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Supacase's avatar

Personal cars for business use. Thoughts on bumper stickers?

Asked by Supacase (14490 points ) June 11th, 2009

I saw a car that was quite obviously a personal vehicle being driven for business use the other day. The name of the company was clearly displayed on the vehicle. The car had a bumper sticker that said, “Do all jobs suck, or just mine?” Not the best advertisement for the company, to be sure!

I don’t think businesses should have a right to tell you what to put on your own car, but I do find it inappropriate and wonder if it could violate some clause of representation of the company in some instances. If you accept a job with the understanding that your car is to be used for business purposes and you are reimbursed for expenses incurred, your vehicle should represent the company appropriately.

What do you think?

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21 Answers

SirBailey's avatar

I agree with you absolutely. It would be like wearing a t-shirt saying the same in a company that gave you a clothing allowance.

And I don’t feel you even NEED to have a clothing allowance to be breaking company rules; likewise the car reimbursement.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I certainly understand this argument. I was working in a counseling clinic as a behavior support specialist. Basically I would take kids into the community and support their good behaviors. So about 50% of my job was driving. I had this job during the elections. I happened to know that a few of the kids/families I worked with did not have the same political views as myself. So I chose to refrain from putting a candidate support sticker on my car (although both me and hubby wanted to). I chose not to put one on because I thought it was highly unprofessional of me and I just didn’t feel it was appropriate for a counseling type job.

Currently I do have to do a bit of driving while at work but I don’t carry anyone in the car with me or have my business name on the car. And guess what? I have a ton of random bumper stickers, haha. Freedom! ;)

I think this is an issue of personal responsibility and professionalism. Although if I were an employer I might have guidelines about what was allowed while my business name was displayed. But I do think it comes down to a sense of personal professionalism. (and probably how much you like your job).

jackfright's avatar

i think it’s inappropriate, and of very poor taste. if you loathe the company, quit. no one’s holding a gun to your head and the company could better spend your salary on someone who appreciates it.

SirBailey's avatar

Imagine if an assistant manager wore a shirt “I’m with stupid!”???

kevbo's avatar

I disagree. The company certainly has the option of providing a vehicle if they’re that concerned.

Judi's avatar

I didn’t hire an asphalt company to re-pave a parking lot once. My reason? The salesman’s car had a bumper sticker that said, “Impeach Clinton and her husband too.” I was offended and figured that if the person was stupid enough to alienate that many customers then he was to stupid to do my job.
can you guess how many years ago this was?

To actually answer they question, I guess it would depend on the actual contract the company had with the employee. Note to self, review employee contracts.

Darwin's avatar

I worked for a city government and we were not allowed to place any bumper stickers on cars we owned but used for work (ie. ones for which the city reimbursed business mileage). There was a clause in our hiring documents that forbade us to “embarrass” the city. However, if we simply drove our car to and from work, but did not represent the city while in it, we could put bumper stickers on our vehicles as long as they abided by the next rule.

The next rule was that as city employees we were not allowed to place campaign signs for city elections in our yards or on our vehicles or in our offices, etc. The idea behind this is that because we worked with the elected officials our opinions might have more weight than that of a regular citizen and so we could sway the election.

I would say that if your employer is compensating you for the use of your car, then your employer has a right to ask you to get any stickers approved by the employer, since you are representing them and being paid for it.

sap82's avatar

In my opinion the employer has just as much responsibility to make sure the employee is of decent standard to represent that company. If a contract has been made so that an employees personal vehicle is used for work then that employer needs to take it upon themselves to make sure that nothing is inappropriate by their standards. Otherwise, the employee can put a “bash a seal for Obama” sticker on their window and I don’t think they would have a say in it at all. If somebody was canned on the premise that their vehicle was inappropriate when the employer made no previous efforts to uphold his companies good name, then I see that as discrimination and also the employers fault.

whatthefluther's avatar

I agree with @Judi . A wise employer will have very specific requirements, including discipline for infraction, identified within their Conditions of Employment.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont like bumper stickers period. I think theyre tacky.

Judi's avatar

I heard that there was some study that said people with bumper stickers were more prone to road rage.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Judi what about the cars covered (and i mean covered) in religious bible thumping stickers? Do they induce more road rage? cause they sure drive me crazy.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@uberbatman Do not come to Lane County, Oregon because we have an overly large amount of people who have cars covered in bumper stickers. They are mostly peace signs and witty liberal sayings. I would say 1 in 2 cars or 50% of us are like that, lol

Judi's avatar

@uberbatman , they said it didn’t matter what kind.

whatthefluther's avatar

If someone feels passionate enough about a position, issue or candidate to advertise it on their car bumper, perhaps that same level of passion can be manifested negatively into road rage? May make sense.

DChan415's avatar

I agree with you. I think its more a matter of having the right attitude. The bumper sticker is just one symptom of having the wrong attitude and it will become a problem sooner or later

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Darwin I’m surprised no one brought a First Amendment case. I can understand not allowing campaign signs in offices, but in peoples’ own yards?

ItsAHabit's avatar

Research has found that people who have bumper stickers on their cars tend to be extremists and the more stickers they display, the more extreme they tend to be.

VS's avatar

I work for the highest court in my state. I can only imagine driving around in my car with a bumper sticker that says “my son was inmate of the month”. No. I have no bumper stickers on my car. My employer does not forbade them, but I do know that if you are ever called to jury duty with the Federal Court, one of the many questions they ask is “what kind of bumper stickers do you have on your personal vehicle?” and you better not get caught lying about it either!!
Like @uberbatman I find the whole idea of bumper stickers just tacky.

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WarmFuzzies23's avatar

I own my own mobile business and give great care to not only what I put on my car, but how I drive as well. I have personalized plates and choose my bumper-stickers carefully. Whether we like it or not people will judge you on first impressions, and it does effect business.

My son learned how to drive using my car, he had to not only learn traffic and driving laws, he had to learn my business ethics.

Having driven cars for other companies there were always strict rules about Bumper Stickers etc…none allowed.

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