There was a winter storm warning and I called work to let them know I was concerned about getting to and from work safely. She told me she needed me to come in regardless. Driving to work, I got into an accident due to road conditions. Can my employer..?

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There was a winter storm warning and I called work to let them know I was concerned about getting to and from work safely. She told me she needed me to come in regardless. Driving to work, I got into an accident due to road conditions. Can my employer..?

Well we had a winter storm warning here in Oregon and basically told that road conditions will be treacherous during commute and to stay home unless of emergency. I had a shift to work at 5 and by then the snow had already piled up since it had been snowing for a few hours. So I called my manager to see if they would be closing the store and told her about my concerns about getting there and back safely. She told me that she still needed me to come in. When I was commuting to work I encountered a few cars that were sliding off a hill and stuck in several places.. My car started sliding as well and I crashed. My car is damaged and I got hurt. So basically my question is, can my employer be held responsible for making me come in despite treacherous weather conditions?

Asked on December 14, 2016 under Accident Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They are not responsible, because from a legal perspective, they did not "force" you. There was no threat of violence, blackmail, or other illegal behavior; they asked you to come in, but you could have chosen to not do so, and taken the chance you would lose your job. Instead, you chose to out your job ahead of safety; since that was your choice, they are noy responsible for it.


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