Domestic workers hope to convince Gov. Brown to sign bill to give breaks, overtime

Domestic workers rallied in the state capitol Monday — singing their own version of Aretha Franklin's hit
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T" with dance moves and plenty of giggles. It's their final appeal to Governor Brown to sign Assembly Bill 889 bill to give domestic workers overtime pay and breaks.

If enacted the law would change working conditions for about 200,000 Californians who work in other people’s homes as nannies, housecleaners and caregivers. Most of them live in Southern California, and most are women.

On the steps of the state capitol, Maria Lucia Figueroa’s said she's cleaned houses in the Bay Area for almost 40 years, and has taken care of one elderly woman for nearly a decade.

"They pay us very cheap and we don’t have no overtime." Figueroa said."And if I stay when she gets sick I stay more time, I don’t get paid."

She said that by signing the bill, the governor would ensure that people like her get paid for overtime and work breaks.

But Ken Erman, the owner of RX Staffing and Home Care, thinks the new regulations will hurt the people who need care and the people who provide it.

"It would greatly increase the costs for us and it would probably push people to use the underground economy, hire people directly off of Craigslist." Erman said.

The Sacramento businessman added that he provides insurance and workers compensation to his employees. If he has to start paying them for overtime and breaks, Erman said, he might have to reclassify his employees as independent contractors.

The Governor has until September 30th to decide.

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