265748 Findings and Lessons Learned from a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of AB 889, the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Megan E. Gaydos, MPH , Program on Health, Equity, and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
June Weintraub, ScD , Program on Health, Equity, and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Cora Hoover, MD, MPH , Department of Public Health, San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA
Jessica Lynch, MPH, MCP , Consultant, Illinois Public Health Institute, Chicago, IL
Andrea Cristina Mercado , Lead Organizer/Political Education Director, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, San Francisco, CA
Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a promising practice to systematically analyze potential health and equity impacts of proposed policies, plans, or projects. In the United States, HIA has been applied to proposed minimum wage and paid sick days laws, but had few applications to other labor policies.

In 2011, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) conducted a HIA of the Domestic Work Employee Equality, Fairness and Dignity Act (AB 889), state legislation that eliminates the exclusion of domestic workers from labor protections afforded other workers. The HIA focused on two of the twelve AB 889 provisions: sleep requirements for 24-hour caregivers and workers' compensation for currently excluded domestic workers.

The HIA considered evidence on the health value of proposed labor protections, the size and demographics of the California domestic worker population, their current working conditions and socio-economic vulnerabilities, and potential barriers to accessing those protections.

SFDPH found that many domestic workers work in isolated work environments, lack job training, and suffer from high rates of assault, back pain, overexertion, and other preventable occupational injuries. The HIA analysis found sufficient sleep reduces worker risk of pre-mature death, chronic disease, depression and occupational error, and access to workers' compensation can help prevent long-term disability and reduce job turnover. The synthesized research was used to predict the impacts of AB 889 on workers, clients and general population. This presentation will describe methods used, key findings, lessons learned and future opportunities to conduct similar labor HIAs on vulnerable worker populations.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain how health impact assessment may be used to analyze the physical, mental, and community health impacts of proposed labor legislation 2) Describe four potential health impacts of requiring eight hours of sleep for 24-hour caregivers and providing workers’ compensation to domestic workers 3) Identify three lessons learned about analyzing data and assessing health impacts of a worker population largely excluded from labor and occupational health and safety laws

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead author of this health impact assessment (HIA) and held primary responsiblity for project coordination throughout the HIA. For the past five years, I have conducted and co-authored several research studies documenting conditions faced by immigrant workers in San Francisco and supported several policy initiatives to improve workplace conditions. I have co-authored five HIAs and facilitated numerous trainings on HIA methods and practice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.