Employers Must Allow Employees to Refuse to Do Dangerous Work

Employers Must Allow Employees to Refuse to Do Dangerous Work
Jan 19, 2019

People work many different types of jobs in California. Each job has different physical requirements. Some people sit at a desk all day, some are required to stand, some are required to lift various objects, others work with heavy machinery or need to work at high heights. Clearly some jobs are more dangerous than others, but it is important that all workers are safe while at work so they can continue to work and earn their income.

To help ensure workers’ safety, employers are required to have certain safety equipment in place depending on the type of work people are doing. This is because in many situations if they do not have this equipment, the worker can suffer severe injuries. So, in some situations, workers can refuse to do certain dangerous work as well.

If the worker has a reasonable belief that doing the work will result in imminent danger to their life and the employer refuses to correct the safety concern, they can refuse to do the work. However, there also must not be enough time to report it to the appropriate authorities and the employee must not have any other reasonable alternatives to complete the work without the safety risks.

Also, if the employee does refuse to do the dangerous work, their employer cannot retaliate against them for doing so. If the employer does retaliate, the employee could be entitled to compensation. The amount and type of compensation depends on how the employer retaliates against the employee. In this respect, experienced attorneys in this area of the law understand an employee’s rights and may be able to help protect them.

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