Senator Leyva Introduces "2016 Domestic Worker Bill of Rights"

SB 1015 Eliminates January 1, 2017 Sunset of Existing Law

Thursday, February 11, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) introduced SB 1015 to continue the success from AB 241 (2013) — which granted overtime protections to California’s privately hired domestic workers — by removing the 2017 sunset provision and making the law’s provisions permanent.

In California, there are over 300,000 domestic workers who serve as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers in private homes. Domestic workers are primarily immigrant women who work in private households in order to provide for their own families as the primary income earner.  Without these domestic workers, many Californians would be forced to forgo their own jobs to address their household needs, which would negatively impact the economic potential and wellbeing of families and communities in California.  Unfortunately, despite the importance of their work, domestic workers have historically received wages well below the poverty level and were excluded from some of the most fundamental labor protections that other California workers enjoy.

In 2013, the California Domestic Workers Coalition sponsored AB 241 to provide these much needed and deserved labor protections. The legislation had a narrow focus granting rights to daily and weekly overtime for domestic workers. 

Sponsored by the California Domestic Workers Coalition, SB 1015 simply eliminates the 2017 expiration of the original legislation. 

“Domestic workers in California currently receive basic overtime benefits, which SB 1015 would now permanently establish into law,” Senator Leyva said. “This portion of our workforce is vitally important as these women and men oftentimes travel many hours to and from work and are away from their own families solely because they are working as privately hired domestic workers in another family’s home.  Thanks to the day-to-day hard work of domestic workers in California, their employers are able to hold down their own jobs and tend to their family’s other needs.  SB 1015 would now make permanent these important labor protections and benefits for domestic workers in the Golden State.”

Domestic workers report that the 2013 legislation has improved their ability to advocate for better standards in their jobs.

“I am a domestic worker and community leader with the Hollywood Labor Center, a member of the California Domestic Workers Coalition that fought for recognition of domestic workers under AB 241. The victorious passage of AB 241 in 2013 sent the message that our work is real work and has helped domestic workers across California gain the confidence to assert our rights when speaking with our employers. Seeing domestic workers become dignified leaders has pushed me to continue fighting for the protections that we deserve as much as any other worker. SB 1015 is about affirming recognition for the domestic work that makes all other work possible and defending pay equity for this majority women of color workforce,” said Carmen Goley, domestic worker member of Hollywood Labor Center / IDEPSCA, California Domestic Workers Coalition.

SB 1015 will be considered in Senate policy committee(s) this spring.