Unquestionable business practices

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Unquestionable business practices

I was recently hired by a trucking company that made me pay for my post hire dot drug test. The money is supposed to be paid back in 30 days. The reason given was potential hires put more than one application in when job hunting and if the test is paid by employer, they could be out that cost if offered another job. After being employed for 4 weeks, I have learned this to not be the case. My employer uses my cell phone to conduct his dispatches and daily up dates, with no cell phone reimbursement. Before being hired, he said that he would provide me a phone, which he has since redrawn offer. I am not run the legal hours of a truck driver in CA. I run 20 hours a day with no lunches or brakes. My employer does not pay for log books, which in weeks I bought 4 at 6 a piece. I was stuck in the mud 2 days ago, I had to pay $400 to get his truck unstuck. Can he legally do any of this?

Asked on January 11, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Several very different issues here:
1) Can you be required to pay for your own drug test--no; CA law states that employers, not employes, pay for drug testing. You could contact the state department of labor about this.
2) Can you be required to work more than the legally mandated hours for a truck driver? No--and again, you could contact the department of labor.
3) Can an employer use your cell phone and not reimburse you? Yes...employers can require employees to provide and pay for phone and phone calls.
4) Can the require make you buy your own log books? Yes; employers can generally make employees provide their own materials and supplies. 
5) Can your employer make you pay to unstick his truck, if you got it stuck? Yes--employees can be required to pay costs their actions incur.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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