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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Can Employers force Employees to Travel to Work in Bad Weather?

Customer Question

can my employer force me to work if the weather is to bad to travel
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Your employer can insist you either come to work or not get paid, unless you have a written contract to the contrary. If you fail to show up to work because it is unsafe, then the employer could fire you, BUT you would have grounds to challenge any denial of unemployment benefits since this would not be considered sufficient misconduct to warrant denial of benefits.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I understand under normal bad weather that is true, but if the governor has decleared a state of emergency, can they still make you come into work? I thought that only hospitals and police had to report under a state of emergency.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
What state are you in, since not all states recognize exceptions to the at will employment doctrine?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
VA
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
VA only recognizes one of the three major exceptions to the at will employment doctrine, the public policy exception. The public policy exception prevents employers from terminating employees for not taking actions that may be injurious to the public good. Thus, you would have a possible case against the employer if they terminate you by arguing that the state of emergency and the fact that the governor asked people to stay off of the roads for the safety of the public was a public policy reason why you should not have been terminated.

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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
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