Employees must use own vehicles for work? You could be liable

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Here’s a good reason to check with your insurance agent on your vehicle accident coverage. A California appellate court has ruled that when an employer requires an employee to use her personal vehicle to visit clients or conduct other company business, the employer may be liable for injuries if she causes an accident.

Recent case: Employees of an in­­surance company drove their own cars to and from the office.

But during the workday, one em­­ployee had to use her vehicle to visit prospective clients, make presentations, provide educational seminars, pursue sales leads and transport company materials and co-workers to work-related destinations.

The employee left the office at the end of the workday to go home. She decided that, on the way, she would stop to buy frozen yogurt and take a yoga class.

As the employee made a left turn at the yogurt shop, she collided with a motorcyclist.

He sued her and the insurance broker, claiming it was also responsible for the damage.

The Court of Appeal of California sided with the motorcyclist, concluding that because the employee was required to use her car for work purposes, it was liable even if the employee was on her way home and stopped to do errands. (Moradi v. Marsh USA, B239858, California Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District, 2013)

Question: Do you even know if employees who use their own cars to conduct your business have valid driver’s licenses and automobile insurance cov­erage?

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