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  • Tired and unsafe

    In Texas, is it lawful to fire someone for refusing to work another 24 hours, in a refinery, after 100 hours of work in a 6 days of a 7 day week, 84 of those hours worked in previous 4 days?

  • #2
    Yes, it is. It might be unfair, it might be a stupid decision, but it is not unlawful.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      For the sake of argument

      ...I will disagree with cbg. I "could be" illegal for them to terminate you. I don't know of any specific regulations, other than job specific (e.g. commericial truck drivers). I am not aware of any regulations SPECIFIC TO YOUR INDUSTRY....HOWEVER!!!

      OSHA does have a general duty clause. This clause covers when there is no specific regulation. An employer is required to provide an employee with "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees..."

      The key to the above statement is "RECOGNIZED." Have the affected employees specifically told management that the lengthy and irregular working hours are not conducive to their personal safety? The employer has no duty to address an unrecognized hazard for which there is no specific regulation. The following elements are necessary to prove a violaiton of general duty:

      The employer failed to keep the workplace free of a hazard to which employees of that employer were exposed. The hazard was recognized. The hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm, and There was a feasible and useful method to correct the hazard.

      IF you told them that working that many hours was unsafe, and IF you told them that the effects of fatigue places you in direct physical harm, possibly death, and you can PROVE you told them this, then MAYBE this is a WHISTEBLOWER claim.

      GOOD LUCK! I HOPE THIS HELPS!!!
      Last edited by bears00; 11-26-2005, 12:49 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        bears has a point; however, since the question was, is it illegal to fire a person for refusing to work such hours, I would have to point out that barring a regulation specific to your job (example, if you are a truck driver) such a firing would only create a whistleblower claim if you had ALREADY made a complaint to OSHA BEFORE you were fired. The law does not prohibit an employer from firing an employee for refusing to work even unreasonable hours; there would have to be something specific in YOUR situation that made such a firing illegal.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg
          ....such a firing would only create a whistleblower claim if you had ALREADY made a complaint to OSHA BEFORE you were fired

          ......UNLESS YOUR STATE HAS A SPECIFIC WHISTLEBLOWER STATUTE LIKE MINE

          Comment


          • #6
            So your state allows you to file a whistleblowing claim when you haven't blown any whistles yet? Interesting.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, it does. Strange, I know, but it's true. And guess what, we not only have one whistleblower statute, but two!

              Here are links to both:

              http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=84022

              http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=87064

              Comment

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