What rights due I have regarding a lack of air conditioning in my work vehicle?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What rights due I have regarding a lack of air conditioning in my work vehicle?

I am a truck driver who delivery the gasoline to gas station from terminal. My employer refused to fix the air conditioner for the truck I use. The temperature can be raise up to 100 degrees inside the truck during the summer time. I am getting headache and nausea because of the heat and can not focus for driving. As a truck driver especially carry the gasoline, I always put the safety first. I would like to know if there is any labor law for working condition.

Asked on July 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no labor law affirmatively or proactively requiring air conditioning. However, if you have made your employer aware of the problem (preferably in writing, so you can prove it) and if after having had warning and a chance to fix it, they do not, and if because of the lack of air conditioning, you suffer some injury or illness (and are able to prove that it was due to the lack of A/C), then they could be liable for your injury, etc. under a "negligence" theory: it is unreasonably careless to not fix a potentially hazardous condition when you have warning of it. So you can't make them provide A/C, but you can potentially hold them liable for the consequences of not doing so--though hopefully, there are no consequences.

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