Employers cannot terminate workers for reporting safety issues

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Posted by Legal Team On May 19, 2016

When you are at your place of employment, there are state and federal regulations in place to help ensure that you enjoy many important protections. Some of these regulations were created specifically to help keep workers from getting hurt while on the job.

In California, you have the right to have a safe work environment. Moreover, should you encounter a hazard that presents a threat you and your co-workers, you have the right to inform Cal/OSHA of the situation by filing a complaint.

Before filing such a claim, you should let your supervisor know about the hazard and request that the matter is corrected. You want your supervisor to understand that you are of the belief that the hazard represents a safety or health violation. Assure the supervisor of your willingness to work so long as the proper corrections are made or you are given a safe work assignment.

Hopefully, the problem will be fixed. If not, you can contact Cal/OSHA to file a complaint. While this may seem like a risky step to take, be aware that employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers who file complaints about safety violations. This means that your employer cannot fire you for reporting unsafe working conditions to Cal/OSHA.

The ability to report a dangerous workplace is an extremely important right. It helps protect you and all other California workers. If you should ever be wrongfully terminated or suffer some other form of retaliation after filing a complaint, you may wish to discuss the matter with an employment law attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your termination, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages as compensation for the unfair loss of your job.