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West Virginia Consumer Protection and Employment Law Blog

How can I protect my elderly parents from financial scams?

If you have elderly parents in West Virginia, you probably worry about their safety from time to time. Along with their physical well-being, you may also have concerns that they’ll fall victim to a financial scam, which could deplete them of their life savings. AARP offers the following advice in this case, which provides you the tools to safeguard your parents’ assets.

Have a frank discussion

Is discrimination against transgender people illegal?

It’s a must that employers in West Virginia ensure that their workplaces are inclusive, non-hostile environments. This is especially important for transgender employees, who face a great deal of discrimination on a daily basis. Justia.com explains what employers need to know about transgender discrimination, including the different types of situations that can occur.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision

Reviewing third party resolution process requirements

Buying a car in Charleston is not just any other purchase; given the money spent and the amount one typically relies on his or her personal vehicle to complete his or her daily routine, it is a transaction for which one requires certain consumer protections. The state's Lemon Law does allow for legal recourse when one cannot get a car dealer to honor its promises, yet is it something that should be cited every time an issue arises with his or her vehicle? On the contrary, one cannot seek action under the Lemon Law unless certain steps have been taken. 

Indeed, according to The Better Business Bureau, West Virginia's Lemon Law does not go into effect until one has first tried to resolve his or her dispute through the proper third party. In this case, "third party" typically refers to the vehicle warrantor (be it the vehicle's manufacturer or the dealership that sold it). 

What protections does West Virginia provide to whistle blowers?

One of the most difficult decisions you may ever have to face is turning your employer in for violations of legal or industry standards to the appropriate authority in Charleston. Your hesitancy may not even come from a question of the legitimacy of your claim, but rather the fear that doing so could cost you your job (if it were discovered that you were the one to blow the whistle). Yet authorities want to know when companies are acting inappropriately, and they realize that the best way to discover violations is to learn of them from the employees themselves. Thus, laws have been enacted to protect you when you do report violations made by your employer. 

Per Section 6C-1-3 of the West Virginia Code, if you make a good faith report concerning potential regulatory compliance violations by your employer to an authoritative body, your employer is prohibited from taking any of the following actions against you: 

  • Firing you
  • Demoting you 
  • Lowering your pay
  • Changing your work location

Are you facing age discrimination at work?

Because so many workers are complaining they are victims of age discrimination at work, there is now a phrase used to identify their struggle: the gray ceiling. If you have never heard the term before it may be because you have not reached the age of 40 yet. The gray ceiling is used to describe how older workers or job seekers face discrimination because of their age.

To combat age discrimination in the workplace, a federal law was passed back in 1967 to protect older workers from falling victim to it. However, before you can even prove you are being discriminated against because of your age, it is important to know how to recognize it.

Federal government target of class action lawsuit

Most in Charleston might assume that large corporations are the typical targets of class action lawsuits. This may be reasonable, given that class actions require that a number of potential plaintiffs have a common complaint, and in order to affect a large number of people, whatever entity becomes the target of such litigation would likely have a large footprint. At the same time, many might not guess that the federal government would end up facing a class action, despite the fact that in terms of size, it may be perhaps the largest organization in the country. 

It is the alleged failure of that organization which has drawn the ire (as well as legal action) from hundreds of people affected by wildfires in Tennessee in 2016. Their complaint centers specifically on the devastation that occurred in one county, where may people lost homes and properties. They believe that the Park Service was negligent by not dedicating sufficient resources to combat the blaze before it could be stopped from causing the damage that it did. As many who owned in this area have a common complaint, they have chosen to initiate a class action lawsuit. 

What is false advertising?

P.T. Barnum is often attributed with saying "there's a sucker born every minute" in reference to his selling an illusion of fact and intrigue despite neither of those elements actually existing in his product. While such a statement might be seen as being harmless in the whimsical world or entertainment, it is certainly considered to be so in business. The Charleston businesses and companies advertising their goods and services to you are expected to supply what they promise. If you engage in (or attempt to engage in) a transaction based on an advertised promise yet the expectation inferred in an advertisement is not met, are you then the victim of false advertising

Some might say that the promises made in advertisements are subjective. Fortunately, the law has established criteria to determine when false advertising has indeed occurred. According to the West Virginia Legislature, it begins be defining advertising as any content (whether spoken, written, televised or published) created with the intent to induce you into consummating a commercial transaction. State law expressly prohibits any deceptive practices related to business. Those that specifically refer to advertising include: 

  • Causing confusion as to the source, sponsorship, association or geographic origin of goods or services
  • Representing used, deteriorated, reclaimed or reconditioned products as new
  • Advertising goods or service with the intent to not sell them as promised or to not supply enough to meet expectable demand
  • The intentional concealment of any fact that might otherwise deter you and others from buying a product 
  • Promises to sale good or extend credit that are false or omit material information regarding qualifications and eligibility

Your responsibilities as a class representative

The supposed strength in numbers that comes from being involved in a class action lawsuit may be one of the primary reasons why you choose to become involved in such litigation. Yet you can quickly go right back to feeling all alone in your struggle if you are asked to be a class representative. Many of those placed in such a situation come to us here at The Grubb Law Group feeling woefully unequal to the task. With the right amount of planning and preparation, however, you can successfully serve the best interests of your fellow class members. 

Technically, there are only a couple of requirements that have to be met for you to serve as a class representative. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as shared by the House Committee on the Judiciary), these include your claim being typical of that of other class members, as well as you being judged adequate and capable of representing the class. "Adequate and capable" is often a subjective term. You may be judged so simply because you are only member of the class willing to be present during proceedings. You should be ready, then, for the defendant in your matter to test your capabilities. 

Common car dealer scams

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new vehicle in West Virginia, you’re likely concerned about being fooled by a smooth-talking car salesman. It’s true that car dealerships utilize a lot of tricks intended to get consumers to pay more for a vehicle than it’s actually worth, or agree to costs that aren't full warranted. In order to avoid falling prey to these tricks, BusinessInsider.com offers the following guidance.

False Advertising

Balancing work with parenthood in West Virginia

Family is vital to the community of Charleston. For younger couples looking to start a family or have more kids, it can be challenging to manage demands at work with demands of the family. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, many parents feel guilty for missing out on their jobs to take parental leave, but they also feel guilty for leaving infants at daycare while they go back to work in a few weeks. What is a parent to do?

This dilemma is not new for families, but a renewed focus on women and workplace rights has sparked the need for awareness once again. Both state and federal laws protect employees from discriminating against pregnant women, and other laws protect all parents who need time off after the birth of a child. Here’s a look at each law and the benefits it provides to expectant mothers and new parents alike.

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

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