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Why a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights?


In August 2010, the California State Legislature passed a Resolution for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This resolution highlights the work done by domestic workers in the state and the labor violations faced by these workers. The resolution calls for the fair treatment of these workers, noting that domestic workers have a right to be treated with respect and dignity. On November 29, 2010, New York State enacted a new Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which guarantees basic work standards and protections for domestic workers. The next step for California is to follow New York’s lead and pass a law that would prohibit the mistreatment and underpayment of domestic workers. Such a law will be introduced to the California State legislature in January 2011. If passed, the California law would go beyond its New York counterpart by providing paid days off and severance upon termination, in addition to an eight hour day and minimum wage assurances. This Brief details why these laws are needed now and what worker protections they will provide.

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