Q. We give certain employees company cars to drive. If they get traffic tickets, are we responsible for paying the fine? Or can we hold the employee liable? We don’t have a company policy on this. I was wondering if there are any sample policies. — Madelene, California
A. No, you probably aren’t responsible for paying the fine. A simple policy stating that employees are responsible for paying for parking tickets and other traffic fines incurred while operating a company-provided vehicle should suffice.
Some employers will pay fines for employees when the fine is something outside the employees’ control, such as if the employer failed to renew the tags or didn’t fix a maintenance issue. (In fact, some state laws, including California, do require employers to pay certain fines related to the operation of commercial motor vehicles.)
If the employee is assigned a company-owned car and takes it home every night, it is probably wise to adopt a policy that requires the employee to obtain maintenance as needed or scheduled, even if the employer reimburses the employee for the costs of maintaining the vehicles.