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Litigation, P.C. Law Firm
Los Angeles Litigation Law Firm 424-284-2401

Can You Refuse To Do Dangerous Work In California?


California has its own Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) that protects workers from dangerous working conditions. However, many California employees are not aware of their rights under the state’s OSHA, including when they can and cannot refuse to do dangerous work.

In comparison to the federal OSHA, Cal/OSHA provides greater protections to employees who do not want to perform work in unsafe working conditions. In particular, the state’s OSHA protects California employees from:

  • Exposure to toxic substances and chemicals at work
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Other work-related safety hazards

If your employer requires you to work in unsafe working conditions, consult with a Los Angeles workplace safety attorney to determine whether or not you can refuse to do dangerous work.

California Employees Cannot Be Required to Perform Dangerous Work

Under California law, California employers are required to post information regarding OSHA-provided protections to employees. The information must inform employees of their rights to:

  • Report unsafe working conditions
  • Refuse to do dangerous work

In California, employees cannot be required to perform unsafe or dangerous work if the following conditions are met:

  1. The employee reasonably believes that the work they are required to do is dangerous because it puts them at risk of imminent harm;
  2. Their employer refused or failed to fix safety concerns;
  3. There is not enough time to report the dangerous working conditions to the appropriate agency; and
  4. There is no reasonable alternative to get the job done without putting themselves in harm’s way

If the above-mentioned criteria are met, and an employee refuses to do dangerous work, their employer cannot fire or otherwise retaliate against that employee for refusing to perform the work.

If your employer cut your hours, fired you, demoted you, or took another retaliatory action against you for refusing to work in dangerous working conditions, your employer may be held responsible for violating California’s employment laws.

What to Do if an Employee is Retaliated Against After Reporting Unsafe Work Conditions?

It is not uncommon for employers in California and other states to take adverse actions against employees who exercise their legal rights. Some of the protected rights include refusing to do dangerous work and reporting unsafe work conditions to the appropriate agency.

If your employer retaliated against you for reporting dangerous conditions to the appropriate agency, you need a Los Angeles whistleblower-protection attorney to help you pursue compensation from the employer.

California’s OSHA protects employees who report dangerous working conditions to appropriate authorities or refuse to work in unsafe conditions. Thus, if you were fired or otherwise retaliated against for reporting or refusing to work in unsafe conditions, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney.

Our employment lawyer at Litigation, P.C., are prepared to help you protect your rights and ensure that your employer is held accountable for retaliating against you. If you are not sure whether or not you can refuse to do dangerous work for your employer, schedule a free consultation with our attorney. Call 424-284-2401 for a free case evaluation.

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