General Question

casheroo's avatar

Does an employer have to provide free parking?

Asked by casheroo (18019 points ) June 13th, 2009

Basically, I pay to work because of all the parking tickets I receive.
I cannot afford these tickets and I constantly put quarters in the meter but I get busy at work and can’t put them in all the time. But, the quarters add up..so that’s paying to work as well :(
Is it unusual for an employer to not provide any parking at all? Is the employer responsible at all? Or am I crap out of luck?

The final straw was yesterday when I should have been out, but my boss decided to berate me for twenty minutes and I got a ticket during that time period. I find it unfair that I should have been done work but she kept me to yell at me and now I have to pay for it
I’ve never worked at a place without a lot, all we have is a street and my boss has a permit to park in the metered lot but can’t get spots and she has over 17 tickets that she’s fighting.

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34 Answers

bythebay's avatar

No, they don’t. It stinks but unless it’s something you negotiated into your hiring package, you’re on your own. In our downtown area, all the parking is metered or a pay garage. Most building owners have one or two parking permits, but they keep them for their own use. Every job I had in that area, cost me about an hours pay in parking every day. Where do the customers that frequent your business park?

SirBailey's avatar

I’m surprised the boss is happy with her employees constantly leaving the premises to put money in the meter!

With me, when I go for a job interview, I ALWAYS ask about parking, because the employer is not under ANY obligation to provide it for the employee and, when they do, it absolutely, positively does NOT have to be free.

casheroo's avatar

@bythebay They park where I park..at the meters. There’s a lot and street parking, all metered.

@sirbailey Thats the thing, I could get free parking, but I’d have to park a couple blocks away, and then I risk being towed. I come in at 530 in the morning, so it’s still dark and I don’t like walking from there at that time.

cookieman's avatar

No they don’t.

The college I taught at before was in downtown Boston. You basically had three choices:

1) Park at a meter (.25ยข for fifteen minutes with a two-hour maximum – so you had to move your car every two hours)

2) Park in a private lot ($18.00/day was the cheapest within a ten-block radius)

3) Park at the MBTA lot in the burbs and take the train in ($5.00 for the lot + $6.00 for the commuter rail + $4.00 for the city train = $15.00/day)

Either way you sliced it, you were looking at four to six thousand dollars a year.

It’s terrible, but if you want/need that job…

RandomMrdan's avatar

Find a place you can park for free, that isn’t too far away. Buy yourself some Mace and keep in your hand while walking from your car to work in the morning.

That, or find another job that does supply parking. It makes no sense to me to continue paying a meter parking spot all day long.

SirBailey's avatar

How long have you worked there?

SirBailey's avatar

Hate to say this, but look for another job. AND ASK ABOUT PARKING!! :)

I would NOT park anywhere I needed mace.

P.S. Since April and ALREADY the boss is berating you for 20 minutes? I’d tell them “Adios!”.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Nope. Transportation and parking are up to the employee. When I worked in San Francisco, I paid $12.00 a day to park 3 blocks from my job and that was considered reasonable.

cookieman's avatar

@SirBailey: “Adios” just may not be an immediate option given the economy.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Nope, I pay for parking when I work downtown, and always did. The only time I didn’t pay for parking is when an employer was located out in the suburbs, and then I paid the gas to get out there. Getting a monthly parking spot and paying by the month is much cheaper than paying a daily rate. The lot I park in now is $7 per day, but the monthly rate is $70. Working in town, I can choose to ride the bus to work and save both gas and parking fees. It requires me to be more organized in the morning.

hearkat's avatar

Thankfully, I’ve never been in that situation. I just wanted to ask… can you write-off parking fees on your taxes?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

No, parking is not deductible. Neither is clothing for work, unless you’re required to wear a uniform.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Yes, and a red Ferrari too.

hearkat's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: Wow! That stinks. I guess one needs to ask about that beforehand, and use it to negotiate for a higher salary.

@Casheroo: Would it be cheaper to take Public Transportation? And maybe a cab from the station to the office? You’d wouldn’t have gas or tolls or wear-and-tear on the car, plus no parking tickets! Just a suggestion.

casheroo's avatar

@hearkat I don’t think it’d be cheaper at all, plus the commute would take at least an hour, even though the place is 15 minutes away :(

Boo, I was hoping for different responses, but thank you all for responding!

jca's avatar

if you get tickets, you can always ask the judge to reduce them.

if i were you i would request overtime for the 20 minutes you stayed extra. it’s worth a try.

i would look for another job. in the suburbs, there are usually office parks with lots, you can park close, free, safe. that’s worth a try.

i had a job once in college where i had to pay meters and i racked up about $150 in parking tickets. never again. to answer your question, no they’re not obligated. another option for you is to get a parking permit and then it will not be a daily issue.

casheroo's avatar

Why does everyone think I’m in the city? I’m definitely in the suburbs working. I would never work in the city. Too many taxes.

cookieman's avatar

@casheroo: Because, traditionally, meters tend to be in cities much more than in the suburbs (‘least ways ‘round here in these parts).

Now, if you’re in the burbs and paying at meters, I’d say you need to look for either a municipal or private lot that has monthly passes. You’re sure to save some money that way. Best of luck.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That would be nothing short of wonderful and glorious. Parking is such a commodity where I work that any employer providing free parking would be out of business in 6 months. Any metroplitan area is like that but luckily the public transit system is good.

hearkat's avatar

@casheroo: Is a Vespa Scooter an option? Would you be able to park that on the grounds without using a meter?

If it’s only 15 minutes away, wouldn’t a cab door-to-door be cheaper than parking?

cookieman's avatar

@hearkat: casheroo heading of to work

I would lurve a Vespa

PandoraBoxx's avatar

How do your co-workers handle parking? What about getting monthly parking in a lot?

Many companies will have an arrangement with nearby lots to provide monthly parking spots to employees. My current employer is quite large, and offers employees a monthly spot in a lot (not owned by employer) which the employee can pay the monthly fee through payroll deduction, or free bus ridership. The lots are several blocks away from the buildings, so you could have a 4 – 8 block walk. Riding the bus for free becomes quite attractive, even if inconvenient. Several coworkers with long commutes use the time to read, or listen to books on tape.

Darwin's avatar

No employer is required to offer parking, free or otherwise. I have never worked anywhere that didn’t have free parking, but I know many people who have worked in places where parking was their own problem. Some have rented a space in a lot by the month, and some have figured out other ways to get to work such as car-pooling, the bus, or riding a bicycle (when possible). I know when my father worked in New York, he took the train and then walked or took a cab to work. Some people find other jobs.

One friend of mine lived in New Jersey and worked in downtown Philadelphia. He not only had to pay $10 per day for parking, he also paid $14.00 per day in tolls. The only good thing was that he car-pooled with his wife, who also worked in Philadelphia. He could have taken the train for considerably less but he liked having the freedom of leaving on his own schedule. It was part of his cost of living (not to mention the complicated tax situation he was in, paying US, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia taxes).

When I was in Boston, parking ran about $20 per day, so the Boston Museum of Science got smart. It built a multi-level parking garage and allowed museum members to park for $5.00 a day. Membership was $1000 per year, so you can guess that the number of members soared. People parked there and then took the T to work.

Putting coins in the meter all day, every day is basically a non-solution. You need to find another way around your dilemma. Because your boss seems to be an irritable sort who is not a good problem solver (since she herself has 17 parking tickets), I suggest you look for another job. In the meantime, consider a car service or a taxi that is on retainer, or car pooling with someone who has a place to park, or any number of other solutions.

Kayak8's avatar

I work downtown and have to pay to park. The alternative is to take the bus.

Zaku's avatar

The city authorities where my employer is decided they had the right to insist on being given the automobile registration information of all of the employees there, so they could descriminate against us in where we could park, even though we have our own private parking lot… kind of assuming all the employees must have automobiles, amongst other assumptions… sigh.

YARNLADY's avatar

How about ride a bike. That’s what my Hubby used to do.

casheroo's avatar

@YARNLADY hmmm, mapquest says it’s 8.94 miles away. I don’t know how long that would take. Would I have to leave at 5 in the morning? I value my sleep. lol

cookieman's avatar

go for the Vespa

Darwin's avatar

@casheroo – I used to ride a bike to my work 7 miles away. It took me about 30 minutes but also required me to change and shower at the office.

But it helped me keep my weight down and meant I got my cardio done daily.

casheroo's avatar

@cprevite That’s just not something we can afford.

cookieman's avatar

@casheroo: Understood. That’s why I haven’t gotten one.

But you’d look so good on it ;^)

dynamicduo's avatar

They certainly don’t have to provide free parking. Nor do they have to compensate you for the costs incurred in getting to and from work. That’s part of the job as a whole and something you should consider when deciding what job to take.

My current job luckily has a parking garage for their employees. My previous job was in downtown Ottawa, where no company provides free parking, and you could spend hundreds per month in buying a parking pass.

Sadly I have to say you are crap out of luck. Maybe you could look into carpooling with someone? Yes, public transit takes much more time, but you don’t pay any tickets nor gas cost, this is the tradeoff.

jca's avatar

yea, you’re going to have to trade something -either time, money, convenience, or get a new job (and that in itself consists of a few tradeoffs, or maybe not).

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