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Employee Health and Safety Rights

Rights to employee under the law

  • Employees can refuse to perform in a dangerous environment.
  • Employees are allowed to strike to protest unsafe conditions.
  • Employees may initiate an OSHA inspection for an alleged dangerous working condition by filing a safety complaint.
  • Employees cannot be retaliated against for filing a safety complaint.
  • All employers should furnish a workplace for the employee that is free from recognized hazards.
  • Employees can request paid time off to seek medical treatment during working hours.
  • Employee can participate in OSHA inspections and pre-hearing conferences, and can review inspection hearings.
  • Employees can assist the OSHA compliance officer in determining whether violationshave occurred.
  • Employees can petition that their employers provide adequate emergency exits, environmental control devices, and the ready availability of medical personnel.
  • Employees can request eating facilities in areas that have not been exposed to toxic substances.
  • Employees must be provided personal protective equipment for their eyes, ears, head, feet, and respiratory system.

Enforcing authority: OSHA (a division of the U.S Department of Labor) has the exclusive authority for enforcing the OSHA Act. Individual workers cannot file OSHA lawsuits.

Penalty: If violations are found, penalties may be imposed, with fines of up to $100,000 for each violation and/or imprisonment for up to three years for employers and key personnel who willfully or repeatedly violate OSHA laws or fail to correct a hazard within the specified time limit.

know your rights now!