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Thread: Van driver ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Van driver ?

    Hi, I'm not sure what forum to stick this in, so I'll try here.

    I'm looking for advice/suggestions regarding this issue:

    I work full-time. Three days of the week I must commute either into the office, or a field site. The mileage averages about 220 miles/biweekly. Because I am unable to drive, I have a driver (who has been with me for 10 years) who is paid to drive me. He drives my vehicle, for which I pay insurance, maintenance, and gas. In the last year, he has been compensated $18/hr to drive me to/from work. He does not stay with me if I am in the office all day. He gets paid for 1 hr each way in the AM, same in the PM. If I have a shorter appointment that requires him to stay, he is compensated for his time. I am fortunate that my employer currently picks up the tab on this. Now here is my issue. My employer has established contracts this year that now require drivers get paid $40/hr. Now typically these drivers use their own vehicle, pay insurance, maintenance, and gas. The $40/hr is far more reasonable in that case. However, I feel it is unreasonable in my situation, being that I am responsible for all of the expenses. I have requested my employer adjust his figure given the circumstances, but with the way the contracts are written, it would impact everyone, not just him. So with that, I'm considering requiring that he now pay at the least my gas bill for work-only travel. Is this fair? Should I require more...less? If requesting he pay for gas, is there an easy way to keep tabs/calculate it? Ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member IsMaisin's Avatar
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    If you keep a log of all your work related transportation expenses (gas, maintenance, tolls, etc.) with lots of details (start and stop time, start and stop milage, required waiting time, price per gallon of fuel, gallons needed for each fill up, and total price of gas, date and cost of maintenance) you can deduct almost all of these expenses from your taxes.

    If you fight for your driver to receive less than his fellow drivers, you will create a great deal of resentment. Have you considered having your employer reimburse you for your expenses? Or even deduct these expenses from your drivers salary. If the expenses are docked by the employer, the driver will resent you less and also be able to deduct those expenses on his own taxes. Or just require him to provide his own vehicle as the other drivers do (though I assume yours has been modified for accessibility)

    I sincerely hope that your driver does not find out that you lobbied for him to receive less than half the pay of his fellows. If he does, I would recommend that you request a change of drivers. I know that I would resent receiving such treatment from an employer, and even if I was able to hide my feelings and perform my duties, I would still lose all respect for that employer.
    Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

  3. #3
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Hi, I understand your concern. The drivers do not have contact with each other. I hired my driver privately when I first began working, and his compensation has been in the range that it was the last year. Him/I agreed upon that rate together. The contract system is new this year, and is intended for those that operate their own vehicles, and incur the expenses.

    If he does get the full pay, again, I would hope for/expect that he cover some of the expenses as the other drivers do.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=IsMaisin;1667859]If you keep a log of all your work related transportation expenses (gas, maintenance, tolls, etc.) with lots of details (start and stop time, start and stop milage, required waiting time, price per gallon of fuel, gallons needed for each fill up, and total price of gas, date and cost of maintenance) you can deduct almost all of these expenses from your taxes.

    Regarding tax comment above, I used to deduct "Employment-Related Work Expenses" on Itemized Deductions page of Fed. taxes. It was a 100% deduction (no, not under Medical). The whole point of that deduction was for disabled persons who had specific expenses to enable them to work. For example, you would deduct the normal commuting expenses for a non-disabled co-worker, then your extra expenses would be 100% deducted. In addition, you may have other expenses such as equipment that employer does not provide. You can google this subject to see if any new regs. about it - I'm retired now and have not used this deduction for several years.
    Best of luck to you. I support comments about keeping your driver happy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info about tax info. Fortunately, I was already aware of such deductions. My question was not related to that.

    My question is, if he does indeed get the compensation that a driver does who does use their own vehicle, pays their own insurance, their own vehicle maintenance, gas, is compensated for vehicle depreciation...what, if any, should I ask that he then cover given my circumstances, where I own the vehicle, pay for insurance, maintenance, and gas?

    I think the issue that I was wrong to request my employer adjust his rate given the different circumstances, and his previous rate of compensation, is respectfully, silly. In a time where we as an office are experiencing fiscal difficulties and facing numerous cutbacks, that it is wrong that I suggest to my employer a compensation more in line with his responsibilities?? My driver understands his circumstance differs from other drivers. Related to your argument that he might be upset if he was to learn that he received less pay then others drivers...probably no more then those drivers who would learn he received equivalent pay, but did not have the deductions they did.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. #6
    what does he do with your car while your at work? Is it dropped off at your home till he needs to get you or does he use it while your at work? Hes been with you soo long, work a deal, tell him the $40hr is for drivers who use their own car, say how about he gets a raise to $25hr and he gives you the extra $15hr win/win..

  7. #7
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Hi, he returns the van when not in use. He has in the past used my van for personal use, but I told him that had to stop.

    I'm not interested in cutting a deal per se, only because I don't want to violate any work regulation. I do plan on having him pay the gas used for work purposes (which is about $50 every 2 weeks or so, and possibly 50% of the car insurance (would = $25/month). My van is not used much outside of work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    The current IRS mileage rate is 56.5 cents/mile. So if the $40/hr normally compensates a driver for time, use of vehicle, gas, insurance, and depreciation, would I be out of line to request he reimburse me at that rate for the work mileage, given I am the one incurring those costs.. Work travel is again roughly 216 miles/biweekly, so his reimbursement to me would be $120. His gross biweekly pay would be $880, on average. Even with the reimbursement to me, this is still more then if he were to receive a hefty raise of $25, or $550 biweekly.

  9. #9

    Driver

    Try looking for a car pool. We were able to get a participant or two sometimes that drive for free our van, gas etc....full time everyday...45 minute drive each way.

  10. #10
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    Landrover: Have you tried using public transportation in your area that's intended for people with disabilities? In New York where I am there's the STAR bus service. It's not perfect since the commutes can be long but it's affordable.

    How do you go about finding people to drive your van? I have my own mini-van but don't drive as well.
    C4/5 incomplete, 17 years since injury

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