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Man claims he was fired for not texting and driving

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California drivers are well aware of the consequences texting while driving presents, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that an employee of a trucking company claims he was fired for refusing to text and drive. Although it cannot be confirmed that other drivers for the company had crashed due to texting while driving, information available through the Department of Transportation states that there have been eight crashes related to the trucking company since March 31, 2015.

The Lakeside man sued his former employer, a commercial trucking company, accusing them of wrongful termination, retaliating against him for not breaking the law, and age discrimination. Although not a commercial trucker himself, the man claims that on two occasions he was reprimanded for not responding to a supervisor’s texts while driving to job sites. The supervisor allegedly said he should text while driving “like everyone else.” His refusal to text while driving was later attributed to the employee’s age, the man alleges.

KGTV reports that the man asked his supervisor to call him while he was on the road so he could comply California state law and the company’s “hands-free” rules. Using Bluetooth or other technologies to talk on your phone while driving without using your hands is legal for adult drivers in the Golden State. Once his supervisor refused and allegedly told him to text while on the road like other employees, the man was fired a week later.

The company states that their “hands-free” policy is to promote safe driving and comply with state law. They say the employee was let go for reasons unrelated to refusing to text while driving.

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