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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by STRONGARM, Jan 1, 2008.


    STRONGARM Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    I had an employee do a driveway that is not one of my contracts, some guy stopped and asked him. He went into a ditch,hit a tree,freaked out and floored it in reverse into another tree/rock.
    I estimate between 6-9 thousand damage.

    My question is why should I pay the deductible and risk my insurance to go up due to his negligence. This is something I have told everyone not to do.(non contract sites)
  2. GreenKingL&L

    GreenKingL&L Member
    Messages: 36

    If he was told no off-site work, I would inform him that you are going to dock his pay for the amount of your deductible. If he is a valued employee, I would leave it at that. If you want to get rid of him, let him know that now that he has an at-fault on his record, your insurance will no longer cover him and therefor you have to let him go.
  3. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Not sure what you can do legaly. In my state you could do nothing except fire him or see if he will offer to pay. I don't think you can make him cover any of it. I would hope your rates don't go up but I would think they will. Sure the detuctable you will eat but I want to say they still consider it a claim and don't like paying out.
    These are one of the many downfalls to having employee's.
  4. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    the way my ins talked,lf I under stand them right

    On a crash, they would pay for it, then go after my guy driving's ins for some of the cost. If hes a fult
  5. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    staight up answer to your ? is you should pay because you are his employer and you are responsible for his negligence. only right you have is to fire him because he went against your verbal agreement. O the beauty of employees.......
  6. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    looks like your employee got demoted back to shovel crew.
  7. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I know that a lot of people in this industry are not that gung ho on paper work for administrative purposes but this is a perfect example of where Employee Contracts are so important. All employees of ours have a clause in their employment contract that any damage to machines or vehicles caused by negligence on their part is the financial responsibilty of the party responsible. And this includes using any machinery for job sites not sanctioned by our company. (and all contracts for work have to be signed by me) Their contracts state that any financial damages will be garnished from their wages and if their actions require termination their back pay will be used against damages and any further damages may be recovered through legal avenues.

    The only allowed to plow one time people for those who try to flag us down are my partner and I who have one time contracts. That state all the usual blah blah blah but that are good for that day only.
  8. killed300ex

    killed300ex Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    Wonder if he hadnt of gone off the driveway if you would have seen any of the money made from the plow? Makes you wonder how many other 1 time plows he has done and pocketed before getting into trouble on this one. He went against your word so he should get fired.
  9. mak

    mak Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    First, remove yourself from the stimulus. No need to make knee jerk reactions. What's done is done and no reason to compound the issue. Easy for me to say but I do understand your frustration.

    Ask yourself what upsets you most?
    1) He didn’t listen
    2) Insurance
    3) Cost of repair

    I don’t know that you can make him pay. Is he a valued employee? If so, maybe the two of you can work it out together 50/50?
  10. jrush

    jrush Member
    from ct
    Messages: 41

    I like that idea Oasis, I have contracts for all my work to cover my a*s, but I guess I never thought of it for the employees, which could also do extensive damage to my business.I was on Lawnsite and there was a guy who had gps or something on his trucks and he would monitor them, one day noticed the truck was taking 15 minutes longer than usual at a stop. After a couple weeks he checked it out and found they picked up the neighbors and did'nt tell the boss. :nono: I swear sometimes solo just seems so much easier!
  11. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    I agree with Jay and even if you have a contract with your employee, all you can make him pay is the deductible.
  12. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I beg to differ....... a negligence clause and penalty for machine misuse is legal in a court of law. If you sign a contract stating that if you use my equipment for unauthrized jobs you are responsible for all damage to equipment and any damage you do with that equipment in not so many words then YOU ARE LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE. And like I said all of my employees are work with two weeks held pay plus their holiday pay all of which can be held back in the event of damage. Plus I would have no problem taking an employee to claims court for damages rendered due to their negligence if they did not agree to garnishing their pay.
  13. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I know it sounds kinda anal but I have spent way too much time and money in trying to create a sustainable business for any employee to endanger it. I make all employees sign contracts and all employees are on the books. I dont pay employees cash under the table even though it may be cheaper just as all driveways are contracted and pay tax because thats the only way to trully protect yourself.
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    good luck with that.
    wish i had a employer like you i would have a field day testing your theories.
    i killed a high lift a few years back. lol.
    maybe it is just because your in canada? In the states they would ruin your equipment then sue you for the two weeks you held back in pay. and probably win. Hell. the guy could probably claim whiplash and go on workers comp now.
  15. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    because he is your employee. dont see that you have too many options. just pay it. terminate him if you so choose. move on. cost of doing business.
  16. montanag

    montanag Member
    Messages: 53

    sounds like you are your own best employee. Good luck suing yourself for being a sh*tty employer and employee. Let us know who wins. My guess is Oasis has got a good business going. Not so sure about you Bribrius:eek:
  17. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I dont have an answer to your insurance question but who's to say this was a one time thing? He probably does a few drive ways on the side.
  18. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    I have been on both sides. I get very annoyed when i see somone who owns a company not step up to the plate and try to avoid taking responsiibility. Then i hear this crap about holding back two weeks dadadadad... whatever. Trying to skate out of it and pass it on to the employee or someone else long as they dont have to take the responsibility. You hired them. Your bill.
  19. montanag

    montanag Member
    Messages: 53

    But, just as Oasis stated, you can have employee contracts that explicitly outline things that employees can be held responsible for. My understanding is that every state is different in the latitude given to these contracts, but this example does sound like it would fall within the realm of enforceability. We've all had employees ding trucks, mow boulders, lose equipment at a job site, and we all have eaten it and paid the bill for repair or replacement. But there is a line on one side of which you bite the bullet, and the other side of which you go after an ungrateful employee to restore what has been wrongly damaged. My $.02 I just hope not too many of us have to deal with that crap. :cry:

  20. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    this is exactly why you only higher sub contractors with their own truck and insurance .

    im no lawyer but im assuming that since it's your truck it's your problem . hopefully your insurance doesn't go up to much unless you want to pay for it out of your own pocket.