Where does liability falls if there is an accident on the job or driving home from work rdue to working mandatory OT?

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Where does liability falls if there is an accident on the job or driving home from work rdue to working mandatory OT?

I am employed at a warehouse and I operate a forklift on the 3rd shift. Our employer is forcing some of us to work mandatory overtime. My concern is that the risk of injury and sleep deprivation goes up drastically after only 9 hours of work. So, if there is some sort of accident at work or on my drive home because I was forced to work overtime can the employer be held liable?

Asked on June 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your employer would not be liable if the accident occured because you were tired and fell asleep or had slowed reactions due to long shifts. Employers have the right to make employees work overtime; genereally speaking, there is no liability for 1) doing something which you have a legal right to do; or 2) when another person chooses voluntarily to do the allegedly risky activity (that is, you could refuse to work overtime if you feel it's dangerous, even if that costs you your job--the law expects people to not put their jobs ahead of safety).


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