California Domestic Workers Coalition


Below are some of the most important rights you have as a housecleaner. No matter what your immigration status is, all immigrants have rights as workers. Whether or not you have papers to work or are paid in cash, you have the right to claim the wages you are owed and to speak up about your rights.

You have the right to be paid at least the minimum hourly wage for all hours worked:

This hourly minimum wage is higher in many cities, like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Rosa. Please refer to this minimum wage tracker to see if the city you work in has a higher hourly minimum wage: minwageCAcities

You have the right to overtime and doubletime pay:

  • 1.5 X your hourly rate for work after 8 hours in a day, after 40 hours in a week and for the first 8 hours on the 7th consecutive workday.
  • 2 X your hourly rate for work after 12 hours in a day and after 8 hours on the 7th consecutive workday. 
  • For example, if you are regularly paid $16 per hour:
    • Overtime pay would be 1.5 X $16= $24 per hour
    • Doubletime pay would be 2 X $16= $32 per hour

You have the right to paid sick leave: 

  • You earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked for your employer. You can begin using paid sick time after a period of 90 days from your employment start date.
  • You can use sick time leave if you get sick or injured; to care for an ill family member; to attend a medical appointment for you or family member; or to get services or legal help if you are a victim of domestic violence, assault or stalking.
  • Your employer may limit your use of paid sick time per year to 24 hours or 3 days, whichever is more.

You have the right to meal and rest breaks:

  • A 10 minute paid break every 4 hours and a 30 minute unpaid meal break after every 5 hours of work. You should be relieved of all work duties during your breaks.

You have the right to workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses or lost wages if you become sick or get injured at work:

  • You can file a claim for workers’ compensation if you worked at least 52 hours for your employer within the 90-day period before your injury and earned at least $100 within that period. Report your injury to your employer immediately. If you get treatment, notify the doctor that this is a work-related injury.

You have the right to be paid on time:

  • Pay is due twice a month.

You have the right to be paid for all of your wages if you are fired or quit your job:

  • If you are fired, you should be paid immediately.
  • If you quit and give 72 hours notice, you should be paid on your last day of work. 
  • If you don’t give 72 hours notice, then you should be paid within 72 hours of quitting. If you are not paid all of your wages at the time you are fired or quit, you can get waiting time penalties, which is your daily average wage for each day that your wages are late,  for up to 30 days.

You have the right to protection from harassment and from being retaliated against for standing up for your legal rights: 

  • It is illegal for an employer to sexually harass you. If you are experiencing harassment or physical abuse because of your race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and/or disability, contact the California Domestic Workers Coalition or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
  • It is illegal for an employer to threaten you, fire you or call immigration or the police on you for exercising your workplace rights or if you take time for services or relief as a victim of sexual assault or of certain crimes.

Keeping Records is Key to Defending Your Rights:

  • It is important to keep records for days and hours worked, any breaks you took and wages paid as proof in case your rights are violated.
  • If you are harassed, write down details including dates, time, location, and what happened.

There are various State and Federal agencies that protect these workers’ rights and more. Please talk to an advocate with the California Domestic Workers Coalition to figure out how you can make sure your rights are upheld and respected.