Workplace safety laws provide rules and regulations designed to reduce personal injuries from occurring in the workplace. California labor laws mandate that employers provide a place of employment that is safe for the employees therein. It is unlawful for an employer to require an employee to go or be in any workplace that is not safe. It is also unlawful to discharge, or otherwise discipline, an employee who complains to an employer about an unsafe or hazardous work environment. If you have been discharged or disciplined because of a complaint regarding unsafe work conditions, please contact the Hekmat Law Group.
Under the California Lab Code §6310, any employee who is fired, threatened with discharge, demoted, or in any other manner discriminated or disciplined against by his or her employer because he or she has made a complaint regarding unsafe working conditions, is entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer. Any employer who declines to reinstate, promote, or otherwise restore an employee who has been determined to be eligible for reinstatement by a grievance procedure or hearing is guilty of a misdemeanor. Furthermore, no employee shall be released or discharged for declining to work in an unsafe or hazardous work environment.
Most companies have handbooks/manuals outlining specific procedures to file complaints regarding workplace safety. An employee’s first course of action should be to refer to these policies, and attempt to resolve the issue within the company’s procedures. Sometimes, failure to follow these procedures may harm one’s chances to recover certain damages. It is important to follow these procedures carefully and document every action in writing.