Our Work, Our Dignity: Making Rights A Reality

In 2016, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (SB1015) was approved by the California legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown! SB1015 took effect on January 1, 2017, making permanent the right to overtime for the privately employed domestic workers that support nearly 2 million California households. Winning permanent overtime is a victory toward transforming the industry standards and asserting the value and dignity of domestic work.

This 2018, in response to the current political climate of escalated attacks on immigrant communities and the ongoing pattern of under-compliance with labor laws in the domestic work industry, California’s domestic workers are rising above the fear and uniting to protect and assert their rights both as immigrants and as workers.

Through the Our Work, Our Dignity Campaign, the California Domestic Workers Coalition is working to make domestic worker rights a reality! With large-scale education about the new law and toward a comprehensive strategy to ensure compliance with all labor and immigrant-worker protections, domestic workers are organizing to feel true material shifts in their day-to-day lives.

Our Work, Our Dignity in two parts:

#PassAB2314 (Ting)!: The Domestic Work Rights Implementation Act, AB2314 will establish a program within the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to promote the implementation of labor standards for the domestic work industry. This program will provide for resources, education and training for California’s domestic workers and domestic employers. This 2018, let’s #PassAb2314!

Grassroots Power Campaigns: Domestic workers will lead statewide campaigns to promote implementation of the rights of domestic workers through: broad-based worker education and organizing; worker empowerment and training on negotiation; domestic employer outreach and education; and campaigns focused on curbing wage theft and promoting high road standards for private homecare workers and residential housecleaners.

Knowing Our Rights and Building Our Skills

Across the state, domestic worker organizations are conducting mass education, outreach, and trainings to organize the predominantly immigrant workforce to be able to assert and defend their rights to overtime, sick-timIMG_20170610_115541e, minimum wage as well as protection from retaliation regardless of immigration status. 

Likewise, domestic employer organizations like Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employer Network and Senior and Disability Action are working to assure that individuals and families that hire domestic workers in their homes are aware of the labor laws that impact them and are inviting employers to sign onto a set of fair employment standards through the “Fair Care Pledge.”

Sending a Clear Message to Non-compliant Employers

For Solidarity graphic

Leading the way to assert caregiver rights, member leaders of the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) launched a public campaign against the Canoga Park-based home care agency Health Alliance Nurses Corp. and its owner Emilyn Nishi.

Caregivers were allegedly being paid only $100 to $125 per 24-hour shift, equating to less than $5.00 per hour.

Worker leaders first went public with their labor violations back in  2015 and have since assisted the California Labor Commissioner’s office to start an investigation that is still on-going. This year, despite the current climate of fear and attacks against immigrant workers, Filipino caregivers organized to bring the case forward to the City Attorney’s office in an effort to enforce their hard-fought-for rights and send a unified message to other agencies to end wage-theft in the homecare industry. For more information about this case, click here.