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Calif. bill easing domestic worker qualification for workers comp vetoed

Calif. bill easing domestic worker qualification for workers comp vetoed

California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have made it easier for domestic workers to qualify for workers compensation benefits and made them eligible for a range of labor protections.

A.B. 889 would have eliminated a requirement that domestic workers must put in at least 52 hours and earn more than $100 in the 90 days preceding the date of injury to be eligible for workers comp coverage, according to a state analysis.

But in a veto statement Sunday, Gov. Brown said the legislation, sponsored by Assembly member Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, raised questions about its financial impact on the disabled and elderly who rely on domestic workers.

Domestic workers deserve fair pay and safe working conditions, the governor added, but the legislation raised questions such as how the state would enforce the law and whether it would reduce available jobs for domestic workers.

“The bill calls for these questions to be studied by the state Department of Industrial Relations and for the department to simultaneously issue new regulations to provide overtime, meal, rest break and sleep periods for domestic workers,” the governor said in the veto statement. “In the face of consequences both unknown and unintended, I find it more prudent to do the studies before considering an untested legal regime for those that work in our homes.”