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California worker rights: what are they?

If you are working in Rancho Mirage, or anywhere else in Coachella Valley or the state of California, you have certain rights the moment you step into the workplace. One of the most important rights you have is to file a complaint or ask for an inspection of your workplace by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA.

You also have the right to refuse to do work that "would create a real and apparent hazard" to you or another employee, or violate Cal/OSHA safety standards.

The state adds that your employment can't be terminated, and you cannot be "punished in any way for filing a complaint about unsafe" conditions or exercising your rights under Cal/OSHA law. If you have been fired or punished for filing a complaint or otherwise exercising your employee rights, contact the Department of Industrial Relations.

If you work around hazardous materials, you are supposed to be notified by your employer with information about the substances and be trained on how to handle the hazardous materials.

You might wonder why some employers are reluctant to observe your rights and keep you informed and trained. Unfortunately, in many cases it's because employers are hoping to tamp down or eliminate workers' compensation claims when someone is hurt on the job. Of course, as a qualifying employee, you also have the right to workers' comp when you are injured while working.

If your claim is denied, you have yet another right to exercise: the right to appeal with the help of an attorney experienced in representing clients in these complex legal matters.     

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