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Florida: (850) 878-6404
North Carolina: (919) 847-8632

Documentation Matters: Employee v. Dealerships 

By: Maya Hendry 

In the business of selling new vehicles and equipment, there is nothing worse than a disgruntled customer . . . except for a disgruntled employee.  While our practice routinely focuses on disputes between dealers, manufacturers, and consumers, as of late, disputes are often arising from former dealership employees, leading to various labor and employment issues.  

To that end, implementing simple policies and procedures (and a point person to enforce them) could potentially save your dealership valuable time and money fighting a former or prospective employee.  Generally, the following items can be useful to regularly record and/or maintain:  

  • Employee Handbook; 
  • General Information Concerning Hiring Practices; 
  • Contemporaneous Interview Notes; 
  • Employee Evaluation Records; 
  • Disciplinary Records;  
  • Compensation Records; 
  • Employment Contracts and Agreements; 
  • Training and Development Records; 
  • Onboarding and Termination Documents; 

The above list is not intended to be exhaustive.1  Indeed, the nature of the dispute (i.e., harassment, wrongful termination, failure to hire, etc.) and your dealership’s location are more determinative of the kind of documents a court or administrative agency would potentially be scrutinizing if you find yourself in a labor and employment battle.   

In short, no dealership is too big or too small to be insulated from the threat of an employee-employer legal debacle.  To limit the inevitable “he-said-she-said” scenario, implementing a well-organized, uniform system of documentation could help tremendously if your dealership was ever in the unfortunate situation of defending against a labor and employment lawsuit.   

  1. The Department of Labor as well as federal and state guidelines provide mandatory documentation requirements.  This list by no means preempts any such mandates.  Instead, it is offered based on experience with labor and employment matters where certain documentation was requested or offered in defense of any respective claim(s). ↩︎