Metro (Finally) Fires Driver Accused of Vehicular Manslaughter

It took almost exactly a month for Metro to fire the bus driver who plowed over two pedestrians, killing them both.

Can someone tell me why this guy had a job almost one month after he killed two women with a Metrobus?

Can someone tell me why this guy had a job one week after he killed two women with a Metrobus?

Seriously, it strikes me as bad policy to keep a driver on the payroll for that long after the Police have charged him with two counts of negligent homicide after witnesses said he clearly wasn’t paying attention. Why did it take Metro 28 days to fire the guy? Seriously, this is ridiculous.

9 Comments so far

  1. sa-ra (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

    except for parking tickets, everything is kind-a slow here. we should not discuss troops removal as another though not-so-well-lined eg of system inefficiency, right?

  2. Jon (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 6:16 am

    Last I checked, people are innocent until proven guilty. Shouldn’t Metro have suspended him pending the outcome of the trial?

  3. Don (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 7:36 am

    Last I checked, DC was an employment at will locality and therefore has no such obligation. I don’t know what is in the collective bargaining agreement their union has negotiated, but such things aside your employer has no obligation to wait for the law to come to a conclusion.

    I’m not sure I think they should anyway. The standard that we as a society have to hew to for a criminal conviction is pretty high, thankfully, but an employer probably shouldn’t have to be that stringent. If you’re a teacher at the local junior high school and your name turns up on a subscription list for NAMBLA magazine, well, that might not be sufficient to charge you with the crime of child molestation but I think it’s a pretty good reason to take you out of the classroom.

  4. Victoria (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 8:56 am

    You hit the nail on the head when you said that you don’t know what the union has negotiated. Perhaps they were trying to avoid the worst case scenario, in which they instantly fire the driver, piss off the union and are up against a strike.

  5. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 8:58 am

    Any union upset by the removal of a member who has literally killed people on the job isn’t worth negotiating with, Period. It would be monumentally stupid of the union to strike over the firing of a killer among them.

  6. Mike (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    Just because he was on the payroll doesn’t mean he was driving a bus. I’m pretty sure he was on administrative leave while they investigated.

    They also had a duty to investigate before firing him. Just because there was an accident doesn’t mean it was his fault. For example, what if the brakes failed? Should he be fired for an equipment or maintenance failure? Wouldn’t you want them to find out that the brakes failed so they can fix that problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again? If it was due to shoddy work by a maintenance mechanic, shouldn’t that person be disciplined?

    Jumping to conclusions and running off to lynch the driver is not fair or right for anyone. Giving him due process only delayed things a few weeks, and it makes sure they’ve covered all their bases.

  7. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 10:21 am

    The Police, which likely seized the bus as evidence, made the determination that he was responsible within a week, Mike. They would not have charged him with negligent homicide if there was a mechanical problem with the bus.

  8. Jon (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    Don –
    Doesn’t matter to me what the employer’s legal responsibility is. A responsible employer acting in good faith should suspend the employee, find out what happened, and then take appropriate action. 28 days may have been too long, but to immediately fire the employee based on an accusation of wrongdoing is not the way you should treat your employees.

  9. Tiffany (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    If I owned a business and caught one of my employees literally KILLING my potential customers (with my company’s own equipment, no less!), it would not take me a month to fire him. A week to wait for the police report is one thing. A month of dicking around is completely different.

    I was crossing in a crosswalk last week when a Metrobus came around the corner. Did the driver slow down when he saw me? No. He HONKED and SPED UP. Carelessness is not an isolated problem at WMATA and it’s about time people started losing jobs over it. It’s just too bad it’s costing lives while Metro sorts it out.

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