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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Enforcement Strategies for Empowerment: Models for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

  • Author(s): Moris, Eileen
  • Unden, Megan
  • et al.

In 2013, the California Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 241 which established a bill of rights for domestic workers in the state of California. The enactment of Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (DWBOR) in California is part of the general diffusion of these policies across states. The report surveys DWBORs in U.S. states and Western European countries. Based on a review of the enforcement mechanisms in DWBOR legislation, the report concludes enforcement is vexed because it depends on low-waged workers themselves to initiate complaints without any guarantee of speedy redress and the risk of retaliation against workers. Since the enforcement mechanisms reflect structures of antagonism between domestic workers and their employers, civil organizations and state agencies play an important role in ensuring worker complaints are properly expedited and adjudicated in accordance with state labor standards.

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