California Labor Law: Heat Stress Regulation Designed to Prevent Death


Santa Clara, CA Although many employees consider labor law violations stressful, they do not consider that some violations put people's lives at risk. However, a lawsuit filed recently in California argues that a company's failure to obey the law cost a young, pregnant woman her life. California has enacted a heat stress regulation designed to prevent exactly this situation.

farm labor deathThe wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of the 17 year old girl who died in May. According to KSEE News, the victim had worked in a vineyard for more than nine hours that day and did not have access to shade or sufficient water breaks. A lack of access to sufficient water breaks and to shade violates California labor law.

The company that the victim worked for was shut down by officials after they learned that company continued violating heat stress prevention rules following the victim's death. The same company was fined in 2006 because of a failure to have a written heat stress prevention plan.

California adopted a heat stress regulation, the first state to do so, after 13 people died heat-related deaths in 2005. Under the regulation, employers are required to:
  • Develop and implement written procedures on heat illness prevention;
  • Provide heat illness training to all employees;
  • Make readily available and encourage each employee to drink four eight-ounce cups of fresh water per hour; and
  • Provide immediate access to shade or any cool area out of the sun for recovery periods for at least five minutes at a time.
Judges are taking California's heat stress regulation very seriously. Recently, a judge issued a temporary injunction against a labor contractor for failure to comply with heat stress laws. The company faces a lawsuit by farm workers who said they were not provided with proper water breaks or with shade while working in hot weather. The lawsuit seeks more than $25,000 in lost wages and benefits, as well as physical suffering and anguish.

Hot weather can be deadly to work in. That is why California has enacted the heat stress regulation. Many people endure desert-like heat while working outside in the summer in California, and they are at risk of serious illness and death. Unfortunately, some labor contractors are more interested in saving money than in keeping their workers safe and healthy.

Maybe they simply do not believe that workers' lives are at risk in the hot sun. Maybe they do not believe that they will be caught violating the regulation. Either way, when proper shade and water are not provided for outdoor workers, the workers are the ones who suffer.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of violations of California's heat stress regulation, or any other California labor violation, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

You might also like

1 Comment

  1. Isaac
    June 14, 2015
    I am a security guard that work out in the yard and is very hot my boss said not to go in the office where there is cooling he tell me just to set in the car And it's very hot I am sick right now cause of the heat thay have water for us but thay want us out side where ther no shade what can I do? ? At truck stop

Leave a Reply

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Legal Help Form

Please complete this form to request a review of your complaint by an attorney.