health and safety answers for today's workers
Are employers required to provide the Injury and Illness Prevention (IIPP) form in multiple languages, or just in English?
While employers are not required to provide the IIPP itself in multiple languages, they must provide communications that are part of the IIPP “in a form readily understandable by all affected employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health.” This might mean that either translation or interpretation is required in order to communicate in a readily understandable form. Here is a link to the Cal/OSHA IIPP etool:
And here is a link to the California IIPP regulation:
Are there any “whistleblower” protections for workers who report a hazard?
In California, workers who file a complaint with Cal/OSHA are protected from discrimination by Labor Code section 6310. Cal/OSHA lists some examples of what might be considered discrimination: firing, demotion, transfer, layoff, assignment to an undesirable shift, and blacklisting among others. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because you filed a Cal/OSHA complaint, you should contact your nearest California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office. The DLSE list is here:
For more information, here’s a link to the Cal/OSHA web page on Whistleblower Complaints:
My 17 year old daughter works by herself quite often and when she closes the store at night she is all by herself without any protection. Are there any laws against this? Do you have any advice?
There are no laws that we are aware of that forbid workers from working alone. However, that does not mean that it is safe. Cal/OSHA has written a publication called Guidelines for Workplace Security, available at
In it, it says:
Many workplaces are at risk for workplace violence, but certain workplaces are recognized to be at significantly greater risk than others. Therefore, every employer should perform an initial assessment to identify workplace security factors which have been shown to contribute to the risk of violence in the workplace. If you have one or more of the following factors present in your workplace, you should consider your workplace to be at potential risk of violence:
- Exchange of money;
- Working alone at night and during early morning hours;
- Availability of valued items, e.g., money and jewelry;
- Guarding money or valuable property or possessions;
- Performing public safety functions in the community;
- Working with patients, clients, passengers, customers or students known or suspected to have a history of violence; or
- Employees with a history of assaults or who have exhibited belligerent, intimidating or threatening behavior to others.
Perhaps if your daughter shares some of this information with her boss, he/she can make some changes to improve the safety of the store's employees (and money). She/he can also call Cal/OSHA consultation for advice and help with this. They provide free assistance to employers in California. The number is 1(800) 963-9424.