People may first think of time clock fraud or discrimination in the workplace when they hear the term employee rights. However, employees have specific rights and protections in many different situations from the social aspects to the procedural processes.
California entitles employees that work outside, as reported at Fox40, to certain rights regarding the weather. Knowing these rights may help identify when an employer shirks their duty or endangers their workforce.
Shade and water
Any employer in the agricultural industry must provide a shade source on-site if one does not readily exist when their employees work in 80-degree weather. Even if the temperature is lower, employees may request shade and California requires employers to oblige the request.
When it comes to water, employees must have free, drinkable water as practically close to the worksite as possible. They are likewise entitled to at least one quart of water that is cooler than the ambient temperature per hour.
Breaks whenever necessary
Agricultural workers must take a ten-minute cooldown break every two hours and may take rests for at least five minutes if it helps prevent overheating.
Harm and protection
344 workers died from heat exposure between 2011 and 2019 and suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke may result in hospital visits. Employees deserve the resources and attention to perform their jobs well without the risk of overheating.
These protections are in place to help companies organize a better way to work, but when employers fail to look out for signs of heat-related illness, the employees suffer. Anyone affected by heat-related negligence on the job may wish to investigate their options further.