It would be an understatement to say that we’re disheartened by Governor Brown’s veto of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, AB 889 (Ammiano and Perez). Not even shocked or angry can fully describe our emotions.
This bill aimed to give domestic workers — people who work in our homes and take care of our children and our elderly — basic labor protections such as meal and rest breaks, overtime pay and adequate sleeping conditions.
These are basic human rights, but somehow—inexplicably—it’s not yet a law in California.
One of our Women’s Policy Institute teams worked on this bill last year, but the bill did not pass the Senate. This year, however, many grassroots organizations joined hands to support the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and the bill passed the Senate and the Assembly and ended up on Governor Brown’s desk.
This bill has been in the works for almost a decade. For years, domestic workers have been organizing in California and this year the movement achieved critical mass. Many of our allies and grant partners joined the movement and advocated for this bill—among them were Mujeres Unidas y Activas, California Latina’s for Reproductive Justice and Forward Together.
Though everybody is frustrated by this 11th hour veto, we press on. We have seen this movement in action and we know how powerful and determined it is.
There’s no time to rest. As you read this, the National Domestic Workers Alliance is sending Governor Brown letters and sponges and asking him to clean up his act.
Take action and tell Governor Brown to clean up his act! >>
Watch this video from the California Domestic Workers Coalition
Katie Joaquin says that this bill would not only have given domestic workers their basic rights, but would have finally recognized their work as “real work.” “In doing so, the bill would have helped build the dignity of this workforce,” said Katie.