The Grawe Gazette – General Counsel
Data Privacy in Transportation, Added Resources, and 2022 Hits
By The Grawe Group, November 2022
Driver Data Privacy Issues Growing
Recently a jury in Illinois awarded a class of BNSF railway employees $228 million for BNSF’s violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). Never to be outdone, California passed a new data privacy law directly applicable to vehicle tracking that will go into effect in January. There is powerful information you can mine from the data in your transportation business, but headlines like this are reminders of the need to know the data you have, how you are using it, and that your people know their rights related to that data too.
States and courts are increasing the rules on businesses when it comes to data privacy. There are nuances to the rules depending on the data being collected, the reason it is being collected, who it is being collected from, and how it is being collected. For example, the law that led to BNSF’s suit applies specifically to biometric data like fingerprints, voice recognition, and facial scans. California’s new law relates specifically to vehicle location data. If you (or a vendor like a telematics vendor) are not collecting biometric data, Illinois’ BIPA does not apply to your operations. However, to be safe, when it comes to any data you might be collecting or using, including vehicle location data, disclose to the driver (employees and ICs) (1) what data you will collect, (2) how you will be collecting it, (3) why you are collecting it, (4) how you will use it, (5) how you will store it, and (6) how long you will keep it. Collect the driver’s consent to your collection and use, and if you make any changes to these practices, updated the disclosure.
Adding Resources for Clients
Clients tell us they love our experience. They love our people have been in their chair, leading teams and departments through challenges like those they are facing. We have Operations leaders, Risk/Legal leaders, Finance/Accounting leaders, HR leaders, Ownership/C-Suite leaders, and now we are excited to add Business Development, Recruiting, Maintenance, and Logistics.
Steve Youngquist, a 35-year veteran of the industry joins The Grawe Group, and we could not be more excited. Steve’s experience is great and exemplary, but Steve is a hall of famer when it comes to people. He has led small teams, big teams, teams through big changes, teams through growth cycles, teams in Operations, teams in Sales, teams in Recruiting, teams in Logistics, and so on. Steve’s energy is contagious, and his expertise can help clients improve in a number of disciplines.
If you want to talk about improving your people and your processes, especially in the more challenging business development market we are approaching, reach out to Steve today – firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Few Hits from our 2022 so far…
We Got Deals Done
We were able to help a few clients close some key customer deals for their business. Yes, we can handle contract negotiations, but the deals were closed less by our contracting skills and more by our clients’ ability to clearly demonstrate their value add to their customers. Their service, their people, their network, their discipline got the deals done. We spent time with their Operations, Marketing, Sales, and Leadership team members to get rid of differing, jumbled sales pitches to customers. We found clients who had Operations saying they were about X, while sales reps were saying they were about Y, and executive leaders saying they were about something in French. We helped customers recognize the confusion they were causing, and then helped them carve a clear value proposition to their clients. With that clarity, and with their ability to deliver excellent results, the contracting part was easy.
We Made Deals Successful
Working on site with clients we led their operations teams through acquisitions. Compared to the client’s goals, drivers and customers were retained at higher rates, and trailers were repositioned faster, and integrating the buyer and seller operations went much faster and more effectively than planned. The two sides, with our help, were exceptional when it came to creating thoughtful plans for the transition, making clear decisions, and communicating early and often, especially when plan changes were necessary. By leading the efforts on the floor, we freed up the owners and key executives to focus on the legal, financial, and administrative parts of the deal.
We Talked IC Status
The Supreme Court’s rejection of the AB5 case prompted a lot of questions about independent contractors in our industry. We hit the road helping carriers, trade associations, brokers, and other industry stakeholders analyze their IC programs, their lease purchase programs, and the impact of AB5 and other independent contractor laws on their business and the rights of their independent contractors. For some carriers that meant a deep dive into every facet of their program – paperwork, contracts, recruiting, dispatch, settlements, etc., for some carriers that meant training sessions with their people to refresh independent contractor best practices, and for some it meant strategic planning for the future of the organization.
We Helped Companies Plan for the Future
A few clients do their strategic planning work in the summer. Too often we see clients try to run their strategic planning and participate in the actual thinking and plan development. That is a lot to ask, especially when you still have the daily business stuff to do. Over the summer we helped a few clients by taking on the meeting facilitation process for their strategic planning, so as leaders they could engage more in the actual strategic plan development and put their expertise and wisdom to use.
We Helped Companies Win Cases
Some of our clients were involved in major litigation, but we were able to lend our case management expertise and our industry expertise to help clients resolve major litigation cost effectively, and in some cases with total victory saving millions of dollars. Clients were able to close independent contractor claims, motor vehicle accident claims, and contract claims so they could get back to focusing on the business, not litigation.
We Recorded a Few Podcasts
Check out the website or your favorite podcast repository for the latest episodes of the Grawe Pod. Over the past few months, we touched on business development best practices as well as implementing mergers and acquisitions effectively.
Everything we do can seem like a lot, and it is. But it is all in transportation and logistics. We love helping transportation and logistics companies be better. By adding to our team of experts we are proud to know we have expertise to help you in every corner of your business. We want to help however we can.
The Grawe Group, LLC is here to bring peace of mind to you and your business. We are a professional services firm focused on the transportation industry. With a team of experienced executives, we provide general counsel, executive leadership, and special project services for trucking and logistics companies. From legal and risk management matters, to operational, financial, and leadership challenges, the Grawe Group has the practical expertise in trucking and logistics to help you build sustainable success. www.thegrawegroup.com.
Check out the Grawe Pod, transportation’s general counsel podcast, for discussions on challenges industry leaders face in their business and how to address them. Now available on iTunes, Spotify, and other major podcast outlets!