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Workplace Causes Illness

Can my employer force me to work in a building that makes me sick?


Probably not.  If you were to become disabled by “sick building syndrome” or some other illness caused by toxins in the workplace, your employer would have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for you that could include working at another location or from home, depending on the nature of your job.  You may also be entitled to Worker’s Compensation if you can show that your illness resulted from your workplace.  Further, Connecticut employers are required by law to provide their employees with a safe workplace:
It shall be the duty of the master to exercise reasonable care to provide for his servant a reasonably safe place in which to work, reasonably safe appliances and instrumentalities for his work and fit and competent persons as his colaborers and to exercise reasonable care in the appointment or designation of a vice-principal and to appoint as such vice-principal a fit and competent person. The default of a vice-principal in the performance of any duty imposed by law on the master shall be the default of the master.
Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-49.

Keep in mind that there is a Connecticut law that requires employers with more than 25 employees and employers with fewer than 25 employees who have bad safety records to maintain a safety committee.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-40v (a) This committee is supposed to discuss existing and potential safety problems in the workplace.