By Daniela Pardo, Spectrum News 1
August 14, 2020
SACRAMENTO – A recent survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance found Black and immigrant members have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under California’s current labor codes, employees such as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers do not have any safeguards in the workplace. State Senator Maria Elena Durazo is hoping to expand CAL/OSHA protections through Senate Bill 1257. Senator Durazo said during California’s recent wildfires, many workers were put at risk because employers failed to tell them the homes where they work were under mandatory evacuation.
Rosa Cruz, who cleans homes in Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, said she’s extremely concerned about the lack of protections at work, especially as California wildfires and COVID-19 continue to worsen in the area. “I felt insecure and scared,” said Cruz, as she described going to work during last year’s Getty fire off the 405 freeway. Cruz explained she wasn’t told not to show up to work, and said she couldn’t afford to lose a paycheck. She felt it was necessary to put her life in danger in order to get paid. “My eyes were watery, my face was covered in ash,” said Cruz, while describing what it was like cleaning up the aftermath of the fire.