Do You Work in a High Risk Environment?
Los Angeles Employment Lawyers for Serious and Willful Employer Misconduct
Under California employment and labor laws, employers are obligated to respect employee rights by taking reasonable steps to prevent unsafe workplaces. This includes taking steps to prevent the threat of hazards and not forcing employees to work in a place where they are not reasonably safe from personal injury.
Each employment lawyer at the Los Angeles employment law firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob represents workers injured on the job. We also fight for the rights of laborers who lost their jobs in an act of workplace retaliation after making complaints about or refusing to work in unsafe working conditions. Our employment lawyers have an advantage in the courtroom, as founding partner and experienced Los Angeles employment attorney Douglas Silverstein used to represented corporations. Using this experience, he and our California employment law firm can often anticipate what your employer might do to deny responsibility in an employment law claim for serious and willful misconduct. Together, we have several decades of experience representing workers and winning victories for California employee rights.
Does California Have Workplace Safety Laws? Employer Compliance with Cal/OSHA
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) requires all employers in California to provide a safe workplace for employees. These safety measures must include:
- Providing and maintaining all necessary protective equipment
- Keeping all equipment and machines up to code
- Maintaining warning systems and fire alarms
- Regularly inspecting workplace conditions and equipment
- Tracking and making records of workplace injuries
- Posting OSHA guidelines and announcements in areas that are visible
By law, employees can refuse to work if they perceive an “imminent danger” to their health or the health of their coworkers. California employers cannot fire employees for refusing to work in the face of an imminent danger, nor can they fire workers in retaliation for reporting hazards. Employment law may consider this an act of wrongful termination.
What is an Imminent Workplace Danger? Employer Lawyer Los Angeles Work Safety
The state of California has safety laws to protect employee rights and prevent workplace accidents. One of the most important laws for workers in California addresses their right to refuse to work in a condition that presents an “imminent danger” to their safety. In other words, employees can refuse to work in conditions that appear to pose an immediate threat to their health and well being.
An employee may have the right to refuse to work when:
- The employee truly has, in good faith, a belief that the condition he or she is being asked to work in could cause a workplace injury or poses an immediate threat of harm.
- Even when the safety issue is called to its attention, the employer intentionally does not fix the problem before asking the employee to work in such a condition.
- Filing an OSHA report would not protect the employee from the immediate threat of harm.
- The employee is not offered safer work alternatives.
If you are forced to work in an unsafe environment where there is imminent danger to your person, you may be able to file suit against your employer. Even if the unsafe condition did not, at that time, lead to a workplace accident, you can still file a report with OSHA about the unsafe working conditions to which you have been exposed.
Serious and Willful Misconduct Compensation in California
In California, all businesses are required to carry workers compensation insurance. However, employers cannot buy insurance to cover serious and willful cases. Proving overt misconduct can also be difficult, especially for a worker dealing with a permanent disability of 70 percent and more or for workers under the age of 16.
California employers found at fault for accidents caused by serious and willful misconduct may be ordered to pay workers compensation benefits that equal 50 percent or $10,000 more, whichever is less, than the amount of medical treatment expenses, legal fees and temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Employers who fail to provide safe workplaces, unreasonably delay or refuse workers compensation insurance benefits are violating your employee rights. Your employment lawyer and Los Angeles workers compensation attorney will explore the possibility of a lawsuit against your employer if your employer violated your workplace rights.
Contact a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer about Unsafe Workplace Conditions
If your employer forced you to work in a high risk environment without the proper safety measures and you suffered injuries as a result, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer today. You could be entitled to seek compensation for your employer failing to obey safety laws or to provide a safe workplace.
The Los Angeles employment attorneys at the law firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob have decades of experience fighting for employee rights in the city of Los Angeles and throughout California. If your employee rights were violated, we will not hesitate to fight for the compensation you deserve.