California bill seeks to extend OSHA protections to domestic workers


Photo: mgstudyo/iStockphoto

Sacramento, CA — New legislation in California would allow the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to issue workplace safety rules for private households employing domestic workers.

Introduced by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), S.B. 686 would revise existing laws by narrowing an exclusion of household domestic service from the definition of “employment” to exclude only publicly funded household domestic service and family day care homes.

The bill also would direct Cal/OSHA to adopt industry guidance to assist household domestic workers by July 1, 2024. Employers would be required to comply with and adhere to all occupational safety and health regulations by Jan. 1, 2025.

Additionally, the bill would establish a state advisory committee to develop voluntary guidance and make recommendations to legislators and Cal/OSHA on policies aimed at protecting the health and safety of domestic workers.

Should Cal/OSHA determine that additional industry-specific regulations are necessary, the bill calls for the agency to propose rulemaking to a state standards board for review and requires the adoption of such standards by Jan. 1, 2026.

According to a 2020 report from the UCLA Labor Center, more than 300,000 Californians work in domestic settings in about 2 million households. 

The bill – introduced Feb. 16 – advanced out of the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on April 25 and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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