Young Workers Have Safety Rights
The desire to earn money for independence and to pay for the things we want or need begins early in our lives—for example, as teens we may have taken on extra chores to earn money to attend a movie with friends. As we age, we begin to venture into the professional workforce. However, we do not start with complete knowledge, understanding, or a level of proficiency. Skill sets strengthen through hard work and dedication.
Employers owe a duty of care to provide a safe work environment for all employees. Failure to accommodate for the learning process can result in severe injuries or even death.Everyone Starts Somewhere
If you are the parent of a child under the age of 18, or you are under the age of 18 yourself, you may have noticed a difference in treatment at work. While discrimination concerns are possible, it is more alarming if there is no noticeable difference. Federal law has limitations in place protecting our nation’s children. For example, no one under the age of 18 is eligible to work in a hazardous environment. However, everyone has to start somewhere in the workforce, and those who seek employment before reaching adulthood have unalienable rights, as well.Your Employer Knew Your Age and Employment History
Unless you were untruthful in your employment application, your employer knew and understood who they were hiring. Your age did not hinder your employment. Your boss knows you need appropriate training and agrees to provide that under federal law.
Young workers should not worry that asking questions will influence employment and advancement opportunities, especially where safety is concerned. Your employer must abide by specific requirements, including:
- Providing a workplace free from hazards;
- Training all employees on workplace hazards;
- Paying for most types of safety gear;
- Demonstrating appropriate use of all required safety gear;
- Educating employees on where to find answers to safety and health questions; and
- Explaining injury procedures.
Employers understand young workers must work within specialized restrictions until they become of age. Occasionally, an employer will forget an associate's age and will need a gentle reminder. An employer, or another worker, may also refuse to make accommodations for young employees, thus expecting them to “keep up.” Negligence, regardless of intention, is unacceptable and often leads to injury or death.
Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. understands the devastating impact these results have on one’s quality of life and will investigate all associated connections to your accident, holding the responsible parties responsible for their negligence. Call a San Jose, CA workplace injury attorney today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free initial consultation.Sources