California Labor Code
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act, Chapter 17.5 (commencing with Section 7290) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, was enacted in 1973 to provide for the removal of language barriers that prevent the people of this state who are not proficient in English from effectively accessing government services and otherwise communicating with their government.
The Legislature further finds and declares that limited-English-proficient individuals will benefit from increased language-based access to the programs and services of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The Legislature further finds and declares that federal statistics show that from 1996 to 2000, while overall worker fatalities dropped 14 percent, immigrant worker fatalities rose 17 percent. Immigrant workers die on the job at higher rates because they frequently work in more dangerous industries with little or no training. Language barriers compound the problem because training and warning signs are often only in English.
(b) As used in this section, a “public contact position” means any position responsible for responding to telephone or in-office inquiries or taking complaints from the general public regarding matters pertaining to occupational safety and health.
(c) As used in the section, an “investigative position” means any position responsible for investigating complaints, injuries, or deaths related to occupational safety and health.
(d) As used in this section, “limited-English-proficient” refers to persons who speak English less than “very well,” in accordance with United States Census data.
(e) The division shall make all efforts to ensure that limited-English-proficient persons can communicate effectively with the division. Examples of potential measures include, but are not limited to, the hiring of bilingual persons in public contact positions and investigative positions, the use of contract based interpreters, and the use of telephone-based interpretation services. Nothing contained in this section relieves the division of its separate obligations under the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act, Chapter 17.5 (commencing with Section 7290) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, or any other state or federal laws requiring the provision of its services in languages other than English.
(f) On July 30, 2004, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health shall issue a progress report to the Legislature on the implementation of this section that shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:
(1) The most recent information provided to the California State Personnel Board pursuant to Section 7299.4 of the Government Code.
(2) The number of bilingual employees in public contact and investigative positions in each local office of the division and the languages they speak, other than English.
(3) A description of any centralized system or other resources for providing translation and interpretation services within the division.
(4) A description of any quality control measures or evaluations undertaken by the division to evaluate whether limited-English-proficient persons are able to communicate effectively with the division.
(5) A description of any means, such as contracted interpreters, telephone-based interpretation services, or video conferencing, used by the division to communicate with individuals who are limited-English-proficient in the event that bilingual employees in public contact or investigative positions are not available, and the frequency in which these services were used by the division during the most recent fiscal year.