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Q: Company vehicle useage ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Company vehicle useage
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: rcer-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 18 Nov 2005 09:37 PST
Expires: 18 Dec 2005 09:37 PST
Question ID: 594765
We are an electrical contracting firm operating in California. Most of
our work is in our sourounding oil fields. Our electricians work at
several locations in and about these oil fields. Our jobs start at the
oil field locations. In lew of our empoyees driving their personnel
vehicles to these jobsite, we have allowed them to pick up a 3/4ton
service truck and/or pickup at our office/yard location and then drive
out to the job site. Their time starts at a set time every day at
their job location. They drive on their time to and from the jobsite
using our service trucks and pickups instead of taking their persnnel
vehicles. This is by our employees choice only and is not manadated by
our company. They would rather use our gas and wear and tear on our
trucks. I want to be able to verify that this is still legal in
Subject: Re: Company vehicle useage
Answered By: webadept-ga on 18 Nov 2005 13:17 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars


I?m not really sure what you might be referring to as ?legal?. 
Perhaps in a Clarification request, if I don?t cover it here, you
could be more specific as to what you are looking for. Also I should
point out the disclaimer at the bottom of the page and restate that
Researchers are not Legal Advisors, but Researchers and while I can
find sources for your, your attorney is the best source of legal

First of all the workers in your description would be covered by
Workman?s Compensation insurance while traveling to and from the site,
whether they are on the clock or not. This article and sited case
shows the details of this here:

?In Poling v. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., PICS Case No. 05-1489 (2005),
the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeals Board ("WCAB") ruled
that a carpooling employee who is killed during a traffic accident
involving a company-owned vehicle is entitled to workers' compensation
benefits.  Roger Poling, an employee of Asplundh Tree Expert Co.,
drove a company-owned truck to and from work on a daily basis.
Although a ridesharing arrangement was not part of his employment
contract with Asplundh, Poling provided daily transportation for two
coworkers who lived over two hours away from the Asplundh worksite.

While carpooling from his home in Tunneltown, WV, to his workplace in
Mount Pleasant, PA, Poling sustained fatal injuries in a car accident.

Initially, the WC Judge found that Poling's estate was not entitled to
workers' compensation benefits under the "coming and going" doctrine
because Poling had not been acting within the course and scope of his
employment at the time that he was driving the company's car. (Under
this doctrine, employers are not generally held liable for the
activities of employees who are traveling to or from the worksite.)

On appeal, the WCAB noted that there were four exceptions to the
"coming and going" doctrine, and that one of those exceptions applied
to Poling's situation. The WCAB found that a worker may recover
workers' compensation benefits if special circumstances suggest that
the worker is furthering the business of the employer. Accordingly,
the WCAB concluded that Poling furthered Asplundh's business because
Poling's ridesharing arrangement with his co-workers ensured that
three experienced workers were able to report to work, despite the
long commute.

Employer lesson: Your policy regarding the use of company vehicles
should state with particularity the manner and method that vehicles
are to be used by your employees. Failure to properly control the use
of a company vehicle can result in liability to third parties, as well
as to your own employees. ?

Employment Law Articles (PDF document)

Also See:

Workers Comp Insider ? Exception to the ?going and coming? rule

Supreme Court to Decide What Time is Compensable

As a general rule, when an employer allows its employees (as a
convenience to the workers) to drive company-owned vehicles to and
from work, it need not compensate them for time spent commuting in
those vehicles.

J.N Moser Trucking Inc, ARB No. 01-047

Further, an employer generally need not compensate employees for
activities necessary and incidental to the travel (not job-related) if
the destination is within the normal commuting area for the employer?s
business, and if the use of the vehicle is defined by an agreement
between the employer and the employee.

The employer must compensate an employee, however, for the time spent
in a company-owned vehicle traveling between home and the first work
site of the day, and between the last work site of the day and home if
any of the following apply:

"Driving the company?s vehicle home or to the first work site is not
voluntary. For example, the employer requires the employee to leave
the company-owned vehicle in a secure location at the end of the day,
such as at the employee?s home.

The vehicle is not the type of vehicle that someone would normally use
for commuting. For example, the employer requires an employee to drive
a large truck home.

The employee incurs costs for driving the company-owned vehicle or
parking it at the employee?s home. For example, the employee does not
have a garage at home and must pay to park the vehicle overnight.

The work sites are not in the normal commuting area of the employer?s
establishment. For example, the distance from the last work site to
the employee?s home is greater than the usual distance the employee
must travel from work to home."

According to the Opinion Letter signed by Wage and Hour Administrator
Marie Echaveste, Apr. 3, 1995

If you have questions regarding this matter, please feel free to use
the Clarification Request function and I will get back to you as soon
as possible

rcer-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00
Thanks, the information will help greatly!

Subject: Re: Company vehicle useage
From: summer95-ga on 20 Nov 2005 19:14 PST
The Department of Labor has rules regarding how and when to pay an
employee for travel. You can search the DOL's website for the actual
regulations. There are two categories of employees; exempt and
non-exempt. Exempt are those employees who meet certain criteria and
are therefore not paid overtime. The following rules apply only to
non-exempt employees.

If the travel occurs during an employees normal work hours, they must
be paid. If the travel occurs outside of the employees normal work
hours, and they are not driving, then they are not paid. If the travel
occurs outside of the employees normal work hours and they are
driving, then they are considered to be working and must therefore be
paid for that time. If this time puts them over 40 hours per week,
then they are paid at time and one-half. (I think California has some
rules for work past some number of hours in a day, but not being from
California, I'm unsure.)

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