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West Virginia Consumer Protection and Employment Law Blog

Benefits associated with joining a class-action lawsuit

When you watch the television, you often hear attorneys who've made commercials asking you to call in if you've been injured or if your health has declined after using a particular medical product. There's a reason that they're trying to get you to join a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of that product. There are many positives associated with joining one of these.

Litigation expenses can be costly. If every patient or customer who was wronged went out and hired their attorney to fight their case, many plaintiffs would put out more money than they pull in.

What are your rights under the West Virginia lemon law?

One of the reasons that many consumers here in Charleston and elsewhere in West Virginia buy new cars is to replace their old, dilapidated car with a new set of reliable wheels. Not all new cars are created equally though.

There are times at which cars that are released onto the market have perpetual problems after very little use. These types of vehicles are commonly referred to as lemon cars.

Worker alleges wrongful termination stemming from complaints

While there is significant importance focused on adequate training for workers in West Virginia and properly educating them to adhere to company protocols, employees also have rights that should be honored. Among those rights is the ability to maintain a job free of judgment or wrongful treatment based on background, race, religion or sexual orientation. 

Unfortunately, there are still stories of people who were the victim of poor treatment from their employer because they brought to light concerns. One such circumstance involves a former worker at an Apple store in Oregon who claims his career with the company was botched early on when his complaints about racist customers ended up costing him his job. The man claims he noticed he was being treated differently because of the color of his skin early on in his employment.

How do you find out about auto recalls?

The easiest way for you to know if the manufacturer of your vehicle has issued a recall is simply to wait for notification. However, this is not always the most effective option. 

There are many things that could stop an auto company from contacting you. If you recently moved to West Virginia, for example, your address information may not be available. Furthermore, manufacturers sometimes need some time to issue a recall. When it comes to faults in your vehicle that could potentially threaten your safety, it is understandable that you may want to be proactive. The rest of this article will look at how you might keep updated about any potential recalls.

Understand and fight back against religious discrimination

Religious discrimination is hard to handle. Sometimes, it can be hard to recognize, too. It may be a subconscious habit of certain employers, coworkers or customers to discriminate based on your perceived or known religion. Fortunately, it's against the law to act in that way.

Religious discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently only because of their religious beliefs or as a result of the beliefs of their spouse or other party they're associated with. It is banned in a work environment. Employers are unable to discriminate based on religion when it comes to any part of the job, whether it's assigning job duties, training, laying off employees, hiring, firing or other conditions of employment.

Class action against Facebook reaches settlement

Class action lawsuit can often be complicated matters that may seem daunting to the average Charleston resident (thus potentially deterring them from joining in one even if they have a valid claim). Understanding the nuances of such an action may go a long way in assuaging one’s fears. One of the most misunderstood aspects of a class action is the actual formation of the class. In essence, however, the concept of class is relatively simple: a group of people who have a shared grievance against a single party. That group can be as small as a few people, or a body of millions of organizations. 

The latter is what was present in a recent class action lawsuit filed against the social media giant Facebook. In its complaint, the plaintiffs argued that faulty watch time metrics (the information detailing how long viewers were actually watching ads on Facebook) influenced them to spend more in advertising dollars than they would have had they known the real numbers. Facebook’s representatives recognized the error, yet claimed that it did not result in a single advertising partner being overcharged. 

Detailing shift differential pay

Most in Charleston view the average workday as being from 9 to 5. While many working professionals do indeed follow this schedule, several others show up for night, swing and graveyard shifts. Indeed, according to information shared by the American Psychological Association, roughly 15 million Americans work odd hours.

Such shifts are typically needed in those industries that offer around-the-clock service, such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Public safety
  • Security
  • Transportation
  • Hospitality
  • Technical support

Dealing with a recalled product

No one in Charleston wants to hear that a product that they have purchased has been recalled (much less one that they have actually been using). Panic may set in if one discovers that they have been using a recalled product (which is indeed reasonably possible, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 410 products were recalled as recently as 2015). This comes from the fear that a product is only recalled if it is proven to be dangerous. Yet that is not always the case. Oftentimes, a product can be recalled even if it only presents the potential for causing harm, and even then, such harm may not come through standard use.

What should one do, then, if they discover that they have been using a recalled product? The first and most obvious step is to discontinue its use completely. Next, one will want to become educated with both the reason behind the recall and the nest steps to be taken in the process. Typically, the information detailing the recall will include a phone number or web address to contact for more information. That informational source can provide the details on whether one should return the product or simply dispose of it. Oftentimes there will be some form of compensation attached to the recall. Per the USCPSC, one might be entitled to have the product repaired or replaced at no cost, or have its entire purchase price refunded to them.

What are your workplace rights as a new mother?

One of the more common reasons people in Charleston seek medical leave is to accommodate the birth of a child. Your time on maternity leave gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your new baby. Going back to work after welcoming such a bundle of joy into your life can be difficult (and not simply due to you being separated from your new baby for several hours every workday). As a new mother, your body acclimates to providing your newborn with needed sustenance, and as you know, that does not stop simply because you have to go back to work

This can make those initial months back in the office following maternity leave a bit awkward, as expressing breast milk while away from your infant may become necessary. This, of course, can not only take you away from your work, but also require you to find an area where you can pump your breastmilk in private. You might be concerned that your employer will not be sensitive to your needs during this time, yet not to worry; federal law requires that they be. 

Defective products can leave you and your loved ones at risk

Capitalism gives anyone with an idea the opportunity to turn that idea into a product or service and thereby an income stream. Unfortunately, not all products are as safe as the people who designed them might imagine. Other times, companies can have lax testing and safety requirements in the design or manufacture stages that leave consumers vulnerable to product failure and injuries.

Whether you are buying a crib, a car or a package of meat at the grocery store, as a consumer, you want to believe that you can trust that it is safe. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans wind up hurt every year because of dangerous or defective products.

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The Grubb Law Group

The Grubb Law Group
1114 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25301

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