Monday, April 18, 2016

April 2016 SDADA Column

Are you paying your service adviser overtime pay? If you don't know, it may be a good time to check.

The U.S. Supreme Court is checking. They took up that question last week (April 20) in the case of five dealership service advisers who sought overtime pay for their 55-hour workweeks. The ruling could have big implications us and how we pay our service advisers.

We have always assumed service advisers fall into the same category as dealership salespeople, mechanics and parts department workers, who are exempted from overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Many of our service advisers are paid commission.

But (surprise, surprise) the Obama administration has challenged that assumption. A California district court disagreed with the administration. But the 9th Circuit reversed that decision, breaking with previous appeals court decisions dating to the 1980s and paving the way for the Supreme Court to settle the dispute.

I have a non-lawyer, non-regulator, simple man's question: If the service writers are on commission, how do you determine what time and a half is? Is it based on minimum wage or some kind of combination?

About that current vacancy on the court - yes, that could affect the outcome in this case. It raises the prospect of a 4-4 tie, which would keep things as they are. The good news for South Dakota dealers (for now): The 9th Circuit's ruling would apply only in its nine-state Western jurisdiction.

We can expect to hear a ruling this summer.

NADA 100

Next year, NADA celebrates its 100th anniversary with various events, including the NADA 100 convention in New Orleans.

The NADA story began when 30 dealers traveled to the nation’s capital in 1917 to persuade Congress not to impose a luxury tax on cars. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that group effort, NADA was born.

Since then, NADA has experienced many major milestones. And so have its dealers.

Each dealer’s story is an integral part of the NADA story, especially since so many generations of dealers have been steadfast NADA members. These stories range from store openings and mergers to dealers meeting with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

To learn more about these important dealer milestones, NADA has launched the “Share Your Story” contest. Dealers can submit photos, videos, newspaper clippings, print and digital ads, their own dealership histories or other memorabilia. If you participate in NADA’s “Tell Us Your Story” contest, you have a chance to win one of two an all-expense paid trips to the 2017 NADA 100 show in New Orleans. Ten runners up each will win VISA gifts cards worth $100.

One trait best describes NADA, its dealers and the franchised business system: the ability to adapt. Whether it’s dealing with economic curveballs or learning the latest digital technology, being adaptable has allowed this association and its members to thrive during the past 100 years. And it continues to propel us toward the future.

Looking back, it’s interesting to see just how much NADA has changed—and adapted—over the years.

South Dakota has several dealerships with a rich history. I hope they will consider partaking in this great event!!

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