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Running Water? Massachusetts

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  • Running Water? Massachusetts

    I work for a small company with about 10 employees.

    The town has shut down the running water for the day to our company for sewer work. This raises a few issues in our shop.

    Since we work with chemicals throughout the day we have no way to wash our hands or eyes should anything go wrong.

    We have no drinking water

    We have no bathroom facilities.

    Currently we are running to McDonalds in shifts to be able to wash hands and use the restroom.

    We contacted our boss (who is enjoying himself up in Maine on a yacht for the summer) and he instructed us to remain at work and keep everything open.

    Is it legal to keep a company open without the proper facilities?

    Where can I find the the legal terminology that would allow us to close the company (assuming we can)?

    After being instructed to stay, could the employer retaliate if we chose to close the company for health/safety issues?

  • #2
    You could call any one of the following:

    MA Dept. of Labor, Division of Occupational Safety

    MA Health and Human Services, Occupational Health Surveillance Program
    (617) 624-5632

    MA Attorney General Division of Fair Labor and Business Practices

    Mass Safety Council

    Those should give you a good place to start.

    This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

    This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.