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8 things to know about California's Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Nannies and other domestic workers are eligible for overtime pay under a new bill signed by Gov. Brown.
Nannies and other domestic workers are eligible for overtime pay under a new bill signed by Gov. Brown.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Long and unpredictable hours are an occupational hazard for the nannies and personal care attendants who work in California's private homes.

A new state law requires they get paid for the extra work.

Gov. Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that mandates overtime pay to domestic workers, a group that is overwhelmingly made up of immigrant women.  Here are some of the highlights of the new law.

Overtime kicks in after a 9-hour-long work day.

Employers also owe workers overtime if they log more than 45 hours in a week.

The law is expected to cover about 100,000 people.

The law is directed at workers where providing one-on-one personal care accounts for 80 percent or more of their duties.

Who the law does not apply to:

• cooks or gardeners whom advocates say already have labor protections.

• babysitters, or family members who provide babysitting services.

• personal attendants who provide domestic services to low-income individuals through the  state's In Home Support Service (IHSS).

Most domestic workers are Latina, according to advocates.

Many of them are immigrants, and some are here illegally. There are also growing numbers of Filipina and Chinese domestic workers, according to Aquilina Soriano Versoza, executive director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) who sponsored the bill issued this statement after the signing:

“Domestic workers are primarily women of color, many of them immigrants, and their work has not been respected in the past,” Ammiano said. “Now, they will be entitled to overtime, like just about every other California working person.

The original version of the bill was more expansive.

Ammiano had proposed mandating meal and rest breaks. Gov. Brown vetoed that bill last year, expressing concerns that it would raise the cost of home health care, making it unaffordable for some households.

He was much happier with the latest version of the bill he signed in Sacramento, surrounded by by domestic workers and their supporters.



California is not the first state to offer wage protections to domestic workers.

New York passed a labor law for domestic workers in 2010; Hawaii did so this spring.

The law may prove difficult to enforce.

In New York, just 15 percent of parents in one survey paid their nannies overtime after that state's law had taken effect.  Fears of losing a job may lead to underreporting.

The law lasts for only three years.

A sunset provision in the law means that it will be in effect from 2014 to 2017, after which the Legislature will decide whether to renew the law.

Celebrity employers such as "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler spoke out in support of the law: