AB 978 – Access to IIPP Documents

AB 978, authored by Assemblyman Monique Limon (D – Ventura) would require an employer to provide upon request a complete copy of the written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to a current employee or a representative of the employee within 10 business days.  The bill is currently moving through the State legislature. AB 978 allows not only an employee to obtain a copy of the IIPP, but also an organization unaffiliated with the employer or employee if designated by the employee to request and receive a copy of the IIPP.  The request may also require that the employer provide “all required attachments,” a term that is currently not defined in statute and would be left open to interpretation.  “All attachments” could include internal records related to the implementation of the program, such as training records, inspection reports, accident investigations, etc., which are primarily provided to Cal/OSHA in enforcement actions.

AB 978 unwarrantedly expands the scope of what we currently understand is an employee representative (typically union representative) to apparently anyone the employee designates and it goes beyond just providing the written IIPP to include attachments.  In my opinion, without clear definition and restriction, this bill could lead employers open to unwarranted litigation.  In addition, the number of requests that could be made by an employee to an employer is unlimited and there is no limit to the scope of the documents or the workplaces of the employer if there were multiple locations.  Therefore, there is no limit to the safety and health or other related materials a representative of an employee can request under AB978.  The potential problems with this bill appear to clearly outweigh any benefits.  We will keep you updated as the bill moves through the legislature.