A.R. works for a company that provides transport services to large retail outlets. Last week he was asked to travel to Sderot and Netivot to deliver goods. A.R. refused, citing the danger in traveling in rural areas where rockets are falling. Is he within his rights to refuse to travel into areas affected by the conflict?
Attorney Orit Zilony Klinman, head of the labor law department of M. Seligman law office, says a "special situation" has been declared in the areas affected by the conflict in the south, up to 40 km. from the Gaza Strip, and the Home Front Command has instructed residents to remain near reinforced rooms or bomb shelters. Thus an employer may not demand, and certainly not force, a worker to travel in a way that contravenes Home Front instructions, thus endangering himself.
A worker who has been asked to travel to areas where citizens are to remain near rocket-proof cover, is entitled to refuse because he or she will be unable to do so while on the road. By making such a demand, the employer is also exposed to a claim for physical damages that could result, attorney Klinman says.
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