SB 686, the Health and Safety for All Workers Act would end discriminatory workplace safety exclusion –
Today, the California State Senate voted (24-6) to pass SB 686, the Health and Safety for All Workers Act, which protects the health and safety of workers and their employers by giving Cal/OSHA authority to protect California’s over 300,000 nannies, housekeepers, homecare workers and others in the home workplace. The bill now advances to the state assembly.
“California leaders continue to recognize the critical need to take action to support domestic workers by giving them the enforceable health and safety laws they deserve,” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo. “Domestic workers help raise, educate, and give support to families across California and are a critical part of our care economy. SB 686 will help employers provide safe conditions for everyone in their household. It’s time for California to take the lead and give domestic workers the workplace protections they deserve.”
SB 686 ends the discriminatory exclusion of domestic workers from the state’s workplace safety laws and would ensure that domestic workers have the same legal right as other workers to health and safety training and protective equipment, and to be protected from retaliation when they advocate for their own safety at work. The bill gives Cal/OSHA the authority to develop official health and safety guidance for employers and require employers to adhere to all applicable health and safety regulations.
SB 686 will also provide resources for financial assistance for low-resourced employers to implement these guidelines and expand education and outreach programs for both workers and employers, in partnership with community based organizations.
SB 686 builds on the work of the SB 321 Advisory Committee who released California’s first-ever guidelines for occupational safety and health in home workplaces earlier this year. Policy recommendations made by the committee included ending the household domestic services exclusion from the California labor code giving Cal/OSHA the authority needed to implement health and safety protections for the in-home workforce.
“Being a caregiver for nearly 20 years, I have experienced so many instances of hazardous conditions at the workplace,” said Grace Diaz, a homecare worker and leader of Pilipino Worker Center, “All California workers deserve a safer future. By passing this legislation, the Senate is taking one more step toward dignified care for California families and ensuring safe quality jobs for the new generation of caregivers and domestic workers.”
The bill’s co-sponsors include the California Employment Lawyers Association, California Immigrant Policy Center, Equal Rights Advocates and WORKSAFE.
For more information about the California Domestic Workers Coalition, please visit www.cadomesticworkers.org.
Contacts:Megan Whelan, firstname.lastname@example.org
California Domestic Workers Coalition (CDWC) 253-677-9127
The CDWC is a statewide coalition of organizations working to advance the dignity and respect for Domestic Workers and their families. The organizations that are a part of our steering committee include: ALMAS of the Graton Day Labor Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur California (IDEPSCA), Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Pilipino Workers Center, and The Women’s Collective of Dolores Street Community Services.