Does an employer have the right to forbid his employees to close the blinds when the sun hits their office window?

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Does an employer have the right to forbid his employees to close the blinds when the sun hits their office window?

We just moved to a new buidling and my employer decided that employees with office windows can’t lower the blinds when the sun hits the window due to purposes of aesthetics. Does he have the right to do so to the detriment of the employees who can’t work properly having computer screen being exposed to direct sunlight? Also, it gives me headaches because of the stuffy high temperature that directly comes from the sun hitting the windows. What can I do to protect myself? Does the CEO have the right to impose such a decision?

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, an employer has an absolute right to set the terms or conditions of employment and the rules of the workplace; therefore, the CEO may certainly forbid closing the binds, or could indeed order that the blinds be removed entirely (many offices do not have blinds). It may be unfair and even stupid--e.g. if it reduces work productivity, it's a bad business decision--but it's still something the employer may do. You work for the employer--the employer determines what you must do or put up with as part of that job, and your recourse, if you don't agree, is to seek other employment.


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