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Fighting for Domestic Workers in California | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Fighting for Domestic Workers in California

California’s approximately 200,000 domestic workers do the jobs that make other work possible. They perform the fundamental duties of the home, including childcare, house cleaning and cooking, as well as caring for people with disabilities, the sick and the elderly. The vast majority of California’s domestic workers are women, minorities, and immigrants who are poorly paid and receive no health benefits or paid time off to care for their own families.

From coast to coast, the domestic worker industry is riddled with abuse. The largely immigrant domestic workforce is particularly vulnerable given the isolated nature of the industry, where women labor behind closed doors, out of the public eye and, frequently, off the books. Making matters worse, domestic workers are excluded from most federal labor and employment laws.

Last month in Sacramento, the California Domestic Workers Coalition, representing thousands of childcare providers, caregivers and housekeepers from around the state, along with labor and community supporters, gathered to advocate for the passage of AB 889, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would effect a significant measure of redress in the Sunshine State by eliminating discriminatory provisions in the state labor code and granting domestic workers basic rights that other California workers gain through collective bargaining. AB 889 cleared the Assembly last year and has been stalled in the Senate since late last summer. It is opposed by the AARP, nanny agencies, the California Chamber of Commerce and Disability Rights California, among other groups.

The bill’s passage would be a huge gain for California workers and a terrific example for the rest of the country. Give the campaign a boost today by adding your name to the petition. After you’ve weighed in, share this info with friends, family and your Facebook and Twitter followings!

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