Is it legal to fire a trucker due to weather related or faulty equipment

by K

My husband works for a ups company. His tractor Hydroplaned and the company still fired him because they have a no accident tolerance.

The company is a Union company and they have told my husband that the union will eventually get his Job back. Well it could be any where from 2 months to 6 months.

Is it legal to fire someone if an accident is totally unavoidable. Plus since this accident the Fifth Wheel may be defective because it ripped in half. Just can't make since of this.

I know accidents do happen and we are very very grateful that he wasn't hurt but shouldn't a company as big as UPS look into the accident and let my husband at least work the dock or do something until the investigation is done.

We will be without Insurance and the process of signing up take a while and in the mean time bill are rolling in. I don't want to sound like my husband couldn't have ever had an accident but he has worked for this company for 19 years.

It's not like he was speeding or on drugs or anything that would be against company policy. The weather was bad! and the equipment may be defective.

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Mar 22, 2012
by: Anonymous

First of all, sorry that your going through all of this. But unfortunately there is little that you can do about it, as I see it from this side of the situation (from what I've read). The thing about it is, most companies if not all expect drivers to be aware of their surroundings.

If the water was standing on the road bad enough for him to wreck, then it had to of been fairly noticeable. Which would mean that the company would have expected him to see the standing water and took appropriate safety measurements to ensure he wouldn't wreck.

Also, because this accident was by technically "his fault" it would have been ruled as a "preventable accident". Sense this whole CSA2010 has went into affect, a driver having an accident has a lot more fines and problems created for the company. As well as the affects that it took on his DAC.

As for the 5th wheel, it is the driver's responsibility to check his equipment periodically for any issues. There is no way now that they can prove that the issue was there before the wreck happened, so by default its going to be believed that it was damage occurred during the wreck.

Another thing that needs to be understood is that depending on which state the companies home office is located in, the company may be able to impose the "fire at will" act. Which pretty much means that any company has the right to fire any employee at will without reasoning. Union or not, the company still has that option. It is then up to the union to take the fight up with the company and during that time.

While I don't know the whole situation, i can only speculate to what has happened and what the company's view of the matter is.

Best of luck to you and your family....

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