Domestic Worker Bill of Rights - Surprising Facts - Women's Foundation California

On Wednesday, March 30, the Women’s Foundation of California celebrated International Domestic Workers Day by co-hosting a webinar with the Women Donors Network featuring two of the leaders of the national and statewide movement for domestic workers’ rights: Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Katie Joaquin of Filipino Advocates for Justice.

Ai-jen and Katie shared the inspiration behind this movement, along with the unprecedented win in New York and growing effort in California to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Katie is working with a team of fellows in the Foundation’s Women’s Policy Institute on the bill.

Some things I found surprising:

  • There are more than 2 million domestic workers in the US—nannies, elder care givers and housecleaners—whose work makes other work possible.
  • Fifty-four percent of domestic workers are the primary wage earners in their families, and 72% send money to family in their home countries.
  • The New York Domestic Worker Bill of Rights was the first law in the US to extend basic rights to domestic workers—overtime pay, paid time off, protections from discrimination and harassment. And the law covers anyone doing this work, even undocumented workers. A California law would do the same.
  • Someone turns 65 every eight seconds in the US, making elder care the fastest growing type of domestic work.
  • Employers in New York and California are embracing the Bill of Rights because they want standards and guidelines on how to be a fair employer. The partnership is leading toward the establishment of increased training and a legitimate career ladder, a path to citizenship, tax credits for employers and labor standards that promote the health and economic security of workers and employers.

There are several ways you can get involved in the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB889, authored by Ammiano and Perez), also known as Ocho Ocho Nueve Sí Se Puede, including:

  • Fund grassroots domestic worker outreach and leadership development (National Domestic Workers Alliance and Filipino Advocates for Justice are two terrific options!).
  • Join Filipino Advocates for Justice and others on April 13 in Sacramento and state your support for the Bill of Rights at the Labor Hearing.
  • Join Hand-in-Hand Domestic Employer’s Alliance on Facebook and find out more about how you can get involved.

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