I would like to know if my employer has the right not to turn on theA/C in this extreme heat?

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I would like to know if my employer has the right not to turn on theA/C in this extreme heat?

It has been very hot and my employer will not turn on the air. Do we workers have any right? We work in a office.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unfortunately your employer does have the right to not turn on the air conditioning at work. There are no labor or health or safety standards requiring the provision of air conditioning--for example, while air conditioning (e.g. HVAC) may be almost ubiquitous in office buildings, no actual law requires that an office having air conditioning in the first place. Of course, if any of you actually are injured (e.g. heat stroke) by the lack of A/C, it may be the case that the injured worker would have a lawsuit against the employer (based in negligence; that it was unreasonable to not turn on the air) or possibly a worker's compensation claim; however, if the employer is willing to risk that, he has the right to do so.


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