Government Employees Who Refuse To Work In Accordance With OHSA Safety Rules Could Face Consequences

Austin York
April 06, 2020 - 5:39 pm

DALLAS (KRLD) - Some North Texans have concerns about contracting the coronavirus on the job, leading many essential workers to inquire about their legal rights. What if they refuse to perform certain job tasks if they believe they are unsafe and put them at risk of contracting the virus?

Dallas labor and employment attorney Rogge Dunn says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) allows all employees, whether working for the government or a private company, to refuse to work when there are unsafe conditions that could cause death or serious injury. 

But, he adds, licensed, government employees who refuse to work in accordance with OHSA safety rules could face consequences.   

"It creates a real dilemma for health care workers," said Mr. Dunn. "When licensed employees working for the state decide to exercise their OSHA rights and walk off the job, they can be disciplined by the state. The state can censure or revoke a doctor, nurse or EMS technician’s license."

KRLDs Austin York spoke with Dunn concerning the matter.​