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Rights For Domestic Workers Back On CA Legislative Agenda

Overtime. Meal breaks. Rest breaks. Sick leave. These are basic employee rights that many people take for granted. But not domestic workers in California. Nannies, housekeepers, in-home caregivers and others throughout our state don't have these same labor protections. Yet.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco is working on a bill to ensure basic labor protections for domestic workers throughout California. His proposal would include:

  • Meal breaks and rest breaks
  • Overtime pay for time worked over 40 hours per week
  • Three paid sick days
  • Designated sleeping hours
  • Access to kitchen facilities for meal preparation
  • Workers' compensation

The importance of securing these basic labor protections for domestic workers in California cannot be understated.

A majority of California domestic workers are Latina; more than 90 percent of California domestic workers are female. According to Assemblyman Ammiano notes that, "These women are the last group that's still left out of labor law."

A prior version of the domestic workers' protection bill was vetoed by Governor Brown last year. The bill passed both houses before falling to Governor Brown's veto. The current version eliminates a 30-day-notice requirement prior to termination, CalOSHA protections and annual cost of living increases. The current version of the domestic workers' protection bill includes exemptions from the requirements for low-income employers.

New York is currently the only state in the U.S. that has extended basic labor protections like those being fought for by Assemblman Ammiano to domestic workers.

Source: Huffington Post, "Domestic Workers Bill In California Brings Housekeepers & Nannies To The Streets," March 7, 2013

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