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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    806

    Default Company Equipment Stolen from Personal Vehicle

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: PA

    My employer requires that I use my personal vehicle for my full-time job in sales. I say "requires" because they will not provide me with a company vehicle. Fine, I get mileage, not an issue. What is an issue (to me) is their equipment policy. I am fully responsible for the equipment in my care (laptop, iPad, cell phone). Since I am using a personal car, company policy states that company property is never left in an employee's personal car, unless it is secured in a separate locking trunk. Well, my personal car does not have a trunk. My employer said it was fine for me to keep equipment in my locked car, however, that I am personally responsible in the event of loss or theft.

    My issue stems from the fact that I am a traveling sales person - I drive everywhere and need my laptop/iPad/cell phone for business, so it is always with me. I've already spoken to my personal auto insurer, and they say that comprehensive coverage of stolen items would not apply to items owned by another individual other than myself - so if my work laptop is stolen out of the car, it's on me.

    Does this sound like a typical set-up? Every other sales position I've had, company equipment was insured by the employer. It would appear that my current company doesn't insure it's own equipment. Fine, if I am personally responsible and it's my liability, I will accept - but can the employer, in the event of a theft, deduct the retail value directly out of my paycheck (which is what they will do)? I don't understand why it needs to come directly out of a paycheck, vs. me just paying them if and when such an event would occur.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,492

    Default Re: Company Equipment Stolen from Personal Vehicle

    Quote Quoting PADriver13
    View Post

    Does this sound like a typical set-up?
    Doesn't matter if it's typical or not. It's what your employer wants you to agree to in order to keep your job. Has nothing to do with labor law either.

    Quote Quoting PADriver13
    View Post

    Every other sales position I've had, company equipment was insured by the employer.
    What other employers do also doesn't matter.

    Quote Quoting PADriver13
    View Post
    It would appear that my current company doesn't insure it's own equipment.
    It probably does. But that doesn't matter either. The employer can still hold you responsible and your choice is to accept the responsibility or quit.

    Quote Quoting PADriver13
    View Post

    Fine, if I am personally responsible and it's my liability, I will accept - but can the employer, in the event of a theft, deduct the retail value directly out of my paycheck (which is what they will do)? I don't understand why it needs to come directly out of a paycheck, vs. me just paying them if and when such an event would occur.
    Now that does come under labor law and the following webpage has a pretty good discussion about PA law and the conclusion appears to be that a deduction for stolen equipment would be illegal. Scroll down about half way to Deductions From Wages.

    http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com.../pennsylvania/

    Then read the PA Code that the link goes to:

    http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/03...bchapAtoc.html

    Although I'm not sure it would be a good idea to make an issue of it since you intend to pay it back anyway and want to keep your job.

    Now here's my advice:

    Go back to your insurance agent and buy a Scheduled Property Floater Policy where you can list the items for an agreed amount per item, covered for damage and theft, and identify the items by serial number and brand. Also have your employer listed on the policy as a Loss Payee. Once the policy is issued you can give a copy to your employer and that should eliminate the possibility of having your pay docked since the insurance company will include your employer on the claim check and you can just endorse the check over to your employer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Company Equipment Stolen from Personal Vehicle

    Helpful, Jack. Thank you.

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