Car Dealerships

News & Analysis as of

Is It Time to Switch Gears? Enforceability of Automotive Company Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Given the large workforces and importance of intellectual property and trade secrets in the automotive industry, automotive companies rely heavily on confidentiality provisions in employment agreements and employee handbooks....more

Maryland Law to Require Notice to Purchaser of Vehicle Prior to Dealer-Arranged Financing Approval

On May 12, Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) signed HB 313, which will require auto dealers to provide notice to the purchaser/lessee before the dealer-arranged third-party financing is approved. The law requires the dealer to...more

Dealer Advertising: No More Excuses

There are no more excuses. Dealers have seen all the ongoing and very recent announcements from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) imposing millions of dollars in fines, cease and desist orders, and promises by dealers not...more

Technology And The Workplace

How Email And Texting Are Transforming Business Interactions - The automotive industry has embraced technology. Most dealerships have installed business development centers, and Internet departments to attract the...more

Automobile Service Advisers Are Not Exempt Under the FLSA—At Least Not According to the Ninth Circuit

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, No. 13-55323 (March 24, 2015): The plaintiffs in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC were “service advisors” at a Mercedes Benz dealership. The main duties of service advisors are to evaluate...more

Liberty Chrysler Dealership Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Saleswoman Discharged Due to Multiple Sclerosis, Federal Agency Alleged - RENO, Nev. -- Nevada-based dealership Liberty Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge LLC violated federal law when it fired an employee diagnosed with multiple...more

Stepping on the Gas: FTC Operation Targets Auto Industry

Why it matters - Continuing its efforts to accelerate enforcement actions against fraudulent practices in the auto industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported the results of its Operation Ruse Control....more

9th Circuit Splits with 4th, 5th Circuits, Finds Auto Dealer Service Advisors Not Exempt Under FLSA

Reversing a district court decision, and declining to follow decisions from a number of other courts, including the Fourth and Fifth Circuits, the Ninth Circuit has deferred to the Department of Labor's (DOL) "flip-flopped"...more

Ninth Circuit Defers to DOL View that Automobile Service Advisors Have No Industry Overtime Exemption

When taking in your car to the dealership for repairs, you are usually greeted by a service advisor. Service advisors compile information needed for the mechanic to diagnose and repair the vehicle. They also provide cost...more

FTC Announces Results of “Operation Ruse Control” on Auto Industry

On March 26, the FTC announced the results of Operation Ruse Control, “a nationwide and cross-border crackdown” on the auto industry with the intent to protect consumers who are purchasing or leasing a car. Efforts taken...more

‘Operation Ruse Control’ Announcement Highlights Importance of Auto Finance Compliance

The Federal Trade Commission—and numerous other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada—recently announced that an enforcement initiative dubbed “Operation Ruse Control” has resulted...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Auto 'Service Advisors' Not Exempt Under FLSA

In Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC (9th Cir. Mar. 24 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed an issue of first impression in the Circuit: whether individuals who worked for automobile dealerships as...more

Everything Must Go? Dealership's Service Advisors Not Exempt from Overtime

Classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt can prove to be an arduous task for some employers. For others, however, the classification is easy, particularly where the state or federal authorities expressly spell out the...more

Exempt or Not? Service Advisors

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires payment of a minimum hourly wage and overtime, unless an employee fits within one of many exemptions. In some parts of the United States, courts had ruled that automobile service...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still...

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service...more

California Employment Law Notes - March 2015

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated - Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644 (Cal. S. Ct. 2015). Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos,...more

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the...more

Termination Of Employee For Engaging In Outside Work While On FMLA/CFRA Upheld, But “Honest Belief” Standard Not Addressed

In Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., the California Supreme Court held that an arbitrator committed no legal error when he determined that an employer lawfully terminated an employee for engaging in outside employment while on...more

DOJ and North Carolina AG Settle First-Ever Federal Discrimination Suit Involving Auto Lending

On February 10, the DOJ, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina and the North Carolina AG, announced the settlement of the federal government’s discrimination suit involving two “buy...more

Trade groups urge CFPB to respond to AFSA vehicle sales finance study

Five prominent industry trade groups sent a letter to the CFPB yesterday seeking “to engage the CFPB in a constructive dialogue” on the study of indirect auto financing commissioned by the American Financial Services...more

California Supreme Court Reaffirms High Bar for Reversal of Arbitration Decision

Avery Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., et al. - Supreme Court of California (January 29, 2015) - Generally, courts cannot review arbitration awards for errors of fact or law, except as provided for under limited...more

Feds Obtain First-Ever Settlement over Allegedly Discriminatory ‘Buy Here, Pay Here’ Car Dealership Financing

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the North Carolina Department of Justice recently requested court approval of a consent decree arising out of alleged racial discrimination by two North Carolina car dealerships in...more

Benny Boyd Car Dealership to Pay $250,000 to Former Manager in EEOC Settlement

General Manager with Multiple Sclerosis Denied Partnership and Harassed Because of His Disability, Forced to Resign From Dealership, Agency Charged - LUBBOCK, Texas - Benny Boyd Chevrolet-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, Ltd.,...more

Did You Know…Court Confirms Employees on Medical Leave Must Still Comply With Existing Company Policies

In Richey v. Autonation, Inc., Case No. S207536 (January 29, 2015), the California Supreme Court confirmed that an employee who is on medical leave does not have a greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and...more

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...more

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