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SB-1257 Domestic service employees: employment safety standards.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/02/2020 09:00 PM
SB1257:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 02, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  March 26, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1257


Introduced by Senator Durazo

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Sections 6303 and 6314 of of, and to add Section 6305.1 to, the Labor Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1257, as amended, Durazo. Domestic service employees: employment safety standards.
Existing law, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, requires employers to comply with certain standards ensuring healthy and safe working conditions, as specified. Existing law charges the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Industrial Relations with enforcement of the act, subject to oversight by the Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety (chief). Under existing law, employment related to household domestic service is excluded from the provisions of the act.
This bill would remove the exclusion for household domestic service from these occupational safety provisions. The bill would require the chief or a representative of the chief to convene an advisory committee to evaluate whether there is a need to develop industry-specific regulations related to household domestic service. The bill would require the committee to include an equal number of representatives of household domestic service employees and employers.
Existing law authorizes the Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Industrial Relations (chief) chief and all qualified and authorized division inspectors and investigators to have free access to any place of employment to make an investigation or inspection during regular working hours, and at other reasonable times when necessary, for the protection of safety and health.
This bill would, when the workplace is a residential dwelling, require the chief or their representative to contact the employer in response to an alleged violation received from a domestic service employee within a specified timeframe, depending upon whether the reported violation is considered a serious violation. The bill would require the chief or their representative to provide specified notice to the employer about the alleged violation and to investigate the violation, as specified. The bill would require the employer to provide specified information to the division regarding mitigation efforts to correct the violation and to provide copies of all correspondence received from the division to the domestic service employee.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6303 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

6303.
 (a) “Place of employment” means any place, and the premises appurtenant thereto, where employment is carried on, except a place where the health and safety jurisdiction is vested by law in, and actively exercised by, any state or federal agency other than the division.
(b) “Employment” includes the carrying on of any trade, enterprise, project, industry, business, occupation, or work, including all excavation, demolition, and construction work, or any process or operation in any way related thereto, in which any person is engaged or permitted to work for hire.
(c) “Employment,” for purposes of this division only, also includes volunteer firefighting when covered by Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200) pursuant to Section 3361.
(d) Subdivision (c) shall become operative on January 1, 2004.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6305.1 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

6305.1.
 The Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or a representative of the chief, shall convene an advisory committee to evaluate whether there is a need to develop industry-specific regulations related to household domestic service. The advisory committee shall include an equal number of representatives of household domestic service employees and employers.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 6314 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

6314.
 (a) To make an investigation or inspection, the chief of the division and all qualified divisional inspectors and investigators authorized by the chief shall, upon presenting appropriate credentials to the employer, have free access to any place of employment to investigate and inspect during regular working hours, and at other reasonable times when necessary for the protection of safety and health, and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner. The chief or their authorized representative may, during the course of any investigation or inspection, obtain any statistics, information, or any physical materials in the possession of the employer that are directly related to the purpose of the investigation or inspection, conduct any tests necessary to the investigation or inspection, and take photographs. Photographs taken by the division during the course of any investigation or inspection shall be considered to be confidential information pursuant to the provisions of Section 6322, and shall not be deemed to be public records for purposes of the California Public Records Act.
(b) If permission to investigate or inspect the place of employment is refused, or the facts or circumstances reasonably justify the failure to seek permission, the chief or their authorized representative may obtain an inspection warrant pursuant to the provisions of Title 13 (commencing with Section 1822.50) of the Code of Civil Procedure. Cause for the issuance of a warrant shall be deemed to exist if there has been an industrial accident, injury, or illness reported, if any complaint that violations of occupational safety and health standards exist at the place of employment has been received by the division, or if the place of employment to be inspected has been chosen on the basis of specific neutral criteria contained in a general administrative plan for the enforcement of this division.
(c) The chief and their authorized representatives may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records, and physical materials, administer oaths, examine witnesses under oath, take verification or proof of written materials, and take depositions and affidavits for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the division.
(d) In the course of any investigation or inspection of an employer or place of employment by an authorized representative of the division, a representative of the employer and a representative authorized by their employees shall have an opportunity to accompany them on the tour of inspection. Any employee or employer, or their authorized representatives, shall have the right to discuss safety and health violations or safety and health problems with the inspector privately during the course of an investigation or inspection. Where there is no authorized employee representative, the chief or their authorized representatives shall consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning matters of health and safety of the place of employment.
(e) During any investigation of an industrial accident or occupational illness conducted by the division pursuant to the provisions of Section 6313, the chief or their authorized representative may issue an order to preserve physical materials or the accident site as they were at the time the accident or illness occurred if, in the opinion of the division, it is necessary to do so in order to determine the cause or causes of the accident or illness, and the evidence is in potential danger of being removed, altered, or tampered with. Under these circumstances, the division shall issue that order in a manner that will avoid, to the extent possible, any interference with normal business operations.
A conspicuous notice that an order has been issued shall be prepared by the division and shall be posted by the employer in the area or on the article to be preserved. The order shall be limited to the immediate area and the machines, devices, apparatus, or equipment directly associated with the accident or illness.
Any person who knowingly violates an order issued by the division pursuant to this subdivision shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(f) (1) In the case where the place of employment is a residential dwelling and the employee is a domestic service employee, the chief of the division or their authorized representative shall initiate telephone contact with the employer as soon as possible, but not later than three working days after receipt of a complaint charging a serious violation, and not later than 14 calendar days after receipt of a complaint charging a nonserious violation.
(2) When telephone contact is successfully made, the chief of the division or their authorized representative shall do all of the following:
(A) Notify the employer of the existence of any alleged unsafe or unhealthful conditions.
(B) Describe the alleged hazard and any specific regulatory standard alleged to have been violated.
(C) Inform the employer that they are required, pursuant to Section 6401.7, to investigate and abate any hazard discovered during the investigation.
(D) Inform the employer by letter sent by facsimile or email, or by certified mail if the employer cannot receive facsimile or email, of each alleged hazard and each specific standard alleged to have been violated.
(E) Inform the employer that if the division determines that the employer's employer’s response is unsatisfactory for any reason, the division shall seek permission from the employer to enter the residential dwelling to investigate the matter, and, if permission is denied, may secure a court order to conduct an onsite inspection of the residential dwelling.
(F) Provide the complainant with copies of the regulation alleged to have been violated, the division's division’s letter to the employer, and all subsequent correspondence concerning the investigation of any alleged hazards.
(3) An employer subject to investigation shall do both of the following:
(A) Provide to the division, within 14 days of the employer's employer’s receipt of the division's division’s letter, a letter describing the results of the employer's employer’s investigation of the alleged hazard and a description of all actions taken, in the process of being taken, or planned to be taken, by the employer to abate the alleged hazard, including any applicable measurements or monitoring results, invoices for equipment purchased, and photographs or video that document correction of the alleged hazard.
(B) Provide a copy of the division's division’s letter to the employee, and all subsequent correspondence from and to the employer, to the affected employee, or prominently post the letter and correspondence in the method prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 6318.