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It sounds like your son is working for an employer who is treating him very unfairly. However, in general, employers are not legally required to be fair. No law says that employers must promote by seniority, must equally distribute work, must provide the same benefits and perks to all employees, or must reimburse all employees' expenses. Generally, unfair treatment is only illegal if the employer is MOTIVATED by a legally protected trait, such as race, religion or disability. In these circumstances, the treatment would be actionable under our civil rights laws. Otherwise, though, the unfair treatment is not legally actionable and an employee's only recourse is to leave for alternative employment where they are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.
The only exception that comes to mind based on the facts you have described is the temperature of his work area. Under the Occupational Safety & Health Act, employers must maintain a work envronment free from unreasonable risks of harm. A work environment that is dangerous hot or cold could be a violation of OSHA. Your son's recourse in this circumstance would be to file an OSHA complaint here. What is notable about filing an OSHA complaint is that it is a "legally protected activity." This means your son's employer will be legally prohibited from retaliating against him, and any adverse employment action which he can link to the filing of his complaint with give rise to an entirely separate legal claim for damages. So, strategically, he could file an OSHA complaint and then if he faces any further adverse action, argue that such adverse action was motivated by his complaint. In that circumstance, he may have a claim. But again, aside from this potential OSHA violation issue, the facts you describe while indicative of poor management and highly unfair treatment do not violate any law.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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