Can my boss force me to work graveyard shifts in his restaurant all alone if I’m afraid to work by myself at night?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Can my boss force me to work graveyard shifts in his restaurant all alone if I’m afraid to work by myself at night?

My boss asked me if I would work 2 positions (cook and waitress) during graveyard (10 pm – 6 am) alone. The restaurant is in a somewhat remote area with no other business open in the immediate vicinity. I told him no that I thought it was dangerous and just asking to be robbed. I told I was too afraid and he has scheduled me to work it anyway.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your boss may do this. The employer determines what hours and shifts an employee should work, and is not required to consider the employee's concerns about the area, the business's isolation, etc. If you consider it too dangerous to work those shifts at this place, you may be right--but your only recourse is to seek different employment. There  are jobs that people  consider too dangerous--they don't have to do them, but they can't require the employer to change the job, either, to accomodate the employee's concerns. Seeking other employment is the appropriate option.

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