Port Orange, FL asked in Employment Law for Florida

Q: Is an employer responsible for supplying equipment/gear needed to do the job required?

I work in a freezer warehouse. With below 0 temperature for a minimum of 9 hours a day. My employer tells me that I have to supply my own boots, suit and gloves.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: No, there is no Florida law requiring employers to supply any personal stuff to their employees.

Suggestion: Rather than expecting your employer to buy your boots, gloves and some sort of jacket, why not say a prayer and be thankful that you have a good job, especially when there are millions of other Floridians who are unemployed--and would take your place in a New York minute.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
PREMIUM
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Answered
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Federal OSHA regulations provide that personal protective equipment (PPE) used to comply with the OSHA law "shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees." Clothing used in artificially-controlled environments with extreme hot or cold temperatures, such as freezers, generally fall within this requirement.

SUGGESTION: While one should be thankful for having a job during the current economic circumstances, employers should not be permitted to profit by forcing workers to labor in dangerous conditions in violation of federal worker safety laws. For example, the 146 garment workers killed during the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire likely were grateful for their job, but that doesn't mean they should've been forced to work amongst highly flammable materials with no fire alarms and locked fire exits.

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