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I drove my '72 super beetle to work last week for the first time and with the encouragement of my supervisor plugged it in to an outdoor outlet to recharge. I also parked in a ride share spot to better access the power outlet.

Well, I have been given a letter saying "bring it again and we send you home" saying they feel the car is unsafe, but they don't say why. It is a 72 volt system with 12 golf cart batteries. Not rocket science but they act like it's a bomb waiting to go off. My supervisor now says he never encouraged me to do anything... to my suprise.

Anyone one else ever have this problem? Oh, I work for a government agency that is supposed to be green! :cool:
 

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I think I did hear of at least one other guy having this problem. People can be quite ignorant about these things but the sad truth is we are still just an eccentric minority with hopes and dreams of changing the world.

Yeah, I'd call that unsafe.:mad:

Funny how the specifically say not to bring it at all and not simply to stop recharging. Almost sounds like they are looking for a reason to fire you. Hope I'm wrong.
 

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Car fires aren't uncommon and a gasser that catch fire (open fire that is, not just smoking wires) is more or less impossible to put out before the car is a complete wreck. Here's some info you could show your employer if you like to pursue this:

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/tfrs/v2i4.pdf
 

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Re: My Employer says "Leave your ev at home or you go home!"

Well, I've had places refuse to even hire me just because I ride a bicycle and don't drive (or own) a car, even though it would be a desk job with no travelling, ever.

Mind you, part of their hiring packages is often a discounted monthly bus pass, and they have bicycle lockups as part of their building, with bikes that presumably belong to employees locked up there, so it makes no sense to me.

Only one place explained their reasoning, and that was that they did not want me to have to be riding up to 4 hours per day just to get there and back (since the job was all the way across the valley from my house). I discussed this with them to explain that if I had the job, I could afford a really nice electric motor package for the bike that would both cut that travel time in half *and* make it completely effortless for me. They said it didn't matter--they want all their people to be driving in to work if they live more than a mile or two away.

That really really makes no sense at all.
 

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I run a gas station... Irony?
my dad does own it though
hoping I won't have the same problem when I build my EV.
 

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maybe they are worried about the 12cents worth of electricity you "stole"

lol
 

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Bluehair
You're between a Rock and a Hard Place.

The Rock:
Expose your employer to the media for their enviromental insensitivity and management will be looking for any reason to fire you "for cause".
It's called revenge. They learned it on the playground in Kindergarten.

The Hard Place:
Bite your tongue, leave the EV home and deprive yourself of the savings in transportation costs, green house emissions and dependency on foreign oil.

I don't know what state you live in but did your EV have to pass a safety inspection? Perhaps showing that inspection report to your managers superiors might temper their lack of enthusiasim.
 

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I don't know how they can dictate what form of transportation you use on YOUR time to get to work.
If the vehicle has passed inspection I don't understand the logic.
I agree with voltswagon, it is a rock and a hard place.
But I would inquire as to why they sent the letter, perhaps they just need to understand the EV a little more..
Are they banning prius as well?
 

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If you have the range to make it there and back, you could simply take it anyway and park in available, legal public parking near the building. If any one asks, you can tell them

a) I walked
b) I got dropped off
c) I took public transit
d) bugger off, I didn't park anything in your garage this morning so it's none of your business.

I like D but you might want to more gently word it if you like keeping your job. I don't know what public parking is like in the area though. My job happens to be right across the street from a 24 hr, unrestricted public lot, with the Amtrak station next door to boot. Most days I have to park in the public parking anyway. :p We used to lease a part of it from the city because we knew we didn't have enough parking spaces, but the owner cheaped out. It wasn't a big deal, I just had to start parking one row back.

Also, this idea has inherent health benefits! You might get a couple of minute walk in each day. Loose weight, be healthier, and green at the same time! ;)
 

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Just my 2 bits ... but....

I would simply ask my supervisor in a polite way for clarification or a list of what types of cars the company has banned or has restrictions on ... If your company does email... I would send it via email... and if you have a personnel department I would copy them on the email as well.

For example:

"Sorry for any inconvenience, I was not aware that there were such vehicle restrictions.

Please let me know where I might find the company's list of vehicle restrictions.

Does personnel have it in an updated copy of the new employee handbook?

I don't want to cause any further problems with whatever vehicle I might choose to replace my EV.

So I just want to know what types of vehicles are restricted.

Thanks for your time."

Or something like that...
The important part to express ... weather it is true or not ... is that you are sorry for causing any problems ... and you are just trying to avoid causing any other problems.

Approach from a position of meekness... no anger ... or anything negative or aggressive.... do not ask the question in a 'smart ass' type of way... the important part of that is to look genuinely sorry for not being aware of a rule ... and you want to avoid breaking such rules again in the future ... so you just want some clarification.

... but again ... that's just me and how I might do it ... best of luck.
 

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I asked my supervisor if I could plug my EV in at work, he said " not unless you can determine how much electricity you use so that you can pay us back". I thought "what a but head". So I asked the manager and he said, "let me help you find a place to plug it in.":D
 

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Hey Bluehair,

I just wanted to express my outrage with everyone else on this forum. I definitely agree with those who point out that your employer should have no say over the transportation method you use to commute to work. Thier only concern is if you show up on time or not. If your car is registered and legal to drive in the state of Washington then they have no right to say you cannot drive it.

As for plugging your car in at work, this is a little more touchy, while I personally don't think it is a big deal, I can understand an employer not wanting to set a precedence for other employees to say "hey are you going to start paying for my gas, or my bus fare?" Also there could be liability issues should something either happen to your car, or a malfunction in your car while charging causes damage to someone else's property your employer could be held liable. I understand that this sucks but in the incredibly litigious society that we live in it is a reality.

I'm not trying to be offensive, but I'm not really that surprised that this is happening in Lynden. Lynden is extremely conservative and very resistant to anything different in my opinion. I completely understand if you share a different opinion, but I went school at western and tried to teach science as a volunteer to the kids in the lynden school district and I found the policies to be so stifling I ended up volunteering in the Ferndale district instead.

If you have the range to get to work and back with out needing to charge up at work I say go for it, I'm not a lawyer, but I can hook you up with a whatcom county public defender if you get into any trouble.

hang in there and keep fighting the good fight!
 

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Of the six of us, that worked in a Ford dealership, 5 drove Chevys.

The boss didn't like it, but nobody was threatened with job loss.

They probably need more education, but it will be hard for you to do now that they have put down a line to cross.

Is there a neutral parking area close by?
 

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I think Ian has the best idea so far. Be polite and don't escalate anything.

The formal letter is excellent because it could be used as legal evidence later on.
 

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I knew a chap who was asked not to bring his horse to work!

How about telling them you have changed back to a gas engine and fit
an engine noise generator (as used in RC models) that makes your car sound like it has a big V8 - something that rattles the office windows when you "start it up"! Don't forget to add a couple of big bore tail pipes too!

:)

Si
 

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Just my 2 bits ... but....

I would simply ask my supervisor in a polite way for clarification or a list of what types of cars the company has banned or has restrictions on ... If your company does email... I would send it via email... and if you have a personnel department I would copy them on the email as well.

For example:

"Sorry for any inconvenience, I was not aware that there were such vehicle restrictions.

Please let me know where I might find the company's list of vehicle restrictions.

Does personnel have it in an updated copy of the new employee handbook?

I don't want to cause any further problems with whatever vehicle I might choose to replace my EV.

So I just want to know what types of vehicles are restricted.

Thanks for your time."

Or something like that...
The important part to express ... weather it is true or not ... is that you are sorry for causing any problems ... and you are just trying to avoid causing any other problems.

Approach from a position of meekness... no anger ... or anything negative or aggressive.... do not ask the question in a 'smart ass' type of way... the important part of that is to look genuinely sorry for not being aware of a rule ... and you want to avoid breaking such rules again in the future ... so you just want some clarification.

... but again ... that's just me and how I might do it ... best of luck.
Umm... yeh... if you have no balls whatsoever, this is the approach you should take. If you call yourself a man however, drive whatever the hell you want so long as it's leagally registered. Just don't plug in and "steal" their electricity even if it's a few cents a day. If theu fire you, sue them AND notify the media. See how quickly they change their minds.
 

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Umm... yeh... if you have no balls whatsoever, this is the approach you should take. If you call yourself a man however, drive whatever the hell you want so long as it's leagally registered. Just don't plug in and "steal" their electricity even if it's a few cents a day. If theu fire you, sue them AND notify the media. See how quickly they change their minds.
You can still do that, but by looking harmless and showing "no balls" as you put it, you get them to talk more and possibly incriminate themselves some more. Once you raise your voice, you are in for a fight. Timing is everything and you need to pick your battles wisely.
 

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Umm... yeh... if you have no balls whatsoever, this is the approach you should take. If you call yourself a man however, drive whatever the hell you want so long as it's leagally registered. Just don't plug in and "steal" their electricity even if it's a few cents a day. If theu fire you, sue them AND notify the media. See how quickly they change their minds.
Yeah well... this instance would be a fairly cut and dry case of wrongful termination (especially if the job did not stipulate anywhere what kind of car you had to drive to work).

Of course, it all depends how strongly the person feels about it. I wouldn't suggest purposefully pissing off an employer enough to fire you or pressuring him this way as it would mean a bitter employer for being "pushed" into something. Wrongful termination cases are often involving claims about sex or race. These case generally are fake, at least I think so, but often are successful because of the whole "never blame the victim even if they're lying" mentality.

If you have this threat of being fired in writing that'd be a good start (and the reasons). Just be sure to record any conversation you have with your boss about this (cell phones have record buttons nowadays... makes for a very open/shut case).

Knowing how incredibly stupid bosses are about laws, I'm sure he'll be crazy enough to run up to you and say "I told you not to drive that F***ing car back here... you're fired!" or something... that would be fairly incriminating.

Problem is you have to prove two things:
1) that there was no written rule governing what car employees can drive there (even if they created one after firing you, you wouldn't be liable for that rule). Be sure to have an updated copy of the employee handbook/rulebook if one exists. If one does not exist then they have the issue not you... just be sure to keep any documentation of threats for termination.
You might be able to claim the car is your only form of transportation, which is often a right protected by state law unless the job requires extensive travel time. I just wouldn't bet the farm on that. You will really need to hope for a very strict legal minded judge (legal philosopher type) to really agree with you if that's your primary defense.
2) that he fired you for driving a registered/approved car to work and not for any other reason (why that tape recorder is very necessary on the day of termination)

You need both of these to be proven in order to win such a case usually.
My suggestion is:
Document that the car is your primary mode of transportation by necessity (ie. you could not drive any other car to work, for fiscal reasons or simply due to not owning another car). Be sure to send this to your employer, even if they just toss it in the garbage later.
Be sure the current handbook (if your company has one) does not govern what cars may be driven to work by employees
If you can find a handbook from when you were hired that would be an incredibly useful thing as well
Record any conversations with your boss
Keep all emails/threats etc if your boss is stupid enough to write them down

Often if you see a law suit coming, or even one being possible, you can make the case extremely threatening (ie. most defense attorneys looking at evidence such as that would push hard to settle).
 
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