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West Virginia Consumer Protection and Employment Law Blog

Do car salespeople use deceptive practices?

Buying a car can be stressful enough on its own. You may also be subject to deceptive practices intended on bilking consumers out of money or convincing them to buy a vehicle that is not up to snuff. In this case, it's crucial that you're able to identify common deceptive sales tactics so you can avoid them whenever possible. To help you do just that, Bankrate offers the following information. 

Claims that a deal will expire soon

Are life coaches scamming consumers?

Life coaches claim to have valuable inner wisdom, which they are willing to share with consumers when the price is right. While some life coaches actually help the people they work with by offering unique insight, others are only in it to make a profit. Determining which is which can be confusing for many people, especially when they're experiencing a stressful situation and are in need of assistance. If you're thinking about working with a life coach, Forbes recommends keeping the following points in mind. 

Life coaches can be from all professions and walks of life. Some are therapists and counselors, while others have experienced great business success and are eager to mentor others so they can do the same. Regardless of their background, life coaches should have some credentials to show they are authorized to speak about whatever topic they specialize in. For example, if a life coach is also an author, he or she will likely have books published that deal with the specific topic or subject. 

5 tips about age discrimination in the workplace

While more and more baby boomers are retiring each year, many are taking on part-time work. In fact, in February, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculated that of Americans over the age of 65, 10.6 million people—are either looking for work or are working.

Often, these older workers seek lower-paying jobs that they can work part time and get enjoyment out of. However, in research released in 2019, many employers opted to hire younger or middle-age applicants, no matter what qualifications they had for the job. And middle-age women and women over 65 reported age discrimination more than men, 72% compared to 57%.

How can sexual harassment be prevented at work?

Sexual harassment is not only unlawful, it also creates a hostile working environment. It's incumbent upon management to take the proper steps to discourage sexual harassment and to help workers who make complaints about improper behavior. The Balance offers the following information to help business owners, as well as employees, address this contentious issue. 

The first step is to create an inclusive and positive work environment for all workers. This starts with your employee handbook, which should have information on what constitutes harassment. For example, harassment can involve physical contact, jokes, requests for dates, sending pictures or sexually-charged messages, gestures, and displaying sexual pictures or photos within the place of work. The handbook should also include your workplace's official sexual harassment policy, as well as a policy on general harassment. Lastly, make sure employees are fully aware of how investigations into harassment allegations will take place. 

Important Changes to WV Used Car Sales

Starting on July 1, 2019, it will be legal in West Virginia for car dealers to sell used vehicles without any warranty whatsoever for the first time. Before this change to the law, all vehicles sold by a dealer came with at least an implied warranty that they were "merchantable," meaning that they were fit to drive on the roads and would pass inspection for a reasonable period of time. But, starting on July 1, 2019, certain vehicles may be sold by dealers, even if they are not operable, have major defects, or are rebuilt wrecks. They can even be sold "as is" if they cannot pass state inspection. Beware! If you purchase an "as is" vehicle, the dealer will have no obligation to repair any problems with the vehicle.

After multiple deaths, banning inclined sleepers a next step

Consumer products designed for infant care usually have to undergo significant testing before they are sold publicly. Because infants are vulnerable and unable to communicate their concerns or discomforts, the products designed for their use have to be especially safe and functional. For many families in West Virginia, the process of researching reliable and safe products to use for their infant children is a critical step in their effort to select an option that will serve the desired purpose without compromising the well-being of their child. 

In an announcement that made national headlines, Fisher-Price recalled their popular Rock 'n Play sleeper after multiple infant deaths were reported in relation to the product. Many in opposition of the Rock 'n Play sleeper discussed concerns about how the product was sold without proper testing or any input from medical professionals such as pediatricians. Despite the recall, other inclined sleepers continue to be sold throughout the nation. 

What should I know about nursing breaks at work?

Federal law stipulates that new mothers must have time for nursing breaks at work. It's important for women to understand their rights in this case, especially if they've been violated and steps must be taken to hold an employer accountable. The Office on Women's Health offers the following guidelines so you can rest assured your rights are being honored. 

Expressing milk is considered a biological need. As a result, the same laws that mandate meal breaks also cover nursing breaks. There is no regulation that says nursing breaks must be paid. However, if a woman uses a paid break to express milk, she must be compensated as she normally would. There are also questions regarding how frequent these breaks must be to remain compliant with the law. 

Using OEM parts for vehicle repairs

There is something to be said for the sense of security that comes from knowing that one is the first person to use a product they have purchased. It is often for this very reason why many in Charleston will buy a new vehicle when buying a used car might save them money. For them, the knowledge that the car's parts are brand new (and thus should be in optimal condition) is worth the added expense. Yet accidents and incidents may happen that can quickly put a newer vehicle in the repair shop. The question then becomes what type of parts will go back into it. 

From an insurer or repair providers perspective, aftermarket parts are the better option simply due to their costs. Indeed, information compiled by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America shows that original equipment manufacturer parts cost 60 percent more than aftermarket parts. Yet OEM parts offer the assurance that they were built for a specific vehicle by that vehicle's manufacturer, and thus are more reliable. 

How do food recalls work?

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and the official start of grilling season. It’s an unfortunate time for sausages to face a recall over food safety, but that’s exactly what’s happening to Johnsonville Jalapeno Cheddar smoked sausages.

The Wisconsin-based sausage manufacturer is recalling nearly 100,000 pounds of sausages found to contain bits of hard green plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced. Though no one has reported an illness from the tainted sausages, it raises the question: How do food recalls work?

What to know before purchasing a used car

Used cars can provide consumers with access to relatively new and lightly used vehicles for often a fraction of the cost of a new car. Whether you choose to browse for vehicles online, at a used car lot or elsewhere, you can often find a great deal.

However, prospective West Virginia used car owners should keep several considerations in mind before committing to a used car. While many used cars will provide owners with years of good, reliable service, others can turn out to be full of persistent issues that become both frustrating and expensive.

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