Can I be fired for refusing to hand empty the refuse?

UPDATED: May 16, 2009

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Can I be fired for refusing to hand empty the refuse?

I am a custodian. the trash compactor has ceased operating. My manager want me to discard the garbage that is lodged in the compactor by hand.

Asked on May 16, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you are an at-will employee, your boss can fire you good, bad or no reason at all, absent a discriminatory basis.  Removing trash in general is a part of your job.  While the transh compactor what not working, it is not an excuse to refuse to perform tasks asked of you at work that are within the scope of your employment.  The employer was within his rights, as bad as that sounds, to let you go.  Are you apart of a Union?  If so, I would report it to your rep to discuss whether whether the Union contract was violated in any way.

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