Are employers required to provide safe parking for workers?

by Kelly
(Goleta, California, USA)

The parking lot of the restaurant that I work in is not large and they don't allow employees to park there. Street parking is limited, so they are forcing us to park blocks away. I get out of work late at night and don't feel safe walking to my car.

If my employer will not let me park in our lot and something happens to me, are they liable? Are there any laws relating to them providing a safe work environment that apply to walking to my car after work? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Are employers required to provide safe parking for workers?":

Kelly (Goleta, California, USA:

In the unfortunate event you are injured while walking to your car, whether the injury occurs before or after work, you may not be covered by workers' compensation. Additionally, your employer may not be responsible personally or corporately.

Unfortunately, in most cases, workers who have been injured while walking to their cars or to their workplace were injured while on work premises. In most of these cases the injuries occurred in parking lots owned or controlled by the respective restaurants.

In your case, you are referring to parking space not owned or controlled by the restaurant. In the unfortunate event your are injured while walking to your car, or to the restaurant before or after work, you may have no legal recourse against the restaurant owner.

Even though the restaurant owner may be acting callously, you are responsible for your own protection. The basis for the prohibition is you are not working, and further, it would be impossible for a court or the workers' compensation division to decide how far away a worker must be before workers' comp coverage begins or ends.

Is an employer responsible for 2 blocks, 3, 4...? You see the point.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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