Employer docking pay for damaged vehicle

UPDATED: May 26, 2009

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Employer docking pay for damaged vehicle

A friend of my, a legal immigrant accidentally damaged a customer’s vehicle at an auto dealership at which he was employed. He was told by his manager that their insurance would not cover the damage and that he would have to pay for it, and was made to sign a statement to that effect. Is this legal and does he have any recourse?

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Your friend should seek the advice of an attorney regarding the contract he signed. There could be legal challenges to the validity of the contract based on the fact that your friend may not have understood what he was signing (the meaning of the contract, his rights, etc.). In fact, he shouldn't have signed anything before consulting an attorney in the first place.

Also, whether he can held responsible for the damage is also questionable. Usually, the dealership would have liability coverage for incidents such as this. Your friend needs to find out exactly what kind of liability coverage the dealership has.

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