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Does your company have an E-scooter use policy yet? It should

You need to run a work-related errand. Instead of driving, you hop on an electric scooter. You sure look cool, but who will be liable if you get into an accident or break local E-scooter laws?


Like a tween bopping around the neighborhood on an E-scooter, local laws are all over the place regarding their use. These motorized scooters are sleek, they're fun, and who in the heck doesn't want one? Depending on where you are, however, local ordinances may ban electric scooters on sidewalks and restrict them to bike lanes. Or vice versa. Or neither. Or both.

Zooming right to the point: Do you know the local laws regarding E-scooter use?

via GIPHY


People are getting hurt, as well: a recent Washington Post article revealed a rise in emergency room visits resulting from E-scooter use. These scooters can go fast. That means they can be dangerous if not handled appropriately.

Here in Washington, D.C., E-scooters are everywhere. Employees are commuting to work on them, using them for work purposes, and parking them...where should you park them, anyway? On the street? Next to your desk? Hmm.

E-scooters In the Workplace
Bottom line: employee E-scooter use could present some potential legal liability for employers. A great piece on Lexology.com lays it all out, as things are now. Here's the legal state of play on electric scooters:

Generally, workers' compensation insurance doesn't cover injuries sustained by an employee while commuting to a fixed place of employment, but can cover injuries that occur while traveling on work-related business (travel in the course and scope of employment). When employees travel between offices, to and from meetings, or run errands for their employer, it doesn't matter if they are in a car, on an e-scooter or on foot.

Employers can also be held vicariously liable for accidents and injuries their employees cause others while traveling in the scope of their job. Injured persons may have limited recourse against the e-scooter companies -- user agreements limit users to binding arbitration and/or disclaim liability – which may lead some injured persons to look elsewhere for relief.


Of course, employers can and should adopt an E-scooter policy at work. Start by acquainting employees with local E-scooter laws and ordinances that can probably be boiled down to this:

STAY ON THE SIDEWALK or STAY OFF THE SIDEWALK.
USE THE BIKE LANE or DON'T USE THE BIKE LANE.
GO SLOWLY AT ALL TIMES.
DON'T DO SOMETHING STUPID.
AND NO STUNTS ON WORK TIME!


Don't Drink and Scoot
It probably goes without saying, but employers might also add a reminder not to drink and scoot. No, really. With holiday company parties right around the corner, you might have a few employees who think it's safer to scoot home under the influence than to get a ride.

In this case, the employer might not be able to stay in its lane, legally. It depends on the circumstances. But do you really want to find out? Stay safe out there. I've gotta scoot.



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