BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2230


                                                                    Page  1





          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          2230 (Chu)


          As Amended  May 9, 2016


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Insurance       |13-0 |Daly, Melendez,       |                    |
          |                |     |Travis Allen,         |                    |
          |                |     |Bigelow, Calderon,    |                    |
          |                |     |Chu, Cooley, Cooper,  |                    |
          |                |     |Dababneh, Dahle,      |                    |
          |                |     |Frazier, Gatto,       |                    |
          |                |     |Rodriguez             |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 


          SUMMARY:  Provides that interpreters who work in the workers'  
          compensation system cannot be required to disclose privileged  
          attorney-client communications for which they provided  
          translation services.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Provides that an interpreter working in the workers'  
            compensation system shall not, regardless of the location or  








                                                                    AB 2230


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            other circumstances of the communication, disclose any  
            privileged attorney-client communications for which the  
            interpreter provided services.


          2)Establishes that any party in the workers' compensation system  
            who attempts to obtain an improper disclosure of a privileged  
            communication is guilty of a bad faith tactic, and therefore  
            subject to sanctions.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Provides for a comprehensive system of employer-paid benefits  
            for employees who suffer injuries or conditions that arise out  
            of or occur in the course of employment.


          2)Establishes procedures for obtaining medical care and a system  
            for resolving disputes that includes pre-trial depositions,  
            employer-requested medical evaluations, and administrative  
            adjudication of disputed issues before workers' compensation  
            judges.


          3)Entitles an injured employee who is not proficient in the  
            English language to an interpreter paid for by the employer.


          4)Requires interpreters to be certified.


          5)Requires the Administrative Director of the Division of  
            Workers' Compensation to establish a fee schedule for  
            interpreting services.


          6)Allows an employer or insurer to contract for services,  








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            including interpreting services, at compensation below the fee  
            schedule. 


          7)Prohibits an interpreter from disclosing to any person who was  
            not an immediate participant in the communication anything  
            about what was interpreted.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Undetermined impact on state workers'  
          compensation costs.


          


          COMMENTS:  


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, the current system allowing  
            employers to select interpreters for injured workers is highly  
            problematic for both the injured worker and their legal  
            representatives.  Injured workers should be able to enjoy the  
            services of interpreters whose sole duty is to them.  A major  
            concern of lawyers who represent injured workers is that an  
            interpreter employed by the employer might disclose  
            confidential client information or communications to the  
            employer.


          2)Attorney-client communications.  One area of particular  
            concern addressed by proponents is that employer provided and  
            paid interpreters might be susceptible to pressure from the  
            employer to disclose communications that would be covered by  
            the attorney-client privilege.  As noted above, there is a  
            general prohibition in statute against an interpreter  
            disclosing to anyone not a part of a conversation the contents  
            of that conversation.  One potential way to address the  
            concern that interpreters might be pressured to make these  








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            disclosures would be to expressly add a protection in statute  
            concerning attorney-client communications that would provide  
            interpreters a specific response if that pressure should  
            arise.  




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
          Mark Rakich / INS. / (916) 319-2086  FN: 0002942