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Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights

Posted by Kathy Webb on 4/29/13 2:00 PM

Currently, New York is the only state with a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. However, legislative activity is occurring at the state level that could impact HomeWork Solutions’ clients in other jurisdictions as well.

California: This state’s Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, reintroduced as AB 241 by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, was passed out of the Labor Committee last week and is being considered by the state’s Appropriations Committee. This bill passed the California legislature in 2012 and was vetoed by Governor Brown, citing concerns for the impact on the state’s budget (state paid home health aides were covered by the bill) and the possible negative consequences to private household employers. AB 241 would require mandatory off duty meal breaks and rest periods for domestic service workers, including nannies and senior caregivers,  provide mandatory paid time off, and extend overtime protections beyond those outlined in California Wage Order 15.

Illinois: The Illinois Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights Act, SB 1708, would extend minimum wage and overtime protections for domestic service workers, require a written contract between the worker and employer, require off duty meal breaks, and paid time off. The bill would NOT cover personal care attendants and personal assistants working under the state-paid Home Services Program.

Domestic Workers' Rights advocates are also working with state legislative representatives to introduce similar bills in Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Significantly, the new legislative proposals in California and Illinois expand on the New York legislation they are modeled after. New York does not require the off duty meal breaks that are so problematic in the California and Illinois proposals, and only applies to domestic service workers employed directly by a private household.

HomeWork Solutions will continue to track the various legislative activities for clients. Should proposed legislation become law, we will post information for clients on necessary compliance activities.

Topics: domestic workers bill of rights

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