Challenges for California's domestic workers: part two

Last week we talked about some of the unique employment law challenges faced by domestic workers in California, such as low pay, a lack of health insurance and other benefits and the isolating nature of domestic work. These all make domestic workers vulnerable to employer misconduct, a problem that has too long been ignored.

Fortunately for California's housekeepers, nannies, home health care workers and other domestic employees, the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would help protect their fundamental employment rights.

Legislators are still working on the bill's final language but the sponsoring Assemblyman has said it will include protections in the following areas:

  • overtime
  • meal and rest breaks
  • workers' compensation insurance
  • paid sick time
  • the right to use kitchen facilities
  • the right to adequate sleep (ideally eight hours per night)

The passage of the bill would certainly help safeguard these rights for California's domestic workers but it is not their only potential lifeline. Employees who have been treated unfairly in the workplace - whether because of employment discrimination, wage and hour violations or other employer misconduct - may be able to pursue a claim in state or federal court to recover damage for such treatment.

If you feel that your rights as an employee have been violated by an employer, supervisor or coworker, having a qualified representative by your side can help you protect your rights and plot the right course of action. Consider getting in touch with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you review your options and pursue any appropriate claims for damages such as back wages or other compensation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Domestic Workers Bill in California Brings Housekeepers & Nannies to the Streets," Kathleen Miles, March 7, 2013

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