What is your right to refuse work?

Employees in Kentucky like yourself deserve working environments that don't make you fear for your life. If you believe that your employers are not taking proper care of the workplace and that the workplace is thus dangerous, you may be within your rights to refuse working there.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (otherwise known as OSHA) itself states that your right to refuse to work is possible if all items that follow can be checked off. However, it should be noted that all of the items must be met in order for you to refuse to do that task.

First, you need to have reported to your employer that the conditions are unsafe and explain the problems that you believe need to be fixed.If the employer does not respond by correcting these things, then you can proceed to the next requirement: time. To refuse a task, you must not have enough time to pursue your proper legal avenues, like opening an investigation request with OSHA.

The final requirement: is serious bodily harm or even death possible due to these circumstances? If a "reasonable person" would agree that there is, and you genuinely believe yourself to be at risk, then you have everything needed to refuse attempting a task that you think might harm you.

Refusal to work can become a complicated situation very quickly, especially if employers get testy about the topic. However, if you know your rights and where you stand, you will be able to protect your personal health without risking your job.

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