San Francisco Unsafe Workplace and Unsafe Working Conditions Attorneys
California law requires that every employer shall furnish employment and a place of employment that are safe and healthful for employees. No employer shall require or permit any employee to go or be in any employment or place of employment that is not safe and healthful.
It is illegal to discipline or terminate an employee who complains to an employer or government agency about an unsafe or dangerous workplace. The Dolan Law Firm has handled cases on behalf of employees who have complained of and refused to enter unsafe workplaces. If you have been disciplined or terminated because of a complaint regarding, or a refusal to enter, an unsafe workplace, contact the Dolan Law Firm online or call 415-636-8160.
The California Labor Code states:
- Any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has made a bona fide oral or written complaint to the division, other governmental agencies having statutory responsibility for or assisting the division with reference to employee safety or health, his or her employer, or his or her representative, of unsafe working conditions, or work practices, in his or her employment or place of employment, or has participated in an employer-employee occupational health and safety committee, shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer. Any employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure, arbitration, or hearing authorized by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- No employee shall be laid off or discharged for refusing to perform work in the performance of which this code, including Section 6400, any occupational safety or health standard or any safety order of the division or standards board will be violated, where the violation would create a real and apparent hazard to the employee or his or her fellow employees. Any employee who is laid off or discharged in violation of this section or is otherwise not paid because he or she refused to perform work in the performance of which this code, any occupational safety or health standard or any safety order of the division or standards board will be violated and where the violation would create a real and apparent hazard to the employee or his or her fellow employees shall have a right of action for wages for the time the employee is without work as a result of the layoff or discharge.
Types of cases handled by the Dolan Law Firm where damages have been recovered for employees include situations where workers have been fired and/or disciplined for complaining of workplace violence and danger in the towing industry, because of unsafe conditions on construction sites, and where airline employees have refused to fly because of unsafe conditions violating federal airline regulations.
Can You Quit if Conditions Are Intolerable?
The law recognizes that sometimes conditions get so bad that people have no reasonable alternative but to quit their employment rather than endure continued unlawful conduct. An employee cannot just quit and sue because of one simple incident. The conditions must be of such severity and frequency that a reasonable person would think that there is no alternative and that he or she was, in effect, constructively terminated. You should first report the conditions through your company’s complaint procedure, where possible, before you quit or your rights to recover damages may be reduced.
What to Do if You Have Been Treated Unlawfully
Many companies have policies regarding procedures to be followed if you have a complaint regarding workplace safety within their company handbooks. Likewise, they may require that you follow a certain channel of communication in reporting unsafe conditions and/or retaliation for complaining of unsafe conditions. You should follow these procedures and document your actions in writing. Failure to follow these procedures may lead to a denial of your legal right to recover certain damages like punitive damages.
We have a history of results for our clients. You have limited time to act to protect your rights. contact the Dolan Law Firm for a free case evaluation by calling 888-452-4752 or emailing us.