Workers who file complaints with Cal/OSHA are protected from discrimination
California Labor Code section 6310 provides that no person shall discriminate against any employee because the employee has filed a Cal/OSHA complaint. Some examples of discrimination are firing, demotion, transfer, layoff, losing opportunity for overtime or promotion, exclusion from normal overtime work, assignment to an undesirable shift, denial of benefits such as sick leave or vacation time, blacklisting with other employers, taking away company housing, damaging credit at financial institutions and reducing pay or hours.
Refusal to work because of an unsafe workplace condition
Labor Code section 6311 provides certain protections for workers who refuse to work because of an unsafe condition in their workplace. The protection exists only when both of the following conditions are met:
(1) A worker refuses to perform work because of a violation of a Labor Code section or a Title 8 safety order; and
(2) The violation in (1) would create a real and apparent hazard to the worker or his or her fellow workers (an imminent hazard).
Any worker who is laid off or discharged in violation of Labor Code section 6311 has a right of action for wages for the time the worker is without work as a result of the layoff or discharge.