Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer makes a decision without legitimacy, especially when that decision is quite frankly wrong. However, that does not necessarily mean that the decision is unlawful.However, if the heat is a safety concern, or if you believe the real reason this is is because of a protected category such as your age (over 40), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability then you would have a cause of action.
Legally speaking, there is no requirement to provide ac. However, under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration your employer must provide you with a safe working environment.
Do you feel that you are on the verge of getting heat stroke?
Well, then you would have a few options. First, if you feel that the heat could cause an unsafe working condition, you could contact OSHA and make a formal report. You can go to their website at www.osha.gov or give them a call at 800-321-osha (6742)
You could also get a doctor to write you a note stating that you suffer from some disability that requires you to be placed in cooler temperatures.
Then, under the ADA, your employer would be forced to give you a "reasonable accomodation"
The accommodation could be ac, or a number of fans, or something which allows for a cooler temperature.
But, absent putting this under the category of OSHA or the ADA, there is no legal requirement for your employer to put ac in your office. I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.
I should check. Does your employer have at least 15 employees?
Then you would be protected under the ADA. After you get your doctor to write you a note, you would go to hr, or your boss and request a reasonable accommodation. Then, he would be prohibited form retaliating against you, and must provide you with a reasonable accommodation to do the essential functions of your job.
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