With the recent stint of bad weather, the following question has been asked several times: Do I have to go to work when the roads are this bad? The short answer is yes you do. Indiana is a strict at-will employment state. Basically, that means that unless there is a specific law that covers and protects employee rights in a certain situation, an employer is free to discipline and even terminate an employee for whatever reason it wants. If an employer wants to fire an employee who doesn’t show up to work, it is within its rights to do so.
This creates an interesting dilemma for employees, especially when their county is under travel restrictions. On one hand you have politicians, police officers, and other public safety officials pleading with people to stay off the roads while on the other hand your boss is telling you you’re expected to be at work. So who wins? Well, because the politicians in Indiana have not enacted any laws preventing employees from facing repercussions for following their advice to stay off the roads, your boss does. Unless, of course, you elect to put your safety ahead of your job. But remember, in that case you are taking the risk of losing your job and, if you do, it is highly unlikely there is anything that can be done about it.
Is this fair? Heck no. So next time a politician is on television telling you to stay off the roads, perhaps you should consider giving their office a call and asking how they intend to protect you from losing your job if you listen to them and take a snow day.