Life and Family

Doing Your Job

Can a company fire you if you refuse a load cause you don't feel safe going there?

There’s an interesting question. In Canada, you’re allowed to refuse work you feel is unsafe. The regulations generally pertain to situations where you might experience bodily harm as a result of doing the work, such as driving a truck with faulty brakes or climbing on top of a load of lumber on a snowy day.

Venturing into an area, such as the Bronx of the south side of Chicago, might also result in bodily harm, but I think there are reasonable precautions you could take to avoid being mugged or beaten up.

If a company is suggesting that they’d fire you for refusing to take a load into such an area, then perhaps there’s some other reason the company want to be rid of you. They might be saying to you that this is one of those last-straw issues.

On the other hand, if you’re refusing to take a load through the Rockies in the winter if you’ve never had any mountain experience, then getting fired might be the best thing that could have happened to you. The company obviously doesn’t deserve a driver whose good judgment may well save them from a freight claim and a personal injury accident.

Jim Park