Can I Make My Employees Pay for Towed Vehicles?

Question: Our employee parked our company van in a no-parking zone and was towed. We had to pay to get our van out of the impound lot. Can we make the employee pay for the towing and citation costs? If we request a trial to contest the citation, do we have to pay the employee to attend the trial? Common sense tells me the employee should take full responsibility but he says it is our fault because he was told to go to the job and didn't see any other parking (although there is a parking lot practically next to where he was towed)

Answer: The employee's excuse for your having to incur the cost of towing is so thin as to border on silly–and yes, you can make him pay the ticket and the tow fee. As far as contesting the citation, the first question to ask, what will be the employee's defense or excuse–that the company told him to get to the job so quickly that it was alright to park illegally? Since the ticket was written on the company, it would be the company which contests the citation, and if you require the employee to attend the hearing, you would have to pay him for his time since he would be “working” in the sense of performing a task at your direction. Save your time and money.

DISCLAIMER
This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with ACCA’s LegalTools Counsel, Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at brooke.duncan@arlaw.com.

Brooke Duncan

Brooke Duncan

Brooke Duncan is one of the country's leading labor attorneys and a partner with Adams & Reese in New Orleans.
Brooke Duncan

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