Is it legal for an employer to require and employee to do a safety observation on a fellow employee?

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Is it legal for an employer to require and employee to do a safety observation on a fellow employee?

Our company has for several years had a program in place to observe personnel while performing their work to watch for unsafe posture, movements, procedures etc., this was a volunteer employee-driven program. Management has since then tied it into our gain-share program and as o the1st of next month are making it mandatory for all employees.

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is almost certainly legal. An employer may determine the duties of  employees at will, subject only--

1) Any employment contracts, including union agreements--if there are such contracts, any terms of theirs setting or delineating duties are enforceable;

2)  Any safety regulations over  your particular industy or job, which may specificy that personal with certain training or qualifications conduct safety checks--but this would only apply to a few industries or jobs, such as certain  medical, aviation, etc. fields.

Otherwise, your employer may make this part of your job.


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