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Legal Focus

 

Confidentiality – FERPA/IDEA/HIPAA and More

For school bus contractors, proper access to and handling of confidential student information is important. This is especially true when dealing with special issues related to a child’s care. Businesses and school districts often struggle to balance the protection of student privacy with the disclosure of information necessary for student health and safety. This article discusses access to and protection of confidential information.
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Pennsylvania State Motor Fuel Tax Exemption

Understanding fuel costs, taxes, and exemptions is an important part of business planning for school bus contractors. Often there is confusion about what the taxing source, federal or state, and how exemptions work. This article describes the processes for obtaining fuel that excludes the Pennsylvania Motor Fuel Tax or how to seek reimbursement for the state tax for fuel used to transport school students to and from school.
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6/25/2019| Reference Number : 139.0| School Bus | Fuel Clause |

Update on School Bus Passing Laws

In recent months, the topic of illegal passing of stopped school buses has dominated the news and the industry. During the month of May, ABC News highlighted two instances of illegal passing, one in Ohio and another in Minnesota. In the case of the Ohio accident, the student was lucky to escape with minor injuries. However, in the case of the Minnesota accident, the child remains in critical care in the hospital. Most, if not all, school bus operators are able to recount instances in which their...
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Summer Charters

The end of the school year for students means the beginning of the summer charters season for school bus contractors. Summer camps, church groups, scout groups, and others frequently charter school buses for group trips in the summer. This note will talk about summer charter issues you should consider. But, be aware that all of the issues related to carrying non-student passengers for a fee are far more complex than can be addressed completely in this brief article.
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4/26/2019| Reference Number : 56.1| School Bus | Charter trips, charter contracts, UCR, FMCSA |

Act 24 Lifetime Ban - Evlauating Criminal History When Hiring

School bus contractors and school districts are all familiar with the disqulifying offenses listed in 24 P.S. §1-111€ and know that the words of the statute appear to apply a lifetime ban from employment for individuals who have ever been conficted of "enumerated offenses". But, many are not aware that subsequesnt court decisions and guideance published by the Pennsylvania Department of Education now allows for discretion when considering criminal acts from many, many years ago...
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Overtime and Minimum Wage Changes Propoosed by U.S. Department of Labor

Many remember the 2016 Obama era rule from the U.S. Dept. of Labor (US DOL) that sought to more than double the threshold for overtime pay by employers. That rule was contested in federal court and was ultimately withdrawn by the Trump administration. The U.S. Department of Labor is now again proposing a new rule that would increase the overtime pay threshold and the number of workers eligible for overtime pay and minimum wage.
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Structuring Your Business to Provide Personal Protection

When creating and operating a business, owners must decide how they want their business to be structured. Two factors that should go into every decision regarding the structure of a business are liability protection and tax implications. Liabilit protectiosn protects owners of a business from being liable for the debts and liabilities of the copmany and keeps creditors form pursuing personal assets.
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