Day laborers in California hired on a one-time basis would be covered by the state’s workers compensation laws under amendments to a year-old bill intended to extend coverage to more workers.
A.B. 206, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-Chula Vista, in January 2017, was amended Thursday to include workers comp coverage mandates for a “person, including a day laborer, employed by the owner or occupant of a residential dwelling whose duties are incidental to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the dwelling, including the care and supervision of children, or whose duties are personal and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of the owner or occupant,” according to the latest draft of the bill.
The draft defines a day laborer as “a person who is directly hired by the home owner or occupant on a one-time basis, to perform general maintenance, repairs, upgrades, gardening, or landscaping, and who does not have a valid business license or contractor’s license, or is not required to have those licenses for the work performed.”
This requirement would apply without regard to immigration status, according to the draft.
According to the Legislative Analysis, the proposed bill expands the definition of “employee” for workers’ compensation purposes thereby expanding the scope of standard homeowners’ insurance policies. Specifically, this bill deletes from the definition of “employee” the exclusion of workers who work for a homeowner for less than 52 hours in a 90 day period.
According to the author, “the 52 hour requirement is detrimental to day laborers because they are usually hired to work for short-term jobs. This outdated provision in the workers’ compensation system prevents legitimate day laborers who are injured on the job from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits because these workers are specifically defined as not ’employees.’ AB 206 is designed to remedy this anachronism in the law. “
There are a range of people who perform work in various contexts who are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because they are defined as “not employees.” One such group is excluded because the work they perform is covered by the “52-hour” rule in the Labor Code.In essence, this exclusion provides that certain workers are simply, as a matter of definitional law, “not employees” for workers’ compensation purposes..
By merely deleting the 52-hour rule, a fairly large actual list of workers, would now be “employees” eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The Legislative Analysis points out that this would include the teenager you hire to mow your lawn; the high school girl who babysits twice a month for you and the man who congregates in the Home Depot parking lot who is hired on a 1 or 2 day basis by a roofing contractor; and the tax preparer who works in tax season out of her home, and who is hired from a Craigslist ad.