Restaurant Employee Rights
Posted in the Rockport Forum
#1 May 19, 2012
EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS
OSHA does not cite employees for violations of their responsibilities, each employee "shall comply with all occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders Issued under the Act" that are applicable.
Employee responsibilities and rights in states with their own occupational safety and health programs are generally the same as for workers in federal OSHA states.Responsibilities As an employee, you should:
Read the OSHA poster at the job-site.
Follow all employer safety and health rules and regulations, and wear or use prescribed protective equipment while engaged in work.
Report hazardous conditions to the supervisor.
Cooperate with the OSHA compliance officer conducting an inspection if he or she inquires about safety and health conditions in your workplace.
Exercise your rights under the Act in a responsible manner.
11(c)Rights: Protection for Using Rights
Employees have a right to seek safety and health on the job without fear of punishment. That right is spelled out in Section 11(c) of the Act.
The law says employers shall not punish or discriminate against workers for exercising rights such as:
Complaining to an employer, union, OSHA or any other government agency about job safety and health hazards;
Filing safety or health grievances;
Participating on a workplace safety and health committee or in union activities concerning job safety and health.
Participating in OSHA inspections, conferences, hearings, or other OSHA-related activities.
If an employee is exercising these or other OSHA rights, the employer is not allowed to discriminate against that worker in any way, such as through firing, demotion, taking away seniority or other earned benefits, transferring the worker to an undesirable job or shift, or threatening or harassing the worker.
If the employer has knowingly allowed the employee to do something in the past (such as leaving work early), he or she may be violating the law by punishing the worker for doing the same thing following a protest of hazardous conditions.
Workers believing they have been punished for exercising safety and health rights must contact the nearest OSHA office within 30 days of the time they learn of the alleged discrimination. A union representative can file the 11(c) complaint for the worker.
The worker does not have to complete any forms. An OSHA staff member will complete the forms, asking what happened and who was involved.
Following a complaint, OSHA investigates. If an employee has been illegally punished for exercising safety and health rights, OSHA asks the employer to restore that worker's job earning and benefits
If a state agency has an OSHA-approved state program, employees may file their complaint with either federal OSHA or a state agency under its laws
Section 405: Surface Transportation Assistance Act
Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) provides protection from reprisal by employers for truckers and certain other employees in the trucking industry involved in activity related to interstate commercial motor vehicle safety and health. Secretary of Labor's Order No. 9-83 (48 FR 35736, August 5, 1983) delegated to the Assistant Secretary of OSHA the authority to investigate and to issue findings and preliminary orders under Section 405.Employees who believe they have been discriminated against for exercising their rights OSHA within 180 days of the incident. The Secretary will then investigate the complaint and , within 60 days a complaint has merit, he/she also will issue an order requiring, where appropriate abatement of the violation, reinstatement with back pay and related compensation, payment of compensatory damages, and the payment of the employee's expenses in bringing the complaint. Either the employee or employer may object to the findings.
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