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Proposed law will provide workers' compensation to day workers

For some California workers, being injured on the job can leave them with medical expenses, injuries, problems getting back to work and the inability to make ends meet. These workers cannot make workers' compensation claims because they are not eligible due to the classification of their employment. This often affects low-wage people, those who are from other countries, or are doing side jobs to supplement their regular income. Injuries can affect these people more frequently as they are sometimes performing more dangerous jobs because of their status.

Depending on the circumstances, they might be able to seek some form of compensation - workers' compensation or via a lawsuit - if they are injured while working. Another factor they should be aware of is the proposed bill moving forward in the state that will protect day laborers. The bill was introduced exactly one year ago and was intended to protect a greater number of workers. An amendment was added to include those who are hired on a one-time basis.

The law states that people who are employed by an owner or occupant of a residential dwelling and are doing duties that are linked to the dwelling, its ownership and maintenance, are caring for children, or are performing duties that are not part of the business of the owner or occupant will be eligible for workers' compensation. In the bill, a day laborer will be defined as a person hired by the owner or occupant on a one-time basis and is there to repair, maintain, upgrade, perform gardening or landscaping services and does not have a contractor's license or a business license and does not need one to do the work. With the draft of the bill, immigration status would not be a sticking point in getting workers' compensation.

While this bill is not yet a law, it can still be an important piece of legislation for people who are in this position or are working for someone else and are injured on the job. People who are hurt while working for another should be cognizant of the laws that are currently in place and potential changes to the law with help from a workers' compensation attorney who is experienced in helping clients receive compensation for workplace injuries.

Source:, "Day laborers included in California workers comp bill," Louise Esola, Jan. 8, 2018

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