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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Corporate Policy -- Is it legal?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by millsed; 08-24-07 at 12:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    I believe they do have the legal right, since it's for company business on company time.

    Is there a past history of motorcycle and bicycle crashes for those traveling between sites? I suspect if you went to HR and asked them for their research demonstrating that motorcycling and bicycling are a high enough risk to prohibit them, they won't have anything other than the typical handwaving arguments, such as "you're not protected like you are in a car".

    I would tell them to let me borrow a company car if they want me to go to a meeting at another site.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    If you are on company time, they can dictate how you use that time.

  4. #4
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    I don't think it's illegal. Employers are allowed to require a bunch of stuff that limits your personal choices. Many mandate what clothes you wear, what time you come and go, what internet sites you visit, if you can smoke on their time, if your in the right job...what stocks you can own, etc. They are also generally expected (and sometimes requiried) to make accomdations to help you meet their requirements. They mention one in the policy, you are allowed to call into your off site meetings. What are their accomdations if that one dosn't work? Can you call a cab and they pay? Can you take a bus? Can you miss work at your primary site and bike directly to the other site from home and then home and that's your day. Can you walk to the other site? Do they have a company car you can use to travel? Do they plan on instituting a company shuttle that travels between facilities, that keeps people from making dangerous choices in their personal automobiles as well.

    Ask them what other accomodations are available to you to help you comply with corportate policy.

  5. #5
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    what happens if you can't use your car (one car fam,ily, it's in the shop, it breaks down, etc)

    what if you don't own a car for some reason

    what if you use public transport that day

    Just possibly the HR cubicle people need to clarify their missive
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  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I concur. If someone requests your presence at a site that's beyond walking distance, ask human resources how to handle the situation -- "I do not have access to a car; I can easily get to the other site via bicycle, but you have told me not to. What do you suggest?"
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  7. #7
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The policy is legal. So just spend 2 hours of company time walking to the meeting and 2 hours back to your office. Sounds like a nice WORK day to me.

  8. #8
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    That's a very reasonable policy your company has. You apparently don't understand your employer has responsibility and liability for what happens to you on company time
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    what happens if you can't use your car (one car fam,ily, it's in the shop, it breaks down, etc)

    what if you don't own a car for some reason

    what if you use public transport that day

    Just possibly the HR cubicle people need to clarify their missive
    Most jobs require you to have a car otherwise they deem you to be unreliable and always be late. If your car break down or in the shop, do what everyone else does, figure out a solution that doesn't break company's policy. Its not the company's problem. Ask the company to have a company car always available for people in those cases if is going between plants is a regular thing for many people. Its really not the company's problem if your car blows up.

  10. #10
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    It's legal, but that doesn't mean you can't sic your area bicycle and motorcycle advocacy organizations on them.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  11. #11
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    The issue is liabilty to an injured party. If you are driving, your auto insurance covers it. If you are cycling and the injured person sues for $5 millon, they won't go for you but your employer.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  12. #12
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    In Australia, workers compensation also covers you traveling to and from work along your 'normal route'.

    That said, I think if they require you to use a car when you would otherwise choose not to it's only fair that they provide a company vehicle for those trips. They did that very thing when I was working on a refinery site. A simple whiteboard wher you could book the car worked well enough.

    Other than that, I think they need to prove that there's significantly more risk in riding a bike or motorbike before implementing such a ban. I suspect it was just done off the cuff though, on the assumption that it is more risky. If you think it's an unfair policy, as a first step in getting it reversed might be to ask for their justifications for it.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  13. #13
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Legal- if you trace this back, it probably comes from your company's workers comp insurance legal department. Somebody over there decided bikes/motorcycles were dangerous and sent out a directive. All you can do is ask them to change policy, which they won't, and then if it is important enough to you, threaten to quit. If you do threaten to quit, if they don't back down, then quit.
    Not too much to say here

  14. #14
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    As an aside, is a lunch break considered your time or the company's time? The reason I ask is what if you spent the morning at one plant, rode to lunch, and then rode to the other plant?

  15. #15
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supertj View Post
    Most jobs require you to have a car otherwise they deem you to be unreliable and always be late. If your car break down or in the shop, do what everyone else does, figure out a solution that doesn't break company's policy. Its not the company's problem. Ask the company to have a company car always available for people in those cases if is going between plants is a regular thing for many people. Its really not the company's problem if your car blows up.
    umm no - the only jobs I know of that require a car are either cab drivers or it's clearly stated under the terms and conditions of your contract. Either way they provide expenses for mileage and maintenance in your own vehicle on company time and state, before you start the job, that you must have a car.

    They made this change while the OP was in contract so either they renegotiate or come up with a solution to a problem they created.
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  16. #16
    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    Dude, it says that if you ride a bicycle you can call in to the meeting! Which means you can play PacMan at your desk while you "listen" to the meeting...

    Seriously, though, NY is employer friendly when determining legal vs illegal.

    Your best options is probably to hitch a ride with a coworker.

    The new PSP does not prevent employees’ use of motorcycles and bicycles as transportation to and from work nor during the lunch hour, since employees are not covered by workers compensation at those times.
    You gotta love this paragraph though. "The reason we're not telling you that you can't ride a bike to work, is that it's irrelevant to the worker's comp issue - not because we have no business doing so." Typical New York employer attitude... finish some schooling, network, etc., and get a job where you can say "f you" to any of these types.
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  17. #17
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millsed View Post
    A while back my company put out an email directive (posted below) banning bicycles and motorcycles as transportation between our plants. We have three locations across the city that are all approximately 5 miles apart. I don't think a company has a legal right to dictate one's transportation.
    Please note that I am not an Attorney.

    A. I would tend to agree that, unless a company provides inter-plant transportation, they do not have the ability to require an individual to take a specific mode of transportation, unless:

    1. the alternate mode of transportation specifically impacts their (or others') ability to work and the timeliness of arrival (schedule)

    2. the individual, when taking this alternate means of transportation, somehow presents a danger to other company individuals moving between plants

    3. the individual, when taking this alternate means of transportation, somehow breaks laws set forth by the local authority having jurisdiction.

    There is a precedent where a ban on Motorcycles in the State of Mass. was overturned by the Supreme Court. If the company does not offer (A.) and there are no items (1.) through (3.), that this policy will not be consistent with such a precedent and should be removed from policy.

  18. #18
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    That's a very reasonable policy your company has. You apparently don't understand your employer has responsibility and liability for what happens to you on company time
    WHat makes you say that the policy is reasonable?

    There are two questions here. The first is the legal validity of the policy. Of course, it's the employer's time and money, so it's the employer's legal right to impliment this policy.

    But the second question is the wisdom of the policy. StanSeven, do you have any evidence that cycling three miles to a meeting is more dangerous than driving?

    My guess is that the insurance company said that it would cancel the insurance policy (or increase the rates) if such a policy weren't issued. If that's the case, there's probably little you can do.

    I sometimes use a bike to go to a moring meeting that's about 12-15 miles away from my worklplace. My house is roughly half-way between the workplace and my home. I don't count the time going to the meeting, but I figure how much time it would take me to drive to and from the meeting in a company car, and I make that the limit of the amount of time I write down for the return trip. Afterall, I could ride to work, get a company car, and drive to the meeting.

    I get a nice ride. My employer saves money on gas and wear and tear. Win-win. So far, no one has complained.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 07-26-07 at 02:42 AM.

  19. #19
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    You could always contact the AMA. They've beaten down stupid rules like this in the past... It is most likely the insurance company's doing, and not the employer.

    http://www.amadirectlink.com/

  20. #20
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    The company has the right to set the rules. Nothing says the rules must be logical. Nothing says they must justify the rules to you. If you don't like the rules you have the right to find a job at a company where the rules are more to your liking .. maybe at a company that silkscreens tee shirts. You can try to justify your position, but in the end, the rules are the rules. Some people may feel they are 'more alert' when they fill their body with drugs but if the company has drug testing .. they lose. Corporate America is basically made up of adults interested in making money, not kids wanting to ride their bikes during working hours while getting paid for it. You need to consider the 'big picture'. Is employment at this company otherwise very enjoyable? Is this policy worth terminating your job? Pick your fights carefully, some are worth it and some are not.

  21. #21
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    Here is what happend: The company's insurance carrier got dinged from a bicycle or motorcycle accident not necessarly having to do with the OP's firm. They get a letter from the insurance carrier stating they will not cover any bike or motorcycle related accidents(ask your boss or company owner, the insurance carrier essentially change the rules of the policy at any time) or the carrier will triple your rates. Happens all the time. After 9/11 everyone got a notice that terrorism would not be covered.

  22. #22
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    +1 Oilman... it only takes one person to ruin it for everyone.

  23. #23
    steel lover
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    As stated above... you are on their time, they own you. Same reason they can say you can't surf the internet while THEY are paying you

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    The issue is liabilty to an injured party. If you are driving, your auto insurance covers it. If you are cycling and the injured person sues for $5 millon, they won't go for you but your employer.
    While I don't agree with your examples, I agree it has to do with preventing injuries, but not to 3rd party non-employees, but to employees. Its almost impossible for a bicycle to injure another (except maybe a pedestrian) on the road, same thing with motorcycles.

    Employers percieve bicycling and motorcycling as more dangerous to the cyclist, so in a (misguided) effort to reduce injuries to employess and resultant costs (workers comp), they prohibit bicycle and moto travel for work purposes.
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  25. #25
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supertj View Post
    Most jobs require you to have a car otherwise they deem you to be unreliable and always be late.
    IANAL, but if the requirement to have a motor vehicle was not stated at the time of hiring, I think it should be the responsibility of the employer to provide for a vehicle for work purposes.

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