what if your working in harmful unsafe working conditions you keep stressing to your mangers and supervisors and they dont make change...instead the threatin you with your job!

Fear for my job if i say and go to higher personal other then my supervisor Ive been voicing the unsafe and unhealthy work environment i have to work in no one is listening ....I cant loose my job...but Im stressing because its unpleasant to come to work

1 answer  |  asked Sep 7, 2017 01:37 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
Your options depend on what makes the workplace harmful, unsafe, and unpleasant. If there are risks to employees' safety and health, such as objectively dangerous working conditions (unsafe machinery, passageways that are too narrow, uneven floor, poor ventilation, etc.), then you might have grounds for an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) or California-OSHA complaint. "The Occupational Safety and Health Act…gives employees and their representatives the right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or their employer is not following OSHA standards. Workers do not have to know whether a specific OSHA standard has been violated in order to file a complaint. The complaint should be filed as soon as possible after noticing the hazard or lack of compliance because OSHA citations may only be issued for violations that currently exist or existed in the past 6 months.…OSHA will keep your information confidential." https://www.osha.gov/workers/file_complaint.html

If your employer retaliates against you in any way because you filed or indicated you will file an OSHA complaint, you may have remedies as a whistleblower. Even threatening you with discipline or termination MIGHT be enough to warrant whistleblower protection. Please see my guide to Whistleblowers and Their Rights: http://www.thespencerlawfirm.com/tslf-whistleblowers.php.

If the job is unpleasant because management representatives are bad at their jobs, rude, or impersonal, that is probably perfectly legal. Unfortunately, employees and job applicants have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. And an employer can make decisions based on faulty or inaccurate information. An employer has no obligation to warn an employee that he or she is not performing as the employer wants. It’s not a level playing field. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.

There are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand employment rights: http://www.thespencerlawfirm.com/pdf/tslf-at-will-california.pdf. After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action.

As with most legal issues, the specific facts and details will determine whether you have any legal rights. If it appears you might have a whistleblower or other claim, please contact an experienced employment attorney with whom you can discuss the details of your situation in private. Do not rely on general advice from a public website such as this. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org. Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope there is a good resolution to this situation.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Sep 7, 2017 03:06 AM [EST]

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