Bill by Senator Gonzalez to Keep Workers Safe on the Job Signed into Law
September 27, 2021
Sacramento, Calif. – On September 27, 2021 Senate Bill (SB) 606 by Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) was signed into law by Governor Newsom. The new law will keep workers safe on the job by allowing stronger enforcement measures to hold employers accountable for workplace health and safety violations.
“Today’s enactment of SB 606 into law demonstrates California’s commitment to the health and safety of our workers,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, workers across many industries have helped keep our economy and our state going. Far too many lives have been lost to unnecessary hazards and the carelessness of large corporations. With this new law, that is going to change. Cal/OSHA will have the necessary tools to improve working conditions for California’s workers and to protect public health through stronger enforcement of workplace health and safety standards. SB 606 is the result of the hard work and dedication of many labor and community organizations standing up for justice and the rights of our workers, I am thankful to all of these groups, my colleagues in the Legislature and to Governor Newsom for supporting this important legislation.”
“We’ve seen just how rapidly COVID-19 infections spread in California’s workplaces and how workers paid the price for these outbreaks with their health and lives," said Andrea Zinder, President, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 324. "As the pandemic continues to put workers at risk with the rise of the delta variant, it is imperative that California continue to prioritize workplace safety and ensure Cal/OSHA has the resources it needs to enforce workplace safety laws. We’re proud that Governor Newsom stood with workers today to ensure their health and wellbeing isn’t put at risk when they clock into work.”
“Today Gov. Newsom affirmed that workplace safety is a top priority for California as the pandemic continues to threaten workers across the state,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “We applaud the legislature for passing, and the Governor for signing, SB 606 to give Cal/OSHA the ability to vigorously enforce our workplace health and safety regulations and impose real penalties on flagrant violators that endanger lives. This is a major victory to protect workers who have sacrificed so much to keep our economy moving.”
“This pandemic has exposed gaps in Cal/OSHA’s ability to hold employers accountable for flagrant violations of worker health and safety laws," said Stephen Knight, Executive Director, Worksafe. "These common sense reforms are an important step towards delivering the real protections from workplace hazards that all California workers deserve."
Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council is the regional coordinating body of 11 UFCW local unions representing over 200,000 workers in California, Arizona and Nevada. The Council is a part of the 1.2 million-member strong UFCW International Union. UFCW members are standing together to improve the lives of workers, families, and communities.
The California Labor Federation is made up of more than 1,200 unions, representing 2.1 million union members in manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, public sector, health care, entertainment and other industries.
Worksafe is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting people from job-related hazards and empowering us all to advocate for the right to a safe and healthy workplace. For more information, visit www.worksafe.org.