Attorney: Workers risk firing for missing work due to weather - FOX Carolina 21

Attorney: Workers risk firing for missing work due to weather

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Highway 9 in Boiling Springs on Thursday morning (Fox Carolina) Highway 9 in Boiling Springs on Thursday morning (Fox Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel have braved the recent winter storm to keep us safe and many workers across the upstate have had to do the same to keep their jobs.

FOX Carolina received numerous emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages from viewers saying it wasn't safe for them to come into work because of road conditions, but their employers were making them do it anyway.

Greenville attorney Grant Varner said employers are well within their rights to do that because South Carolina is an at-will employment state.

"So you don't have the right to work here," Varner said. "An employer can terminate you for any reason they deem appropriate."

Varner said that includes not showing up because you feel roads are unsafe.

Varner adds that employers are usually not liable if anything happens to you or your car on the way into the office.

"In general what the law says if that you are not going to be covered coming to and from work," said Varner. "Unless you are doing something for work."

Varner said the State of Emergency that was declared on Wednesday did not include mandatory road closures or curfews, so it cannot be used as a reason to miss work.

But Varner said ultimately the decision to get behind the wheel belongs to the individual, as do the consequences that come with deciding to go to work or not. Varner said the best thing to do is to have a conversation with your employer if you feel unsafe, and go from there.

"Most employers in the Upstate are very generous," said Varner. "They will probably help people from being in an accident or putting them in harm's way."

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