About Nick Porto

Nick Porto is the co-founder of TowLawyer. TowLawyer is the one-stop shop where you’ll find legal resources and answers to your towing and recovery legal questions and concerns.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day of thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us. As this year comes to a close, once again I find myself thankful to be a part of the towing community. The towing community has provided the privilege of meeting and working with people from all walks of life. Many of these people have become my closest friends.

By | 2017-11-22T20:26:02+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

Paying by a Commission IS NOT An Exception to the FLSA

In my neck of the woods, most tow companies pay their drivers by a commission. While the commission system may be the preferred choice for your company, a commission system, absent some other factors, is not an exception to the record keeping, minimum wage, and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means that tow companies still need to maintain records of hours worked either through a time clock or set schedule. This also means that employees must be paid at least minimum wage if their commission divided by their hours worked doesn’t equal minimum wage. Finally, employees must also be paid overtime if they are not exempt.

By | 2017-11-17T09:50:04+00:00 November 17th, 2017|Human Resources|3 Comments

Quiet That Title

The sale or auction of abandoned vehicles left with tow companies can provide a nice revenue boost for tow companies. Most states, including my home “states” of Kansas and Missouri (Kansas City is a border town), have a statutory lien procedure designed for this. If tow companies follow this procedure, they can obtain a “title” to the motor vehicle and sell it for a profit.

By | 2017-11-10T07:54:19+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

The Pitfalls of Social Media

At the 2016 Tennessee Tow Show, Mike McGovern and I were asked to lead a discussion on the dangers of the use of social media in the tow world. We published a brief blog about this concept shortly thereafter. However, as the use of social media becomes more prevalent, it is wise to revisit this quickly developing legal issue.

By | 2017-10-19T16:20:51+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

Be Careful What You Tow

In January, 2017, a 67 year old Kansas City man was killed when a wheel broke loose from a vehicle that was being towed and struck the windshield of the vehicle he was driving. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a part from a towed vehicle to break loose and cause damage to another vehicle or person on the roadway.

By | 2017-10-12T20:19:54+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

Beware of the Spotter

A popular, dense population with too many cars and not enough parking is the perfect recipe for private property towing.  Sometimes there’s another individual lurking in the shadows, the spotter. A spotter is loosely defined as an individual monitoring the parking lot who immediately calls the tow company to report an illegally parked vehicle.

By | 2017-10-06T08:50:12+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

Body Cameras: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Towing is a contentious industry. Often, the nature of the job places tow drivers in a precarious position with exposure to a wide variety of claims. To respond to these risks, some of my tow company clients have considered requiring drivers to wear body cameras. Body cameras, like anything, have their pro’s and con’s. Here are a few things that tow companies should consider when evaluating.

By | 2017-10-02T15:45:00+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Human Resources, Other Legal Issues|0 Comments

Do You Have a Safety Manual? If Not, You Should!

We have written much in these blogs about the need for a quality employment manual. Now it’s time to devote some time to an equally important manual: the safety manual. The safety manual is just what it sounds like: it’s a comprehensive source of safety policies that your company requires. For the security of your company and drivers, a safety manual is a must. It tells your drivers how to correctly, and safely, do their jobs. However, from a financial perspective, a safety manual can also save you money. This is because in the modern climate of skyrocketing insurance rates, most reputable insurance companies will require your company to have a safety manual before they will issue you a competitive rate.

By | 2017-09-21T14:18:11+00:00 September 21st, 2017|Human Resources|0 Comments