Patricia, a mother of four, has been a domestic worker since 2001. She has experienced extreme injustices in her work, and fully supports the campaign because it will allow for increased standards and broader awareness of her rights.
“We’re asking because we have nothing. When you’re sick, they take money out; when you ask to go to the doctor, they take money out of your pay.”
Eighty three percent (83%) of workers do not always receive a paid 10-minute break after four hours of work. – Survey of over 250 household workers in the Bay Area, 2002.
“If the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights passes and workers have more protections, we will lose some of the fear we have of our employers.”
Patricia moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1997 thinking the United States was the “bread and butter,” that is, the best thing there is. However, she soon found herself struggling to support her family and four kids. Her first job was at an electronics company, but after suffering from an injury, she started her job as a domestic worker. She has been in care work since 2001.
For the past two years, she has been employed as a live-in caregiver, working around the clock from Monday to Saturday. On Saturdays at 2pm, her shift ends and she is supposed to be paid; however, she often finds herself waiting until 4pm for her employer to come home and pay her. She never gets paid for overtime.
Additionally, Patricia sometimes only gets 2-3 hours of sleep per night. She does not get to choose what she eats, having to eat the same, and limited diet of the patient in her care. “So you’re dieting yourself and you’re working 24 hours. You have only 3 hours or 4 hours of sleep for the 24-hour care, so how can you survive? If I get sick, they do not pay me for sick leave because you see, if you’re sick [it is] ‘no work, no pay.’ That’s what I’m fighting for.”