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Learn About Whistleblower Protections in California: Yes, You Can Refuse to Do Dangerous Work at Your Job

Learn About Whistleblower Protections in California: Yes, You Can Refuse to Do Dangerous Work at Your Job

Learn About Whistleblower Protections in California: Yes, You Can Refuse to Do Dangerous Work at Your Job

The California Occupational Safety and Health Act, or Cal/OSHA, protects workers in California against hazardous working conditions. Unfortunately, many workers are unaware of their protection options or their rights under Cal/OSHA.

The state’s version of the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act is known as Cal/OSHA. It offers more protection than federal law in a number of areas, such as against chemical exposure, repetitive motion injuries, and heat diseases. Keep reading to learn what your protections are under these Acts and what you can do if you become a whistleblower and are retaliated against. Then contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 for a consultation.

Requirements for employers

Employers must publish information about their duties and employee rights, among other things, according to Cal/OSHA regulations. Included in this is information on the employees’ rights to: (1) report hazardous working circumstances; (2) request safety inspections; (3) reject an order to continue working in risky situations; and (4) get information under the Hazardous Substances and Information Training Act.

In California, workers are not obliged to do tasks that they deem hazardous or harmful

Employees have the right to refuse to perform employment if they have a reasonable opinion that completing the job would put them in immediate risk of death and the employer refuses to address the safety issue.

However, the employee may only decline to perform the task if there are no reasonable alternatives to carry out the work without safety concerns and there is not enough time to notify it to the authorities. For instance, if a worker is requested to climb scaffolding without the necessary safety gear, such as a harness, he may reject if there is no alternative safe way to complete the task after reporting it to Cal/OSHA.

Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation

The employer is not allowed to take action against an employee who refuses to do the job while all the requirements are satisfied. An expert in employment retaliation law may clarify that an employer who retaliates against an employee by assigning them to a less-than-favorable shift, reducing their hours, terminating their job, or in any other way, may be breaking the law.

The employee may be eligible to compensation as a whistleblower who alerted authorities to the hazardous working conditions. An experienced workplace retaliation lawyer can assist the employee in defending their rights and seeking redress.

Who has whistleblower protection?

Any employee who informs Cal/OSHA of information that he or she reasonably believes to be in violation of federal or state law, or who reveals dangerous working conditions or practices at their place of employment, is entitled to certain whistleblower protections. A worker who “blows the whistle” on their employer is protected by Cal/OSHA from being fired, penalized, retaliated against, or treated unfairly for doing so or for refusing to work in unsafe or unhealthy circumstances.

PLBSH can assist you if you have experienced retribution at work for refusing to work in hazardous or unsafe circumstances. Call (800) 435-7542 or send an email to info@plbsh.com to make an appointment for a free first consultation with a knowledgeable workplace retaliation lawyer.

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