If my employer failed to notify me of a bed bug infestation, can it be held liable if exterminators find bed bugs at my house?

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If my employer failed to notify me of a bed bug infestation, can it be held liable if exterminators find bed bugs at my house?

I work in a long term care facility. I had mentioned to my supervisor that I have been very itchy the past couple of days. She then informed me that a week ago an exterminator confirmed that bed bugs were found in a couple of the rooms. The rooms were treated on my days off. When I returned to work I was not informed of the incident. When I asked why I wasn’t notified, I was told that the administration wanted to keep it quiet so everyone didn’t panic. I have an exterminator coming to check out my house. Shouldn’t I have been notified of the infestation? If exterminators do find bed bugs at my house, can my employers be held accountable for the expenses?

Asked on December 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer would most likely, based on what you write, not be accountable for your expenses. They took reasonable steps (hiring an exterminator once they were aware of the problem) to deal with the bedbugs, and so would not have been negligent or otherwise as fault. Without fault, there is no liability, or financial accountability.


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