Can an employeer require an employee to pay auto insurance deductibles?

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Can an employeer require an employee to pay auto insurance deductibles?

I am a physical therapist and I work for a company that supplies me a car to go to patients homes for therapy. I had a small fender bender type accident and the company I work for is telling me that I personally have to pay their deductible. Is this legal or customary?

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is probably not customary, but it is legal, if either of the following applies:

1) You were at-fault in causing the accident (for example, you drove carelessly); or

2) You had been told in advance that one of the terms or conditions of employment was that employees have to pay the deductibles for accidents involving company cars.

If you were either at fault or had notice of the policy, you can be required to pay. If you do not pay voluntarily, however, the company may not simply take the money out of your paycheck--they would have to sue you to recover it. Of course, the company could also elect to terminate an employee who refuses to pay for damage or losses he or she causes, if that employee  does not have an employment contract of some type protecting his or her job or limiting the grounds for termination.


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