There are hundreds of thousands “domestic laborers” hard at work in the households of Los Angeles, and all of them should be looking east to New York with great interest. Yesterday New York Governor David Paterson signed the Domestic Workers’ Rights bill into law providing the 270,000 domestic workers in NY with more rights and protection than anywhere else in the nation. New York may be leading the way but the Golden State isn’t far behind. What is in the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (CDWBR) and who exactly is included under the umbrella term? We discuss what happens in the often isolated domestic worker industry, why these workers are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act and who enforces the law if the bill does pass here.
Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara