The Impact on our $80 billion industry in Florida ($3.9 billion in sales tax revenue)
COVID-19 has created an information epidemic we are all trying to stay on top of. As you know there is news coming out regularly from Congress, NADA, our Florida Governor as well as federal and state agencies.
FADA hopes to serve as your resource to synthesize through the layers of information. We want to provide you with the most pertinent tips and guidelines as you make decisions about store hours, the treatment of your employees and federal/state law applications. Be on the lookout for these Alerts from FADA and feel free to visit our website anytime to find an up-to-date list of relevant announcements and information.
As dealerships face a decision whether to remain open or to close their stores for a period of time, we advise that each dealership make a decision based on what is best for your employees, customers and particular situations. Keep in mind, if you choose to close, you must clear that decision with your manufacturer(s) or you may be considered in breach of your franchise agreement.
We want to thank Fisher Phillips for allowing us to share their comprehensive FAQ’s with you. Until Congress passes an Emergency Corona Virus Bill and President Trump signs it, please refer to this Fisher Philips document regarding dealership operations.
Keep Employees Safe
Prepare your store by ensuring the safety of your employees, especially those on the service drive. Develop a one pager explaining how you will be wiping down all incoming vehicles before any of your employees touch the vehicle or key fobs, etc. Explain that you will be cleansing all surfaces after the vehicle is serviced. You may wish to offer RedCap pick up and delivery services. Consider the use of plastic medical gloves in the service lane. Post signs in your customer service areas about your practices.
Consider making a video of your new procedures related to COVID-19 and send it to your customers and prospects. Encourage your customers to use your online sales platform for purchases. Emphasize that now is a great time to check on manufacturer recalls and get service issues resolved.
Some of you have asked if you can take employee temperatures as part of your dealership program?
According to Charles Caulkins of Fisher Phillips “Checking an employee’s temperature is a medical inquiry but the question is whether it is a disability related inquiry (which is what the ADA prohibits). There is a good position that it is not a disability related inquiry. If the EEOC took the position that the inquiry was not job related and consistent with business necessity, there is case law to support a defense that only those employees who were told to stay home (and who cannot work from home) and were not paid or were discharged would have an ADA claim because they were injured.“
More to Come
We expect a proclamation form Governor DeSantis’ office forthcoming which will deal with the closing of state agencies and non-essential businesses. We have contacted the Governor to urge an exemption for car dealers as we are essential for service and revenue ($3.9 billion in annual sales tax). Additionally, Congress is expected to pass an Emergency Corona Virus Bill as early next week relating to immediate public health matters as well as paid family medical leave, paid sick leave and unemployment insurance.
FADA is committed to sending out Alerts such as this when new information arises. You may also visit our website to find an up-to-date list of all the relevant announcements and information available to us.