Articles & Publications

Resnick & Louis, P.C. – Attorneys at Law

Resnick & Louis, P.C. was founded in 2012 by Mitchell J. Resnick and Lena M. Louis, both of whom are highly respected attorneys in the legal and business communities, with over 40 years of collective experience. Together they have developed a team of diverse and experienced attorneys who are licensed to represent clients in various jurisdictions.

Browse articles and publications that are written by and featuring the attorneys of Resnick & Louis.

If you are interested in contacting an attorney for an interview or article, please contact Stacie O’Brien at sobrien@rlattorneys.com

 


Medical marijuana laws present unique challenges to employers

Almost all states will soon have similar laws as to medical marijuana usage, and generally no employee can be fired just for having medical authorization to use marijuana. The Americans with Disabilities Act even prevents employers from asking about it because that would presume the employer is asking about an underlying disability. While it’s still illegal under federal law to possess or use it, there have been more than 60 peer-reviewed studies with an overwhelming majority finding marijuana helpful as palliative care in debilitating diseases or for those with chronic pain. What is an employer to do? Re-write your employee handbook; be vigilant and drug test under the defense of reasonable suspicion. Current Arizona law is typical of many states’ view: unless a failure to test would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under law, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, terminating, imposing a condition of employment, or otherwise penalizing a person for having medical marijuana privileges, or producing a positive test for marijuana. Safety-sensitive work in the transportation industry – or any industry – allows the employer to discipline/terminate employees with medical marijuana prescriptions if intoxicated on duty. Regardless of the industry, no employee with a medical marijuana card may use, possess, or be impaired at work. Why should you be concerned/have a policy/conduct reasonable suspicion testing? Because of exposure to the legal risk of negligent hiring or negligent retention claims brought by third persons; and because your medical card employee could challenge you for discrimination if you do not treat every employee the same. The Gig Economy Just Got Giggier On June 7, 2017, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has withdrawn two informal guidance documents on independent contractor misclassification and joint employment, which had […]


Baseball Stats have statistical rigor; FMCSA’s CSA scores do not

Baseball has always had statistics. They’ve been studied to excess and its auditors have immense data directly related to every player. Not so with CSA BASICs. The FMCSA built CSA and it routinely lacks the complete data to reveal the behaviors the Agency – and insurers, and shippers – are interested in. What the Agency does instead is substitute stand-in data, or what we might call proxy data. They draw statistical correlations between a motor carrier’s type of operations and its potential for safety. These correlations discriminate. Whereas baseball stats pour in daily for more than 6 months a year; and they can feed back inconsistencies into the model, redefining it as they progress, CSA scores are static; there is no mechanism to correct errors (let’s not even bring up dataQ appeals). Conditions and outcomes change or evolve in court somewhat closer to the truth, so must the model the penalties are based on. CSA, cloaked as it is in a great deal of mystery, with only chance encounters delivering outsized results, relies heavily on a handful of “test” results, which is so very far from algorithmic modeling. But yet, CSA purports to predict outcomes – i.e., crashes. These “predictions,” unfortunately, guide the discussions of shippers, DOT inspectors, and insurers. There will always be miscalculations in CSA evaluations because the models used are just simplifications. No model can include all the world’s complexities or nuances of human behavior. Inevitably, a lot of important stuff gets left out – like communications in operations, variable ground conditions, and interactions with other parties, namely shippers and receivers. To be frank, CSA BASICs is a toy algorithmic model that abuses truckers who all operate on the slimmest of margins. The Agency makes choices about what’s important enough to include, simplifying the world of trucking […]


Eyes on 94- Roadside Advice

This week, motor carrier officers in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio will turn their attention to the I-94 corridor and other major highways for “Eyes on 94,” an enforcement effort targeting commercial trucks. From Dec. 5-9, Michigan State Police, Indiana State Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol motor carrier enforcement on the roadside that will focus on violations that they believe (as you know, we all don’t agree) are most likely to contribute to a crash, including speeding, following too closely, improper passing, distracted driving and improper lane use. The best way to avoid a roadside inspection in Michigan? Make sure all your running lights are working The best way to avoid a roadside stop in Indiana? Don’t speed. That’s pretty good advice on all your lanes.


FLSA and Motor Carriers – California Comp still hurts – freight capacity

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employers must pay non-exempt employees at “one and one-half times the regular rate” for time worked in excess of forty hours per week. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The FLSA exempts “any employee with respect to whom the Secretary of Transportation has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service” under the Motor Carrier Act (MCA). 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(1) (“the MCA Exemption”). Mr. Williams brought this action alleging that Central Transport LLC violated the FLSA’s overtime requirements when it employed him as a “switcher” at its St. Louis terminal. He tried to make the claim into a class action suit. The question of how Williams spent his time working for Central Transport is a question of fact; the ultimate issue of whether his work activities exempted Central Transport from paying FLSA overtime is one of law. In United States v. American Trucking Ass’ns, 310 U.S. 534, 553 (1940), the Supreme Court rejected the contention of that all employees of interstate motor carriers were exempt, concluding that the jurisdiction to regulate maximum hours “is limited to those employees whose activities affect the safety of [motor carrier] operation.” Later, the rule was expanded that motor carrier drivers, mechanics, loaders, and drivers helpers who “perform duties which affect the safety of operation… are therefore subject to the authority conferred [by the MCA] to prescribe qualifications and maximum hours of service.” MC-2, 28 M.C.C. 125, 126 (1941). Mr. Williams was a “city loader” by title with Central Transport. However, he also did some minimal loading of trailers that affected the motor carrier’s safe interstate operation, including balancing loads and stacking cargo “high and tight.” The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision published July 28 2016 seems to have expanded a ruling from 1947 […]