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The Court of Cassation recently reaffirmed that an employer cannot demand reimbursement of fines incurred by an employee for offenses committed with a company vehicle. In a judgment dated April 17, 2013, the court clarified the legal point of view on this issue .
Liability of employees: fines and liability of the employer: –
In this case, a company asked one of its employees to reimburse the amount of the fines for parking and speeding tickets, both committed while using the vehicle provided by the company. According to Articles L.121-2 and L.121-3 of the Highway Code, financial liability for these offenses generally lies with the registered owner of the vehicle.
The Court of Cassation ruled that fines resulting from traffic violations cannot be imposed on an employee, even if the employment contract explicitly provides for it. The responsibility for these fines lies ultimately with the company, unless gross negligence can be proven. In this context, the pecuniary liability of an employee towards his employer can only arise from gross negligence, which implies a deliberate intention to harm the employer. However, the employee may be subject to disciplinary sanctions such as a warning or, in the event of a repeat offence, dismissal.
Judgment of the Court of Cassation and liability of employees: –
It is important to note that the employer is not required to pay any fines that may be incurred by the employee, such as those for running a red light while driving a company vehicle.
This legal perspective, as Cabinet DAMY pointed out in 2022, underscores the employer’s liability for fines related to offenses committed with company vehicles, while protecting employees from being directly charged with such fines. . Employers must be aware of their legal obligations and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Establishing clear policies and communicating expectations regarding the use of company vehicles can help mitigate risks and potential conflicts.
For more information on this issue, employers and employees are advised to seek legal advice specific to their jurisdiction and personal circumstances.