Is it legal to send a worker on an errand that the worker perceives to be unsafe and in danger?

My employer sent me on an errand by
myself to get ice cream from a store in
an alley in the middle of the city. I
am relatively new to the area and did
not feel safe where I was going. This
was during working hours and my
employer made me go by myself and use
my own car and I felt like I was in an
unsafe situation.

Asked on March 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not illegal to send a worker to an area of a city that the worker thinks is dangerous, just like it's not illegal for a store or business in that area to have workers in it, or for a cab driver to drive to that area, etc. The law does not recognize different neighborhoods as inherently unsafe for a variety of reasons, not least of which is, to do so would undoubtedly be legally racist in many situations. All municipal areas are treated the same for this purpose, so there was, legally, no inherent danger.

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