Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Addressing Dangerous Working Conditions In California
Your boss isn't just there to pay you for the work you do. They must also respect your personal rights and provide workplace accommodation and safety. Hence, you might have the right to report or sue your employer if you're under dangerous working conditions.
In California, employers are held accountable for any case of discrimination, wage and hour violations, breach of public policy, wrongful termination, and so much more.
Let's look at how this works under labor laws, as experienced by our prescreened Workers Comp Lawyers in Los Angeles.
What Is Considered A Poor Working Condition In California?
Poor working conditions are often defined by hazards. Therefore, if a hazardous situation could potentially harm someone, it should be addressed accordingly.
Here are the most common situations that might count:
1. Environments that are hazardous but can be reduced with prompt action
An employer is expected to take all reasonable steps to reduce risk wherever a hazard exists, regardless of how little it may seem. If you find a risk that could cause an injury, immediately alert your employer. You might save someone from suffering a catastrophic injury.
While this often happens in relatively riskier jobs, hazards can be anywhere. For example, you could work an office job and still be vulnerable to broken elevators, falling debris, open wires, chemical spillage, etc.
2. Anything that could be dangerous to clients or guests
Workplace emergencies occur in unsafe conditions. Although some workplaces, such as factories and construction sites, are inherently risky in some ways, businesses are nevertheless required to take reasonable steps to reduce risk to staff members, clients, and visitors.
Can I Refuse To Work In Dangerous Or Unsafe Conditions In California?
A few conditions are required before you can legally refuse to go to work in California:
You have reported the unsafe working conditions to your employer, but no action was taken to address them.
You don't have time to report said conditions and inaction to the authorities.
There is no other way to do work while unsafe conditions are unaddressed.
That said, not all cases are the same. There could be other circumstances that prevent you from doing the required conditions to legally refuse to do work. Ask your Workers Comp Attorney In Los Angeles to ensure you make the right call.
Can I Sue My Employer For Unsafe Working Conditions In California?
If faced with unsafe working conditions, you might have three options in California:
1. Report Dangerous Working Conditions To Your Boss
As mentioned in the previous section, you must inform your boss about workplace hazards. Unfortunately, your employer may not have been aware of the potentially hazardous conditions.
However, if they are made aware of the hazards and still refuse to do anything or address the problem, then you can take steps to report them to OSHA.
OSHA complaints may be filed online, over the phone, via fax, or in writing. You can ask OSHA to keep your name anonymous if you don't want to tell your employer who submitted the complaint.
If your boss tries to punish or get back at you for filing the OSHA complaint, you can also sue for retaliation in California.
3. Get Worker's Compensation If You Get Injured
If you get injured on the job, you can file a worker's compensation claim in California. You need to inform your employer about the accident, the injury, and the cost of the financial losses you suffer because of the accident.
Regarding workplace compensation concerns, getting compensation from your boss doesn't need you to go to court. However, if they refuse to compensate you for the injuries, you can compel your boss through a lawsuit for an unsafe work environment with the help of a Top Workers' Compensation Law Firm.
Find A Prescreened Workers Comp Attorney In Los Angeles
1000Attorneys provides state bar-certified lawyer referral services in California. We review your case details for free, then match you with a fitting Workers Comp Lawyers in Los Angeles best-fitted to handle your employment law concerns. Contact us here.