When Workers Speak Up, What Happens to The Safety of the Workplace?

Last year, an upstate New York McDonald’s worker notified his supervisor of a gas leak in the building. When the supervisor did nothing, the fire department was called and the building was shut down for the night. The worker was fired. 

The case demonstrates many aspects of today’s workplaces: the absence of job protections for low-wage workers, the fact that a worker’s livelihood is seen as negligible, the importance of a strong labor movement, and the critical role for protective statutes and muscular labor law enforcement.

The case also points out the fact that when workers speak up, not only are the workers and their rights being hurt by the retaliation, but the public is as well.

When workers cannot speak up, potential consequences can occur: unsafe food, unsafe water, harm to the environment, hazardous roads, and gas leaks.

State and federal laws do provide some protection for workers who report violations and unsafe conditions.


Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP