CDWC 2017 Policy Priorities
This 2017, in a political moment in which working-class immigrant communities are facing attacks and scapegoating across the country, we must rise above the fear, unite to protect and assert our rights and advance an agenda that defends the dignity and well being of our families. The 2017 Defending Dignity Platform prioritizes new legislation that specifically impacts immigrant working women who represent the majority of domestic workers across the state. The California Domestic Worker Coalition has adopted positions on the following bills to uplift the voices of domestic workers on these issues that most impact them and their communities.
Support: SB54 (Senate Pro Tem De León) ~ California Values Act
In California, communities are uniting to defend themselves and their families from the threats and policies targeting and criminalizing immigrants and from ongoing mass deportations and separation of families. SB54 (De León), The California Values Act, would ensure that State and local law enforcement agencies, school police, and security departments do not engage with nor provide resources to support immigration enforcement processes. Furthermore, under SB54, California state agencies, public schools, health facilities, and courthouses would adopt policies that would limit assistance with immigration enforcement to the largest extent possible.
Support: SB6 (Hueso) ~ Due Process for All
Currently in immigration proceedings in the State of California, there is no recognized government funded right to legal counsel for immigrants, and as a result, 68% of immigrants go unrepresented. At the same time, those detainees who do receive legal counsel are more than five times more likely to succeed in challenging their deportation. SB 6 (Hueso) would create a state funded program to provide access to qualified legal counsel for immigrants facing deportation or removal proceedings.
Oppose: SB482 (Stone) ~ Unpaid Hours for 24-hr Caregivers
SB 482 creates a sleep exclusion of up to eight hours from hours worked for a domestic worker who is a live-in or twenty-four (24) hour shift worker. This bill would roll back protections that domestic workers have had since 1976 to be paid for all hours worked. By creating a sleep exclusion, SB482 would repeal this long-standing protection and would undermine permanent overtime protections (SB1015 – Leyva) recently approved by both the legislature and Governor Brown last year. It would roll back the recognition of domestic work as legitimate work and condone a situation where workers are not compensated for time they are unable to leave their place of work to be with their loved ones, attend to their own needs and live their lives.
Support: SB258 (Lara) ~ Cleaning Product Right to Know Act
Every day, thousands of housecleaners are exposed to harsh chemicals and known carcinogens as they clean the homes of their employers, putting their health at risk. SB258 (Lara) would require cleaning companies that produce both household and commercial cleaning products to disclose the chemical ingredients of those products via 1) List of ingredients on the label, 2) List of ingredients available online, and 3) Graphic pictograms (developed by the Environmental Protection Agency) on the label that signal health risks associated with chemical ingredients & are accessible to users in different languages.
Support: AB206 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) ~ Workers Compensation Reform
Currently, workers compensation excludes workers, such as housecleaners and day laborers, who have worked less than 52 hours in the home of a given employer. This bill would remove the hour requirement so ALL workers, regardless of number of hours, would be covered for workers compensation.
Support: AB450 (Chiu) ~ Protecting Immigrant Workers from Raids & Expanding Power of CA Labor Commissioner
Led by the California Labor Federation, AB450 (Chiu) extends protections to immigrant workers & requires that the California Labor Commissioner be notified of an ICE raid. It further allows the labor commissioner to protect workers in current claims process from immigration proceedings. The bill unifies worker & immigrant rights and could provide more security and safety at the job.
Support: SB562 (Lara & Atkins) ~ Californians for a Healthy California Act
When enacted, the Healthy California Act will guarantee that every resident of California will receive comprehensive healthcare services, including all undocumented Californians. Under the Obama administration, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made history by expanding health insurance to millions of Californians for the first time. However, even with the ACA, 3,000,000 California residents are still uninsured, and with the federal government again trying to rollback the ACA protections, it is imperative that California establish a truly universal system, which finally gets costs under control. Furthermore, the Healthy California Act provides a path toward universal long-term care in California.
Ongoing Policy Initiatives and Progress
Support at Home Program
Tens of thousands of San Francisco seniors and people with disabilities need home care to live safely and independently in their homes. Support might include assistance with eating, bathing, getting in and out of bed, doing laundry, or preparing food. Support might enable someone to get out of bed and go to the local community center, or to see a friend. The Support at Home Program, launched in 2016 by the Northern California Care Council and SF supervisor Eric Mar, would subsidize the cost of home care for seniors and adults with disabilities in San Francisco who do not qualify for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) without a large share of cost but do not have enough income to afford private home care. With access to homecare, these community members are less likely to face social isolation, premature institutionalization or death.
2016 Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Enforcement
On Monday, September 12, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB1015: The 2016 Domestic Workers Bill of Rights! Over 300,000 domestic workers in California now have permanent overtime protections. History has been made. This victory comes as the result of nearly a decade of advocacy in the California legislature and organizing workers from across the state to the Capitol to uphold the dignity of domestic work within state law. Domestic worker leaders have been at the forefront of every step of the way– from leading a march in Sacramento to testifying in front of a policy committee. Thanks to the leadership of domestic workers and to the commitment of allies and supporters from across the state, we have achieved permanent recognition to an industry that was once in the shadows. We did it! ¡Si Se Pudo! This 2017 is a year to enforce this historic and permanent law and uplift the dignity of millions.