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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110470
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am contacting you because I am unsure of who to ask this

Customer Question

Hello I am contacting you because I am unsure of who to ask this question. I am working at a womans residential treatment center as a substance abuse counselor and have been there for about 4 months now. I have been really sick since the 1st month of being there and I just thought it was my allergies. Well I got worse and since have been to the doctors (got a breathing treatment which I have never had) and ER which diagnosed me with bronchitis which I don't ever have. I found black moss growing on the side of the building which is still there and our AC units were leaking and not working for over 2 months. There was a leak in the nurses office that happened a month ago and still nothing has been done about that either. Now that you have some background I had a talk with my boss last thursday about thinking there is mold in the house since my symptoms go away when I am away from work for awhile. I forgot to mention earlier that I called OSHA about a month ago after I found the black moss on the side of the house. Well, my boss said that she is getting the house checked out for mold but she isn't sure when this will take place. In the meantime she is asking me if I want to work or not (in the unsafe conditions) and I need money but can't put my health at risk so, I am curious if she can ask me that and not pay me? Or if the work conditions are unsafe can I say I can't work until its checked up on and still get paid?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If this is caused by black mold in your work place it is an occupational disease and you need to file a workers compensation claim immediately with the employer. You also need to consider filing a complaint with the local health department and local building inspector, as they will come out and check for code violations as well as mold spores. In the meantime, if you cannot work, workers compensation is supposed to pay your medical expenses and for the time you are temporarily totally disabled and cannot work and you would need the doctor to determine when you are healthy enough to return to work.
So file your workers compensation claim, if the employer refuses you need to contact the Department of Industrial Relations ( and file a complaint that your employer refused to take a workers compensation claim.
If the employer tries to retaliate against you for filing workers compensation that is a separate case against the employer and you can sue them for retaliation for them punishing you for filing a workers compensation case.

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