In last week’s blog, I described I case I had involving a night dispatcher who complained about minimum and overtime wage violations. In that situation, the tow company thought they didn’t have to pay either minimum or overtime wages because he paid the dispatcher a salary of $300.00. But just paying a salary, without more, does not make the employee exempt from minimum and overtimes wages.
My first wage and hour case in the tow industry didn’t even involve tow operators. It involved a disgruntled night dispatcher who was being paid $300.00 per week to answer the phones from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., seven (7) days a week. She was permitted to take all of the calls on her cell phone, meaning for large portions of the night when the phone wasn’t ringing, she slept at home.
Liens are always a hot topic in the tow community. When properly asserted, they can be a powerful collecting tool. However, like anything, done incorrectly, they expose a tow company to potential liability.
I have a special place in my heart for the tow companies of Arizona. The first ever member of TowLawyer was from Arizona. Upon joining our website, I remember him telling me how the resources of the website were a major help to the tow companies in Arizona who were trying to abide by the law. Recently, however, the bad deeds of a few tow truck companies have negatively impacted towing across the state.
On November 7, 2013, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Chattanooga District, suspended Monteagle Wrecker Service (MWS) from its wrecker rotation list for one (1) year. The THP determined that MWS had violated the THP rotation wrecker rule which prohibits two (2) or more towing companies, owned in whole or in part by the same individual, to participate on the towing list within the same zone. According to the THP, the owner of MWS, Rodney Kilgore, had an ownership interest in two other THP-rotation companies in the same zone. That conclusion was based, in part, on evidence that MWS was processing credit card payments for all three companies. One of the other companies, which was being operated by Rodney Kilgore’s father, William Kilgore, was permanently removed from the THP list on the same day.
Celebrating our nation and wishing you and your family a happy Independence Day.
I don’t need to tell you that owning a tow business is high risk. It’s a dangerous profession with expensive equipment and expensive claims. These risks are present every day. For these reasons, careful consideration should be given to how you legally structure the ownership of your business. If you make the wrong choice, everything [...]
In my opinion, some tow company owners are too nice to their employees. I’ve seen many an owner pay for an employee’s mistakes (literally), such as paying for a traffic fine or for the damage an employee caused, only to have the employee fail (literally) to repay the favor. When this happens, tow companies are sometimes quick to immediately “dock” the employee’s paycheck to recover any monies that were spent on the employee.
As we have written about in this blog, downtime claims, which are claims for that time when your tow truck is down and not generating income, are tough and insurance companies often fight them tooth and nail. For this reason, before you retain an attorney to prosecute such a claim and spend even more money, it is best to know what you are getting yourself into.
More than 41.5 million Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. The National Safety Council has released estimates indicating that 402 fatalities are expected during the holiday period, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28. More accidents mean more tow operators on the side of the roadway putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of helping others.