Is my employer liable if I contracted a disease while working in mold remediation and neither protective equipment nor training for such a task was provided?

Short of employees, my employer pulled resources from other divisions of the company to perform mold remediation after a hurricane. After 2 days of working in mold infested basements, where I was essentially soaked in the waters of said basements, I had to make an emergency trip to the doctor for treatment. Protection equipment such as respirators, tall rubber boots, etc. were not provided. After telling of the shocking nature of my illness (a virus which produces large unsightly growths) no offer to cover medical costs was made.

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am not sure if this OSHA regulated, but if it is, contact OSHA to begin an investigation. Contact the media, contact the attorney general in your state and the health department and environmental services. Contact your local and state politicians and federal politicians and explain that this is inexcusable and most importantly, while you have set in motion administrative procedures, you need to now go in and hire an attorney who specializes in not only workplace injuries and long lasting effects therefrom, but also injuries from hazardous jobs. You need to have this attorney immediately get all of your out of pocket costs and emotional distress logs and physical pain logs (both of which you should be keeping) and use that to not only sue your employer but to possibly use this as a method to improve your work life. Bottom line to remember, while employment is at will in most states (wherein you could be fired for no cause), your employer cannot fire you in retaliation for whistleblowing, especially when you have had such injuries.


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