When Florida residents heard rumor of Hurricane Irma, most began flocking to the shelves of every major grocery store and department store in the hopes of finding water, food, and supplies for any lasting power outage. But rushing off to the store, preparing your home, or even fleeing the area requires time away from work. So what happens if your employer requires you to be on the job beyond the point at which you feel safe? Is it against the law for an employer to expect someone to work their scheduled hours during really bad weather or the days leading up to a major storm?
The short answer to that last question is no. It is not against the law, particularly in a right-to-work state like Florida, for an employer to operate at their own discretion, provided their discretion abides within official, ongoing local and state decisions regarding overall resident safety. Should there be a mandatory evacuation or a curfew, then an employer cannot legally hold his or her employees hostage to the clock. But when either of those things are lifted, the law generally returns to favoring the employer.
Some have understandably noted this as a flaw in the legal system. A unfair gap between employee safety and employer profits. That may well be, but if you depend on a specific employer for your income, going rogue to prove a point is not wise. Most employers will, at the very least, recognize that their own success as a business depends on employee satisfaction, which would be impeded if they risked the safety of those employees during the lead up to a natural disaster.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a personal injury or property damage, please contact the law offices of Beers and Gordon P.A. for a free consultation. Our firm serves all of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, and Brevard counties, including Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Greater Orlando. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience ready and willing to go the distance on your case. Call us right away at 407-862-1825.