Governor Vetoes SB 1257

Would Have Granted Domestic Workers the Right to Health and Safety Protections at Work

Dear Friend,

All of us at Worksafe are tremendously disappointed that Governor Newsom has vetoed SB 1257, the Health and Safety for All Workers Act. This important legislation would have ended the historic, discriminatory exclusion of “household domestic service” from Cal/OSHA protections, and it would have required domestic work employers to provide their employees with a safe working environment — as is required in all other industries. 

There are 300,000 people in California who work as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers for older adults and people with disabilities. These domestic workers, including many immigrant women and people of color, are essential to the economy and provide crucial care to families throughout the state. 

With his veto, Governor Newsom has denied these Californians the right to health and safety protections at work — protections that are more crucial than ever because the COVID-19 crisis and recurring wildfires have magnified the dangers of domestic work.

SB 1257 was authored by Senator Maria Elena Durazo and co-sponsored by the California Domestic Workers Coalition, Worksafe, Equal Rights Advocates, California Employment Lawyers Association, and AFSCME-UDW. The bill had strong support in Sacramento, passing by a majority in the Senate and Assembly. 

“Worksafe is honored and humbled to have worked with this coalition to get this bill on the Governor’s desk,” says Worksafe attorney Karín Umfrey. “Worker leaders have been an integral part of this campaign, sharing their stories on social media, explaining the need for this legislation at hearings, and mobilizing others. It is truly disappointing that the Governor could not recognize that these Californians deserve basic labor rights, and we look forward to continuing the effort in 2021.”

In Solidarity,
The Fight Continues!
Tomorrow October 1: Domestic workers and allies will gather in front of the State Buildings in San Francisco and Los Angeles to protest the Governor’s decision. They will share what this veto will mean for them and their families.
➡️ Los Angeles: Thursday, October 1st at 8am at the Ronald Reagan State Building 
➡️ San Francisco: Thursday, October 1st at 12pm at the Earl Warren State Building 

This action is being organized by members and allies of the California Domestic Workers Coalition, and the program will be in Spanish and English. In in-person gathering will observe COVID-19 safety protocols. Live-streaming and live-tweeting will be available at #MyHealthMyDignity, #SB1257, and @Cadomesticwrker.

We hope you can join, in person or virtually, because worker health is public health, and domestic worker health and safety is everyone’s health and safety!
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