Topics: News, Press

Governor Signs Bill Saying Workers Deserve Safety Information in Their Language

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council applauded Governor Gavin Newsom for signing AB 2068 (Haney) into law. AB 2068 will empower workers with knowledge of workplace safety and health violations and their rights on the job, in the language they understand. Right now, before this law is effective, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is only mandated to post workplace citations and special orders in English. AB 2068 requires Cal/OSHA to issue a standardized workplace citation posting in the top seven non-English languages spoken by workers in California – Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean and Armenian, and Punjabi, a language spoken often in food processing.

Cal/OSHA postings are often important lifesaving information related to workplace conditions and safety. The bill will require the posting to include information on:

  • Cal/OSHA’s investigation of the workplace and that they found a workplace safety or health violation.

  • That the investigation resulted in one or more citations or orders that the employer must post at or near the place of the violation for three working days, or until the unsafe condition is abated, whichever is longer.

  • That the employers are required to communicate any hazards at the workplace to employees in a language and manner they understand; and

  • Contact information for the division and the internet website where employees can search for citations against their employer.

“Nearly all of my co-workers speak Spanish or Vietnamese as their primary language,”  said Rina Chavarria, a worker at Farmer John in Vernon. “We only knew that our employer’s safety violations put us at serious risk of COVID-19 because our union provided translations of  Cal/OSHA citations. AB 2068’s new law will keep us informed about what’s happening with our workplaces and allow us to get involved with the investigations. Thank you Assemblymember Haney for authoring this important legislation and to Governor Newsom for signing it into law.”

“Every worker deserves information that can keep them safe on the job – and even save their life in the language they speak and read,” said Kathy Finn, Acting President, UFCW Local 770. “AB 2068 will empower workers and ensure workplaces are kept safe for all workers, not just those that speak English. UFCW members thank Assemblymember Haney for his leadership on this important issue and Governor Newsom for listening to workers who demanded equal access to potentially life-saving information.”

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September 23, 2022

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]