The battle over how the “gig economy” will be regulated has heated up, and not surprisingly, the front line is in California.  The state of California recently enacted Assembly Bill 5, which will go into effect in January 2020.  This bill creates a rigorous set of tests that companies must meet before being able to exclude workers as being considered an “employee”.  In response to the legislation, several companies (Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash) have proposed a ballot measure for Californians to consider which states “an app-based driver is an independent contractor” if certain conditions are met.  The ballot initiative also seeks to appease some who have criticized the lack of workplace rights protection and benefits for gig workers by expressly indicating certain protections and benefits will apply to even gig workers who are not deemed “employees” subject to state laws governing the workplace.

The proposal calls for mileage reimbursement rates to cover gig workers’ gas and vehicle maintenance costs, to be adjusted as necessary for inflation.  Drivers who work more than 25 hours per week would receive a stipend covering 82% of the least expensive health plan under California’s health insurance exchange (marketplace).  Drivers would be required to undergo criminal background checks to check for those with certain prior felonies, most notably driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we get multiple calls a day from people who feel they have been defrauded by a car dealership. As a result, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the most common problems that vehicle buyers deal with. I previously laid out some of the most common car-buying pitfalls and some tips to avoid them here. Below, in Part 2, I discuss add-on products and how to deal with the dealership’s finance and insurance department.

PAY ATTENTION WHEN DEALING WITH THE F&I DEPARTMENT

Many people think that hiring an auto insurance lawyer can wait till you already have an accident. However, that is not the case. The age-old adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’ is as true today as it was when it was coined for the first time. 

Post-accident trauma can be so severe that legal issues may be the least of your worries. Sometimes, people trust insurance companies to pay their claims since they have been receiving their premiums for ages.

The holidays are usually a time for being with family and friends involving warmth and joy. However, psychologists have found there is a real condition called the “holiday blues.”

One survey by the American Psychological Association uncovered some interesting data about the holiday blues:

North Carolina is the last state to raise the age for juveniles charged with certain crimes to be treated as adults. Prior to December 1, 2019, 16 and 17 year olds were lumped together with adults in our District and Superior courts. Court and juvenile professionals recognize that children’s brains are still developing at the ages of 16 and 17 and young people should be treated as juveniles in our juvenile court system for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. Every other state had raised the age, leaving North Carolina as the last state to implement this change. Session Law 2019-186 now allows kids to keep clean records and avoid the negative consequences that a conviction in adult court can have on a young person’s education, employment, and permanent public record.

Certain crimes are excluded from this change in law. Young people who commit violent felonies will still be charged as adults. Traffic offenses will also remain in adult court. However, most other misdemeanors and non-violent felonies will now be allowed to be handled in juvenile court. The minor’s name and information will remain confidential in the juvenile court system and they will receive a variety of counseling, rehabilitation and guidance from professionals to allow the young person to learn from the mistake without having lifelong consequences.

In case you have been injured or have suffered any sort of property damage in an automobile accident, you might be thinking how an auto accident attorney may help you. Alternately, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to go ahead and try and deal with the insurance service on your own. While a lot depends on the complexity and the specifics of your case, in general, it can be said that your auto insurance attorney should be able to do the following:

o They can try to communicate with the other driver’s insurance service provider on your behalf

In the last several years, the number of claims of sexually harassment made in the workplace has risen dramatically. The growth has been driven in large part by the #MeToo movement. The federal agency responsible for enforcing the federal laws against sex harassment, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, changed its litigation strategy in 2018, increasing the number of sexual harassment lawsuits it filed against employers by 50%. Because of the increase in the number of claims of sex harassment, and the fear of increased litigation cost and financial exposure to potential jury verdicts, many employers are firing male employees based solely on allegations of harassment made by female employees, without ever performing any investigation into the truthfulness of the allegations. However, a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit may provide relief for men who are wrongfully terminated in these situations.

Man walking Alone

In Menaker v. Hofstra University, 935 F.3d 20 (2nd Cir 2019), the Court found “when employers distort and deviate from their policies, fearfully deferring to invidious stereotypes and crediting malicious accusations, they may violate the law.” Specifically, these employers may be held liable for gender discrimination against these male employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Based on the Menaker decision, male employees fired for sexually harassing a female co-worker may be able to challenge their discharge by filing a charge of gender discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Auto accidents happen, and they usually happen at a speed that leaves you in shock. That said, you can keep panic at bay by taking certain steps once such an unfortunate mishap has occurred. Let us take a quick look at what you should try to do in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident.

Check for Injuries

Justice is supposed to be blind. That is why the woman holding the scales of justice has a blindfold over her eyes. The implication is that everyone should be treating the same under the law. It’s one of the reasons you are entitled to trial by a jury of your peers. However, this fairly new law that was enacted in the fall of 2011 in North Carolina does just the opposite. It discriminates against Plaintiffs depending on their health insurance.

Rule 414 (or Billed vs. Paid as it may be referred) was codified in an attempt at tort reform to allegedly limit a windfall to Plaintiffs. However, in what can only be described as an extreme overcorrection, this rule of evidence has done nothing except to hurt Plaintiffs, even those with significant, serious and permanent injuries, and punish them for having health insurance and rewarding the tortfeasor (and thereby the insurance company) by making them have to pay less for the injuries they caused.

Medical Payments coverage, or “Med Pay” as it is commonly referred in North Carolina, is most often first party insurance to use toward your medical bills in the event of a motor vehicle accident. This means it is extra-contractual coverage under your own automobile insurance policy or the policy for the vehicle in which you are a passenger. Med Pay is considered extra-contractual because it is not required by law in North Carolina.

In some states, such as South Carolina, it is referred to as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. Other states, such as Florida, actually do require PIP coverage up to a minimum amount. At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, PC, we recommend that you use this coverage if it is available.

Contact Information