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Can you be fired for refusing to work in a dangerous place?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Wrongful Termination |

If you go to work and are told to do a job that you feel is dangerous, you might say that you’re not comfortable completing the work. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to do this without risking your job.

There are many workplaces that aren’t particularly safe, even though everything that can be done has been done to make it as safe as possible. Workers have a right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions, but only when those conditions are unreasonably dangerous.

For example, if you’re employed to do work on a site and you don’t want to work around heavy equipment, the employer might opt to terminate you for refusing to do your job. On the other hand, if you refuse to work on the site because you see frayed electrical wires and machinery being used by those without training, then you could argue that the conditions were unreasonably dangerous and not risk losing your job.

Employers must keep their workplaces reasonably safe

Employers have a responsibility to keep workplaces as safe as possible for their employees. If your employer tries to get you to work with people who aren’t trained correctly or asks you to do a job without safety equipment, then you may have the legal right to refuse. If they terminate you for refusing to work in unreasonably dangerous circumstances, then you may be able to make a claim against them for wrongful termination. They could also face penalties if the workplace had safety violations, which could help bolster your case. 

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