Every worker has the right to refuse dangerous work. If you are not comfortable continuing to work in an unsafe or unhealthful environment, you have the right to speak up and demand that the situation be changed. The employment law team at Southern California Labor Law Group PC
can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of refusing dangerous work.
What Unsafe Work May Look Like
There are many different types of unsafe work conditions. Some examples include:
- Working with hazardous materials without proper safety equipment
- Being asked to perform a task that you are not adequately trained for
- Working in an environment that is excessively hot or cold
- Being asked to work excessive hours without proper breaks
If you believe you are working in unsafe conditions but are unsure how to prove it, it is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer. An experienced employment lawyer will be able to assess your particular situation and provide you with the legal guidance you need.
Your Rights When Refusing Dangerous Work
There are a number of laws that protect employees from having to perform hazardous work and from any retaliatory action an employer may engage in for refusing to do such work.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA is a federal law that requires employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. Under OSHA, employers are required to correct any unsafe or unhealthful conditions in the workplace.
The National Labor Relations Act
NLRA is a federal law that protects employees' rights to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid or protection. This includes the right to refuse to perform unsafe or unhealthful work.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act
FEHA is a state law that makes it illegal for an employer to engage in retaliatory action against an employee for refusing to perform work that is unsafe or unhealthful.
Steps to Refusing Dangerous Work
If you believe that any conditions you are being asked to work in are unsafe or unhealthful, you have the right to speak up. It is important to remember that you should always refuse dangerous work respectfully and professionally.
1. Stop Performing the Work - The first step is to stop performing the work that you believe is unsafe or unhealthful. You should consult a lawyer beforehand if you have concerns about stopping the work.
2. Inform Your Employer - Once you have stopped performing the work, you need to inform your employer of your decision. It is essential to do this in writing to have documentation of the conversation.
3. Request a Meeting - Once you have informed your employer of your decision, you should request a meeting to discuss the situation further. This meeting can be held in person or over the phone.
4. Gather Evidence - Before the meeting, it is important to gather evidence of unsafe or unhealthful conditions. This may include pictures, videos, or eyewitness accounts.
5. Document Everything - During the meeting, document everything that is said and agreed upon. This documentation can be used as evidence if your employer decides to take retaliatory action against you.
Employers are responsible for providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Southern California Labor Law Group PC understands how stressful and dangerous it can be to work in unsafe conditions. You can protect your legal rights and guide yourself through the process of refusing dangerous work with the help of our employment law team.
Southern California Labor Law Group PC Will Advocate For You
If faced with a hazardous workplace situation, know the law is on your side. The employment law team at Southern California Labor Law Group PC has extensive experience handling cases involving workers' rights, including the right to refuse dangerous work. We understand the complex workplace safety laws and regulations and will fight to protect your rights.
Call today at (424) 306-1515 for a free consultation.