what are my rights driving an unsafe vehicle?

I drive a specialty mobility vehicle
for a non-profit organization. The van
I’ve been put in to drive is unsafe. I
have reported it 3 times in a 2-3 week
period and it hasn’t been taken care
of. I would like to know my rights if
I refuse to drive it and also what
would the consequences for me if I
continue to drive it and an accident
occurs? Thank you

Asked on June 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you refuse to drive the vehicle the company tells you to, you could be terminated. That's not to say that refusing might not be the best idea--you should put safety and health ahead of a job, generally speaking--but you need to bear in mind that you could lose your job over this.
2) If you get into an accident and it can be proven by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that it is more likely than not) that some safety defect in the vehicle caused the accident (you have to show causality), you could potentially sue the employer for your injuries, medical costs, lost wages, etc.


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