The coming and going rule is in play when employees are driving.
From time to time, one of our members will ask, “Am I responsible for my employee actions while they are commuting from home to work?” Another question that employers ask concerning this issue is “do I have to cover them with worker’s compensation insurance while they are driving from home to work?”
The short answer to both of those questions is generally no. One thing to remember is that there is always an exception to the rule.
Exceptions to the coming and going rule
- The employee does not come to a set location to start his day. An example of this is construction workers who may begin their day in on one job site on Monday and another one on Tuesday.
- While on company time the employee injures himself going to a destination other than the normal job site.
- The employer is running company errands or conducting some form of company business.
- The employee is required to travel as part of his/her job description.
Should an injury occur during one of the above exceptions then the coming and going rule is null and void and the employee will be covered under worker’s compensation.
If you have employees using their vehicles on a regular basis, you need to let your worker’s compensation carrier know so they can properly classify those employees.
In addition, perhaps this is an issue you have not given much thought to in the past assuming that since the employee is using their own vehicle and they are simply on a coffee and donut run for the office there is nothing to think about.
Wage and hour laws
In California, there are a lot of policies that employers need to give some serious thought to but don’t. Many times, this failure ends up costing employers a lot of money when an employee lawsuit arises out of something that the employer thought was nothing.
So while the coming and going rule may be a small item, there are many larger items that employers are not giving heed to. Let me just be blunt every employer needs to have a good labor law consultant to help them comply with California Labor Laws.
Equally important every employer needs to have a Cal-OSHA consulting service working with them to help them comply with Cal-OSHA.