki; Gail Lang; Mark Fong; and Dale Minami. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

The AABA gala theme for this year was “Speak Up, Rise Up.” In her President’s Address at the gala, Lisa said the theme “was inspired by how our community and our allies spoke up and fought back against the rising anti-Asian hate and violence in the Bay Area and across the country in the last two years.” Lisa shared her family’s experience with racism after they immigrated to this country, emphasized the importance of speaking up in unity, and encouraged the AABA community to think about how they can make a difference.

The program celebrated several distinguished honorees, including Michael G.W. Lee as the recipient of this year’s Minami Impact Award, named after Minami Tamaki LLP Senior Counsel Dale Minami to acknowledge attorneys who have had a positive impact on the Asian American community and the legal profession.

Dale Minami presents Michael G.W. Lee with the Minami Impact Award, honoring attorneys who have had a positive impact on the Asian American community and the legal profession. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Judge Lucy H. Koh from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit received the AABA Trailblazer Award. The late Justice Harry W. Low was recognized, along with an announcement of the new Justice Harry W. Low Fellowship that will be administered by the AABA Law Foundation later this year.

The gala concluded with a fireside chat between Lisa and Michelle MiJung Kim, an entrepreneur, activist, and author of “The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change.”  

AABA President Lisa P. Mak, a Minami Tamaki LLP attorney, in a fireside chat with Michelle MiJung Kim. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Over 500 guests attended the Gala this year, including over 30 judges, and San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu. Betty Yu from KPIX 5 CBS was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. The gala opened with a musical performance from the Oakland Youth Chorus, the longest-running youth chorus in the East Bay.

Minami Tamaki LLP Managing Partner Sean Tamura-Sato (right) with Doris Cheng (middle) and AABA Treasurer John B. Lough, Jr. Sean is a former AABA board member. Photos by Bob Hsiang and Lowell Downey.

Through her term as AABA President this year, Lisa will aspire to honor and continue AABA’s history of speaking up for our community while elevating our members in the legal profession and keeping our voice at the table.

Watch Lisa’s president’s address below and view the other presentations of the gala awards on YouTube.

Fireside Chat with AABA Women Presidents Shared Insights and Inspiration

Fireside Chat with AABA Women Presidents Shared Insights and Inspiration

The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area hosted a special fireside chat with former women presidents of the organization on March 23 at Morgan Lewis’s San Francisco office. The program featured Judge Margaret Fujioka, Judge Joni Hiramoto, Joan Haratani, Edith Ho, Emi Gusukuma, and Miriam Kim sharing their insights for AAPI women in leadership and the legal profession. AABA President Lisa P. Mak, a Minami Tamaki LLP attorney, said that the event was part of advancing one of her goals to support and uplift the women in the AAPI community.

Lisa Mak to Keynote UC Davis APALSA Banquet

Lisa Mak to Keynote UC Davis APALSA Banquet

Minami Tamaki LLP Associate Lisa P. Mak will keynote the annual banquet of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) at UC Davis School of Law on April 14, 2022. Lisa is President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area.

UC Davis APALSA is an organization of law students interested in Asian American legal issues and in the growth of the Asian American legal community. The group sponsors social activities, speaker series, and community service events. Its goal is to foster relationships with professors and practicing attorneys to educate the community about Asian American issues.

Through its annual banquet, UC Davis APALSA expresses its gratitude to the Asian Pacific American legal community for paving the path for future lawyers. To promote this spirit of service, the group aims to award summer grants to students pursuing public interest careers. They also commit funds above the cost of the banquet to future projects that benefit the unique needs of Asian Pacific Americans.
The banquet on April 14 starts at 7:00 p.m. in Alpha Gamma Rho Hall at The Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center, 530 Alumni Lane, Davis, CA 95616. Tickets are $30 to $60 and can be purchased at https://store.law.ucdavis.edu/apalsa.

H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

USCIS has completed the H-1B lottery selection process and has completed notifying those selected in the first round of selection. 

If any registration(s) for your company have been selected, you will have received an email from myUSCIS stating that USCIS has taken action on your case.  To review which case(s) were selected, you may log in to your myUSCIS account. 

  • “Selected” means that the case was selected.
  • “Submitted” means that the case will be kept “in reserve” in case any additional numbers become available.  USCIS will not provide final confirmation of non-selection until after September 30. In prior years, USCIS has not provided final confirmation of non-selection until February of the following year.

We have notified any selected beneficiaries in a separate email.  We will move forward with preparing an H-1B petition for those selected beneficiaries.  If we need further information from you, we will be in touch. 

If there are additional rounds of the lottery, we will be in touch once we have any updates.  

Immigration Law Update: H-1B FY2023 Registration

Immigration Law Update: H-1B FY2023 Registration

Over the weekend, USCIS began the process of notifying employers of registrations that were selected in this year’s H-1B lottery. To date, USCIS has not yet confirmed that it is done notifying all selected registrants. There may be additional notifications until March 31, unless USCIS makes an announcement before then, stating that it has completed notifying selected registrants.

Until then, we may have incomplete information about who was selected in this round of this year’s lottery. We are working to notify the lottery results to all selected candidates timely. We thank you for your patience as we wait for USCIS to complete notifying selected registrants.

Webinar: How to Prepare for the H-1B Lottery Registration

Webinar: How to Prepare for the H-1B Lottery Registration

UPDATE: The H-1B lottery registration window will be opening next Tuesday, March 1, 2022 and will close on March 18, 2022. 

Today, we provided a complimentary webinar with a comprehensive overview of the H-1B registration system and guidance on what employers are expected to do as well as the workflow and anticipated timeline.

We would like to provide a recording of our webinar along with copies of the slides that were presented today: 

We would also like to remind you of the information previously provided in our bulletin: https://app.box.com/s/ono6eoaomdgd4v0vn9oyhd7qq4w2u3z8.  This bulletin includes information about cut-off dates for initiating a case and rush fees. 


Please join us to learn more about the H-1B registration system and what you can do to prepare.

We will provide a comprehensive overview of the H-1B registration system and guidance on what employers are expected to do as well as the workflow and anticipated timeline.

For this year’s H-1B lottery registrations, the electronic registration period for participation in the lottery is March 1 through March 18, 2022. USCIS will notify employers of selection by March 31, 2022, and the H-1B petition filing window for selected registrants begins on April 1, 2022.

The webinar will be recorded, and the presentation materials will be made available for clients.
When: Feb. 25, 2022 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Please register in advance for this webinar: [link deleted]

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

California Reinstates COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

California Reinstates COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On February 9, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 114 that provides additional COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL 2022) under new California Labor Code Section 248.6. This new law will look familiar to employers that were required to comply with California’s 2021 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law. 

However, various provisions of the SPSL 2022 law are different from the 2021 law, and thus employers will not be able to simply restart the policies and practices they had in place previously. 

This article focuses on provisions of the 2022 law that apply to employers generally, rather than provisions specifically applicable to firefighters or providers of in-home supportive and/or waiver personal care services.  

The SPSL 2022 law goes into effect on February 19, 2022.  It covers employers with more than 25 employees.  SPSL 2022 leave is retroactive to January 1, 2022, and is currently set to expire September 30, 2022. 

An employee who is unable to work or telework for reasons listed in the law is entitled to paid sick leave under the SPSL 2022 law.  Full-time employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid time off, split into two buckets of 40 hours. 

Employees may take paid time off from Bucket A if they make an oral or written request for any of the following reasons:  

  • The employee is subject to or is caring for a family member who is subject to a government or local health department quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19.
  • The employee has been advised or is caring for a family member who has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
  • The employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

Bucket B provides up to 40 hours of paid time off if they make an oral or written request for leave because the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or the employee is caring for a family member who tests positive for COVID-19. 

Employers can limit paid time off related to a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot to three days or 24 hours. This includes time spent attending an appointment and/or for COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot-related symptoms (for each vaccine/booster).  If a health care provider verifies that an individual continues to experience symptoms related to the vaccine/booster, more than three days or 24 hours of time off may be available. 

Employers are not required to pay more than $511 per day or $5,110 in the aggregate in paid sick leave. For exempt employees, the SPSL 2022 leave pay rate is calculated in the same manner wages are calculated for other forms of paid leave time.  There are two pay-rate calculation options available for non-exempt employees.  SPSL 2022 for non-exempt employees is calculated either:

  • In the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the employee uses the paid leave; or
  • By dividing the employee’s total wages (not including overtime premium pay) by the employee’s total non-overtime hours worked in the full pay periods occurring within the prior 90 days of employment.  For non-exempt employees paid by piece rate, commission or other method that uses all hours to determine regular rate of pay, total wages (not including overtime premium pay) shall be divided by all hours, to determine the correct rate for paid leave.

Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to exhaust other paid leave benefits before taking SPSL 2022, such as vacation, PTO, or California’s general paid sick leave law. The law does provide employers with the possibility of offsetting SPSL 2022 with certain supplemental paid leave provided to employees on or after January 1, 2022.  If an employer pays an employee another benefit for leave taken on or after January 1 that is payable for the law’s covered reasons and compensates employees in an amount equal to or greater than the amount of pay the law requires, an employer may count those hours toward the number of hours of SPSL 2022 it must provide an employee.

There is also an itemized wage statement requirement under the new law.  Employers are required to put the amount of used paid sick leave on employees’ paystubs.

Minami Tamaki will continue to monitor and provide insights with respect to this new law and other COVID-19 related topics.  This article is meant to provide an overview of California Supplemental Paid Leave requirements related to COVID-19, and is not a comprehensive list of all changes in the law. 

For more information on COVID-19 regulations and developments, you may contact Minami Tamaki Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force members Sean Tamura-Sato and Lisa Mak, online or call us at 415-788-9000.

*The content of this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Information in this article may not constitute the most complete or up-to-date legal or other information. Readers should contact a licensed California attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Minami Tamaki LLP.

H-1B Lottery Registration: Time to Get Started!

H-1B Lottery Registration: Time to Get Started!

It is time to start getting ready for the annual H-1B lottery registration period, which is expected to open sometime in March 2022.  (USCIS has not yet announced exact dates.) 

As a reminder, individuals who have never previously been in H-1B status will need to go through the lottery registration process.  This may include, for example, employees or candidates who are:

  • Working with you pursuant to F-1 OPT/STEM OPT.
  • Working with you pursuant to a dependent EAD based on their spouse’s nonimmigrant status
  • Located outside the U.S.

We have prepared a bulletin providing a detailed overview of the process timeline, deadlines, and important things to know.  Please note that this bulletin will be updated as we receive more information from USCIS regarding exact dates.  (The link to the bulletin will remain the same as it gets updated.) 

Please review our bulletin closely as it contains important information.  Action items for you to be aware of at this time are: 

  1. Please start collecting and providing the names and email addresses of potential candidates now.  We ask that you provide this information by February 1, 2022.  Due to anticipated volume, advance planning is critical.  
  2. Please note that cases initiated on or after February 23, 2022 will be subject to additional surcharges.  Further details are listed in the bulletin linked above.   

If you have candidates who were not selected this year, or if you have provided the names of potential candidates to us throughout the past year, our office will follow up by mid-January. 

We anticipate reaching out to the bulk of H-1B lottery candidates throughout the months of January and February.  In the meantime, please feel free to provide any interested candidates with our flowchart overviewing the process.  The flowchart will be updated once we receive more information from USCIS regarding exact dates.

Thank you, and happy holidays! 

We Lost a Great Friend, Justice Harry Low

We Lost a Great Friend, Justice Harry Low

Justice Harry Low honored with the alumni award at the 2018 Dale Minami Berkeley Law Alumni Fellowship Event.

Justice Harry Low passed away last week. He was a great friend to our firm, but even more importantly, he was an outstanding jurist, supporter of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, mentor to many young attorneys, and a fierce advocate for civil rights. Our profound condolences to his wife, Mayling, and his family.

Harry was San Francisco’s first Asian American judge, a Justice of the California Court of Appeal, California’s 38th Insurance Commissioner, a mediator, an arbitrator, and leader of numerous organizations.

Despite his success, he eschewed titles and allowed us to just call him “Harry.” This reflected his humility and deep sense of humanity. You could talk to him casually and without formality with such ease in the presence of someone so accomplished.

Harry was a wonderful supporter of our firm and its attorneys. He encouraged large nonprofits to retain us, a minority-owned firm, to diversify the professionals they relied upon. He stopped evictions of our clients in Japantown during the “urban renewal” devastation removing Japanese Americans from Nihonmachi and African Americans from the Fillmore in San Francisco during the ‘60s and ‘70s, lobbied for the appointment of Asian American judges, and supported civil rights causes we fought for. He was an early activist and inspired us to continue our journey for equal rights and equal dignity.

And he did this all with grace, finesse, and civility, which belied his strong commitment to our communities. Harry had an effortless manner, as a judge, mediator, and arbitrator, which mirrored his kindness to everyone in personal interactions.

We at Minami Tamaki LLP owe a special debt to Justice Low – “Harry“ – and will honor his legacy in law, civil rights, and commitment to the community.