Why a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights?
Domestic Workers are the bedrock of a functioning society - they do the work that makes other work possible. Yet they are a workforce in crisis.
Domestic Workers Are Vulnerable:
The domestic worker industry is riddled with abuse, mistreatment, and labor violations. The mostly female and immigrant domestic workforce is particularly vulnerable due to the isolated nature of the industry, where women labor behind closed doors and out of the public eye. Furthermore, domestic workers are excluded from or discriminated against by most labor and employment laws. In fact, the exclusion of domestic workers from the National Labor Relations Act, means they are unprotected when asking for respect of their basic rights and are unable to collectively bargain for conditions allowing them to labor in dignity. California can level the playing field by enacting the following comprehensive bill of rights which seeks to eliminate discriminatory provisions in the labor code and grant domestic workers basic rights that other California workers gain through collective bargaining.
The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (“CDWBR”) would provide domestic workers with:
- Equal overtime pay. Currently, personal attendants are excluded from overtime rights and live-in domestic workers receive less protection under overtime laws. The CDWBR would include ALL domestic workers in California’s overtime protections of time and a half after 8 hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek and double time after 12 hours in one workday.
- Equal right to worker’s compensation. Domestic workers are carved-out of California’s worker’s compensation laws when they work in private households less than 52 hours or earn less than $100 in the previous 90 days. The CDWBR would cover ALL domestic workers under California’s worker’s compensation laws.
- Equal right to reporting time pay. Personal attendants currently have no right to reporting time pay, when they show up to work and their employer cancels the job. The CDWBR would extend reporting time pay rights that most California workers enjoy to personal attendants.
- Right to 8 hours uninterrupted sleep under adequate conditions. No law currently guarantees domestic workers the right to uninterrupted sleep. Domestic workers often labor around the clock placing themselves and the people they care for at risk of sickness and unintentional mistakes caused by exhaustion. The CDWBR would guarantee domestic workers at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep under adequate conditions.
- Right to cook one’s own food. Unlike most California workers, domestic workers are often confined to the home of their employer and are forced to eat food that is unhealthy or not to their liking. The CDWBR would grant domestic workers the right to make basic decisions regarding the type of food they eat.
[MUCH MORE AT THE PAGE]
edit: [WARNING for the video at the main link: talk of racism/abuse, including sexual assault]