If, upon inspection or investigation, the division believes that an employer has violated Section 25910 of the Health and Safety Code or any standard, rule, order, or regulation established pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 140) of Division 1 of the Labor Code, or any standard, rule, order, or regulation established pursuant to this part, it shall with reasonable promptness issue a citation to the employer. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of the code, standard, rule, regulation, or order alleged to have been violated. In addition, the citation shall fix a reasonable time for the abatement of the alleged violation. The period specified for abatement shall not commence running until the date the citation or notice is received by certified mail and the certified mail receipt is signed, or if not signed, the date the return is made to the post office. If the division officially and directly delivers the citation or notice to the employer, the period specified for abatement shall commence running on the date of the delivery.
A "notice" in lieu of citation may be issued with respect to violations found in an inspection or investigation which meet either of the following requirements:
(1) The violations do not have a direct relationship upon the health or safety of an employee.
(2) The violations do not have an immediate relationship to the health or safety of an employee, and are of a general or regulatory nature. A notice in lieu of a citation may be issued only if the employer agrees to correct the violations within a reasonable time, as specified by the division, and agrees not to appeal the finding of the division that the violations exist. A notice issued pursuant to this paragraph shall have the same effect as a citation for purposes of establishing repeat violations or a failure to abate. Every notice shall clearly state the abatement period specified by the division, that the notice may not be appealed, and that the notice has the same effect as a citation for purposes of establishing a repeated violation or a failure to abate. The employer shall indicate agreement to the provisions and conditions of the notice by his or her signature on the notice.
Under no circumstances shall a notice be issued in lieu of a citation if the violations are serious, repeated, willful, or arise from a failure to abate.
The director shall prescribe guidelines for the issuance of these notices.
The division may impose a civil penalty against an employer as specified in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6423) of this part. A notice in lieu of a citation may not be issued if the number of first instance violations found in the inspection (other than serious, willful, or repeated violations) is 10 or more violations.
No citation or notice shall be issued by the division for a given violation or violations after six months have elapsed since occurrence of the violation.
The director shall prescribe procedures for the issuance of a citation or notice.
The division shall prepare and maintain records capable of supplying an inspector with previous citations and notices issued to an employer.
(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 599, Sec. 1.)