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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38910
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My wife is a teacher that works in a very prominent district

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My wife is a teacher that works in a very prominent district in San Diego and she recently had an animal die under her classroom. Upon further investigation in the the ceiling tiles they found feces and urine. In the past the answer that the district gives is to let the smell just go away and don't touch the ceiling tiles. This does not seem like the answer to me, this seems unsafe for my wife and for the 28 kids in her class. Is this an unsafe working environment or are we just being paranoid? (Hantavirus?) Thanks for your help on this!
Good morning.

I'm a lawyer, not a communicable disease expert. However, the answer is pretty obvious, and I think you inherently know what the answer is, because you're here asking the question.

Your wife can report the matter to the Department of Public Health (Division of Communicable Disease Control): Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNN They will probably refer you to your county department of health officer for an investigation, but you may as well start at the top.

Your wife can also report the matter to Cal-OSHA (click here).

If any retaliation occurs from the complaint, your wife is protected by Cal. Labor Code 1102.5, which is the state whistleblower protection law, and which provides a cause of action against any employer for retaliation or discrimination against an employee based upon a good faith report to any government agency. Even if nothing comes of the complaint, your wife cannot be discriminated/retaliated against. If she is, then she can file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (click here).

Hope this helps.
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