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    gludwa's Avatar
    gludwa Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 3, 2007, 08:14 PM
    Worker's Safety during a power outage
    How long can an employer in CA keep workers at a site, restaurant, during a power outage? Specifically, this power outage happens in the evening and no lights are on, no fire alarm is working and the emergency lights are the only illumination.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
    Ultra Member

    Feb 4, 2007, 12:27 AM
    One would think they would send you home since keeping you there doing nothing costs them money because what kind of work could you do with no power?

    Do they have to let you go home? No.

    If this was like 3pm, and the sun was setting at 4pmish, then I can understand why you would want to go home before it gets dark and you can't see on the roads.

    But if the power outage happened in the evening, then it is already dark, so what different does it make to you if you go home or not?
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Feb 4, 2007, 05:39 AM
    Hello glu:

    There is no law in California that says how long an employer can keep people at work when there's a power outage.

    Do you think there is a law written for every single possible occurrence in the world?? Well, there isn't.

    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Feb 4, 2007, 08:06 AM
    The only law involved here would be an issue of unsafe working conditions. If your safety wasn't compromised, then they can keep you until the end of your shift.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
    I regard all beings mostly by their consciousness and little else

    Feb 4, 2007, 08:25 AM
    This answer depends on your position. If hourly, I would ask, "what work do you have for me to do?" If it seems unsafe to do because of the power outage, politely refuse to do it. If they have nothing else for you to do, if I were you I would leave saying, "I'll be glad to work again when it is possible." They don't own you and they'll be hard pressed to fire you over something that saves them money. While there may be no laws specifically governing this there are job description/wage expectations involved here that can't be played with too fast and loosely without consequences. I don't believe, as Scott says, that they can keep you to the end of your shift doing nothing at a reduced wage if you are, say, a waiter and waitress who's tips are considered part of their wage. However staying may be expected of salaried management (some of whom should be used to being paid for doing nothing LOL). It may have been their thinking that the power could return soon, in which case you could ask how long they expect you to wait. A waiting period in circumstances like that certainly is open to negotiation and in my area, you can call the power company and get a fairly accurate estimation of when power will be restored to help make those decisions. If anything, occurrences like this can open a dialogue about expectations in emergencies that companies need to cover with their employees. I hope that was helpful.

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