California Domestic Workers Coalition

Spectrum News |

Irene Maliglig spends most of her time looking out for people. She is a full-time caregiver in the City of Carson and is also the mother of two children. She’s always had a passion for taking care of people because of the culture she grew up in.

“I believe, as a Filipino, we have this trait of being hospitable, being passionate about what we’re doing,” Maligig said.

The 49-year-old understands the job is not for everyone, but she enjoys the work and is truly passionate about the job.

However, Maliglig and other caregivers throughout the state do not have anyone supporting them. Under current law, there are very few guardrails to make sure they have safe and healthy working conditions. She described having to be around exposed chemicals from cleaning products and the physical demands to care for a patient who is much bigger than her.

“As a caregiver, I am exposed to everything… whenever we get sick, we don’t know where to go. Not like the other workers when they are sick, they can go to HR for a sick leave or anything like that, but we as domestic workers — the fact that they excluded us, and they treat us as if we’re invisible,” Maliglig adds.

This is what State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, a Democrat from Los Angeles, is hoping to change with Senate Bill 686.

“…No matter how many times it takes to the California Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom — that now, now is the time to stand on the right side of history,” Durazo said

This bill will expand CAL/OSHA protections for nannies, house cleaners and other home care workers who don’t have protections if they get sick or injured on the job.