AirTalk for August 10, 2011

California closer to passing labor rights law for domestic workers

Mercer 20119

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

MIAMI - JANUARY 06: United HomeCare Services home health aide Wendy Cerrato hugs Olga Socarras as she helps her during a visit in Miami, Florida.

Next week, a California Senate committee will hold hearings on AB 889. The bill seeks to make sweeping changes to the domestic-worker industry -- in particular, caregivers for the elderly, housecleaners and nannies. The law would create standards for overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and workers compensation. Last year, a similar bill passed in New York, which was seen as landmark legislation in the U.S. AB 889 has already passed the California Assembly, so it has a very real chance in the Senate. The voices of opposition are not just from employers. Some caregivers worry it will make their service unaffordable and force the elderly and children into care facilities. Supporters of the bill say domestic workers are isolated and vulnerable; therefore they need protection from mistreatment occurring behind closed doors. What exactly are the changes this bill is proposing? How would it be enforced? If you're a caregiver, what working conditions do you want regulated? If you employ a caregiver, what do you think about break times and overtime pay?

Guests:

Aquilina Soriano, Executive Director, Pilipino Workers’ Center (PWC) of Southern California, a member organization of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. PWC represents both Filipino and Latino domestic workers, and has worked to shape and support AB889 from the beginning.

Barry Berger, Chair, Board of Directors, California Association of Health Services at Home


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