(a) No fees shall be charged by the clerk of any court for the performance of any official service required by this division, except for the docketing of awards as judgments and for certified copies of transcripts thereof. In all proceedings under this division before the appeals board, costs as between the parties may be allowed by the appeals board.
(b) (1) It shall be the responsibility of any party producing a witness requiring an interpreter to arrange for the presence of a qualified interpreter.
(2) A qualified interpreter is a language interpreter who is certified, or deemed certified, pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 11435.05) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, or Section 68566 of, the Government Code. The duty of an interpreter is to accurately and impartially translate oral communications and transliterate written materials, and not to act as an agent or advocate. An interpreter shall not disclose to any person who is not an immediate participant in the communications the content of the conversations or documents that the interpreter has interpreted or transliterated unless the disclosure is compelled by court order. An attempt by any party or attorney to obtain disclosure is a bad faith tactic that is subject to Section 5813.
Interpreter fees that are reasonably, actually, and necessarily incurred shall be paid by the employer under this section, provided they are in accordance with the fee schedule adopted by the administrative director.
A qualified interpreter may render services during the following:
(A) A deposition.
(B) An appeals board hearing.
(C) A medical treatment appointment or medical-legal examination.
(D) During those settings which the administrative director determines are reasonably necessary to ascertain the validity or extent of injury to an employee who does not proficiently speak or understand the English language.
(c) The administrative director shall promulgate regulations establishing criteria to verify the identity and credentials of individuals who provide interpreter services in all necessary settings and proceedings within the workers’ compensation system. Those regulations shall be adopted no later than January 1, 2018.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 868, Sec. 12. (SB 1160) Effective January 1, 2017.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018