Preventing Whistleblower Claims in the Automotive Industry

Making Your Termination Decision Count (Don’t Sleep On This One…)

Whistleblower and retaliation claims are some of the most costly claims brought by employees and they are on the rise. OSHA, who governs complaints for over 20 whistleblower statutes, reports a 58% increase in whistleblower claims between 2005 and 2014. Retaliation claims under the statutes governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have increased 70% in the same time frame. Continue reading this entry

Michigan Storm Water Update – July 2015

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The following post is provided by our guest author, Karen Lutz from TRC. Karen can be reached at klutz@trcsolutions.com

What? – If you have an industrial/manufacturing facility in Michigan, and storm water runoff is exposed to industrial materials and/or industrial activities which discharge to waters of the state, you are likely subject to storm water requirements. New Industrial Storm Water Permits in Michigan are now being rolled out which include new visual monitoring requirements. These new permit requirements mandate that storm water samples be collected for visual analysis only, and do not require lab analysis to be performed — although some permits may have additional requirements for lab analyses. For facilities with general permits, those in cycle year 4 and 5 watersheds already have these requirements in place, while facilities in cycle year 1, 2, and 3 watersheds will have these requirements written into their renewed permits in the coming years. For facilities with individual NPDES permits, these new requirements will be written into any new or renewed permits as well. Continue reading this entry

This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile: Car Hacking and the SPY Car Act

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Not coincidentally, on July 21, 2015, Wired Magazine published an article with groundbreaking evidence of hacking a car wirelessly, and Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation that would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards to secure cars and protect drivers’ privacy. The cleverly named Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act, which can be found here, also establishes a cyber-dashboard that provides ratings and informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ privacy and security beyond the minimum standards in the legislation. Continue reading this entry

Enforcement Provides Important Update for Auto Industry

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For the last several years, the global auto industry has been rocked by unprecedented investigations and prosecution. Numerous international cartels, involving scores of companies and individuals, have engaged in price-fixing. Most of these cartels operated in foreign countries, fixing prices for automotive components that were incorporated into vehicles and shipped to the United States. Many individuals have been convicted and sentenced to prison in the United States. Massive treble damage class actions are pending. Continue reading this entry

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

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The summer of 2015 should be very interesting for the Big 3 and suppliers alike. The collective bargaining agreements for the Big 3 will expire on September 14, 2015.  Initial negotiations with the UAW are scheduled to commence this month. Ford has already indicated that it would like to take the lead in the negotiations with the UAW and Ford’s recent announcement of the end of certain production at the Michigan Assembly Plant is likely one of many moves to come to gain an advantage in the negotiations. Continue reading this entry