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Total Articles: 21

“GLB” and What it Means for Auto Dealers

Developing an information security program is good business, and for auto dealers that are considered “financial institutions” under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) it is the law. As part of the GLB, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the Safeguards Rule, which requires “financial institutions” to develop a written security plan to protect customer information. Dealers are considered “financial institutions” if they extend credit, facilitate financing through another bank or manufacturer, or provide financial advice or counseling to individuals. Although the Safeguards Rule has been in place since 2003, consumers’ heightened awareness regarding data security makes the Rule even more relevant today.

Dealership Update (No. 3, August 2017)

Understanding and complying with the requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a challenge for even the most experienced management and human resources personnel. The challenge is even greater in states that have their own separate leave laws. The following are frequently asked questions about the FMLA that may assist in determining your level of understanding.

Dealership Update (No. 4, November 2016)

Leave The Political Boxing Gloves At The Office Door; The Country’s In For A Big Change…Are You Ready?

Dealership Update (No. 3, August 2016)

"Animal House's" Doug Niedermeyer is not the most sympathetic character in American film, but any dealership manager faced with employees who want to wear union pins, buttons, or other insignia might understand his frustration. To many managers, dealerships simply ought to be able to control what their employees wear to work, especially if they interact with the public. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says otherwise, and you should proceed with extreme caution if you maintain a dress code policy that prohibits these kinds of adornments.

Auto Dealerships: New Year's Resolution? Review Your Sales Pay Plan

Many dealerships give little thought to their sales pay plans. After all, they’re simple and straightforward, right? X% of the front gross and Y% of the back end gross, plus whatever bonuses you choose to give. About as simple as you can get.

Ask Fisher & Phillips: Our Top 10 Questions From Dealers (Part Three)

This edition of “Ask Fisher & Phillips” picks up where our last newsletter left off – here is the concluding segment of the “Top 10 Questions from Dealers” from the past year.

Dealership Handbooks Remain In The NLRB's Crosshairs

As we advised almost a year ago, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently been subjecting dealership handbooks to increased legal scrutiny. Whether or not your dealership is unionized, your employment policies are likely to be targeted by the federal government now more than ever.

Dealership Update: Technology And The Workplace

The automotive industry has embraced technology. Most dealerships have installed business development centers, and Internet departments to attract the online shopper, and just about every salesperson knows how to go after potential customers through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. The “e”-experience is not even limited to the sales floor, as more and more dealerships utilize iPads and other tablets to diagnose vehicles in the service drive.

Auto Dealers: Ask Fisher & Phillips: Our Top 10 Questions from Dealers (Part One)

Our Dealership Practice Group represents thousands of dealerships all across the country, from large consolidators to regional groups to single dealerships. Because we have worked so closely with so many dealerships for so many years, we have acquired an in-depth understanding of dealership operations as well as a wealth of practical experience in dealing with dealers’ unique labor and employment issues.

The Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Dealership

Given the hectic pace of work at dealerships, employment matters sometimes fall to the back of a dealership's "to-do" list. Too often, the end result is expensive, embarrassing, and often unnecessary discrimination charges and lawsuits.

Dealerships: How's Your ESI Score?

No question that customer satisfaction is a primary goal and focus for dealerships (and manufacturers). In a highly-competitive industry where products and prices can be virtually identical, dealerships understand that customer satisfaction may be the only difference between them and their competitors. For this reason, entire programs and initiatives are devoted to monitoring and ensuring customer satisfaction. Manufacturers incentivize dealerships and dealerships incentivize employees to focus on making the customer experience the best it can be. Everyone in this business understands that satisfied customers are a key to success.

Is Your Dealership Taking Advantage Of Employment Arbitration?

Many dealerships try to reduce the risk of high-dollar litigation and runaway jury awards by invoking mandatory arbitration for their applicants and employees. Employees who think that they were paid or treated unfairly are then required to bring the matter to an arbitrator rather than file a lawsuit in federal or state court. The arbitrator conducts a hearing and listens to both parties and their witnesses, just as a jury would in a lawsuit.

ASK Fisher & Phillips: Dealership Update

Our Dealership Practice Group represents thousands of dealerships all across the country, from large consolidators to regional groups to single dealerships. Because we have worked so closely with so many dealerships for so many years, we have acquired an in-depth understanding of dealership operations as well as a wealth of practical experience in dealing with dealers’ unique labor and employment issues.

Dealership Update: Failure Is Not An Option

When it comes to a dealership’s legal liability for employment-related problems, the basis of the liability generally falls into two categories – actions the dealership took and those it failed to take. When it comes to big dollar jury awards and settlements, a dealership’s failure to take immediate and appropriate action generally is a more significant factor than the inappropriate conduct itself.

Dealership Update (August 2013)

Courts Don't Buy DOL's Position On Service Advisorss; "Do I Have To Hire A Criminal With Bad Credit?"

Auto Dealerships: Did The Local DUI Lawyer Draft Your Pay Plans?

Of course not. We just wanted to get your attention. The real question is when was the last time you reviewed your pay plans to make sure that they accurately reflected your current pay practices and policies, and adequately protected the dealership? How do you know if your pay plans may need an overhaul? Well, if the local DUI lawyer actually drafted them or any of the following are true, it may be time:

A Few New Year's Resolutions For Your Dealership

This is the time of year when most of us have made – and maybe already broken – our own personal New Year’s resolutions. It’s also a good time to take stock of your dealership and resolve to do the things that need to be done, but have been pushed to the back burner by the crisis of the day. The following is a listing of ten areas where many dealerships continue to run into employee-related problems year after year. We recommend that you include them on your list of Resolutions for 2013.

Dealership Update: The Party's Over.

Many dealerships treat their dealer trade drivers (DX drivers, auction drivers, hikers, etc.) as "contract labor" or "independent contractors," paying them a lump sum for their services and withholding no taxes. Some dealerships also pay regular employees an additional lump sum to perform special work outside their normal work hours, such as cleaning or painting the service drive, performing "catch up" filing or even dealer trades. The dealership treats this work as "contract work" and reports the payments on a Form 1099 thus, having a single individual receive both a W-2 and a Form 1099 from the same employer.

Auto Dealerships: Back To The Basics: Hiring Good Employees.

In talking with dealerships around the country, it looks as if there is light approaching the end of the tunnel. Some are actually starting to hire new employees. So this probably is a good time to take a look at the way your dealership hires employees and to determine if the process is accomplishing two critical tasks: 1) identifying the best possible candidate for a position who will make the dealership money; and 2) screening out "high risk", problem candidates who are likely to cost the dealership money.

Auto Dealership Update: Round Up The Usual Suspects.

Over the last year, dealers have devoted most if not all of their attention to keeping their dealerships afloat. They've spent time cutting staff, combining job duties and slashing costs as they watched extraordinary events unfold in the automobile industry. That has not left much time to study what else is going on around them.

Auto Dealership Update: Your Dealership's 2009 "To Do" List.

As we move into 2009, we are all hoping for the best but planning for the worst. Most dealerships have already cut their staff to the bone, reduced benefits, and even cut employees' hours in an effort to bring down costs and conserve cash. Dealers are now turning their attention to finding ways to bring customers back into the showroom and the service department. This is obviously important if a dealer is going to survive this downturn.