Can I sue my previous employer for unsafe working conditions? I along with current employees want to pursue legal action.

Asked 12 months ago - Hudson, NY

I had worked for a company driving a commercial truck for deliveries in Manhattan. My day would start at 330 am and continue sometimes till 10 at night. Averaging at least 16 hours of driving a day, sometimes even 20. New York state DOT claims that drivers should not drive any more than 11 hours with 10 hours of off time in between shifts. I had weeks were I had worked almost 70 hours in 4 days. 4 days in a row with only sleeping 5 hours in between. This is dangerous. I had struggled to not fall asleep at the wheel many times. I have since then quit, and am receiving unemployment benefits because of these conditions. A former colleague of mine recently was doing a week like this and crashed his car into a tree on his way to work. Is there a case for either or both?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Vincent Peter White

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, New York State law does provide some causes of action especially for truck drivers. Also consider contacting OSHA

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any... more
  2. Thomas A. Ricotta

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You may have an overtime claim given the hours you worked and you can contact OSHA regarding any unsafe work conditions.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any... more
  3. Mitchell Jan Birzon

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Actually, your question involves various issues of law. First, the conditions imposed by your former employer may constitute an unsafe and hostile workplace. Second, you should determine whether you were paid overtime under NY labor law.third, you probably have a worker'sCompensation compensation claim, which would be separate and distinct from the other issues raised above. Last, you may have a federal claim as well. Ideally, if other employees would be willing to consider filing claims similar to yours, you might be in a better bargaining position. Good luck to you.

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