20 Jun 20 Tips: Can a Company Fire You for a Speeding Ticket?
20 Tips: Can a Company Fire You for a Speeding Ticket?
One of the commonly-asked questions for drivers out there is if one can be fired for a speeding ticket. With the help of the excellent ny-defense.com, this article will attempt to answer this question through the following 20 tips.
Situations when a traffic ticket could impact your employment
In certain situations, as covered over at ny-defense.com, a person who receives a traffic ticket could see an impact on his/her employment if he/she uses a vehicle as part of the job such as a Lyft or Uber when delivering food, and other situations such as if you are a truck driver.
When can your employer fire you over your driving record?
Unless you work under an employment contract or are a member of a union, an employer in almost every state can fire you at will. “At-will” employment means that employees can be fired for any reason (or for no reason) as long as the reason is not discriminatory.
How likely is this?
The good news is that an employee is unlikely to be fired for his/her driving record, including over a speeding ticket, unless their job requires them to have a valid license (commercial or standard) or to drive a company car or rental car obtained by the company as discussed at ny-defense.com.
Jobs where a clean driving record is important
Many jobs require an employee to have a driver’s license or even a commercial driver’s license. The driving record of employees in such jobs can have a direct effect on their ability to get and maintain employment. Examples of these jobs include truck drivers, Lyft or Uber drivers, or even daycare workers who transport children as part of their duties.
Any employee who drives a company car or who just travels for business and drives a rental car provided by their employer is a potential insurance liability. Insurance companies are going to encourage the company to conduct thorough background checks to minimize financial risk from bad driving, which could put you at risk of getting fired if you collect too many speeding tickets.
Consequences of increased premiums
When the employer pays the insurance premiums, they may demote or take driving situations away from the employee if they have become an insurance liability because of a poor driving record as illustrated in the previous point. As per ny-defense.com, the employee may end up not earning as much income because of this, showing that even if you don’t lose your job, you may still suffer other consequences.
Conviction of a traffic violation
If the conviction of the traffic ticket leads to more penalties than simply paying for the ticket, then the company could terminate the employee. Some businesses have an employment contract with provisions that specify that no felony or misdemeanor convictions should happen during time with the company. Termination is often the direct consequence of these types of traffic violations.
What are the examples of these traffic violations?
The traffic violations mentioned in the previous point could involve a DUI, involvement in a hit and run, or when another person suffers injury as a result of the actions of the employee. While the individual may need to hire a lawyer like ny-defense.com for these charges, the company could fire him/her if the criminal court convicts him/her of the violation.
Background checks and reliability
Many employers will also perform background checks on employees to determine the reliability of the individual in performing job tasks within the company or if he or she must drive or travel to a location. For companies where employees are required to attend conferences or meetings offsite, the driver’s record and connection to traffic violations like speeding violations are important.
Will speeding tickets in such a situation lead to termination?
No. The employer may not terminate the person for incurring a citation for issues such as speeding or nonmoving violations if it comes up in a background check. However, the employer may consider terminating the employee for hit and run matters, DUIs, or even manslaughter charges while driving.
If the background check discovers that the employee incurred a ticket for DUI, then the employee may terminate the person if it happened while working for the company. As ny-defense.com points out, most businesses have an aggressive policy against drug consumption or alcohol imbibing while driving.
Who pays for the ticket when driving a company car?
If you are stopped and slapped with a traffic ticket when driving a company car, the matter of who will pay for it will be determined by the nature of the ticket. If the ticket was issued against the vehicle, like a red-light ticket, then the company is responsible for it. If the ticket is issued to you, such as a speeding ticket, then you are supposed to pay.
Can the company take money from my wages to pay for a ticket?
If the traffic ticket is such that the company is supposed to pay for it as outlined in the previous point, it can’t legally take that money out of your wages. As ny-defense.com points out, the company can fire you for the ticket, but it can’t deduct the cost from your wages.
There are at least two reasons that explain why a company can’t deduct the cost of a ticket from your wages. The first is that, except for taxes, the company can’t deduct anything from your check without your written permission. The second one is that the company can’t deduct from your wages the cost of a loss to the company, even if you caused that loss.
What if I choose to pay voluntarily?
An employee may choose to make voluntary resolutions to their employer if they make a mistake. However, the New York Department of Labor often scrutinizes such cases closely for signs of coercion hence why many don’t go down this route.
This is why termination is often taken up
While the law doesn’t allow employers to demand payment when an employee makes a mistake, they are permitted to take other disciplinary action. An employer could suspend an employee because of a traffic ticket, give them a written or verbal warning, or terminate their employment as articulated at ny-defense.com.
Will my boss find out if I get a speeding ticket in a company vehicle?
The good news is that your boss is unlikely to find out about the violation unless he routinely checks your driving record or you are required to tell him/her about it because of state law or company policy. The following tips will highlight how your boss may find out.
License plate number disclosed on the ticket
If you are caught speeding, the officer who pulled you over will probably ticket you on the spot. He will look at your driver’s license and other documents, such as your registration and insurance, write your personal information on the ticket, and the vehicle code you violated. It is also common for police officers to write licensed plate numbers on traffic citations as well. Therefore, if you are ticketed while using a company vehicle, the plate number will likely be listed on your speeding ticket.
Violation may be uncovered with licensed plate search
One way your boss can find out about your speeding ticket is by checking the vehicle’s license plate number for traffic violations. If you authorized the DMV to release your driving history to your boss, they will find out about the ticket when reviewing your driving history as outlined at ny-defense.com, a common requirement for those who work in certain occupations such as bus and truck drivers.
You may be required to tell them
Even if your boss doesn’t uncover your speeding ticket by reviewing your driving record, you may be required to tell him/her about it as a result of state or company policy as already mentioned. In most states, commercial drivers are required to notify their employers of any traffic violations within 30 days of conviction, regardless of whether they were ticketed in their own vehicle or a company one. If you don’t report your speeding ticket and your boss later finds out about it, you could face disciplinary action.
Violation notices are sometimes also mailed
In addition to the speeding ticket, a few jurisdictions also mail a courtesy notice to drivers. It may go by a variety of names, such as Notice of Bail. Typically, the notice is sent to your address as listed on the ticket, which the officer gest from your driver’s license or when he/she asks for a current address. However, unless your boss’s address is listed on the ticket, it is very unlikely he/she will learn about your speeding violation this way.
If you have received a speeding ticket and are worried that it could impact your employment, and possibly even lead to termination don’t hesitate to reach out to ny-defense.com.