What are my rights when my job does not want to cover the damages made by a resident in their care?

I work for a group home where I work with teen girls ages 13-18. One of the residents became upset with me and pounded all over my car with her crutches she had a foot cast at the time. My job has given me the run around. First they sent me to get 3 ,estimates however when I returned with the estimates they did not believe the damages were as expensive as the estimates stated. They made suggestions that maybe I was getting something else fixed other than the damages. They then stated that I would have to go through my Insurance and they would only cover $250 of whatever deductible it would be. I then notified them and that I do not have full coverage and I only have liability and I will not be covered and I cannot afford to pay for the damages out of my own pocket. They then gave me the run around again. Now after all this process it’s a month and a half later and a similar thing happened to another person however she put in a complaint and threaten to sue the agency so they fixed her car. Now they came back to me due to the complaint that was made and now they said I had to go with their maintenance supervisor to their location where they get The company vehicles fixed to get an estimate to make sure that I got accurate estimates. The estimate ended up being more than the estimates that I got so now they are requesting that I give them a detailed copy of my insurance. I’m not sure if I should do that or how to move forward or what are my rights. I feel like it has gone to long and I’m tired and I am not a confrontational person like the other employee and due to that I feel like they are treating me like this. I love my job and I am also sacred that this may affect it.

Asked on September 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is not responsible for the actions of their residents/clients unless you can potentially show that this occured due to the lax supervision or other negligence of some employee other than yourself. (You obviously cannot recover money if it was your own negligence contributing to the damage.) Only if you can show some fault or wrong doing on the part of the facility could you hold them liable; if they are not at fault, they are not responsible for the damage or costs. As a practical matter, if you were the employee at the time this resident did this, you would not be able to hold them liable: nobody (other than the girl) would have been at fault unless it was you, for not being vigilant enough to prevent this.

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