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I was wondering what an employees' right is concerning an issue of extreme heat (heat exhaustion) from gas dryers in a hotel laundry room. A large fan is provided. When the heat becomes intolerable a door is cracked open for air flow bringing in cooler air from air conditioned area. Only recently the employee was told 4 other employees do not like how it looks and demanded the door be kept shut. The employee was literally told she was not important and they were done with the conversation. Being supervisor I asked what could be done to remedy the situation I was only told it doesn't look good to have the door cracked and only certain people have a problem with the heat not everybody does we just need to get along... 

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Also I have been employed here since opened 16 years ago. June of last year new owners no longer general manager but 2 department heads housekeeping (myself) and desk agents heat has always been an issue but made tolerable by cracking the door when intolerable I myself have worked in there and had employees ask me if I preferred the door open when others entered. Now with no one really to answer to (owners in another state) there are "too many chiefs" establishing their own rules. dryers run non stop 8-12 hours Just want to know rights being it is barely summer season.

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Hi NR29215,

 

Welcome to the community and thank you for your post. Employers have a responsibility to ensure, among other things, that their employees are provided with a safe and healthy working environment. An extremely hot laundry room with inadequate airflow and ventilation may constitute an unsafe working environment. Your post suggests that you have attempted to address the temperature and ventilation in the laundry room with hotel management, but this has not solved the. If you have not already done so, consider speaking with a member of the human resources department at the hotel regarding the working conditions in the laundry room. Or, you can consider filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency which works to assure safe and healthy working conditions for employees by enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, and other assistance.

 

If you would like to learn more about OSHA and employees’ rights to safe working conditions, you can review these materials:

Best of luck and keep us posted!

The FindLaw.com Team

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Much depends upon what you are calling "extreme heat". There isn't a formal regulation that addresses this so it would fall under the general duty clause. In other words, it has to be pretty extreme before it would be considered an unsafe working condition. Considering there are employees who work outside and in unairconditioned buildings in 100+ degree temps, a laundry room which is merely stuffy and only bothers a few employees is unlikely to fit the bill. Leaving the door open may or may not be energy efficient, pose a problem or safety issue to guests, or leave the room unsecure. Having dealt with OSHA a good bit, I really don't see this being a priority or violation to them. Are there employees in there the entire 12 hours or are they coming and going?

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