Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you guys have any written contracts your employees must sign before they can drive a company vehicle? We have one guy who is allowed to take home a vehicle. GREAT employee and very trustworthy, HOWEVER, he calls and says the power steering went out. I say okay I understand that (it has 125000) on it. Being the sometimes to honest guy he is, he tells me he was doing donuts in it when he suddenly hit a dry patch :mad:, woke up the next morning saw fluid all over his driveway. Drove it to work and home that day and the next day (today) is when he told me the power steering went out.:censored:

I guess my question is, since this couldve easily been avoided, how do I resolve the situation. I understand it is my vehicle in the end so should I pay to fix the whole thing or try to make a deal with him? Without this truck, he has no way to get to work.

He also uses this truck for personal use and is allowed to do that so with no regards to any legalities, should I attempt to work out I pay half you pay half type of deal?

Thanks for the input.
 

·
The Finisher
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
Doing donuts in your company vehicle? He would be lucky I didn't fire his ass right there on the spot. At the very least I would make this turd pay for the repair from his pay check, and take the vehicle away from him. He could find a way to get to and from the office every day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
donuts in a work vehicle and then tells the boss about it? what kind of retard do you employ...fire his ass and get a reliable employee...put gps in your work truck so you can track the movement. I fired a guy for leaving a spilled milkshake in the truck and not cleaning it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
ANYTIME you let employee's drive company vehicles, this is EXATLY what you can expect....been that way for decades since 90% of clock punchers dont give two ****s about your property....it's the unwritten liability that goes with having employee's.

Was it wrong, yep. Has he done stupid stuff in the past you dont know about with it, you bet your azz he has, will he do more stupid stuff in the future..they always do.

Either accept the situation or fire the employee's, they will never respect your stuff like you do...
 

·
Chief outhouse engineer
Joined
·
1,418 Posts
He fessed up, give him the chance to make it right. An honest employee is worth a lot.

Doing donuts sounds like it's a kid. Very teachable moment. Fix it, determine how much of the repair is his responsibility (50- 70%) and take it out of his check over a couple of months.

The guy is either stupid as a rock, or very honest and valuable. You probably know which.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Tell him you were not sure how to handle the situation so you posted here. Let him read the responses and ask him how he would like you to handle it. It seems like he's fired or paying for the repair and expected to show more respect for your property.

Good employees are hard to find. I would hate to fire one for something like this but, he needs to realize he is fortunate if you don't fire him. He shouldn't take your kindness as a weakness and should respect your property.

Good luck,
Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
You can't make him pay for repairs to company property. That is against the law. I would not allow him to continue to drive the vehicle home and I certainly would never have given the OK to use it for personal reasons. If your insurance company ever finds out you are allowing this you are in for a world of hurt. If he is not responsible enough to own a vehicle of his own why would you think he is even remotely responsible enough to take care of a company vehicle appropriately? Tell him he will need to make other arrangements from now on to get to and from work. If he can't do so let him go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys make good points. Hes actually very very responsible. I know hes drug free and rarely drinks. Hes 22 - owns a nice house because of this market. The reasons he uses it for personal use is that he had two cars and when he started to take the truck home he had no reason for both other cars. One is nice, the other was to get to work. He sold the one for getting to work and his gf (probably soon to be fiance) that lives with him takes his nice car to her work everyday.

I know his age most likely had something to do with it - heck, i still dont mind doing a few donuts once in awhile. The reason I like this kid is because of how hard it is to find good help. Hes always early and always stays late. For being 22 he really has his ducks in a row so thats why I dont want to let this kid go.

IHI you really are dead on with that. Majority of guys that worked with us have ruined tools or just flat out taken them home. This hasnt happened with this kid and I really think he has a bright future.

I am going to give him a chance to make it right and hope he does. Maybe ill even consider selling him the vehicle as is if he would like. Everyone has boneheaded moments and I can tolerate a very few of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Out here in California, you can't deduct monies from a employees paycheck because of neglect or accidental damage to employers property...however you are allowed to terminate him for misconduct.

I'd terminate the sob, 22 year old thinks he is still 18 and doing donuts on the boss's truck... here's your check... see you in the next life :eek:

You can't make him pay for repairs to company property. That is against the law. I would not allow him to continue to drive the vehicle home and I certainly would never have given the OK to use it for personal reasons. If your insurance company ever finds out you are allowing this you are in for a world of hurt. If he is not responsible enough to own a vehicle of his own why would you think he is even remotely responsible enough to take care of a company vehicle appropriately? Tell him he will need to make other arrangements from now on to get to and from work. If he can't do so let him go.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Around here its illegal to make him pay.

I'd give him a break, good work is hard to find and the fact he was honest enough to tell you that he was doing donuts in it!

A truck should be able to handle some donuts without loosing power steering anyway...now if he blew out the diff I would be a little cheesed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know its illegal to force him to pay.

Slowforthecones - Any other employee in the past wouldve been fired but I see a great amount of potential in this specific kid. Like I said, I can let one bone-headed decision slide.

Inner10 - The truck has been through a lot of heavy work. I am not too surprised it went.

He has offered to split the cost of the repair with me. I think thats fine but heres a good question. Since he offered to pay to repair half of it, is that still illegal?
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Probably not. Who cares, sounds like a good boy you've got if he admits that he was doing donuts which he "thinks" caused the PS leak and then offers to pay half.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Given what you think of the potential of the kid I would first sit down with him and talk about taking care of the company equipment. I think that being too quick to fire someone will only tell the other employees to just lie about what happens even if it was a accident with the equipment. At those miles I would kind of doubt that the doughnuts were the primary cause and I'd give a lot of points to him for being upfront and offering to pay part of the cost. That in itself says a lot about him. I wouldn't bill him not only for being honest, but also not to get on the wrong side of the law. If he is half of what you think he is then I'd just about bet that he will be gratefull for the second chance so to speak and will take better care of your equipment than you might even. On the other hand it might also mean that if you have more than one truck that you might look into some kind of system to track what is being done with it when it is out of your sight.
 

·
Registered
ornamental plasterer
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Sometimes without any reason you take care about your young employees or co-workers more than for your own kids..you overload them with free good valuable advices, sandwiches, company's trucks, tools ant etc. And they show for you outward respect and keep fig in their pocket....and doing what they want..:wallbash: keep trying...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
If the kid has all the good traits being offered here, anybody responding that has LEGIT employee's knows exactly how hard it is to find them, much less be able to have them on your payroll. I'd bet it's safe to say aint nobody on here got a 100% squeeky clean record growing up, we've all done stupid stuff, we're guys, it's just in our DNA. Yeah, if the kid was a load and a person was looking for a good reason to off him, welp, perfect opportunity right here. But I and i'm sure many other's where they'll be honest since it may "taint" their internet perfectionist persona they've tried to create for people they'll never meet, but i for one have cut my GOOD guys slack.

I've always tried to be patient, and look at a situation like a good father would. You have to expect things to get ph..ked up when employing people, but you have to really reflect on past/present/future and if need be, take a day before rushing to impaired judgements. I've flown off the handle and dealt out some viscious verbage initially, and after i have a day to cool off and look at the situation for what it is and make a better judgement, then i'll take appropriate actions. But after i read the first post, i did'nt see any reason to fire somebody, that's just too hasty of a descion, and if you have a good worker, he's going to understand a stern talking to about the situation and realize he got lucky this time, but do it again....you may be in trouble.

It's taken me 20yrs and DOZENS of dead beats that drained my wallet and my patience to find the 2 fella's i have now and a 3rd good one. They'd have to go super nova with something stupid before i just **** canned them BAM, just like that. With that many miles on the truck, i would say doing doughnuts had zero to do with it going out, there was prolly just a worn part and it happened...but i've never seen under the hood of anything burning fuel so i may be wrong here;)

Keep it off the books, allow him to pay for his screw up, i've done the same thing. Legal or not, i've never said "you must pay", i explain the situation and they offered to either make it right, or help to make it right....and that's about all you can ask for.

For the record, if the kid is indeed that good......sounds to me like your training your competition:w00t::laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the record, if the kid is indeed that good......sounds to me like your training your competition:w00t::laughing:

hahah hes already asked me what I think of "his future company" name.

After reading some helpful posts on here I think I handled the situation correctly. One dumb mistake is not worth letting go and I think he learned his lesson not to do it again. Its hard to fire a good honest employee, especially one who admits what he actually did. He couldve just told me it doesnt work and that woulda been that. He did the right thing if you ask me.

In my trade, its a miracle just to find an employee who decides to come back after lunch on payday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
hahah hes already asked me what I think of "his future company" name.

After reading some helpful posts on here I think I handled the situation correctly. One dumb mistake is not worth letting go and I think he learned his lesson not to do it again. Its hard to fire a good honest employee, especially one who admits what he actually did. He couldve just told me it doesnt work and that woulda been that. He did the right thing if you ask me.

In my trade, its a miracle just to find an employee who decides to come back after lunch on payday.
The new generation of kids text you that they quit.....seriously, i had a lil snot nose bastard do that too me last year:furious:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
It takes a good man to own up to his mistakes and offer to pay for the mistake. If he's paying 50% of any repair on a truck with 125k miles it sounds like a bargain for you. He sounds like a good young man and one to hang on to. Have some conversations with him and it should work out good for both of you.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top