Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s Worker Protection Bill
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to protect employees of contractors by ensuring compliance with state workers’ compensation laws.
“Requiring contractors to have workers compensation insurance will protect workers who are injured on the job – whether they are working for the contractor for a day, a week, or fulltime,” Sen. Dodd said. “It will also level the playing field for law abiding contractors who do carry the insurance. In so doing, it will eliminate barriers to coverage so we can protect those employees who might be injured on the job.”
In California, there are about 230,000 licensed contractors in 44 different areas, from general building and engineering to electricians, plumbers and landscapers. About 55% claim they have no employees, making them exempt from a requirement to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
However, research and enforcement from the Contractors State Licensing Board suggests many of these claims are false, creating a widespread problem leaving workers unprotected. That drives up the cost of workers’ compensation insurance for those who comply, and puts workers at risk when their employer lack such insurance.
Senate Bill 216 would require all concrete, heating and air conditioning and tree service contractors to carry the insurance, regardless of whether they claim employees or not. Further, it would require that by 2025, all licensed contractors in the state carry workers’ compensation insurance.
SB 216, which is sponsored by the Contractors State License Board, was approved with overwhelming support of the Legislature before it was signed Friday by Gov. Newsom.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.