Can you sue your employer for subjecting an employee to a health risk enviroment?

I am a non smoker never smoked before. This job i have requires us to sit in a small area close to the ceiling to discuss work for upwards of 45 minutes a day. everyone else smokes and all the smoke collects in the air and there is no proper ventilation. It is manditory to be there as it pertains to my job, i have been sick the last 3 weeks with a cough and shortness of breath and hard time sleeping. The employer does not intend to fix this problem as they dont mind becuase they are smokers. I feel it is a serious risk to my health to be "forced" to sit there and endure that everyday but i need the job. it is ilegal to smoke indoors in a buisness and i am woundering if it is possible to sue my employer for putting my health in risk becuase they smoke.


Asked almost 9 years ago in British Columbia
Categories: Labour & Employment  Health

Answer Now

L. John Alexander

Answer by L. John Alexander

VerifiedBritish Columbia lawyer


While you probably cannot sue, you can and should go to the WCB (Worksafe BC).  They will deal with this on a serious basis, and you cannot lawfully be fired for making such a complaint.
 

Posted almost 9 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact L. John Alexander, or search the Lawyer Directory.


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<br />But what about my health in the mean time. it would take WCB a week or more to deal with this problem. Then it would take my company a week or more to fix the problem. and in the mean time i will have been subjected to breathing in the smoky air for 2 weeks plus. and my employer is aware of this smoke and ive mentioned we should get a better ventilation in here but it falls on def ears. and as the smoke is toxic and harmful to my health. i feel i should be compensated for my lose. i choose not to smoke becuase i want to live longer but this is just insane. i feel sitting there for 45 minutes plus i inhale about 14 smokes worth of toxin and that is not health. also it is ilegal to smoke indoors.

Posted almost 9 years ago


L. John Alexander

Answer by L. John Alexander

VerifiedBritish Columbia lawyer


The soner you complain, the sooner it is dealt with.
 
You could try telling your employer you are contacting WCB tomorrow, and see if that gets a result.
 
Unfortunately, nothing happens fast, but that is not a reason to delay.
 

Posted almost 9 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact L. John Alexander, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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