Does my dad have any way to fight being made to clean up bio-hazardous materials?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does my dad have any way to fight being made to clean up bio-hazardous materials?

My dad has been working for the city for 30 years. He’s 58 and has a Crew Leader Position. He’s been working with the same group of guys who are all over 40 now, some even in there 60’s. Anyway, they are being used to clean up the homeless encampments in Santa Ana. There job for 30 years was graffiti cleaning but all of a sudden there job now is to pick up after the homeless. They have to deal with poop, pee and unsanitary things. I’m wondering if this is legal? It sounds like you’d need a special task force for this kind of work, not people who applied for a whole

other job. I’d think there needs to be special training, equipment and clothing.

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Poop, pee, dirty clothing or old food etc. is not hazardous waste and you do not need special training or protective equipment for it--consider that school janitors, elementary school or day care teachers, anyone owning or working in a vet's office or dog grooming or boarding business, farm or stable hands, etc. cleans up stuff like this all the time. Because it is not hazardous waste, the employer--which determines what its employee's duties are--can require your father and his team to do this.

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