Hand in Hand worked with the CA Domestic Workers to pass SB 1257: The Health and Safety for All Workers Act which would eliminate the exclusion of “household domestic service” from California’s Occupational Health and Safety Protections (Cal/OSHA).
The COVID-19 health pandemic as well as the increasingly frequent and devastating California wildfires have magnified the vulnerability and dangers that domestic workers and day laborers face on a daily basis because they are excluded from California’s Occupational Health and Safety protections. As a result, the health and safety of domestic workers and day laborers have been put at severe risk during these disasters. Authored by Senator Maria Elena Durazo, SB 1257 would have extended Cal/OSHA protections to the estimated over 300,000 CA domestic workers and required their employers to identify and prevent health and safety risks.
During a legislative session that allowed very few bills through given the vastly curtailed legislative calendar as a result of the COVID pandemic, the CDWC and HIH built broad support for SB 1257- garnering even Republican aye votes. Due to a valiant effort that included 89 lobby visits, in person and virtual actions, multiple videos and a bill-signing deadline countdown action that inspired 250 social media and email actions by domestic employers, the bill made it through the legislature only to be vetoed by the Governor.
Hand in Hand was proud to be part of this effort that included thinking through the impact on all employer types, including low income employers and employers with disabilities. We are hopeful that we can build even greater support within the many and diverse domestic employer communities in the next year to win a future SB 1257.