October 2021

Keep Exclusion Pay in the ETS:

Take Action Today

Cal/OSHA is removing any requirement that employers pay exclusion pay to workers who are exposed to or infected with COVID-19. 
Sign our petition telling Cal/OSHA Standards Board Members and Governor Newsom to keep Exclusion Pay.
California’s frontline workers - disproportionately people of color and women - are facing devastating losses in the COVID-19 pandemic. They are losing their jobs, their family members, their child care, thei savings. Despite this ongoing disaster, the latest proposed workplace Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) does away with exclusion pay, while at the same time preserving the requirement that employers “exclude” any “COVID-19 case.” This means that anyone who tests positive or is ordered to quarantine would be required to stay home without pay. 
Sending essential workers home without pay for weeks is an outcome that few can absorb. With the recent expiration of supplemental paid sick leave, the eviction moratorium, and utility shut-offs, workers will be forced to make the impossible decision of going to work while sick or staying home without pay.The result would be that contagious workers would quietly stay on the job, infecting their co-workers and members of the public. Workers will fall ill, people will die, and the pandemic will worsen.
Click here to join us and take action. Support Frontline Essential Workers Today! 

Policy Year in Review

The annual legislative cycle is winding down in Sacramento and we are excited to have bills that we advocated for being signed by the governor and poised to make new law in California. At the same time, we are rededicating ourselves to the ongoing hard work to ensure that changing some words in the Labor Code can actually add up to meaningful change for workers in our state.
Compromises generally have to be made to pass laws, and for us the hardest pill to swallow may also turn out to be the most dramatic victory of the year - the new law related to the exclusion of domestic workers from Cal/OSHA protection. As originally written, and passed last year as SB1257 by huge majorities of both chambers, the proposal would have outright done away with the historic racist exclusion of domestic workers from state workplace health and safety law. But the governor vetoed the bill.
This year, the coalition behind SB321 (Senator Durazo) worked hard to engage the governor’s office about the issues and concerns. The result was a proposed and painful compromise: the bill would instead set up an advisory committee, including domestic workers, to recommend how to protect their health and safety on the job, and to develop voluntary occupational health and safety guidance to educate employers and employees alike. As a coalition we chose to run with that proposal, and the governor signed the bill. The result will be a public report published and submitted to the Legislature by the end of next year.
There is work to do before any of that progress can become real on the ground. And yet it was inspiring and humbling to join hundreds of people, mostly Latine women, celebrating this win alongside Senator Durazo on an evening Zoom call a few days after the victory. Many workers and advocates shared bittersweet reflections and cried remembering the struggle - not just to pass the watered down bill, but to stay alive going to work every day amidst a deadly pandemic, and remembering those who have not survived to see this bill become law.
Worksafe also co-sponsored UFCW’s SB606 (Senator Gonzalez) alongside the Cal. Labor Fed, to take lessons from workplace spread of Covid-19 and improve Cal/OSHA’s ability to respond. The governor signed this one as well, so employers now face liability for corporate-wide policies that create workplace safety issues, as well as a new category of egregious violations. Also set to become law are bills including the ending of piecework pay in the garment industry (SB62, Senator Durazo) and new accountability over quotas imposed on warehouse workers (AB701, Senator Gonzalez).
There are many other wins and a few losses for labor across the governor’s desk this year; we’d love to hear from all of you about what most caught your attention.

Welcome Lucy Morales

Worksafe is excited to welcome Lucy Morales to our team. She joined us in October as our Program Coordinator.
Lucy was born in Mexico City, Mexico; at the age of seven Lucy and her mother moved to Chicago in search of better economic opportunities. From then through the age of 16 Lucy experienced life as an Undocumented American in Chicago, a city where these stories are often hidden. At the age of 16 Lucy gained permanent residency which allowed her to persue a higher education and think outside of her career limitations as an undocumented person.
After graduating from DePaul University with dual BSB in Finance and Economics, Lucy spent the majority of her professional career working in the private sector; but, given her social identity as a Latine woman and experience living as an Undocumented Person, she always felt a calling to provide support to underserved migrant communities. During this time, Lucy volunteered with several nonprofits that advocate for migrant justice both nationally and internationally and lent support to inner-city Chicago organizations that lead through community-driven solutions. In 2019, Lucy moved to the Bay Area and transitioned to the non-profit sector where she found a place in advocating for underserved communities. Lucy continues to explore her interests in understanding forced migration as well as the impacts of colonialism and economic exploitation on people's right to place.
Welcome, Lucy! 

Jora Trang Marks a Decade of Dedication to Workers at Worksafe

This month, we are excited to be celebrating Jora Trang’s 10 years of advocacy at Worksafe. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this great milestone than to share the reflections of some of those who have worked alongside Jora this past decade.
Congratulations on your 10th work anniversary, Jora!
Jora on Lobby Day for AB5 (2019)
Maggie Robbins, Nicole Marquez, Asm. Kalra, and Jora (2019)
Jora and the Temp. Workers' Convening Crew
Jora and the Temp. Workers Convening Crew (2017)
Jora is a vibrant and committed movement leader with a long history supporting worker campaigns and projects that have led to building worker power across our COSH Network and beyond. Her leadership and vision are inspirational and encourages a unique strategy seeking the intersectionality between occupational safety and health, equality, immigration and race.
Jessica E. Martinez, co-Executive Director, National COSH
Jora is an amazing leader and compassionate-centered advocate. She centers her work in racial equity, lifting up the priorities and experiences of those most marginalized. She approaches her work with dignity and grace. Her humble leadership style always seeks to build up the capacity of the next generation of advocates. I’m grateful and appreciative of her nourishing mentorship, authentic friendship and fierce camaraderie for just and equitable workplaces for all workers.
Nicole Marquez, Director of Social Insurance, National Employment Law Project
As a Steering Committee member for our organization, Jora has supported us through our growth over many years. From strategic planning, workers rights, policy advocacy and beyond, we've been so fortunate to work alongside Jora and their passion and commitment for workers, especially Vietnamese women nail salon workers. Congratulations on your 10 years with Worksafe!
Lisa Fu, Executive Director, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

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