California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Passed

Today the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights passed the California Senate Labor Committee.

Sponsored by Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for approval. Co-sponsored by Assembly members Allen (D- Sonoma), Cedillo (D- LA), Ma (D- San Francisco), Fuentes (D-San Fernando), Ma (D-San Francisco), Monning (D- Santa Cruz) and Senator De Léon. The bill seeks to remove the exclusion of domestic workers from basic wage and hour protections which the vast majority of California workers already enjoy. The current exemptions for domestic workers are confusing and leave well-meaning employers vulnerable to liability. AB 889 sets industry-wide standards that will help keep the industry above-ground.

The Senate Committee vote follows the passage of the bill in the California Assembly and last year’s successful passage of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York.
Domestic workers are among the most isolated and vulnerable workforce in the state. The unique nature of their work requires protections to prevent abuse and mistreatment from occurring behind closed doors, out of the public eye.
How do you think the bill will help you if it is signed into law?


  1. Next step Governor signs into law, right? Much more controversial issues have been passed this year. I think I will feel more confident asking for what I think I deserve once I know it's law.

  2. Eva, not sure. First, the whole Senate has to vote, not just a committee. Usually the Assembly and the Senate versions are different, so they then go to a conference committee for compromise. Then back to the Assembly, then back to the full Senate.My version of "I'm Just a Bill" (Schoolhouse Rock)In NY, the bill got watered down in conference to get full support of both houses – be interesting to see what happens here.

  3. Hmmm politics… one step at a time…

  4. Congratulations to CA domestics!

  5. From my understanding and memory from poli sci classes in college once the bill gets through the committee it is basically guaranteed to pass but it may be tweaked a lot before it is passed.

  6. That's right Lindsay the committees do the hard work, that's why they have committees.

  7. I absolutely agree with overtime pay, 21 days termination notice and most of the rights listed in this bill. I just hope parents can still afford to hire nannies after this becomes law.

  8. WEll it will help having nanny websites posting the laws and agencies telling parents of laws. Next let's make them liable when they don't inform them of laws. Why are there jobs for under minimum wage on nanny websites? Why are nannies paid under the table? Because parents think they can get away with it.

  9. It will help build better relationships between employers and nannies. It is an emotional job but when it comes down to it we work to make money!

  10. This is good. Things will not be terrible after this is law, only better. I am not able to follow the rationale of the INA letter or others who don't like the bill. Just predictions that probably won't even occur, just scared of change I think.

  11. There will always be nannies who are paid "under the table" for less than minimum wage. Parents have the right to leave their children in the care of of anyone they deem fit and to compensate that person as they see fit. If you don't want to work for what you feel is less than a "fair wage," then don't, but you can't legislate morality for everyone else. If I want to be a nanny for $100/wk to help someone out I can and will…no different than grandmothers raising grandchildren or the countless hours of childcare that family members and friends do for each other for free. $100/wk is still a lot more than I was making before this, and I'm happy, and I love the kids. I don't need you to speak for me for equal rights…I can speak for myself.

  12. I think about what I learned from some former charges step grandmother who grew up in a third world country. She came here for a better life, and worked her way up. The thing was even where she started, and while she wasn't a nanny she was a domestic, she said she still was doing better than if she was in her native country.Something like this could open the flood gates to employers turning toward paying barely above minimum so that "time and a half" doesn't become outrageous. Of course then one has to worry about whether they will be used for the full week. — The thing is for some immigrants and illegals as much as we think some standards are terrible, some jobs may not seem that bad.This changes the potential dynamic greatly. The law in NY has been there for several months now, hasn't it??? Has it made an impact? Are all those jobs legal and by the book? Raise your hand if you doubt it… it all gets back to each individual opening their own mouth and raising their own voices. Knowing their own limits, standards, principles and sticking to them.

  13. Both anonymous should realize morality is legislated everyday. I think passing these rights makes an important statement that even nannies and housekeepers deserve respect. I think more nannies will insist on being paid legally on the books because it makes a huge difference. Hopefully they will realize that now there is a law in place to protect them and the only way to be protected is to be paid legally. It will be good for the economy. It will be good for workers. It will be good for parents and children. It will be good all around.

  14. I feel like the wealthy who hire nannies and those who don't understand the need for this bill are saying "Power to the people, except maybe not so much when the people are your servants, maids, cleaners and caretakers!" There was much more fighting and arguing about the civil rights act and do you still think that civil rights are a bad idea?

  15. It is about time! I have always found it unbelievable how wealthy American professionals underpay the women who care for their children and their homes and their grandparents.

  16. I know of dozens of nannies that insist on being paid off the books and in cash each week, many situations at 750-1,000 per week. Perhaps the bill should also include that legally landed nannies be registered so that they pay taxes. Good nannies will always be in demand, and families will pay in cash without question. That won't change.

  17. Some nannies chose to be paid under the table because it allows them better qualify for public aid. SO they are taking jobs, and getting tax dollar support too without paying in… Morality can't be legalized. Are there going to be penalities if nannies chose to not be paid legally and they are busted. Say like more scenarios like Meg Whitman's?

  18. Of course nannies will be busted if they get caught not paying taxes. That's why I keep saying this bill / law will only help tax paying american's not illegals or those who break the law and don't pay taxes.Illegal immigrants and citizens who don't have a record of a job won't benefit because they fear penalties of deportation or fines (maybe jail) if they break the law by being here illegal or simply by evading the tax man.

  19. All is in vain if the workers don't insist on being paid legally. That's essential. Those who don't pay taxes (pay into the system) cannot benefit from it.

  20. Hooray! I don't understand the INA letter at all. It's just speculation and negativity. I can't see how this bill passing to law could possibly hurt anyone but some very abusive employers.

  21. I am upset about the INA letter and that alternate views were not published. They are an agency association named otherwise.

  22. I have learned from this blog (and others) that employers (parents) that already refuse to pay their domestic help (nannies) legally on-the-books or to pay them fair market rates (such as at least minimum wage) won't do so without laws. Face it, if they haven't done it yet then we have to legislate so they will.These fair basic workers rights will make happier employees which makes happier parents and the children too. Arguments against further regulation being dangerous is just fear not based in any facts. Clearly we can't be treated any worse, workers rights laws can only help us.

  23. Most nannies and housekeepers are illegal and at least accept cash. They won't ever sue a parent if they are illegal or don't pay taxes because they will get in trouble. The law will help the few that are citizens and pay taxes. Very few!

  24. When some nannies are paid less it hurts all nannies. It brings down the average pay for all of us. When one nanny is mistreated it hurts all nannies. It allows another employer to think all nannies can be mistreated.

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