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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Talking Quit Due to Working Conditions in Server Room

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    Okay, a few years ago, I was x-ferred out to California to become the sole IT support for the expanding West Coast operations of a major corporation. I was given an office in an area with the rest of the employees that I was working with. No problem.

    A couple years ago, our office moved to a larger location because of the continued and rapid expansion. My desk was placed in the "server room" aka datacenter. Once I started working in there, I immediately complained to management that it was like "working in a wind tunnel" and that I could not work in there. Not only with all the servers, switches, routers, UPS devices, but the cooling fans running non stop to keep the room cool. One of which was direcly over my head.

    Management looked at the issue and said "there was nowhere to put me" out with the regular employees. I felt the reason for this was because I was not seen as someone who "generated revenue" therefore, it was not important to give me an office or even a cubicle out in the normal working areas. Management turned off the cooling vent directly above my head, but that was all that was done. Otherwise, their response was "just suck it up" basically.

    So I did. I worked in that room for two more years, and the noise got increasingly louder, because smaller servers got replaced with louder ones. More and more switches and UPS devices. More hard drive arrays. The noise level was multiplying almost by the month.

    Finally, one day in early 2010, the director of safety for the west coast directly told me it was too loud and "unsafe" to work in that room when she stopped by to have me fix her computer. And it was not the first time she told me that. Since she worked for the same person who made the decision that I could not move out of that office, she did not do anything about it (at least not to my knowledge). So I quit in 2010, a good two years after I made the initial complaints and was denied the move out of the server room.

    I'm guessing that california EDD will try to deny me unemployment for some reason. As in "how could it have been that bad, if you worked there for over two years/" I have an interview coming up, and I just want to know what to expect and how they will try to trip me up. The Safety director has also since left the company. Will I need to track that person down before my interview?

    thanks for any of your comments

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: It Guy Trapped in Server Room

    if there was too much noise, you should have purchased a pair of earmuffs. Quick, easy, and effective.

    Do you have documentation of the sound levels? Too loud is subjective. Were they unsafe per OSHA or California's version of OSHA?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: It Guy Trapped in Server Room

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    if there was too much noise, you should have purchased a pair of earmuffs. Quick, easy, and effective.

    Do you have documentation of the sound levels? Too loud is subjective. Were they unsafe per OSHA or California's version of OSHA?

    I don't see how I would be required to have the equipment necessary to measure my own noise levels. I am relying on the knowledge and experience of someone who is an expert in California Saftey and OSHA regulations. If she said it was too loud, I agree with her, even though I didn't need her to tell me that. I already knew that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: It Guy Trapped in Server Room

    Quote Quoting ITGUY23
    View Post
    I don't see how I would be required to have the equipment necessary to measure my own noise levels..
    I am relying on the knowledge and experience of someone who is an expert in California Saftey and OSHA regulations.
    so she measured the sound levels then. Great. If you can contact her to at least find out where those records are kept, it would help you locate them and demand them to be produced should you have an initial denial.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: It Guy Trapped in Server Room

    I'm just assuming I will get an initial denial, because that seems to be the way the system works. Run out the clock and all that. I will get in touch with her if it comes to a hearing, after an appeal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,844

    Default Re: It Guy Trapped in Server Room

    Actually, if the noise was excessive, it is the companies job to provide the hearing protection. Back when I was in charge of the computer rooms at a major university we provided noice cancelling headphones (not just to protect hearing but because it was near impossible to talk on the phone without these). We did provide a small cubicle for those assigned in the machine room to give them some break from the noise.

    The big problem is rather than following the proper redress for the environmental concerns, you just quit. You're right, you'll have a hard time getting UI for this.

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