California could soon become the third state to implement a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, ensuring that the state’s domestic workers are entitled to labor protections that many take for granted. The State Senate voted yesterday to pass AB 241, which guarantees overtime protections for workers such as housekeepers, childcare providers and caregivers for people with disabilities and the elderly. Last September, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a previous version of the legislation.
Groups such as the California Domestic Workers Coalition and the National Domestic Workers Alliance responded to the veto last year by intensifying their push for the law with demonstrations on the capitol, phone-ins and a “Drive for Dignity” from San Diego to Sacramento. Across the country, New York and Hawaii have already passed similar protections, and efforts are underway for states such as Massachusetts and Illinois to follow suit.
Since we launched an action this past May, Nation readers have sent over 800 e-mails to their state legislators asking them to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in their state. If your state hasn’t caught on yet, be sure to take a minute to join the campaign. And if you’re in California, call Governor Jerry Brown’s office at 916-445-2841 and demand that he sign AB 241.