Demand Basic Labor Protections for Domestic Workers in California

Domestic Worker

Target: California State Senate and Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Provide basic labor protections to domestic workers in California.

California’s Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights is in the process of being presented to the state senate. This piece of legislation will provide basic labor rights to individuals who have not been afforded these rights previously – in this case, to all domestic workers, who are usually immigrant women. California must pass this bill in order to provide for the worker and human rights of domestic workers in the state.

The bill would provide amenities such as three personal days each year, overtime payment, and work breaks for meals or rest to about 200,000 workers in California. These basic labor rights will be given to all domestic workers who are generally overlooked in terms of labor protections in the United States. This is especially important as the majority of the population of domestic workers in California are immigrant women, a group that is traditionally denied labor protections. According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, more than half of the population of domestic workers in California work when they are injured or sick, and ninety-one percent of workers do not receive overtime payment. Domestic workers are also at a higher risk for job loss without the same labor protections that other professions have, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance reporting that twenty-two percent of fired Californian domestic workers indicated that they lost their job for calling in sick or caring for a sick family member. If California passes this bill, it will not only provide for the workers of California, but also act as an example and catalyst for other states to pass similar laws to protect the human and worker rights of immigrant women and domestic workers.

The Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights in California has been presented to the California legislature twice (once in 2006 and again in 2012), and is now in its third attempt. It has been passed by the state assembly, but it is unclear if the state senate will pass it or if California Governor Jerry Brown will choose to veto the bill.

By signing the petition below you will be urging the California state senate and Governor Jerry Brown to pass this piece of legislation and provide basic human rights and worker protections to domestic workers in California, a necessary step for worker equality for all individuals in the United States.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear California State Governor Jerry Brown, California State Senate Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and the California State Senators,

The Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights, AB 241, to be presented to the California State Senate, must be passed. This bill provides for the protection of basic labor and human rights to the domestic workers of California by providing overtime pay, breaks for meals and rest, and personal and sick days to these workers, among other labor protections.

These provisions are necessary to achieve equality between domestic workers and other employed individuals, as well as in ensuring the health and safety of domestic workers in California.

I am asking you to vote in favor of the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights and to take a stand for worker equality and justice for the 200,000 domestic workers of California. Your decision to support this bill will provide basic labor rights to domestic workers in California, and would serve as an example to other governments in the United States to pass similar legislation to protect domestic workers.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: UN Women/David Snyder via Flickr

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138 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • sheila childs
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • jeff hopkins
  • Holly Hall
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