On October 17, 2012 the law offices of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and attorney Catherine E. Lhamon, filed suit against the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the office of Cal/OSHA's chief, Ellen Widess. Their clients: Margarita Alvarez Baustista; Ana Rosa Bautista; Socorro Rivera; Mauricia Calvillo; Natividad Carrillo, and United Farm Workers of America as well as the UFW Foundation, allege that the division has "failed and continues to fail to satisfy their statutory obligations to enforce the Heat Illness Prevention regulations of California Code of Regulations, Title 8, 3395. " It should be noted that the Heat Illness Prevention Program is a required addendum (for affected employers) to California's, Injury and Illness Prevention Program, commonly referred to as the IIPP.
The introduction of the lawsuit states:" Heat illness is totally preventable and should not occur if proper procedures are followed." The underlying basis of it is a purported lack of regulatory enforcement on behalf of Cal/OSHA, leading to continued heat related illnesses, injuries and deaths, particularly among California's migrant farm workers. These assertions allegedly exemplify the agency's somewhat apathetic approach regarding effective enforcement efforts of, not only the heat regulations, but towards California's Injury and Illness Prevention Program as well.