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California warehouse workers protest unsafe working conditions

Southern California is a shipping hub for the rest of the country. Some Californians work tirelessly to ensure goods are packaged and shipped where they need to go. Now, one group of these warehouse workers has claimed that their employers are breaking this State's employment laws.

In California, employee rights protect employees against certain poor treatment. These laws are in place to make sure that employees have safe working conditions, that minimum wage laws are being respected and that "whistleblower" employees are not being retaliated against. Despite these laws, a group of warehouse workers near Los Angeles have complained that their employer, RoadLink, is violating employment laws. RoadLink employees pack shipping containers for goods intended for Walmart stores around the country.

According to the workers, they are forced to work in unsafe, extremely hot conditions for hours on end. They also claim that their equipment is broken or in disrepair and makes their jobs even more dangerous. Many of these workers are temporary employees making close to minimum wage - hence they may be afraid to speak up for themselves at the risk of losing their jobs. These claims have sparked a similar strike at a RoadLink facility in Illinois; for its part, RoadLink denies any wrongdoing.

It is important for all employers to remember that California law grants employees certain rights. No employer can run over these rights without consequences. Employees whose rights have been violated by being forced to work in dangerous conditions or to endure poor treatment on the job may be entitled to compensation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Warehouse Workers Strike In Illinois On Heels Of California Walkout," Dave Jamieson, Sept. 17, 2012

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