– they do the work that makes other work possible.
Yet they are a workforce in crisis.
The women of La Colectiva work tirelessly under trying conditions:
They must support themselves in a country that doesn’t speak their language. They have left their homes and children behind to care for other peoples’ homes and children. Their work is physically and emotionally exhausting, especially without the support network that protects workers in other industries. La Colectiva believes that all workers are entitled to basic protections. That’s why we’re fighting for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which would level the playing field for domestic workers.
The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (CDWBR) would provide domestic workers with:
Equal overtime pay. Currently, personal attendants are excluded from overtime rights and live-in domestic workers receive less protection under overtime laws. The CDWBR would include ALL domestic workers in California’s overtime protections of time and a half after eight hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek and double time after 12 hours in one workday.
Equal right to a safe and healthy workplace. Domestic workers are currently excluded from protection under California’s Occupational Safety & Health Act (CAL-OSHA). The CDWBR would extend CAL-OSHA protection to ALL domestic workers.
Equal right to worker’s compensation. Domestic workers are carved out of California’s worker’s compensation laws when they work in private households less than 52 hours or earn less than $100 in the previous 90 days. The CDWBR would cover ALL domestic workers under California’s worker’s compensation laws.
Equal right to reporting time pay. Personal attendants currently have no right to reporting time pay, when they show up to work and their employer cancels the job. The CDWBR would extend reporting time pay rights that most California workers enjoy to personal attendants.
Equal right to notice before termination. Unlike California’s commercial and industrial employers of seventy five of more employees, domestic worker employers have no obligation to provide their worker advanced notice before terminating her services. Domestic workers are particularly vulnerable since when terminated, they often lose their job and home at the same time. The CDWBR would require at least twenty one days advanced notice before termination or severance pay in lieu of notice.
Right to Five hours uninterrupted sleep under adequate conditions. No law currently guarantees domestic workers the right to uninterrupted sleep. Domestic workers often labor around the clock placing themselves and the people they care for at risk of sickness and unintentional mistakes caused by exhaustion. The CDWBR would guarantee domestic workers at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep under adequate conditions.
Right to cook one’s own food. Unlike most California workers, domestic workers are often confined to the home of their employer and are forced to eat food that is unhealthy or not to their liking. The CDWBR would grant domestic workers the right to make basic decisions regarding the type of food they eat.
Right to annual cost of living wage increase. The CDWBR would provide annual cost of living increases for domestic workers who cannot collectively bargain for this modest benefit in a notoriously low-paid industry.
Right to paid vacations. The CDWBR would provide paid vacation days to domestic workers so that in addition to caring for their employer’s family, they also have time to care for their own loved ones.
Right to paid sick days. The CDWBR would provide paid sick days to domestic workers so they can recover from illness and receive medical care. This right not only benefits the domestic worker but also protects the health of employers and their family members.
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I support a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Domestic workers are housekeepers, nannies, and attendants for elderly and the disabled. Domestic workers are the backbone of California’s economy. By supporting the Bill of Rights, you are recognizing the generations of work that has gone unnoticed. Safe and healthy working conditions are human rights we can all stand behind.