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California Bill May Provide Workers’ Comp Benefits to Domestic Workers

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on March 12, 2013 | In Workers Compensation

A bill currently being considered by the California legislature would provide workers’ compensation and other benefits for housekeepers, nannies, and other domestic workers, according to a recent article in the Huffington Post. Although many Californians provide these services, they are not currently covered by workers’ compensation insurance, as many experienced California workers’ compensation attorneys have seen.

The current version of the bill provides six basic rights for domestic workers: overtime, meal and rest breaks, three paid sick days, workers’ compensation, the right to use kitchens to prepare their own food, and the right to have some time to sleep. The bill does not cover cost of living increases, notice of termination, or Cal/OSHA protections, all of which appeared in previous bills.

The bill, AB 241, would make California the second state in the nation after New York to provide workers’ compensation and labor protections to household workers. A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown last year after passing both houses of the California Assembly.

Workers’ compensation coverage would allow domestic workers who are injured on the job to apply for several benefits currently extended to nearly all other employees in California. These include benefits to cover medical expenses related to on-the-job injuries, temporary and permanent disability benefits for disabling injuries, a supplemental job displacement benefit if job retraining is needed, and a death benefit if an injury at work proves fatal. While nearly all California employees have access to these benefits after an injury or illness due to work, domestic workers are a notable exception.

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