Can I be fired for not putting my health and safety at risk?

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Can I be fired for not putting my health and safety at risk?

I work for a food services company. Every Thursday we must take inventory of our perishable products, during last weeks inventory I did not inventory the rotting raw hamburger paddies in the broken refrigerator that have been left since last school semester. In fear of getting sick or exposing myself and other to bacteria, consequently I was terminated for not doing so. Was this a fair act on their part?

Asked on September 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you were terminated at work for refusing to place your health and safety at risk, obviously you can be terminated for such. The issue is whether or not under the laws of your state your termination for refusing to do what was asked was lawful or not.

I suggest that you consult with a labor law attorney and/or a representative with your local department of labor about your termination, the facts that resulted in your termination and what legal recourse if any you may have.


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