Our industry is opposing AB 2895 (Committee on Labor and Employment) because it imposes a needless paperwork burden that will not advance workplace safety, but will leave employers at risk of a civil penalty that is an unprecedented departure from exclusive Cal/OSHA enforcement of safety regulations.

AB 2895 would require an employer to provide each employee with a copy of the employer’s Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) at the time of hire. It would further require upon enactment for employers to provide a copy of the employer’s IIPP to each of their current employees.  An employer would also be required to provide a copy of the IIPP upon written request from an employee or an employee’s representative. Noncompliance would be a crime and would impose a civil penalty paid to the employee. This would require the provision of reams of paper to employees.  This information will be of no use to employees because it consists primarily of the operational and logistic details of the employer’s plan.

This provision of documents is unnecessary. Employers are required to establish and maintain a multifaceted IIPP regime.  Implementation of an IIPP requires employers to provide information to employees regarding working safely through communication and training at critical times.  Providing a paper copy of the program itself to all employees is simply redundant. Furthermore, while companies strive to be good “green” citizens, producing massive amounts of paper with little to no benefit is counterproductive to the “green goals” of the state.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health enforces all Cal/OSHA regulations and has a penalty scheme for violations. The Private Attorneys General Act allows employees to pursue civil penalties through the legal system when agencies do not have the resources to do so. The imposition of a new penalty issued outside of the current Cal/OSHA enforcement system could create double jeopardy for the employer, with a possible citation and fine from the division as well as a windfall to the employee directly from the employer for a paperwork violation.

This is the type of unnecessary statewide mandate that makes it difficult for employers to operate in California and make it difficult to recruit and retain major employers that have the ability to locate elsewhere. We are working to oppose this measure.

© 2007-2012 Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA Cal)