On September 28, 2021 Governor Newsom signed SB321: The Health and Safety for All Workers Act. This law will require Cal/OSHA to conduct a study and publish the first ever set of health and safety recommendations for domestic workers in the state.
For the past two years Hand in Hand has been organizing alongside the California Domestic Workers Coalition to support this legislation. Our members lobbied, testified at hearings, called representatives, marched, and participated in social media days of action.
In California, this legislation is especially crucial due to the increase in wildfires across the state. There have been far too many stories of domestic workers being asked to continue to work in the homes of employers during evacuation orders.The COVID-19 pandemic further created dangers on the job for domestic workers working in private homes without PPE and other safety guidelines.
Hand in Hand is proud to have supported this historic victory led by domestic workers. The support of domestic employers played a key role in debunking the myth that employers are somehow inconvenienced by having to adhere to safety guidelines for work that happens in their homes.
Helen Eigenberg, a housecleaner employer in Los Angeles shared, “It is a very intimate relationship to bring someone into your home for work. I don’t see how it is possible to not care about this employee’s health and safety.” Employers are supportive of these policies – but only when we reach them!