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Posted in: 2019

Holiday Legal Issues Only Scrooge Would Love

For your enjoyment, here are some 2019 holiday themed legal issues only Scrooge could love . . . threatening litigation over  holiday sweaters, attacking favorite holiday candy and gifts, endless HOA litigation over holiday decorating, and “stealing” from the Grinch.  Bah! Humbug!  The Coke Snorting Santa Sweater – A Colombian government agency is threatening to […]

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Richmond City voting to join Spotsylvania County and Hampton City in banning handheld cell phone use while driving

In 2018, there were 1,618 automobile crashes, 105 serious injuries, and 10 deaths in Virginia reported as attributable to cell phone use while driving (the actual number may be higher). See 2018 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts, Virginia DMV, available at https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/crash_data/crash_facts/crash_facts_18.pdf. Richmond drivers have notoriously high rates of accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations. A recent study by QuoteWizard […]

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Whisky Lawsuit On the Rocks

  A distillery in Virginia is “toasting” the end of a “heavy-handed” lawsuit filed this summer by the Scotch Whisky Association.   https://wtop.com/virginia/2019/08/virginia-whiskey-maker-settles-with-scotch-whisky-group/ ; see also https://valawyersweekly.com/2019/07/22/whisky-business/  The lawsuit, brought in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against an independent distillery in Lovingston, Virginia, called the Virginia Distillery Company LLC., alleged […]

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New DOL Overtime Rule Raises Salary Cutoff to $35,568

Employees who make less than $35,568 are now eligible for overtime pay under a final rule issued in September 2019 by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The new rate will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. To be exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees must be paid a salary greater than $35,568.00 and meet certain […]

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Queries and Quandaries: The Clearinghouse and Driver Consent

In a legal climate where the case is never about the facts and always about compliance, a good understanding of the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and how to use it is crucial.  Unfortunately, the new regulation is as easy to follow as GPS without a cellular signal.   From Part I of […]

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A Note on Unions: Elon Musk and a Lesson in Unionbusting, Twitter, and When to Shut Up

Elon Musk is a media magnet.  Ignore that he is involved with a company creating neural computer interfaces, dates pop stars and actresses, sells flamethrowers, and is trying to solve city congestion by drilling tunnels.  He ran Tesla until the SEC forced him to step down as chair, but is still listed by the company as its “co-founder and CEO.”  Tesla alone has […]

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The battle over automotive emissions standards rolls on

Continuing our series on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standards, President Trump recently placed the topic back at the forefront by ramping up an attack on California’s Clean Air Act waiver.  The waiver gives California special authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to set its own emissions and air pollution […]

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Virginia Passes Two New Driving Laws: Regarding Cell Phone Use and Passing Emergency Vehicles

Two new Virginia laws impacting drivers went into effect this summer on July 1, 2019. First, Virginia amended its cell phone laws to forbid any hand-held cell phone use in work zones, and, second, Virginia increased the penalty for failure to move over when passing a stationary emergency vehicle to an automatic “reckless driving” conviction. […]

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Trucking Company’s ‘Unnecessary’ Fitness Test

In today’s case law update we continue our series on employment law issues in the trucking community and highlight a pending case in which workers’ compensation, gender discrimination, and retaliation allegations intersected to create a perfect legal storm for one midwestern carrier. (See also our recent news article regarding sexual harassment in trucking.) The EEOC is suing Minnesota-based carrier, Stan Koch […]

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FMCSA CLEARINGHOUSE: Pay to Play, and You Must Play

The countdown is on to January 6, 2020, the official compliance date for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s(“FMCSA”) Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (“Clearinghouse”). According to the Executive Summary of the Final Rule, “[t]he purpose of the Clearinghouse … is to maintain records of all drug and alcohol program violations in a central repository and require […]

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