The Health and Safety for All Workers Act
For far too long, domestic workers have been excluded from basic labor protections, including the health and safety protections of CAL/OSHA.
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent devastating wildfires in California has exacerbated the dangers that domestic workers and day laborers face on a daily basis because they are excluded from CAL/OSHA protections and regulations.
Right now domestic workers are right at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. They work with people most vulnerable to the illness, like the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, often without adequate protective equipment or training. And they themselves don’t have a safety net to lean on in times of crisis, like affordable health care, unemployment benefits, and paid sick days.
During the wildfires that devastated California, we saw a similar phenomenon. Domestic workers and other household workers, like day laborers, were asked to stay behind to fight fires, guard homes or pets, work in smoky conditions, and clean up toxic ash, all without protective equipment. Workers were further put at risk when employers failed to warn them that the homes they work in were under mandatory evacuation.
Domestic workers often have to make the impossible choice between working in unsafe conditions or going without any income, especially during these kinds of crises. But domestic workers face risks every day- the risk of injury, exposure to infectious disease and household cleaning chemicals, and the very real threat of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by employers or clients, because of their often isolated and informal work environment.
End the Exclusion- Domestic Workers Deserve Health and Safety Now!
To protect the health and safety of California’s domestic workers, we are working with our allies to pass SB 1257 The Health and Safety for All Workers Act. SB 1257 would remove the historical exclusion of domestic workers, so that domestic workers can have the legal right to health and safety training and protective equipment, and be protected against retaliation when they try to protect their own health and safety at work.
Please join us in working to pass SB 1257, the Health and Safety for All Workers Act!
You can learn more about how you can support the campaign by checking our Facebook or twitter pages or by signing up for e-mail updates here- https://www.cadomesticworkers.org/sign-up-for-email-updates/
California Domestic Worker Bill Of Rights
For more than ten years, the California Domestic Workers Coalition has waged the campaign for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights to correct the history of exclusion from basic labor protections and to advance the rights and dignity of domestic workers.
- In 2006, organizations came together for the first time to pass AB 2536 (Montañez), the original “Household Worker Bill of Rights,” which would have granted overtime protections to personal attendants and would have fined employers who failed to pay through liquidated damages. The bill was passed through both the Senate and Assembly and was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
- Again in 2011, after years of integrating campaign lessons and focusing on building the domestic worker movement both locally and nationally, the California Domestic Workers Coalition sponsored AB 889 (Ammiano/V. Manuel Perez), which included 11 points:
- Equal right to rest and lunch breaks for personal assistants.
- Equal Overtime Pay
- Equal right to a safe & healthy workplace
- Equal right to workers compensation
- Equal right to reporting time pay
- Equal right to notice before termination
- Right to 8 hours uninterrupted sleep
- Right to cook one’s own food
- Right to annual cost of living increase
- Right to paid vacations.
- Right to paid sick days
- AB 889 passed through both the Assembly and the Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.
- In 2013 after advocating for over seven years, growing the political power in sacramento, and gaining invaluable experiences in the statewide policy arena, the California Domestic Workers Coalition won a historic victory with the passage of AB241 (Ammiano), which extended overtime protections to personal attendants (such as nannies and homecare attendants), on the condition that the law would sunset after three years.
- In 2016, The California Domestic Workers Coalition again won historic legislation, SB1015 (Leyva), making the provisions of AB241 permanent under state law. SB1015 was signed into law by Governor Brown in Sep 2016.
- The California Domestic Workers Coalition believes that all domestic workers deserve basic labor protections and dignified work conditions. The campaign for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights continues, so long as domestic workers continue to be excluded from dignified and fair labor standards.
Domestic Worker Rights Education and Outreach Program
As new rights for domestic workers get written into the law, it is equally important to ensure that both workers and employers are empowered with information about the labor laws governing this industry so that the rights of domestic workers may be upheld in every California home.
- In 2018, the California Domestic Workers Coalition launched its “Our Work, Our Dignity” Campaign to make domestic worker rights a reality through introducing AB 2314 (Ting): The Domestic Worker Rights Implementation Act. The bill would have establish a program within the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to provide outreach, education, and training to both domestic workers and employers on domestic worker rights with the goal of increasing awareness of and compliance with existing labor protections. AB 2314 passed the California State Assembly and the Senate with overwhelming support, but was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown..
“AB 2314 sets up protections to ensure domestic workers understand their rights. The bill recognizes that jobs performed by domestic workers are just as valuable as any other work, and that these hardworking individuals deserve the same employer protections as everyone else.”Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
- In 2019, the coalition continues to advocate for a Domestic Worker Rights Education and Outreach Program to address the unique and pressing needs of the industry. The program would provide education, outreach and training to domestic work employees and employers on minimum wage, overtime, sick leave, record-keeping, retaliation, and the DLSE wage adjudication and retaliation process. The program would increase awareness of and compliance with existing labor protections within the domestic work industry to promote fair and dignified labor standards across the industry.
Expanding the Affordability of Home Care
In 2016, the California Domestic Workers Coalition partnered with Pilipino Workers Center to launch the CARE Agenda, a declaration of our vision for a long-term care system that supports the dignity of consumers and upholds fair employment standards for caregivers.
This year, as a member of the California Aging and Disability Alliance, the California Domestic Workers Coalition is helping bring the vision of the CARE Agenda to fruition through support of SB 512 (Pan). This bill would establish the California Long-Term Services and Supports Benefits Board (LTSS Board), to be composed of 9 specified members, to be able to manage and invest revenue deposited in the California Long-Term Services and Supports Benefits Trust Fund (LTSS Trust) and to finance long-term services and supports for eligible individuals, upon appropriation of funds. The bill would also create the Long-Term Services and Supports Advisory Committee, composed of nine members that have experience in aging and disability services, from both consumer, worker and provider perspectives, for the purpose of providing ongoing advice and recommendations to the LTSS Board.